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US Based Journalist, Diaspora Leader, Akande, In Abuja, Calls For Oil Subsidy Removal

*Urges Vigilance As Nigerians Await Change , Buhari/Osinbajo Presidency

International journalist and top official of the the group of Nigerian Christians in the US, Laolu Akande says Nigerians must take full ownership of the change process which is expected to kic

Mr Laolu Akaande

Mr Laolu Akande

k-off later this week with the swearing-in of a new president and vice president.

Akande, the first and only Nigerian journalist so far to interview a sitting US president said while the level of expectation is very high among Nigerians right now regarding the changes expected with the incoming Buhari-Osinbajo presidency, there is the need for the Nigerian people as stakeholders to make critical engagements with the incoming administration that will ensure on ongoing communication between the new leaders and the people.

“The era of tolerating any kind of incompetence, mediocrity and dismal character for those leading the people should be buried permanently, but this can only be ensured if we are all vigilant, the leaders and the people together,” says Akande, who is also the executive director of the US-based Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN. CANAN is made up of about 1000 Nigerian churches in the United States.

He recalled that Nigerians in the US prayed all through the month of March for the success of the election, and they were all glued to their smart phones, computers and TV screens monitoring the elections, the release of the results and so on.

“In the same way, we as Nigerians in Diaspora shall be monitoring the situation with the new administration to ensure that the expectations of the nation are not cut-off,” he stated.

In a statement issued Monday morning in Abuja, the US-based pastor, journalist and college professor added that “the hopes of the Nigerian people are high because of the calibre and character of General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and they both should in turn ensure constant engagement and an unusual free flow of communication with the people who have entrusted them with so much.”

Said he “look at the mess the country has come to right now with scarcity of fuel, simply due to an entrenched culture of corruption that has wasted the nations resources, especially in the last 16 years on an expensive oil subsidy regime at the expense of building and maintaining viable oil refineries. Personally I expect the Buhari/Osinbajo presidency to suspend oil subsidy as soon as Friday and carefully deregulate the sector.”

He disclosed that there are instances including the Amakpe Refinery meant for Akwa Ibom, where some Nigerians in Diaspora have offered to build refineries in parts of this country, got the license, purchased the equipment and some state governors frustrated them due to corruption and petty personal aggrandizements.

Akande said another area Nigerians must insist upon is that the same alliance that produced the outcome of the election should be kept intact and everyone carried along to deliver Nigeria’s manifest destiny.

His words: “I believe in Nigeria’s manifest destiny, and it is way above all our petty ethnic and religious distractions that have often encumbered the progress of the nation and it’s people. We have the best opportunity now with the Buhari/Osinbajo presidency to put all those ethnic and religious rivalries behind us and project a unity of purpose without which, God forbid, this hope could be dashed.”

Every part of the nation should be galvanized, leaving behind no one, except those who have determined to be opponents and enemies of Nigeria’s great destiny, he said. According to him, ” those who voted for the incoming leaders and those who voted against them are all Nigerians, adding the time has come to unite all behind the vision of change.

Akande who attended the Presidential Inauguration service at the National Cathedral on Sunday recalls that the service offered the nation a worthwhile view of how political transition regardless of party affiliation can become a norm in Nigeria. He is in Abuja to participate in the inauguration ceremonies.


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