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Buhari, history beckons!

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Buhari

Buhari

ON this day, the 29th of May, 2015, the ‘change’ in government – and more importantly the content and method of governance – that most Nigerians have yearned for, hopefully, has come.

Muhammadu Buhari is taking office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander -in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

This newspaper congratulates the people of Nigeria for their determined effort to achieve the much-desired goal of peaceful change of government.

The now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and especially its leadership, deserve thumbs up for  constructing  the  structure and implementing the  process that earned this day.

The new President, Muhammadu Buhari, has certainly earned kudos for his doggedness that, after two failed attempts at clinching the presidency, has made him third time lucky.

Nigeria, having pulled off another peaceful civilian-to-civilian change of government certainly has sent out to the world an assuring sign of a maturing democratic culture. The campaigns are over; power has been delivered by the electorate to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In this very first evidence of change the electorate has fulfilled their part, and commendably so.  Now is the turn of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Buhari to fulfil their promises.

The air is filled with great expectation and the question arises: can the APC manage well its success vis-à-vis the people’s desire?  It is hoped that will not turn out like parties that seek power first, and begin to think of what to do with it.

The party must be truly ready not to rule but to govern Nigeria for the greatest good of the greatest number of her citizens.

For this is what the electorate voted for, pure and simple. Much has been suggested privately and publicly on what the Buhari government must do to get Nigeria back on track.

There is obviously no shortage of ideas including those this newspaper has articulated many times before now. Without sounding alarmist, the clock has started ticking for the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to begin to deliver on its election promises.

While no one is under the illusion that President Buhari has a magic wand to conjure up the disappearance of the enormous, multifaceted problems he inherits, Nigerians have a right to expect from and see, in spirit and in fact, the new government  immediately  signaling that  change is here now.

Buhari has been reported lately to say that all Nigerians should begin to get used to the notion that it is no more ‘business as usual’ and that ‘Nigeria has entered a new dispensation [and] ‘my administration does not intend to repeat the same mistakes made by previous governments.’

The point is well made and it is well taken by Nigerians. Signs and symbolisms are powerful means to give teeth to these statements and the new President is better advised to take a number of immediate measures to this end.

First, beginning with the content of his inaugural speech, President Muhammadu Buhari must articulate a pan-Nigeria agenda that inspires hope of a better nation and that sustains the enthusiasm over the vision of a new dawn and a new direction that his election gives reason to perceive.

The presidential election showed that Nigerians are willing, ready, and able, to follow, support and sacrifice for a leader who earns their trust.

After all, trustworthiness is the basis of genuine leadership. An elected president is the only political office holder armed with a fully pan-Nigerian mandate;  Nigeria, not at all any section of it, is now Buhari’s turf to watch over, protect, manage and above all, to serve.

This president must say and do all the right things to continually to earn  the trust and  support of  Nigerians south and north, east and west, of every tribe, tongue and faith.

The nation seems broken now. Buhari must mend it. There are divisions across various lines. Buhari must unite all. Second, there is wide agreement in the polity that the apparatus of government consumes an unacceptably disproportionate share of public spending with no commensurate output to so justify.

As a leader voted into power on account of his widely acclaimed moral authority, Buhari must bring his disciplined and frugal lifestyle to bear on governance especially at this time of lean resources.

In short, starting with the presidency where numerous  do-nothing  aides   feed fat on public purse, where  a fleet of  jets  lie idle, where  a lengthy convoy of  expensive vehicles  accompany the President  in the  name of ‘entourage’, where tonnes of money are expended on needless  renovations and a wasteful construction of  new banquet halls, where  billions of naira are voted every year for feeding at the Aso Rock Villa, the list could go on endlessly,  Buhari must immediately reduce drastically the cost of governance to free funds for the truly important and urgent areas of development.

Given the federal structure of Nigeria, however warped, it is obvious that he can effect this more quickly at the centre than in the states.

But under the pressure of a combination of his example, moral suasion and public opinion, the other tiers of government, as well as the other arms of government will have no choice but to follow.

