Hello President Buhari, this second chance must not waste!
“Opportunity comes but once in a lifetime”, says an axiom. In reality, some people till they surrender their lives to the cold hands of death never have dreams come to fruition. President Muhammadu Buhari’s re- election victory has given him a second chance to prove his worth as a credible and competent leader to make Nigeria better. This second chance is a great honour and prestige bestowed upon him by the people of Nigeria with huge expectations to be met in return. He should therefore see himself as a football coach going into the second half of a match with four-goal deficit to upturn. The expectations of fans and supporters are overwhelmingly high and fascinating. There is no more room for puerile excuse as the people expect nothing but concrete results commensurable with the abundant human and material resources in the country. How he will overcome the enormous and prodigious challenges, given the level of corruption in the country, the dwindling global price of crude oil, security challenges in the country is left to him. As he renews his mandate on May 29, Nigerians want to start seeing him scoring and achieving great goals in the economy, security, job creation and infrastructure provisioning. This must happen to rejuvenate his dwindling reputation and goodwill among Nigerians.
Great changes are required in his attitude towards the polity and in the appointment of his next cabinet members. We want to see a Buhari that will be more engaging, responsive and unbiased towards national issues. If Buhari could hold two live nationwide broadcasts in a week during the last electioneering campaign and travel to all the 36 States of the Federation, nothing should stop him from holding presidential media chat regularly henceforth. Many of his current ministers should either be outrightly denied a second chance or relegated to the board membership of any government’s agency. It is very appalling that one cannot find an outstanding minister in this current dispensation. Without sounding immodest, the only person among the current crop of Ministers that I would give a marginal pass mark is the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. Others should be flushed and flogged out of the government house.
President Muhammadu Buhari should be kind enough to use his acknowledged and only known skill (integrity) to attract our best and brilliant minds across the world to work with him in his second term in office. It is time to eschew bigotry, ethnocentrism and nepotism in the appointment of his next cabinet ministers. Proven track records, merit, competence, sound knowledge and judgment should be the major watch words in the appointment of his next cabinet members. Today, his current dispensation is dabbed incompetent and clueless partly because of the people working directly and closely with/for his government. By their uncouth utterances and actions, many of the security chiefs, aides and ministers have shown that they have no business in his government. Keeping them beyond May 29 will be tantamount to wastage of taxpayers ’monies and betrayal of trust.
Our President must also be reminded that his major occupation in Aso rock is not to serve his personal /family interest. For instance, the thought of the millions of Nigerians whining and dinning in abject poverty must constantly be on his mind. The thought of the millions of the country’s unemployed graduates and non graduates must pre occupied his mind. The devastating and growing numbers of internally displaced persons in Northern parts of the country owing to insurgence, banditry, terrorism and communal clashes/violence must be a source of concern for him in Aso Rock. Let no one deceive himself, the changes upon which former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was voted out of office in 2015 have not started manifesting or making any serious positive impacts. Nothing has really changed since 2015! I am still my own government. I pay my tax. I provide my electricity, provide my own water. I provide my security. My community depends on self-help to clear and construct drainage channels, fill and grade the potholes on our roads. Political sycophants and praise singers must allow our beloved Muhammadu Buhari to work and give his best to the people of Nigeria.
It is also good to note that Mr President is now showing or exercising more interest and authority in the leadership of the 9th National Assembly. Good working relationship between the National Assembly and the presidency is necessary but not enough to bring the kind of positive changes Nigerians desire from the All Progrssives Congress led by President Muhammadu Buhari. Having a strong political will to enforce and implement the laws of the land without fear or favour, respecting the rule of law, initiating policies and programmes that would affect the lives of the people positively, promoting and ensuring fairness, equity, transparency and accountability in the management of the nation’s resources are the requisite criteria needed for the development and progress of a nation which President Buhari must pursue vigorously in his second term in office.
As he enjoys his 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom, he should use the opportunity to do a critical re appraisal of himself, governance style and strategies. I agree sometimes, a leader truly needs private time and space to be able to think, adjust, plan and assess occasionally his vision and goals for his country without any disturbance from any angle. Thus, this so called private visit should be used to accomplish this highlighted purpose. In a game of soccer, there is always 15-minute break for the players and coaches to relax, freshen up, take deep breathe, speak truth to themselves with a view to come out stronger, better and produce the expected result. He may therefore extend his UK’s private visit to 21 days as allowed by the constitution of the country if this will make him give Nigerians a good account and impressive performance of himself ahead of his second term in office beginning from May 29.
Shamsudeen Ayeni, wrote from Akute, Ogun State