Nigerians Can Pardon Buhari If He Can Alleviate Their Suffering Before May 29 – Group
By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
A Yoruba socio-political group known as Afenifere, said Nigerians would be willing to forgive President Muhammadu Buhari if he made changes to ease the country’s suffering before he hands over on May 29.
On Friday, Buhari seeks forgiveness from Nigerians for hurting them.
Responding to remarks by Jare Ajayi, its publicity secretary, Afenifere said it would have been much better if the president had listened to pleas made to him over the years regarding “the unfriendly, if not retrogressive, steps his administration had been taking”.
“The maxim has it that ‘to err is human, to forgive is divine.’ Without deceiving ourselves, the Nigerian government under the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari certainly ‘hurt’ a lot of people (to use his own word),” the group said.
“Some of them are no longer alive. Some who are alive have wounds that can hardly ever heal. Both physical and psycho-social wounds. Because the Almighty created many humans to have large hearts, many whom the President had hurt may forgive him.
“That is for those who are alive. But then, what about thousands who have died as a result of avoidable acts that can easily be traced to the government such as non-provision of security and welfare as clearly enshrined in the Constitution?”
The group said many people might be inclined to forgive Buhari if, within the remaining 34 days he has left in office, he could effect “dramatic changes” in policies that are making life difficult for Nigerians.
Afenifere advised Buhari to take decisive actions that will permanently halt insecurity in the country and ensure immediate payment of the eight-month salaries of university lecturers.
The group said efforts should be made to ensure that those in IDP camps are resettled in their ancestral homes, and that “the stranglehold on the economy”, especially through unfriendly fiscal policies, be relaxed so that economic activities can quickly bounce back.
Afenifere said these measures can be successfully implemented before May 29 “if President Buhari and his team really desire to do them”.
Afenifere expressed concern about the upsurge in terrorist activities following the completion of the general election.
The group said the series of attacks on defenceless people and the subversion of economic activities in various parts of the country “give us a lot of concern especially as we move towards the handing over of power on May 29, 2023 by the grace of God”.
“Bandits now even have the effrontery to go and abduct people from their homes as happened to one Adebukola in Ondo State, to a former deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Prof Onje Gye-Wado, to the driver of the incumbent Nasarawa State deputy governor, to one Muhammadu Jibril in Ago Igbira, Osun State and to over 100 students of Federal Government College, Yauri, Kebbi State, who were abducted from their hostels – to mention a few,” the group said.
Afenifere called on the authorities to ensure that the situation is quickly brought under control.