Third, regardless of  the dwindling national income, if  Buhari plugs  immediately the leakages in government such as over-invoicing, fraudulent  payments of subsidies, contract price inflation, direct embezzlement, bloated work force that  even includes ghost workers, the much-abused security votes and other forms of opaque and wasteful spending,  more money will be available than is claimed in official  circle  to  run  government business and invest in   desperately needed infrastructure.

Many states are apparently insolvent, and are now unable to meet their basic duty of payment of wages, among others.

Regardless of the veracity or otherwise of the claims and counterclaims between the state and federal governments, transparent and judicious allocation of funds will ease the pressure on all parties. Buhari must attend quickly to this issue.

The multiplier effects and social implications of unpaid salaries can destabilise a new government and even the polity.

There is also reason to observe that the APC manifesto is woolly: there is little in the document that could be subjected to the SMART rule of business management. In short, the campaign promises did not reflect deep research or sound thinking on solutions to the burning issues that bother Nigerians and deter development and progress.

Nevertheless, Nigerians voted for change because they were fed up with a government controlled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Buhari and his party must do things differently, articulate the key government policies and how these will be implemented in detailed facts and figures. Promise must be specific, measurable and time-defined. These will indicate preparedness for the job at hand, and a seriousness of approach.

The point must not be lost on any one that Nigerians voted more for a man of integrity than a party populated by persons of disparate characters, motives, and objectives, and shifting – some say dubious – political inclinations. Besides, this is a Buhari-led government and, as the saying goes, the buck stops on his desk.

This being so, President Buhari must bring  to bear on his  government  all the  positive attributes that have so far endeared him to  a broad  range of Nigerians. He must lead  the APC to govern Nigeria with integrity, in the various and fullest meaning of the word.

In all of his actions, he must be guided not only by political astuteness but also moral righteousness.

This means a number of things. One, he must take a hard look at the Civil Service as an institution that can make or ruin a government.

No one can say with confidence that the service has been acting with the utmost integrity and in the best interest of Nigeria.

As the ‘engine room’ of the machinery of government, the Civil Service does indeed determine the success or failure of any government.

Buhari must instill the discipline to make the Civil Service follow the tenets of integrity as well as function in the best interest of the Nigerian people.

Two,  the president must cast his net wide to secure the  service of the best heads and hands who will  aide him to achieve the goal of a  more disciplined,  focused and  progressive Nigeria. Nothing in law or commonsense dictates that such men and women can be found only within the APC.

Indeed, too many sound and willing men and women are out there but too frightened by the do-or-die game of politics in this land.

Mr. President, only the best is good for Nigeria! So, get them on board and make this country work! For President Buhari at age 72, with few if any points to prove, it is no exaggeration to say that history beckons.

For a man who, out of a fervent conviction that he has something good to offer his fatherland, has sought  this position  three times,  now is the opportunity to  write his name in gold. As he seeks to make Nigeria great again, Nigerians wish him and his party God’s speed.

The spirit of the age, it is said, is what a great man changes. Buhari has the chance to change Nigeria for the better, beginning from this day. Now, duty has called. And history beckons.



5 Comments
  • Tanko Zuby

    I want to
    congratulate our President, General Muhamadu Buhari (GMB) on his swearing in today
    May 29, 2015 and having won the hotly contested elections, wish him quick
    settlement to tackle the humongous problems at hand.

    I also want to
    most especially remind him that the problem in Nigeria has gone beyond
    corruption. I hope this will not be quoted out of contest, just like Goodluck
    Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and his now famous line “stealing is not corruption”

    To further buttress
    MY point, I wish to restate that the problem with Nigeria is not corruption. In
    clearer terms, blaming corruption for the woes of Nigeria is like blaming the
    rat for eating the fish off the kitchen counter. We have gone beyond asking the
    vital questions: who left the fish on the kitchen counter?

    A parent (Government) should ideally be held
    responsible for exposing his child (citizens) to mosquito (stealing) that ends
    up giving the child malaria (corruption), and not blaming the mosquito for
    attacking the baby. For GMB to succeed, he needs to shun all sycophancy (campaign
    funders) and purge the stagnant waters (thieving Governors), provide mosquito
    nets (legal reform) and use strong insecticides (strengthen Police and EFCC) to
    fight the mosquito that would transmit the malaria.

