By Anote Ajeluorou
As President Muhammadu Bugari’s war on corruption thickens, a cleric, Primate Elijah Ayodele of INRI Evangelistic Church, has cautioned that former President Goodluck Jonathan needs to be handled with care so it does not boomerang. The cleric stated this in view of the tremendous goodwill he enjoys for honourably stepping down during the last election and putting Nigeria on a truly democratic path that the world admires. Ayodele spoke on sundry socio-political and economic issues in his office in Isolo, Lagos.
Although many of the former president’s aides are mired in corruption allegations, Ayodele cautioned against politicization of the corruption war. While noting that although Buhari would expend a lot of effort on the corruption war, little would come out of it, as he might shoot his administration in the foot in the process.
According to Ayodele, “Buhari’s government will make a lot of efforts in terms of fight against corruption, he may not make much progress. In fact, he might shoot himself in the foot. Buhari has to be careful with Jonathan; it may turn around and boomerang. His corruption fight won’t go too far. In fact, Buhari won’t be able to fight corruption as expected. In fact, corruption will weaken Buhari’s government; it’s not going to be easy for the president. It will cause inflation, prices of goods will go up, cost of living will rise and retrenchment will be rampant in all sectors. Life will be hard for Nigerians”.
The clergyman also said Buhari’s corruption fight would becloud him from attending to the economy to effect the change campaign on whose back he rode to power. He also said the president does not have the necessary team to jump-start the economy from the doldrums, as economic missteps would characterise his administration and frustrate his every step to make needed impact.
As he noted, “The economy needs God’s intervention. Buhari does not have the people to run the government and the economy well. Buhari means well, but he must be careful not to play politics with religion and ethnic sentiments. The economy will not do well under Buhari; it will fluctuate. He must make life easy for Nigerians and so continue to retain their trust. The country needs a lot of prayers so we don’t experience too many strikes. Some states will collapse economically. In fact, the deterioration of the economy will confuse Buhari. Youth unemployment will skyrocket. There will not be much improvement in energy and power sector until 2017 when we begin to get stability. The discos and Nnational Energy Regulation Commission (NERC) will have crisis that will make for instability in the sector”.
Also, Ayodele tasked Buhari to thread carefully with amnesty for youth in the Niger Delta and Biafra, saying how he handled them would make a huge difference for his administration. He said Buhari needed to handle amnesty well so riots and militancy do not rear their ugly heads again, as Nigeria may not be able to cope with war on many fronts. He advised him to dialogue with Biafra agitators before the agitation escalates and gets out of hand.
Ayodele also noted that Buhari’s deadline for Boko Haram was unrealistic, saying the sect would find another way to fight back and continue to cause harm to innocent Nigerians. He stated that the international dimension of ISS must be taken seriously and steps taken to cut off the link to further weaken the sect.
On the suspended Bayelsa State governorship election, Ayodele charged governor Seriake Dickson to work closely with the grassroots if he is to be victorious, adding that the election might end in a slim victory for him.