If I Were President Jonathan…

(By Simon Abah)

Pristine transparency will be my guiding principles and I will declare my assets and all of my lieutenants must do the same. The era of multi-billionaire politicians will be over. Our politicians’ wages will be among the lowest in the world, backed up by the law. Politicians who take this career path will do so to only contribute their efforts to nationhood.

I WILL walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela by promoting good governance and accountability in all spheres of our national life. Nigerians urgently require the dividends that will make life enjoyable and the liberation from perennial lack that is shooting skywards.

   I will communicate my vision to the Nigerian people and hold a regular conference with the National Assembly and the civil service to further this vision. Performance standards must be fixed to measure our progress while also taking into account the importance of getting feedback from poor and helpless people on the street.

  I will suspend the planned national dialogue. What Nigerians need most of all is the provision of basic necessities to make life worth living and that is what I will provide until our elite can justify how they have used public monies at their disposal for the benefit of the people.

  I will visit West African heads of state and harp on the need to police our porous borders. I will tackle the pervasive insecurity in the country. Nigerians are peace-loving people. Unfortunately, some Nigerians have abused our knack for accommodation. These Nigerians will be prosecuted by my administration.

  I will not accept the situation in which illegal immigrants use our country as a launching pad for carnage. I will abolish the NYSC scheme which has outlived its usefulness. In its place I will encourage graduates who are keen to join our armed forces either as uniformed personnel or as civilian informers.

  It is necessary to infiltrate civil society with overt agents who must report activities from trouble-makers immediately to the army, navy and air force police forces. The aim would be to nip crime in the bud before it festers. These graduate volunteers will be provided salaried jobs on a minimum wage for three years to rid our society of crime.

  I will not send troops anywhere in the world under my watch unless the sovereignty of a country is threatened. Internal strife must be handled by each country. I will provide logistics to quell this strife but will not have our troops on the ground.

  Pristine transparency will be my guiding principles and I will declare my assets and all of my lieutenants must do the same. The era of multi-billionaire politicians will be over. Our politicians’ wages will be among the lowest in the world, backed up by the law. Politicians who take this career path will do so to only contribute their efforts to nationhood.

   I will fight profligacy especially when government funds are squandered. This will send a signal to the international community that we mean business to take our country forward and achieve the millennium developmental goals.

  So far I have yet to see one Nigerian institution that is free from corruption. Going after a few individuals whilst the majority flaunt ill-gotten wealth appropriated from our public institutions, is not healthy for this country.

  I will end bureaucracy in the civil service by making it an entrepreneurial civil service regulated by the service commission. The civil service though a public institution must be run like a private enterprise. Executives will be subject to dismissal if they don’t meet target. Budgets and results must be measured and unspent budgeted funds rolled over to the next year and not embezzled.

  I will ensure that there are no more sub-standard transport vehicles on our road and encourage the registration of more professional transport companies known for professionalism.

  I had cause to travel to Enugu State recently and passed through MILKEN hill located at Enugu Ngwo. This hill has up to 22 dangerous sharp bends and it is estimated that a total of five buses plunge off the road to the valley below every month, resulting in fatalities. These tragedies are never reported. I will pressure the state government to invite construction companies to fix strong iron pillars rooted deeply below the soil surface, with metal bars strategically connecting the pillars horizontally along the edges, to serve as a wedge in case of an accident. Surveys of our road usage will be carried out by volunteers around the clock.

Funding of pilgrimages by government is a national waste. I will encourage the rich to fund these activities. Religion is a private matter.

  In union with the bar association I will promote the establishment of a family court to ensure that negligent parents are made to shoulder their responsibilities. We will not allow young lives to be mortgaged in this country.

  People who hide under pretentious guises to kill will be tried speedily. Never again will cases drag on for years. Justice must be served and seen to be served. Adjourning such particular cases in perpetuity negates the search for justice in our courts. Execution of judgments must be carried out swiftly after exhaustion of appeal. Dastardly acts will be treated as a national emergency.

  I will identify small cottage companies around the country and fund them to become multinational giants exporting products out of the country like the South Koreans. Small and medium-scale enterprises are the way for the future.

  The health sector will be well funded and I will never go out of the country as a public officer for a medical checkup. I have yet to hear that the monarchy in England uses another country’s medical facility for national pride, so why need to?

  My Presidency will be the people’s Presidency. It will be strong and will seek opinion but it will not go to past heads of state seeking help on how to build the Presidency.

  I will form an advisory council drawn from people of integrity. My appointment will include people from the opposition party who can contribute their quota to national development.

  I will openly castigate those clamouring for the breakup of Nigeria. They are political jobbers seeking relevance. True statesmen don’t promote chaos. They seek conciliation. If people of heterogeneous backgrounds can survive in the United States of America and in Switzerland then we can.

• Abah is an executive team leader, Rinasham Multi-Services Ltd, Port Harcourt.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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