Learning Governance From A Mallam

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Having current Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir, El-Rufai play politics at the federal level may have saved Nigerians the troubles of putting nearly everything on hold to allow some clueless local power mongers determine who amongst themselves is fit to hijack Muhammadu Buhari’s nascent government.

It’s been over three weeks after ex-President Goodluck Jonathan handed the reins of power to the All Progressives’ Congress. It’s been over three weeks of high wire power play. It’s been over three weeks of intrigues that have placed Nigerians on suspense – national suspense. From tales of meeting an empty treasury to how some transition committee refused to cooperate with another. It’s been a period of fun for me because I had always had fears about the capacity of the APC to provide meaningful leadership to Nigerians (I hope I’m proven wrong).

From being on auto pilot mode, there now appears to be a sense of direction for Nigeria since President Buhari and his Vice, Prof Osinbajo have effectively moved into the Aso Rock villa. I am therefore expectant that whatever structures for a better Nigeria the APC had will be deployed to the benefit of Nigeria.

In the face of this new development, it is imperative that I mentioned that already so much time has been lost. This is across the federal and the state levels. While the federal government may have an excuse which I consider not tenable, I wonder what state governor will say. My guess is that the matter of huge debt obligations to civil servants is sufficient to make any new governor consider resigning his post if occupying political offices were true avenues of service.

Nigeria is in peculiar times. Never have we as a nation experienced the reality of bankruptcy as now. Ironically, I have not the smallest atom of empathy for our governors because the solution to the financial woes of their respective states is at their finger tips; all they require is an element of courage to act but they are clearly not courageous hence some of them still in a show of classic multi tasking still managed to be on President Buhari’s entourage to South Africa. Another fellow considers it top priority to embark on a search for an ideal SGF for Nigeria. A third one even incurred more costs to lament the tragic and hypocritical attitude of a federal lawmaker. Perhaps, Nigerians should simply accept that these are typical conducts of men governing over states in financial distress. Least I forget, the senator may actually be a hypocrite – I saw a picture of him aboard a plane, sited in a business class area.

Until reminded recently, I nearly forgot Mallam Nasir-El-Rufai holds the post of Kaduna State governor on behalf of the APC. Among the new set of governors, he alone have shown a clear sense of purpose. He alone has also shown a clear idea of his plans for Kaduna people and has set in place structures to provide meaningful leadership. He has this in common with my stylish governor High Chief (Dr.) Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano. From taking a pay cut of 50% which some of his copycat colleagues have equally taken, Yalabai (a Fulani honorific) in understanding the negative implications of joining a clique of bad managers to demand bail out went further to tame the proliferation of ministries and MDA in his domain to a remarkable 13. That’s clarity of purpose if I’m asked.

In his time as governor of my state, Dr. Peter G. Obi showed clear understanding of religion as the opium of the masses. He carried religious leaders along throughout his tenures and it worked for us but that was then as the Mallam would have none of that. I heard he placed an indefinite embargo on sponsoring with state funds persons from the state who intend to perform pilgrimage. I can only hope the affected persons would show understanding.

This is the kind of effective leadership Nigerians expect to see at all levels. As an individual, I found it comical to learn that a delay in submitting the reports of Pa. Joda’s transition committee is part of the reason why nothing big have really happened in Nigeria since President Buhari took over. I thought it was even funnier for Pa. Joda to grant an interview only to remind me that corruption still exists in virtually all ministries and MDA’s in Abuja. In God’s name, that’s a fact. Just tame the wild pig!

See what I think; the APC doesn’t need a report from a transition committee to work. By virtue of its position as main opposition party (till recently), it is expected to have a firsthand impression of the state of affairs of Nigeria. That impression should enable it have a working document on how to resolve the challenges with Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar’s policy document may suffice. With this in place, Pa. Joda’s report should at best be an addendum which can be incorporated into the main blueprint whenever it is submitted. Its late arrival should not place my country on hold.

How President Buhari hopes to run Nigeria is entirely his kettle of fish. Who he plans to appoint as minister or chief of staff is his preserve. Whether or not Dr. Saraki and Comrade Dogara tenders a public apology to Bola Ahmed Tinubu on national dailies is of no importance to me. Even if Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau is eventually appointed health minister, Nigerians will still expect change; all I modestly demand is an immediate end to the battle in the three arm zone.

Now is time to work. The national assembly should manage its crises with the executive and Bola Ahmed Tinubu and spare Nigerians the trauma of having to wait further for change.

Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis is an avid thinker, reader and researcher. He tweet @NonsoEzeani1

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