Iftar, a major period of the Ramadan fast signals the end of the day’s fast as all Muslims are expected to pray and finally break the fast with food which is a significant way of ending the fast.
In Nigeria, the Presidency has turned the Iftar to a jamboree with political colouration. Since the commencement of the Ramadan fast, the President and his wife have hosted several groups of individuals and praise singers at different locations within the Aso Villa which costs a lot in taxpayers money.
In 2015, while campaigning for office, Muhammadu Buhari, the then Presidential Candidate of the APC promised to cut waste in his administration and after taking his oath of office, he has reemphasised the fact that government must cut its spending but it seems the President is only cutting cost through speeches and not by actions.
The Iftar is what the President can do in the comfort of his residence with his family, but the fanfare it has received at the moment will cost a lot in logistics, catering and the usual “thanks for coming” synonymous with visits to government officials in the country. This is a sheer waste of resources which could have been channeled into more productive activities.
At the moment thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are living in squalor in several camps across the country. They are in need of food and other basic items, the ones they have is due to the ingenuity and selfless service of Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other humanitarians. They are the ones who need Iftar, not the privileged members of the society that are living off taxpayer’s money.
The government might have premised its decision to embark on the Iftar jamboree because it was done by the former administration which they’ve always used as a yardstick to measure their incompetence. However, the status quo must not continue to avert wastage that is currently happening through the Iftar of the President and his wife. This wastage must stop!