    Nigerians have
    been so deceived that the problem lies with the rat (though we know some rats)
    but the actual problem lies in the failure of our leaders to create a system
    that keeps the rats away. For fear of being termed biased, I will avoid
    mentioning the efforts, success and failures of the GEJ Government on this,
    however the initial success recorded by the outgoing Government as acknowledged
    by the Former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK1vvL2P1zM&feature=player_detailpage)
    was also wiped away by the reentrance of mosquitoes with oxygen masks.

    If Buhari’s
    words are to be taken for face value, see (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmG_dYY7YRA&feature=player_detailpage#t=72)
    , Nigerians are in for a long Night.

    A review of Sanusi
    Lamido Sanusi’s comment on oil subsidy, also listed above clearly shows a deep
    understanding of the problems and issues bedeviling the Nation over the years
    and I hope that his new status (Emir of Kano) will still allow him bring in the
    deeply thought solutions to a suffering nation.

    For the long
    night talked about above, based on the below statistics, let me quickly show a
    small picture of the new Nigeria if Buhari will keep to his words:

    Rank

    Country

    Average. Production
    (bl/day)

    Share of worlds output

    Population

    Daily bl / head

    PMS price $

    .@ N200/usd

    1

    Russia

    10,107,000,000

    14.05%

    142,136,048

    71.1079

    0.71

    142

    2

    Saudi Arabia

    9,735,200,000

    13.09%

    29,369,428

    331.4739

    0.16

    32

    3

    United States

    9,373,000,000

    12.23%

    322,583,006

    29.0561

    .78

    156

    4

    China

    4,189,000,000

    5.15%

    1,393,783,836

    3.0055

    1.15

    230

    5

    Canada

    3,603,000,000

    4.54%

    35,524,732

    101.4223

    1.01

    202

    6

    Iraq

    3,368,000,000

    4.45%

    34,768,761

    96.8686

    0.86

    172

    7

    Iran

    3,113,000,000

    4.14%

    78,470,222

    39.6711

    0.34

    68

    8

    UAE

    2,820,000,000

    3.32%

    9,445,624

    298.5509

    0.47

    94

    9

    Kuwait

    2,619,000,000

    2.96%

    3,479,371

    752.7223

    0.23

    46

    10

    Mexico

    2,562,000,000

    3.56%

    123,799,215

    20.6948

    0.94

    188

    11

    Venezuela

    2,501,000,000

    3.56%

    30,851,343

    81.0662

    0.02

    4

    12

    Nigeria

    2,423,000,000

    2.62%

    178,516,904

    13.5729

    0.47

    94

    gap

    ……………

    ………….

    …………………

    81

    South Africa

    4,000,000

    0.22%

    53,139,528

    0.0753

    1.09

    218

    Source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_production

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/russia-population/

    http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/Iraq/gasoline_prices/

    WHO WANTS OUR CRUDE?

    There seems to
    be a misconception amongst Nigerians that we produce so much oil and we have
    more than enough to export and also pay off imported processed fuel with crude
    oil. From the statistics above, per head count, only China produces less crude
    per citizen, amongst the top 14. Consequently, only China will be willing to
    engage in trade by barter with Nigeria. However, because some other countries
    are highly industrialized (USA, UK) and also have severe weather conditions,
    they actually need more crude than they produce for manufacturing reasons and
    heating, and also to maintain decent reserves for their children.

    Nigeria
    majorly trades with European countries and with the continuous economic
    uncertainty in most European countries, we are finding it more difficult to complete
    trades in the European market. China on the other hand also uses several trade
    sources and seems to have patronized Angola more that Nigeria in recent times.

    We also sell
    to South Africa and several other countries with lower production levels.
    However, South Africa has a population of 53 million (1/3rd population
    of Nigeria).

    SHALE OIL / RENEWABLE ENERGYos

    With the
    discovery and increased use of shale oil by America and the conscious diversion
    of energy demands from coal (now almost extinct: remember enugu coal
    corporation) and oil, there seems to be a greater love for natural gas,
    renewable energy and in some cases nuclear energy. As these develop and China
    moves away from traditional oil, our revenue will dwindle further. When
    eventually crude oil becomes less popular (just like coal went under), and
    price drops further to $10 to $30/bl the picture of decades of overdependence
    on oil will be clearer.

