Some prominent lawyers in Lagos on Friday hailed the inaugural speech of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as encompassing and inspiring.
The lawyers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the speech had given hope to Nigerians that the country’s challenges were surmountable.
Mr Onyekachi Ubani, former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said the president spoke on vital issues that needed to be addressed.
Ubani said: “The speech gives us hope. He talked about some vital issues; issue of security, corruption, health, decayed infrastructure, which are major issues Nigerians are clamouring for.
“Though he did not talk so much about unemployment, he talked about managing the economy. So the speech is very encompassing and we are very hopeful.”
Another lawyer and public affairs analyst, Mr Wale Ogunade, said the address was straight forward and a road map to a positive change in the country.
“It is heartening to note that he said he is the president of us all; that everybody owns him and nobody owns him. If nobody owns him, it means that he is a man of his own.
“I want Nigerians to know that for the first time, we are having a president who is prepared to take over the affairs of this country.
“This is someone who has been planning to be the president for the past 12 years and three times he could not make it until this time around.
“The man has outlined how he is going to tackle Boko Haram, how he is going to tackle corruption and how he is going to tackle energy because Nigeria’s energy problem is a national shame,” Ogunade said.
On his part, Mr Yinka Farounbi, Chairman, NBA, Ikeja branch, advised Buhari to hit the ground running and justify the mandate given to him by Nigerians.
“Let the rule of law be his paramount guide. Anything that is going to be done, let it be in accordance with the law,” Farounbi said.
Also, some labour union leaders who spoke with NAN on phone commended the new President for the points he highlighted in his inaugural speech.
Mr Bayo Olowoshile, the General Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said that the labour would give him needed cooperation in spite of the challenges.
Olowoshile said: “we are going to actually cooperate with him to ensure that Nigeria makes tremendous progress in spite of the challenges ahead.
“On our side as labour unions, we are going to assist him so that he can surmount the challenges ahead for Nigerians to experience real changes in all areas of their endeavour.
“We want him to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the entire country is carried along in the new government.’’
According to him, for the country to progress, the cooperation of workers is vital.
Mr Muhammed Sheikh, the General Secretary, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) on his part, urged the Buhari not to be distracted.
Sheikh said that the new President must keep religiously to his promises and the party manifesto.
He said: “we pray he (Buhari) won’t have any distraction at all because we want him to take us to the right direction.
“Beyond the party manifesto, Buhari came in on a high moral ground and huge expectations from Nigerians because of his zero tolerance for corruption.
“I think if he could lead by example and all the lieutenants around him follow suit, they will be able to exhibit to Nigerians that they mean well.’’
According to him, it will be very easy to right the wrongs that had happened over time if the new administration can be focused.
“Labour will always give support to any government that is sensitive to the plight of workers and to any government that has strategies to ensure full employment to citizenry of our country.
“The support of labour will always be there as long as workers and the general masses are being given policies that could help their well being,’’ he said.
The labour leader said that the economic policies of the new administration should translate into the general lives of the people such that common people would be able to meet their basic needs.
According to him, over years gross growth in the economy did not reflect in the lives of the masses as unemployment and poverty are still overwhelmingly increasing.
Also, Mr John Odigie, Secretary, Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commended Buhari for recognising the role of labour unions in the success of any government.
“For Buhari to recognise labour and its roles in capacity building in his speech is a very good platform to start a government because we are actually creating the wealth.
“We wish him well but we must let him know that Nigerians’ hopes are actually on him and he cannot afford to dash the hopes.
“He has promised us that we will see change and it is that change that we are actually looking for.
“I pray he fulfills most of these promises that he made, most especially in the area of job creation, power and security,’’ he said.
Buhari was sworn in as the new president of Nigeria on Friday, having emerged the winner of the March 28 Presidential Elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He defeated the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, who contested under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ending the party’s 16-year rule at the federal level.(NAN)