OPINION: Come back home, Mr. PresidentArticles/Opinion, Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News Thursday, February 16th, 2017
By Muhammad Ajah
Come back home, come back home
Come back home, come back home
Come back home; Nigerians are missing you
Come back home; Nigerians are waiting for you.
Mr. President, your health and wellbeing are important to us. Nigerians want to see and feel you. We are like a family whose breadwinner has been away for sometimes. We know that you feel nostalgic. But do not be in a hurry if something is yet to be finalized on your health. We are patiently waiting, praying and working for our nation in your absence.
The Presidency told Nigerians the possibility of your return because you are no longer “enjoying your stay” outside our beloved country. Your Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu to us: “As a matter of fact, we should be getting ready to see the president in fresh and that will be soon as possible. The President himself is looking to being home to be with his people. I don’t think he is enjoying any longer with an extended vacation outside the country.”
We are happy that your vacation was utilized for many things. One thing is clear. You have shown your sincerity by granting unhindered control of the government to your vice, the vibrant and erudite compatriot, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He has performed wonderfully in your absence. Secondly, your vacation has revealed that Nigerians are massively behind you despite the few discordant voices from some quarters. Nigerians love you and they want you to come back and look after them. Thirdly, it has shown that what unites Nigerians is stronger than what divides us because even the oppositions are heaving signs of relief that you are great and God-sent. They also feel your absence and want to see you physically at home.
We are happy that you spoke with the American President. America knows the importance of Nigeria for their economic wellbeing. Mr. Trump, like his predecessor, Barack Obama, recognizes your sincerity of purpose and leadership style. Nothing is more heartwarming than this international recognition. It is the beginning of a friendship that will see Nigeria progressive amidst earlier uncertainty that the new America will antagonize your government.
Many prominent Nigerians were received by you in London. Surely, it is not easy to differentiate the purposes for their visits. The heart is a sealed bag; only God knows its content(s). But be assured that millions of Nigerians who can never afford to travel are with you in prayers. By God, it is their sincere prayers that are really working for you and the nation. Many of us want nothing than good health and success for you and the nation. And so it shall be. Ameen.
Your wife, Aisha recently returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she performed Umrah. She must have cried out her eyes to God for you in the Grand Mosque of Makkah. As she arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, she asked Nigerians to pray harder and do good deeds for Nigeria and expressed gratitude to all Nigerians for their supports for you.
Your ministers have been up and doing. The leadership of your party APC and its members are loyal and doing their best. The national assembly has been working on the 2017 Budget which you presented to them in December. You said it is going to be free from padding and we believed you. But there are reports that some things have been observed in it by the assemblymen. One of your ministers, Babatunde Raji Fashola shocked the Senate when he disclaimed the sum of N2billion voted for Regional Housing Scheme by the Ministry of Finance out of the N64.99billion budgetary proposal for the housing sector for 2017.
The lawmakers in their various standing committees are carrying out wide scrutiny of at least 590 suspicious line items as budget defence by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) goes on. Senate President Bukola Saraki was reported to have given all Senate committee chairmen a working document and directed them to thoroughly examine all allocations in the budget.
The document, titled “2017 Budget: Frivolous & Suspicious Items”, was prepared and presented to the National Assembly by a leading government transparency organization – BudgiT, led by Seun Onigbinde which outlined the questionable 590 items in the 2017 budget from 32 MDAs. Reports say that there are about six outrageous and suspicious items that raised various questions in the ministry of Power, Works and Housing apart from other items on other ministries and parastatals of government. The document also according to reports showed that there is about seventeen line items worth over N2.1trillion in the Ministry of Transportation. This means that the padding regime is not yet over.
The civil servants are hungry, though patient and yearning for your return to increase their salaries. There are stories, just like before, that smile will soon be put on their faces. The Nigerian farmers want you back. The Nigerian children want their grandfather back home to give them warmth and love.
We want to assure you that our love for you is great, our wishes for our nation are magnificent, our expectations are high and we wish you safe journey back home.
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity, peace and good governance in Abuja. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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