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AGBAJE: In 100 Days, Buhari Has Shown What Honest Leadership Can Do



Mr. Fred Agbaje

Mr. Fred Agbaje is a Lagos-based constitutional lawyer and human rights activist. He told KAMAL TAYO OROPO that the biggest achievement of the Buhari-led administration is in proving that with purposeful and honest leadership, many things would naturally fall in place in the country. 

On the heels of 100 days of Buhari-led administration, what has been the achievement? What has changed? AT least, we now know the purpose of governance.

And we now know the direction of his government as well. In essence, we have come to accept the fact that the Buhari of today has not changed from the Buhari in terms of non-embracement of corruption.

We all know that the second coming is an elongation of his earlier appearance in government, where things were virtually on the right path in 1984-85, before some people came in to throw some spanners into the woks.

His regime, at the time, displayed high degree of orderliness. Buhari’s first 100 days as civilian democratically elected President has not disappointed on that score.

And if anything, he has come with a renewed vigour. And I am happy that the renewed vigour is now settled, to the extent that the international community has not failed to take notice of the new leader in Nigeria; having regard to his even the American government have to invite him to say that Buhari, having regards to his sterling quality; a man that cannot be easily corrupted and that they are ready to do business with him.

To the extent that the American government has decided to assist the administration, militarily, logistically and financially. In a manner of amending its relationship with Nigeria, the US government has also promised to recover stolen monies.

What else do you want? What could be more than that? So, all that Buhari government needs to do now, outside the one hundred days, is how to tailor his government towards this quality directives that have been earmarked or interpreted with the visit of the UN chief.

In other words, the question now is how do we address the issue of unemployment, insecurity, health and so on. Beyond the probe and corruption, how satisfied are you with some of the efforts in terms of infrastructure and economy? I am very comfortable.

For instance, the Buhari government is going about the Niger Delta issues is commendable. What of the appointment of the group managing director of the NNPC? Are you telling me the man who is currently in charge if NNPC is a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole? Of course, not. Many of us has applauded and welcomed that appointment.

As for power, which is very critical to the country, I don’t know what is obtainable n your area, but from what I have seen so far, there is better supply of power now more than what we hitherto had before this administration.

I am not saying we are there; for sure, there is room for improvement and sustainability, but so far so good. And you know why some of these things are beginning to look up? Only a mad man or an unrepentant thief would want to take kobo from this government now. But having said this, Buhari must also extend the searchlight to the private sector.

There are allegations of emerging dictatorial tendencies and perception that some actions of government remind one of the days of despotism? Can you practice despotism in the democracy of Nigeria? The Nigerian constitution, which the President had laid emphasis on, clearly states that Nigeria must be governed in accordance to the rule of law and democratic principle.

Those are the two key words. You can’t embark on a one-man riot show, as they used to do under the military regime. This is a civilian democratic government, are we saying that the National Assembly don’t know their constitutional right from wrong? The fear of those saying Buhari is going dictatorial or will go into governance in a despotic manner is misplaced. Nigeria of today doesn’t have a place for such. The rule of law is in place.

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