Letter To The President-elect
SIR: I congratulate the president-elect on his election to the office of executive president of Nigeria. I also congratulate the electorate/followership, which hitherto was considered as highly docile but has now come out of slumber to take its rightful position.
The latter have truly shown that (the problem of) “political apathy cannot be solved by political isolation”. Dear President-elect, Nigerians have voted for you in their millions across divides because they know your track record and they also hope that you have not changed and will not change.
As much as I recognise that you are not a political start-up and that you have been around long enough to know some of the intrigues of self-seeking politicians, it is important that you should be reminded of certain things.
Despite great hope that there will be positive change, the political environment remains largely un-conducive for well-meaning politicians and leaders to operate optimally.
You must recognise that change has enemies particularly when it is change towards uprightness and integrity. There is nothing wrong when you are magnanimous in victory or when you run an “all-inclusive government” but caution must be applied.
Nigerians expect a more responsible, accountable government that will think and work towards “common good” at all levels rather than leadership driven by personal gains.
This presupposes that Nigerians will frown at you taking into your party/government self-seeking political jobbers who blew the trumpet of the last regime up till the last minute before the 2015 elections.
Men with good character, reputation, and integrity abound in our country, men who are ready to receive little to render good service. They are people and not pocket-driven.
The level of rot and decadence demands that you tackle issues of impunity, administrative rascality; and corruption very seriously. Nigerians will frown against amnesty for those who have looted our economy.
To look the other way will be uncharitable to the poor masses of this country. Permit me to advise that you concentrate on a few goals and excellence rather than too many goals with little result.
Nigerians will be extremely happy if deficit on critical areas of security, power, education, health and infrastructure can be cut drastically in the short term.
This can be achieved if you reduce drastically recurrent expenditure, which is unpardonably high. A 50 per cent reduction looks unrealistic but that is the right way to go if we must achieve capital development.
Nigeria has no business running information and communication as separate ministries. You need to consider merger of ministries and agencies with a view to reducing the number of political appointees.
You also need to work with other arms of government to review consistency allowance, security votes, etc. Finally, your Excellency, do not, like past regimes, pay lip service to twin issues of responsibility and accountability.
Mr. president you must develop a new culture of public accountability, transparency, responsibility, equity, responsiveness to public need and a sense of national pride. Please do not disappoint us. Once again congratulations and best of luck, sir. • Gabriel Aghuno, Lagos.
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