A former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has urged President Bola Tinubu to embark on a quarterly town hall to reach political stakeholders and community leaders in the six geopolitical regions.
Shittu, an erstwhile minister in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, made the appeal in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH.
Although he said Tinubu cannot be blamed for the current hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal, the former member of Oyo State House of Assembly insisted that there is a need for the President to speak directly to the people via town halls.
Shittu urged the former Lagos State governor to sustain the style he adopted during electioneering when he embarked on town hall meetings, stressing that it was one of the best ways to get feelers from the grassroots.
He said, “If I were in his shoes, I believe there is a need for the President to have direct town hall meetings in each of the six geopolitical zones on a quarterly basis; perhaps as he did during his electioneering. This is because there are so many things that even the ministers may not know.
“He needs to talk to people directly. For instance, if he comes to South West and fixes a meeting for Ibadan, anybody who has something to say or abuse him should get such an opportunity to say it.
“From those abuses, he could get a lot of facts because from every nonsense, you could make out some sense. There is a need for interaction. I don’t want a situation where we have to wait until two to three years when another election is coming that we start trying to have such town halls.
“I keep telling people that the most important job in this world is that of a politician. As a politician, you are in a position to impact larger numbers of people more than if you’re just a billionaire or professor somewhere.
“A lot of ideas keep coming to my head and I think there is a need for greater interaction with the people. Again, I think he needs to create dedicated time to personally attend to people’s complaints instead of leaving everything to his media aides.”