I have watched and listened as my dear country Nigeria in the last few days has erupted with anger in reaction to the the fully justifiable if ill-timed removal of the government subsidy on petrol. Listening to the Finance Minister on BBC yesterday an otherwise erudite and quite forthright individual, I could not help but think of how cocooned she and her colleagues seem to be from the realities of conversations I have been privileged to participate in with common Nigerians on the matters at hand.
I HEREBY CHALLENGE MR PRESIDENT, THE GOVERNORS, THE SENATE, FEDERAL AND STATE HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY TO EMPATHIZE WITH OTHER NIGERIANS BY:
- Enacting a law that makes proven theft of public funds a crime with a minimum sentence of 20 Years
- Removing the immunity laws at both State and Federal levels
- Selling the Presidential Fleet and travelling business class by commercial airlines to do the business of Government
- Pegging the Presidential, Vice Presidential and Senatorial salaries not to exceed $250,000 per annum
- Replacing the Presidential Villa with a moderate 6-10 Bedroom House
- Pegging all Presidential (and Vice-Presidential) expenses including security, transport, furnishings, meals etc to no more than $1,000,000 per month
- Pegging Federal and State House of Assembly Salaries to the same level as that of Civil Servants
- Other than the President (3) the VP (2) and the Head of Senate (2) not allowing any Government official more than one Official vehicle
- Removing entitlement to foreign medical treatment for all elected office holders, Government employees and political appointees
- Removing the “Office” of the first lady from Federal, State & Local Governments
Fortunately, Pa Chris Kolade already has been appointed to lead the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme Board to appropriately manage the proceeds from subsidy savings. The question is whether or not the Country's leadership is brave enough to lead this way or would they rather rule as are currently perceived to do....