Femi Makinde, Osogbo
A former Military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the economic and other problems ravaging Nigeria.
Gowon said this in a chat with journalists on the sideline of the Free Health Caravan for hepatitis test and vaccination organised under the auspices of SHEAM Health Care Foundation at the Ooni Palace in Ile Ife, Osun State on Wednesday
He said the Federal Government should do everything possible to find lasting solutions to the numerous problems confronting Nigeria in order to boost the citizens’confidence.
He said, “Let the current authority find a way out of the current economic crisis. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has been telling us what they have been doing to get the economy strong again. She said all will be well by September. Let’s wait till then.
“I have left government for a long time, so I may not really know what the problem is. The current administration should do whatever they can to solve the economic challenge. They should find a way to restore confidence in citizens and the nation at large by fixing the economy.”
Gowon expressed shock at the allegations of budget padding, saying nobody made any attempt to pad budget during his time.
He also urged those involved to stop that in the interest of the nation.
“If that is true, if anybody is doing that, the person should be checked and stopped to ensure that such does not occur in the future.
“We didn’t do it during my time. We had the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in charge of our finance during my time and he taught us how to survive without borrowing. Such (budget paddling) should stop, there is no point doing that,” he added.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who was conferred with the Royal Ambassador for Hepatitis Advocacy in Nigeria, said Nigerians, especially the wealthy ones, should rise up to sponsor programmes which would lead to the drastic reduction of the disease.
He said, “Why should we be busy amassing wealth, beautiful houses, and acquiring exotic cars when there are millions out there who do not know they are having viral hepatitis in their system?”
The monarch promised to let the world know that he had been saddled with the responsibility to sensitise everybody on how to tackle the health issue.