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Fashola, asset to Buhari, Nigeria –NGO

Fashola, the current Minister of Works and Housing has been described as an asset to President Muhammadu Buhari by a non-governmental organisation.

Razaq Bamidele

A non-governmental organization (NGO), the Youth Advocacy Initiative (YAI), has described the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), as an asset to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria as a whole, saying, the way and manner he explains the workings of the government to the populace is fantastic and exciting.

Convener of the NGO, Comrade Adekunle Akinde, in a chat with our correspondent in Akure, Ondo State capital city was referring to a lecture the minister deliver at the Eko Club on Friday November 5, entitled, “What Can the President do for me,” where he enlightened the august gathering on the limitation of the power of government functionaries across all levels.

In the paper, Akinde said Fashola, first of all, debunked the erroneous impressions from some quarters that Mr. President is not a listening leader and he is not interested in the welfare of the youth when he disclosed how promptly the President harkened to the demands of the youth during the 2020 #EndSARS protest.

Quoting Fashola, the youthful activist read out part of the paper thus: “At the onset of the protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) when five demands were made in respect of the police and SARS, President Muhammadu Buhari weighed in on the side of the protesters when he (President) said:

“On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS…As a democratic government; we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.”

Akinde said, “this exposure by Fashola has confirmed that the administration under Buhari is a listening one that is acting according to its limitation in the constitution, agreeing that, as a democratic government, the constitution of the country must be adhered to strictly when taking actions and not lording it over the populace as if we are in a military dictatorship.”

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The NGO leader said it was true that not a few of the youth was with the conviction that

 Mere scrapping of the SARS was not enough as we want some heads, including that of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to roll, saying, “but now that Fashola has told us where the President did not go on a sacking spree, we are now more enlightened and adequately informed.”

In his paper, the Works and Housing Minister took pain to dissect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and explain some provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, pointing out that, “The President of Nigeria cannot sack a policeman because a policeman is not the employee of the President but rather the employee of the Police Service Commission.”

In addition, according to the constitution as quoted by the Minister, “The President can only sack Ministers, and other appointees that he personally appoints to assist him and not any civil servant deployed to work for him such as a cook, driver, or administrative staff who are ordinary employees of the Civil Service Commission.”

Akinde could not agree less with the Minister that, “Not a few persons were surprised to hear this,” and that a sizeable number of the people also expressed surprise when the structure of Government was explained to them,” reiterating the need for ministers and other government functionaries to always come out to explain the workings of the government to the people with a view to getting them to make informed decisions about the government of the day.

The NGO boss admitted that people are bound to take wrong decisions and create the wrong impressions about the government out of ignorance believing that, it behoves those in the authorities to keep the public informed about how things are done officially in the corridors of power.

Against this backdrop, Comrade Akinde tasked other government functionaries to emulate Fashola in his constant briefing the populace about the workings of the government recalling that, recently, Fashola was on the ground to explain the rationale behind the government’s borrowing, which he said was not peculiar to Nigeria but to the whole world including the United State of America (USA).