President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to address Nigerians’ concerns about lopsidedness in the appointments he has made so far as well as issues of corruption, insecurity and various injustices in various parts of the country.
He made the promise when he received a Christian delegation led by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, and a Muslim delegation led by the Secretary General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in separate meetings at the State House on Friday.
The President told the CAN delegation that he had already given instructions for the submission of all the names of heads of parastatals in order to address the allegations of lopsidedness in appointments.
“On the question of one-sided appointments, we will look at it. I have given instructions that a list of all heads of parastatals be submitted to me and I know they will not delay in doing that,’’ he said.
President Buhari said his administration would ensure reform of the police and judiciary, describing both institutions as critical for the security and stability of the nation.
“There is no way we can be comfortable in our country unless we are lucky to have a good police force and judiciary.
“We need a good police force and judiciary to really maintain the legitimacy and the confidence of the populace in governance,’’ the President added.
On the fight against corruption, the President assured both CAN and the JNI leaders that his administration would always be guided by the rule of law and constitutionality in prosecuting all those that had been accused of corruption.
President Buhari explained to the JNI delegation that corruption in the country had taken a cultural dimension, urging all religious leaders and Nigerians to join in the fight in order to reverse the trend.
“When something becomes a culture, it is more difficult to stop, but collectively we will prevail,’’ he assured the leaders.
Earlier in his presentation, the President of CAN, Rev. Ayokunle, advised president to prosecute corrupt people around him.
While commending the president over the way he had approached the issue of corruption, he said some of his aides could scuttle the fight unless the president took action.
He said: “Much more we salute your courage to confront it headlong as never done by any government in this nation before to the best of our knowledge and judgement.
“We do not want you to relent in doing this. The setbacks not withstanding, accomplishing the goal is the ultimate.
“However, we want you to fight corruption without fear or favour including those around you who may be like the ‘mixed multitude’ who went out of Egypt with the Israelites but were not Israelis.
“They caused harm along the way. Therefore, let there be no untouchable, hand those close to you that may be corrupt over to law enforcement agents as you have done to others for proper prosecution.”
CAN also commended the president over the release of some Chibok School girls and urged him to do more to secure the freedom of other girls as well as Borno women recently abducted by Boko Haram.
On farmers/Fulani herdsmen clash, Rev. Ayokunle, wondered why the rampaging herdsmen could not be brought to justice as they continued to kill people with security agents unable to apprehend them.
CAN wondered: “What a complicity! Why are the Fulani herdsmen devastating communities without being arrested? Why are they not prosecuted? Why was the source of their ammunition not investigated? Why do they roam about with guns without being arrested?
“All these are begging for the quick attention of the President so that the people they are attacking also might not seek self defence which may lead to the breakdown of law and order in the nation.”
The association demanded Nigeria’s withdrawal from all religious organizations with which the federal government has treaties.
It said: “We call on the Executive and Legislative arms of government to withdraw Nigeria from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and from other international religious bodies and treaties Nigeria signed with such religious organizations because it violates the secular state of the nation as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria and further violates government’s non-partisanship in religious matters as enshrined in the same constitution.
“The sanctity of the constitution must be kept for Nigeria to survive as one nation.”
The association also requested for intervention over northern states’ refusal to issue Certificate of Occupancy to Churches in the North.