60th independence: CAN charges Buhari to sign electoral bill reform, reduce fuel, electricity prices

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Bill Reform, which it says would guarantee credible polls.

CAN also charged President Buhari to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel prices in order to ease the economic burden on the masses.

The CAN President, Reverend Dr Samson Ayokunle, in his Independence Day message, called on the government to try as much as possible to reduce the cost of governance and save money for the country.

On insecurity, the CAN President said every part of the country is facing one insecurity or the other to the extent that some states governors are begging criminals to stop attacks, which CAN said is disheartening.

“Today, our security agencies are battling terrorists in the North East, herdsmen killers in the North Central, bandits in the North West and kidnappers and other criminals in virtually every state of the federation. Herdsmen are ramping the Middle-Belt and the South.

“We have never had it this bad as we had it in the last ten years. It is disheartening to read in the print media that some governors are literally begging criminals to stop their attacks because they have no answer to stop them. Nigerians abroad are not happy with the horrendous conditions at home,” Ayokunle said.

On his recommendation, the CAN President urged President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to “immediately sign the Electoral Bill reform which has been gathering dust on his table since last year. Our elections should be free, fair and credible if we want the governed and other nations to respect our political leaders. Trust is earned not imposed or enforced.”

Furthermore, he said governments should be sensitive to the yearnings and the groaning of the governed, noting that the era of asking the people to tighten their belts while those in power are loosening theirs should stop.

He also charged the government at all levels to treat all persons regardless of the tribe or religion equally in terms of appointments and infrastructure, so that those calling for secession may embrace one Nigeria.

“Both the federal and state governments must give a sense of belonging to all citizens irrespective of their religious, tribal, and political persuasions. Lopsided appointments in favour of one part of the country at the expense of the other, or in favour of one religion at the expense of the other will only deepen the crises in the polity.

“This will put pay to those calling for the balkanisation of the country. And if such a call is unacceptable and unfortunate, then doing what is promoting the agitation must be stopped,” he noted.

“We call on the government to revisit the 2014 National Conference Report with a view to using it to address some problems militating against the peace and unity of the country. We don’t need another conference if there is a political will to implement the report. It should just be sent to the National Assemblies as a template to guide the legislative process of better repositioning of Nigeria,” CAN stated.

CAN, however, insist on total overhauling of the security architecture of the country to inject personnel with fresh ideas that can address all security problems.

Ayokunle said there no doubt that all at the helm of affairs of our security agencies are doing their best but it seems they have nothing new again to tame the monsters of the security challenges.

“There is an urgent need to reduce the cost of governance if our governments are sincere in fixing economic problems. If it is too late to return to the Parliamentary system, then, we should practise a Presidential system that will not be as expensive as the one we are practising. We may borrow a leaf from Ghana and France in doing this. Why should we be running a system that drains our meagre resources?” he added.

CAN also called for more Job opportunities for our teeming youths in order to reduce the menace of insecurity in the country.

On education, CAN is called for the inclusion of the private universities among the educational institutions that are enjoying subvention from the Federal Government with a view to reducing the cost of running them.

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