A former military leader, General Mohammad Buhari has condemned jumbo salaries for legislators as well as the procurement of new jets for the Presidency.
General Buhari made this known in an interview with a popular online portal, Nigeria Village Square. He said: “There must be some decency in the amount of money public officers are paid. We can’t just sit here and allow public officers to just share our revenue and kill all social services. That is not how to rule the nation and I believe that whoever eventually becomes a member of the national and state assemblies should accept a downward review of payments and allowances. “
The retired military general who spoke on various issues including, Freedom of Information Bill, Communal crisis, power sector , Indigenship and Citizenship, described as wastages the recent approval for President Jonathan to procure new presidential jets when there are no good schools, hospitals, drinking water and electricity supply in Nigeria. He said: “We don’t get our priority right in this country. I assure you we will do away with wastage and get our priorities right.”
He also lamented the state of insecurity in Nigeria which he attributed to bad leadership. He said that the physical and material insecurity in the country are quite glaring. According to him “The most important and fundamental thing that any government can do from 2011 is to secure this country. There is so much abduction and assassination. There is so much corruption. The institutions that support democracy have been compromised: the Nigerian police, the judiciary, the other law enforcement agencies, the civil service. Infrastructures have gone.
“You know it very well— there is no power, factories have closed, people have lost their jobs, [and] there are no roads. So, what we are saying is that we are going to take the fundamental things and try and rebuild the country. This is what we are saying.“
On war against indiscipline and corruption, General Buhari said: “It is an established fact that Nigeria is notoriously corrupt. Most of the institutions have been compromised, but mercifully Nigerians are fed up with the indiscipline and the corruption of governance, and this is our greatest hope against next year’s elections – that they need change.
“They need a serious team to be in charge of the country, they want good governance and I assure you (that one thing I know) is that Nigeria is not short of rules and regulations about accountability and transparency in dealing with government businesses. What we have to do is to ensure that our institutions from day one will go back to our rules and regulations about accountability whether it is public funds or private ones. Institutions have to account properly and clearly according to the laws. We have adequate laws. Our problem is implementation, and the implementation is the corruption of the institution.
“The elite has compromised the country as a whole. We will persuade the Nigerian elite that they have the capacity to turn the country around because they are knowledgeable they are energetic – All they need is to be encouraged and believe in the country and therefore deliver the institutions they are managing. So we have to secure this country and manage it.
“We would make the institutions functional, especially the police, the civil service and other agencies and the judiciary, because our constitution and other regulations are comprehensive enough and the people understand it. The problem is the execution. Our time would be zero tolerance for corruption, Indiscipline and corruption are the two great problems in Nigeria, and I think it has gotten to a level where Nigerians are fed up and really want a change. They want leadership. They want transparency. They want accountability. And these are what we are going to give Nigerians, God willing.”
On his vision for Nigeria, General Buhari said that Nigeria has the people and resources to make it a great nation if only those in government are selfless and committed to nation building.