    DISRUPTION IN OIL PRODUCTION

    It is MY opinion that the contracts
    awarded to ex-militants to guard the Nations oil resources were done in good
    faith and yielded its fruits in the season. In the circumstances then, it was a
    quick way of coming out of a sticky situation. However, the formula cannot be
    expected to last forever as it will promote laziness and create further and
    bigger problems in future. I also believe we lost a lot of trading partners because
    of our inability to guarantee supply, caused by instability in production due
    to pipeline vandalism and other Niger Delta incidences.

    EXPECTATIONS FROM BUHARI AND THE REALITY
    FOR BUHARIS’S SUCCESS

    PRICE & SUPPLY STABILITY IN PETROLEUM
    PRODUCTS

    Based on
    campaign promises and GMB’s outspoken stance on fuel subsidy and corruption,
    Nigerians expect a steady supply of all classes of petroleum products at
    current official prices. This should earn him popularity and accolades.

    Reality:

    GMB will soon realize
    that subsidy is a big stagnant pond that cannot be wished away. For GMB to
    succeed, he has to immediately remove all subsidies. This will take the price
    of fuel to about N156 / liter and remain variable for the next few years. GMB
    will also realize that further drop in oil price does not amount to further
    drop in fuel price, but the opposite. A liter cost N142 in Russia which is the
    highest crude producing country with about 71 barrels per citizen a day while a
    litre cost N218 / litre in South Africa, which also produces less than 1 barrel
    per citizen a day. This will make him highly unpopular, but any quest for popularity
    will only kill the economy.

    BUILD REFINERIS IN 4 YEARS

    Nigerian will
    expect GMB to rev up our refineries and get them active in 4 years.

    Reality:

    This is
    doable, but will result to untold hardship and further debt arrangements. The
    UK which seems to be an important ally of the GMB Government may come in to
    assist with getting back the refineries on track. It is pertinent to note that
    no assistance is free and in the quest to please, some unholy accommodations may
    be made. This magic may not happen as the social uncertainties hanging over the
    nation will take a lot more than political will to dissolve.

    STABILIZE THE NAIRA

    Based on
    promises, Nigerians may be expecting the value of the Naira to improve
    drastically to maybe N1 / $1 as promised or realistically N180 /$ 1

    Reality:

    The Naira will
    dip further. I believe the GEJ administration doctored and midwife the economy
    to remain healthy for re-election purposes. However, post election acute
    shortage of Naira has stabilized prices a bit. This will be temporary and the
    value of the Naira will reset to reflect reality. MY expectation is that Naira
    will loose value further and inch closer to N250 – N280 / $. There should be
    another devaluation of the Naira and this can only be ignored if oil price
    rises again to $100 / bbl. (this is a personal opinion, kindly make no
    investments based on this).

    MASSIVE JOB CREATION

    Also based on
    campaign promises, Nigerian’s expect massive job creation at all levels and
    payment of youth corpers allowances till they get good employment.

    Reality:

    This is
    economical FALSE. In Canada, 20,000 jobs were lost in 8 months http://business.financialpost.com/news/econoMY/canada-job-losses-in-april-much-steeper-than-expected
    . Canada has a population of 35million (Just 17% of Nigerian population, while
    they also produce 101 barels of crude daily / citizen, unlike Nigeria with
    13barrels / citizen per day). 20,000 may seem small, but to Canada its huge.
    Like most western countries, the oil industry is speedily downsizing and just
    like witnessed in Nigeria, the ill luck of the oil industry is taking a toll on
    the entire economy. The recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa has also
    revealed that the “benchmarks” we use in judging our leaders have a lot of
    cracks on their pot. Nigeria remains one of the easiest places to get employment
    (self employment), and the easy life and poor schooling has taken that feat
    away.

    NIGERIA TO TURN IN SOUTH AFRICA OR
    UNITED KINGDON

    Nigerians also
    expect a quick industrialization and and beautification of Nigeria. They expect
    a Nigeria that is more beautiful than Australia, South Africa or UK. Nigeria is
    a beautiful Nation. South Africa has a population of 53 million people. This is
    just a third of the population of Nigeria. Nigeria is a beautiful country and
    we need to remove the mosquitoes and their breeding points for us to eliminate
    malaria. Fuel is N4 / litre in Venezuela (see their production per head).
    Imagine the recurrent expenditure and increasing public service population.

