10 demands I would like to make of Sadiya Umar Farouq as she assumes her new role

By Ayo Akinfe

(1) Let this represent a clean break from the past. None of the usual ostentatious “First Lady” nonsense. You have no need for a retinue of assistants, hangers-on, leeches, parasites, personal assistants, bag handlers and praise singers. Carry on doing you job as a minister in a professional manner like any other member of the cabinet

(2) Carry your bags yourself and hold your umbrella yourself when it rains. Promise us no shopping trips abroad between now and 2023

(3) Send away anybody who comes to you asking you to undermine the cabinet or existing government structures. Make it clear to them that the Nigeria you believe in is one where the system works

(4) Consider this a challenge to double your workload as the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development. Set yourself ambitious targets for 2023 like halving illiteracy rates, eradicating malaria, reducing childbirth deaths to zero and cutting the number of out-of-school children to 1m from the current 13m

(5) Get rid of the evil and selfish cabal around President Buhari. Within six months, I expect to see the back of Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura, Isa Funtua, Boss Mustapha, Baba Gana Kibgibe, Lawal Daura, Babachir Lawal, etc

(6) Destroy the “women in the other room” mentality by aggressively pushing for 50% of all elected representatives and political appointees to be female. Make it a manifesto pledge that come 2023, you will push for half of the governorship and National Assembly candidates of both main parties to be women

(7) Declare your assets and make the document publicly available

(8) Make it your lifelong ambition to bridge the educational gap between northern and southern Nigeria. Start off by passing laws making it a criminal offence not to send children to school. Parents, local government officials, traditional rulers and governors must all be subject to prosecution if children within their domains do not attend school

(9) You went to FGGC Gusau so as a unity school product should be a detribalised nationalist. As minister for humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, start a programme of pairing states. For instance, your Zamfara State and Enugu State both have populations of 3.3m. They should thus aim to have the same number of Waec candidates, university graduates, the same internally generated revenue, kilometres of tarred road, numbers of hospital beds, etc by 2030. We need to pair every state in Nigeria to force those lagging behind to catch up

(10) Use your influence to aggressively pursue foreign direct investment. Nobody is playing that role at the moment because if they were, power companies would be fighting over our Discos, Ajaokuta and Aladja would be run by companies like Tata Steel and every car manufacturer would have an assembly plant in Nigeria