New Year Speech: Buhari Is Not Sincere! - Prof. Babs Onabanjo
President Buhari is at it again! Just like every day, his ineptitude and lack of vision were legible on every page of his new year’s broadcast to Nigerians. Coming on the heels of a harrowing fuel scarcity which left many Nigerians – who are supposed to be celebrating Christmas - stranded and depressed during the yuletide, one would have expected him to apologise and present a credible roadmap to lead Nigeria out of the myriad of challenges bedeviling the country.
Instead, the president and his army of clueless advisors, speechwriters and hangers-on decided to insult our sensibilities with a speech which lacked essence and depth.
Typically, New Year speeches by world leaders are supposed to lift up the morale of the citizenry and fire them up for the year ahead but our President cum ‘Minister of Petroleum’ displayed insincerity, lack of wisdom, charisma or the attribute needed to make inevitable structural change possible.
President Buhari and the supporters of his retrogressive policies need to understand that solving Nigeria’s challenges is not a rocket science. The adage that Rome was not built in a day is partially true but technology and good strategy have condensed time and year to seconds.
Some would claim that it took the United States of America approximately 250 years to attain her status of development, however, in their narratives, they failed to articulate that it took Dubai, Indonesia, China less than 20 years to reform and changed the trajectory of massive economic development and growth.
I submit that regional autonomy is the best way forward to move Nigeria from dependency to self-reliance and progressive growth and development.
Using the right strategy and structural reform will deliver more dividends than the current insignificant productive, unbalanced and military imposed unitary system, which is designed to serve the interest of the military and their cabal warlords and not the interest of modern Nigeria with entrepreneurship as the engine of economic growth and development, not brute force, nor shallow obsolete and minute ineffective ideas and strategies.
The new strategy must focus on effectiveness, efficiency, growth, and development with entrepreneurship mindset. It is a pity that Buhari's administration is fighting corruption without transparency about the status of the recovered assets and money. The public has a right to know. Enough of shrouding recovered assets and money in secrecy.
Also, President Buhari must realize that restructuring Nigeria is a must. Rejecting the clamor for restructuring on a nationwide broadcast will ensure that Nigeria remain stagnated. It is my believe that restructuring will bring Nigeria closer to competitive prominence and development than the current slow paced unitary corrupt and military imposed ideology and antiquated less progressive strategies and policies.
We cannot afford to change the narrative to a slow pace development, we must demand the most effective and efficient structure to move Nigeria forward. Nigeria is moving forward at a slow pace using ancient ideas but we must advocate for new strategies and structural reform at the center. This can be achieved through regional autonomy of the six-geopolitical zones.
Restructuring through regional autonomy of the six geo-political zone is the best solution to move Nigeria forward. The North only contributes less than 5% of Nigerian tax revenue but they control more than 90% of the tax revenue distribution. They have more house of representatives, more senators and more states than the south. This is unfair!
#PresidentGoSlow does not believe in the restructuring of the country, maybe he is incompetent due to his educational background or simply playing us for suckers.
Prof. Babs Onabanjo, Former President: Nigerian Alliance for Democracy, 1993-1999