opinionBy Bukar Umaru Mandara
The country last month marked eleven years since the return of democracy, but it's never late to congratulate Nigerians on this evolving dispensation. The Olusegun Obasanjo administration that took office on May 29, 1999, marked the end of military government in Nigeria, and it achieved a lot. His was followed by Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's administration, which created a ministry and amnesty for Niger Delta and the dredging of River Niger from Lokoja in Kogi for Northern Nigeria to have a port, thus achieving two out of his seven-point agenda.
Following Yar'adua's unfortunate death last month, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as the constitution requires. Jonathan is a natural born leader who rose from being a local government chairman in Bayelsa, to deputy governor and governor of Bayelsa state before becoming vice president in 2007, acting president in 2010 and now President Commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I however would like to urge him not to discriminate against any section or region in his approach to governance, and to continue doing the good work he is used to doing since when he was acting president, e.g. the solution to fuel scarcity as well as his vision of new salary structure for civil servants in Nigeria.
His choice of Namadi Sambo as Vice President is also fortuitous.
What is left now if for President Jonathan and his colleagues in the Federal Executive Council to work hard to alleviate the plights of Nigerians just as our fallen heroes, like Sir Ahmadu Bello, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Aminu Kano, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo and others did in their heydays. I would also like to advise them to focus on the following six basic but vital issues of power, water, education, health, agriculture and roads.
Furthermore, governors of the 36 states deserve commendation for the efforts to lift their people from poverty and illiteracy.
Consequently, my democracy message extends to all the senators and members of the house of representatives in the national assembly under the leadership of Senator David Mark in the senate and Oladimiji Bankole in the house of representatives, also in the national assembly I will also like to extend my greetings to minority leader hon. Ali Ndume for the good works he is doing to his constituency and in the national assembly.
I would also like to extend my democracy day message to the judicial arm of government for the job well done they are doing for ensuring justice in the country, my message also goes to traditional rulers our royal fathers in the likes of Sultan of Sokoto Alh Moh'd Sa'ad, Shehu of Borno Shehu Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Amin Elkanemi and other traditional rulers, religious leaders in both Islam and christianity elder statesmen and ulamas across the nation for support of democracy and seek on all of us to pray in favour of Nigeria as our nation prayers, our prayers for peace will reach and touch the lives of all 150 million population of Nigerians.
I also salute the army for maintaining their territory and the police force in tackling armed robbery and urge them to put more effort, the customs too for cutting down illegal entry of goods to the country, the immigration for their efforts in reducing illegal immigrants and federal road safety corps for ensuring safety in our roads.
Furthermore, I would also like to salute the Nigerian television authority director general, Alh. Usman Magawata, his executive directors in the NTA headquarters Abuja, zonal directors across the 6 geo political zones of the country, general managers, managers and staff of NTA across the country for transforming NTA to become like CNN by having talented broadcasters with excellent English grammars. I also like to salute the presidents of news agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nigerian union of journalist (NUJ) and the Nigerian labour congress (NLC) for the good job they are doing in moving Nigeria forward.
Finally, I will like to advise all Nigerians to maintain peace and stability in the country, for politicians to play politics without bitterness and violence in order for Nigeria to have a free and fair election in 2011, and as a member of PDP in ward, state and national level, the north should produce a president in 2011 as the north has only finished its allotted 3 years by late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua out of the 8 years term set in the PDP constitution for the north to rule. Nevertheless, I urge on all members of the PDP in Borno state to strive hard and form a government in 2011 in order bring change in the state. Lastly, 50 political parties in Nigeria are too much and in my opinion they should be reduced to 7 or maximum of 10 as this will intensify political competition.
Mandara, the Zanna Dujima of Borno is also a member of the Borno State Emirate Council.