Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Professor Akin Oyebode has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop playing the role of a sole administrator.
In a monitored interview on Channels Television this evening, Oyebode also alleged that the President often waits till a foreign trip before telling Nigerians what his intensions are.
“The president needs to take Nigeria into greater confidence, I think we have been over indulgence with President Buhari and he should be constantly reminded that the people are sovereign, not himself. The way he has been pronouncing important policies and positions abroad, I think it speaks some level of taking Nigerians for granted. But I think we have gone past that,” he argued, stating further that, “He is a man who has the pan Nigeria mandate and should be constantly renew that mandate.”
The Professor however agreed that there should be a level of confidentiality in negotiations with Boko Haram terrorists. “I agree that discussing with Book Haram should be discreet, it is not something you advertise in the mass media. I’m a little bit uncomfortable that it is in France that Nigerians learnt about that development,” he said.
Oyebode would have loved the President to bare his mind to Nigerians through a Presidential media discussion like past Presidents have done. “He is more than three months in power and nothing is stopping him in addressing the nation. He has not had some of these media chat that President Obasanjo pioneered which, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan followed on. He is more than 100 days in office, maybe he is keeping things till 1st of October. The question is who really is paramount, the Nigerian people in Nigeria or Nigerians in the diaspora? I think greater relevant should be sought by people who elected him.”
He however appreciates President Buhari’s alliance with France and neighbouring countries on conquering terrorism. The Professor said, “We must appreciate the initiatives of the President trying to rally the neighbouring countries behind the Nigerian efforts to contain the insurgency threats. Nigeria is surrounded by francophone countries and the fact that he has to go to France shows that he recognises the role that France has continued to play in African politics. I think the French are stake holders in the project, especially containing the Al-Qaeda in the Magreb, what they have been doing in Mali, so definitely the President wants to elicit the support of the French and mind you, France is a very important player in the AU, coming next to my record is by Germany.”
Appreciating the involvement of France in Nigerian economy, Oyebode said, “I think the stake of France in Nigerian economy is quite massive, I don’t have the record now, but I know some French companies like Michelin have departed this shore, but the French are still very much present in Nigerian economy. I think Total is here and of course, you know that France exports things like pharmaceuticals and a number of industrial goods.”
Reacting to the quality of people on the President’s team to France, Oyebode said, technocrats have been playing the roles of ministers.
“We can’t continue to allow technocrats to usurp the roles of ministers who are to drive the economy. That is one of the problems some people have with the Buhari administration. Nigerians are getting sick and tired of a one man band, I think the President should tell us his feelings about who and who are going to be ministers. He said at the end of this month and it is exactly two weeks. The Senate is on recess, he can’t continue to be a sole administrator, the ministers that ought to have accompanied him are nowhere, they have not even been announced, they have not been confirmed, they have not taken off and nature abhors vacuum, that is why technocrats have been taking the roles of ministers,” he said.
On the President’s foreign policy, the Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence said, “Nigerians are unaware of the government’s policies. “We don’t even have an idea of what his domestic policies are. Foreign policies are a reflection of domestic policies. We don’t know his economic programs. There has been a lot of noise and brouhaha about his anti-corruption war, but that is not foreign policy except to elicit the support of foreign countries, who may have the information as to where the resources have been taken to, in terms of the looted funds and in terms of repatriating the looted fund,” he said.
Story by: Dayo Emmanuel