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Letter of congratulations on Presidential Inauguration


His Excellency,
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,
Muhammadu Buhari.


A letter of congratulations on Presidential Inauguration

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Russia wishes to congratulate you on assumption of office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, following an outstanding victory in a peaceful democratic general election. We believe that only a man with a vision for his country could make such a long journey, notwithstanding rigors of preceding unsuccessful attempts. We hope you will not allow actions of misguided and self-serving bureaucrats to blur this noble vision you have for our beautiful country, Nigeria.

BuhariMr. President, your victory in this election is a proof that Nigerians have become well informed and therefore, guided by zeitgeist in making their choice. Our national problems are many, and expectations from the President are high. Your profile, manifesto, and campaign rhetorics give us confidence that you are fully grounded on the magnitude of the tasks ahead of us all, and that you have developed solutions algorithms for them. However, permit us to share our views on some of the issues.

First, CORRUPTION. Your statement at Chatham House: ?Either Nigeria kills corruption or corruption kills Nigeria?, gives reasons to believe that you understands the urgency with which this killer disease needs to be tackled. It would be naive to expect that your government would stamp out corruption from our system of governance in four years, but we do anticipate that within this time frame, you can give Nigeria a platform to earnestly fight this social cancer. Time for ‘window dressing’, as we have seen in the past sixteen years, is over. Nigeria needs a clear strategy to take this ‘bull by the horns’. In our opinion, such strategy should include:
1. Amendment of the Constitution. The 1999 Constitution is a wrong tool to fight corruption. We think issues like disproportional legislators’ pay packages, immunity, and political parties funding must be properly addressed to reflect realities of the Nigerian society. We understand that this will be difficult, but we also think that if this is done within 100 days in office, you are likely to carry majority votes in a referendum, if it goes that way.
2. Ceiling on campaign expenditure. When politicians spend so much money on elections, it becomes absurd to think that they are going to serve the people. Instead, it looks like investment process, thus, they must have returns on their investments at the expense of the electorate.
3. Improvement of conditions of service for law enforcement agencies. The role of law enforce agencies is fundamental if we want the Rule of Law to reign in our society. The conditions of service of the Nigerian Police, for example, from equipments to pay packages are nothing to write home about.
4. Petroleum subsidy issue. Subsidy has proved to be the most prominent source of corruption in Nigeria and so, any anti-corruption plan without subsidy removal is hypocrisy. Moreover, the state of our economy and global economic trends call for its removal, provided your government gives Nigerians a simple, transparent and win-win strategy for this action.
5. Our re-current expenditure. One does not has to be an economist to understand that a country spending over 70% on salaries cannot dream of providing needed infrastructure. Government decisions on this issue may be unpopular in the short-term, but if their long-term effects are perceivable, trustworthy and appropriately communicated to the people, they would yield positive results.

Second, SECURITY. Safety of life and property is a constitutional right of every Nigerian. Unfortunately, this right has suffered so many setbacks in recent years, due to lapses in public
offices. Insurgencies in the country did not appear overnight, rather, they took time to grow and become national issues. In most cases, they are results of social injustice, economic hardships or neglect of some social groups. Empirical evidence supports a strong correlation between crime in a society and economic downturn; therefore, curbing insurgencies is not only about armed personnels and weapons, but also about strategic economic planning for inclusive growth.

Third, ELECTRICITY. Fix electricity and you would have fixed the Nigerian economy. We have singled out electricity from a family of infrastructure because it carries a high proportion of cost of doing business in Nigeria. We followed with keen interests many jobs creating initiatives by the preceding government and found it difficult to comprehend the rationale in providing cheap seed funds for entrepreneurs without mitigating electricity challenge. We think that is tantamount to putting ‘the cart before the horse’, and apparently, a change of approach is needed here. Nigerians are intelligent, industrious and a little bit undisciplined; remove the last part of this character trait and you have a formidable economic growth engine. We challenge you, Mr. President, to sustainably resolve power issue and you will witness Nigerians in diaspora trooping back home with business models and ideas that would boost our economic growth and create jobs for millions.

The turbulences our country is navigating at present, are to a large extent, similar to the situation in Russia in the 1990s: insecurity, unemployment, corruption, infrastructural decay, dependence on crude oil and natural gas for foreign earnings, etc. We experienced how a focused leader, a change from political appointments and bureaucrats to technocrats and managers to run the economy, catapulted the Russian economy to great heights. The road is long and difficult, but it is about human resources, and this, Nigeria has in abundance. In all your innovative tactics, we hope your economic management team would use implementation processes to build TRUST, a core ingredient to carry Nigerians along, in every government policy decision.

We would like to assure you that you are not alone on this route to political and economic freedom for our country, Nigeria. As far as you have the Nigerian masses at heart in all your governance initiatives, NIDO, Russia will walk with you to the desired destination. We believe you can lay a solid rock foundation and build unshakable economic pillars for our country, such that generations to come shall look back and say, Mohammadu Buhari is no longer in charge but ‘Buharism’ reigns.
Decisions you have to make are hard and dangerous, but we know you are a man of integrity, selfless and focused. Your ability to enlist Nigerians of the same ‘steel’, with disregard to ethnicity, quota system or regional representation, and form alliance with the masses, determine success of your government. Nigerians voted for CHANGE, Nigerians voted for CREATIVITY, Nigerians voted for a country where things work, and they have given you the baton of leadership. Use it without fear or favour and Nigeria shall be a great nation. We wish you a successful tenure.

NIDO, Russia.

Signed: by the Chairman, Rex Essenowo,
the Gen. Secretary, Eng. Sola Aiyetan
and other members of the EXCO

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