    STEADY POWER / ELECTRICITY

    Nigerians have been in darkness for too long and the only language they
    will understand now is POWER. No excuses.

    Reality:

    The power problem in Nigeria is almost solved. No matter how much we
    want to ignore the fact, the GEJ administration has done quite a lot in getting
    distribution end almost ready. Generation and rural electrification seems to be
    the major problem. We pray the vandalisation will stop and this will give GMB a
    much needed chance to make quick gains. State Governments should also rise up
    and tackle this challenge head long. Lagos State is bigger than most countries
    in Africa in terms of population (22 million). Strategic efforts are needed in
    developing mega infrastructure and not mega city without even minor
    infrastructure. Eko Atlantic investment if invested in Power Generation in
    Lagos would have pitched Lagos as a more desirable city than Australia. GAS
    supply sabotage should be quickly reviewed and probably proper deregulation of power
    generation to attract more investors.

    COST OF GOVERNANCE

    Reduction is
    expected at all levels. Cost of Governance is too high. It is expected that
    this will be greatly reduced.

    Reality:

    As Nigerians
    get ready for job losses, pay cuts, owed salaries and lots more. Our
    legislators will still be coasting home with millions. They will never get to
    enter public transport, or move with 1 car convoy. They will buy new cars after
    swearing in, collect furniture allowance, pay rent in Abuja and enter the pond
    (and lay more eggs) to refund the election expenses. GMB must clean up that
    pond. Award each MHR or SENATOR N5m or N10m for car. Let them buy or ent or use
    their old car, but let it stop at N5m. GMB please do not go buying cars for PA,
    to the PA, to the wife of the PA. The abuse must stop.

    CORRUPTION

    The
    expectation is that corruption must end.

    REALITY:

    Corruption
    will not end if fought as corruption. As long as the stagnant water is there.
    No matter the tablets or injections given. A new infection will always occur.
    What we see as corruption however is right in the courts of GMB. In the next
    weeks we will see if truly, GMB has come to drain the pond, provide insecticide
    treated nets, fumigate the area OR he has come with loads of tablets and
    injections. Sir, the mosquitoes have developed immunity. They just need to be
    kept away.

    God bless the
    President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

    God bless the
    Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    Emodi Tanko

    • nnanta

      What a piece of truth !

  • agbobu

    JUST CHECK THIS OUT. NOBODY CAN POCKET BUHARI. JUST CHECK IT OUT, A MAN WHO WAS A GENERAL IN THE NIGERIAN ARMY, TWO TIMES GOVERNOR, MINISTER FOR PETROLEUM RESOURCES, CHAIRMAN PTF, FORMER PRESIDENT AND WITH ALL OF THESE WAS LIVING IN A RENTED ACCOMMODATION IN ABUJA. HE HAS NO OIL WELLS CAN YOU BEAT THAT?.

  • agbobu

    WE THE PEOPLE KNOW THE VERY STEEP HILL THAT YOU ARE GOING TO CLIMB. PRESIDENT BUHARI YES THE HARD WORK BEGINS AND WE WILL BE VERY PATIENT WITH YOU, AS WE UNDERSTAND THE VERY HORRIBLE MESS YOU INHERITED FROM GOODLUCK JONATHAN. WE KNOW THAT IT WILL TAKE TIME, TO CLEAR THE MONUMENTAL CATASTROPHE GOOGLUCK JONATHAN AND HIS ADMINISTRATION PLACED NIGERIA. PRESIDENT BUHARI WE WILL SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE YOU AND WE WILL ALL CALL ON THE ALMIGHTY GOD TO BE YOUR GUIDE AND YOUR STRENGTH IN THIS VERY NOBLE TASK.

  • agbobu

    IT IS OFFICIAL GOODLUCK JONATHAN WILL BE REGARDED AND KNOWN IN HISTORY AS THE DEMOLITION PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA. GOODLUCK JONATHAN CAME AND SAW AND DEMOLISHED.