…Lists Security, Agriculture, Health, Education as priority sectors
As Nigerians groan following the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu, a cross section of Nigerians have continued to bear their minds. The Taraba State Chairman, Taraba TEKAN/ECWA Block, Rev. Dr. PHILLIP MICAH, weighed in on the issue, saying, Tinubu did not study the situation of Nigerians before removing the fuel subsidy. In this interview with SUMMIT POST‘s EMMANUEL AWARI in Jalingo, the Cleric described the decision as unwise and at wrongly timed.
What is your take on the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinibu?
Even though there was a video circulating on the social media that fuel subsidy is a scam, both video, newspapers or social media is not a Bible or Qur’an that you will believe. Only time will tell whether it is a scam or real. But to the best of my knowledge, in a civilised world, once a leader comes to power, the president ought to have studied the situation before venturing into the issue of removing fuel subsidy. You don’t start your administration by inflicting pains on the people. He could have studied the situation or alternatively, if he really like to surprise Nigerians, he could have looked at one of the aspect that Nigerians are crying to be relieved of pains. He could have enacted a policy that will relief the pains of Nigerians or take them out of their bondage and not to start with the policy that will put Nigerians into pains. He did not study the situation and I didn’t consider that as a wise decision. See how people are now suffering. Government fuel price is N550 per liter. At black market, they sale at their own price. I think as somebody who is new in the office, it could have been better for him to study the situation before removing the fuel subsidy. He has put Nigerians into confusion at this critical moment.
In a social media comment, you said that Gov Kefas Agbu told religious leaders (both Christians and Muslims) that its not going to be business as usual. What do you mean by this?
When we religious leaders both Christians and Muslims meet with the Governor, he told us that he is on a mission from God, that he came to serve the people of Taraba State. He came with a clear heart and hands to serve the people. He said, if we failed to pray for him, God will hold us responsible. He told us that he did not come to power as governor of Taraba State to steal government money, saying that he is comfortable with what he already have. So, he has come basically to serve the people of the state. I made the statement that it is not going to be business as usual because people are clamouring for appointments. Those that have corruption in their veins, spirit of corruption running in them, it is better for them not to seek any political appointments because darkness and light cannot co-exist.
The Governor, during his inaugural speech said that 80 Percent of his cabinet will be Young people. What is your opinion on this?
In his inaugural speech, he made mention that 80 percent of his cabinet will be young people. Yes, I concord with that. He should appoint young people of strong character, not just any young people, but young people that can perform to expectation. When I was in primary school, our Teacher always tell us that children are leaders of tomorrow, but as I am speaking with you, those that rule us are still been recircled. Please, those that have reached advanced age but are still there, they should be ready to dream dreams and allow the young people to catch their vision. Definitely, we have young graduates in different fields that can also display their God giving talents that are even willing to contribute their quota to build their fatherland. It is a welcome development and I pray that God will give him the wisdom to choose those with the fear of God that have Taraba State at the back of their hearts.
Which sectors in your opinion do you want the Governor to focus on?
Yes, he has already started by declaring state of emergency in the Educational sector. It is written in the Bible that “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Without knowledge, definitely there will be no life. So, declaring a State of Emergency in the Educational sector, especially Primary and Secondary schools, this is a welcome development. He should also declare State of Emergency in the Health sector, because Health is wealth. You must be healthy before you can seek for Education. You must be well before you go to office, you must be well before you go to farm, you must be well before you do anything in this life, so education and health are very crucial, considering the fact that there is high cost of commodities, people buy a mudu of maize for between N 7,800 in some quarters. I was told that some people buy a mudu of maize for N1,000. So, I think apart from Education and Health, another area is Agriculture and Security. We pray that God will give him the strength to revive the Security sector. Because of the evil people that have filtrate our lands, Tarabans couldn’t go to their farms last year. We want our forests to be free from terrorists and kidnappers. The Governor should pay more attention to that sector, so that people can have access to their farming activities. If people have access to their farms and farming activities, you know that automatically there is going to be abundance of food crops and things will go well in our state. Security sector is one that he needs to focus attention. Thank God that he appointed experienced and competent person as the head of Taraba Marshall. Taraba Marshall should be empowered to ransacked all our forests and mountains to make sure that people are living in peace and freely without fear of intimidation of not going to farm because of the issue of kidnappings, banditry and terrorism.
What advice do you have for Tarabans?
In the first place, we just have to give God the glory for giving us a new Governor in person of Kefas Agbu, a pastor. I am calling on all people, irrespective of our religious and ethnic affiliation to learn how to pray for our leaders. Once leaders are in power, we just have to do everything possible and pray for them. Even in the Bible, Psalm 72 was dedicated purely to prayers for leaders. We should always pray and bless our leaders, for our land to be blessed. The citizens would be blessed too. It is high time as Tarabans to come out from accusing, causing and showing lack of appreciation to our leaders for the governor need our prayers. He needs our cooperation, loyalty and commitment for him to succeed. This is my clarion call.