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The gamut of Nigerian leadership



The greatness of America lies not in
being more enlightened than any
other nation, but rather in her
ability to repair her faults.
Alexis Tocqueville

The constitutional provisions of Nigeria succinctly considered and explained our diversities in socio-political, religious, tribal and economic conditions and the legal tenure of elected presidents.

Accordingly, a straight four years term of single tenure suffices for holistic execution of political and developmental agenda of a president.


Also, thorough assessment of the present president has commenced by the Nigerian electorates towards determining whether or not the presiding president can be considered for re-election as provided by the constitution.

Realistically, the present first term leadership of president Buhari will virtually come to an end by May 29, 2019 in consonance with the Nigerian constitution.

The renewed political hurly-burly of campaigning and canvassing for votes for re-electing the president along party lines has commenced earnestly and gradually heating up the polity.

This is the right time for Nigerians clustering within the intelligentsia to start enlightening the electorates about their civic responsibility of electing the right candidate that will meet their collective yearnings and developmental aspirations.

With the process of presidential election now firmly in the offing with many keen contestants showing their political interests, forward-looking Nigerian electorate who are always at the receiving end of any governance must evaluate past achievements and shortcomings of the present president after his three years of stewardship. This hopefully, will assist the electorate to determine the suitability of our president.

We must appreciate that Nigeria, with its unity in diversities, majorly encompassing vastness of natural human potential and resources, has become a very difficult country to govern, even for the best of highly experienced and globally recognised administrative technocrats.

Unfortunately for the incumbent president, the functional productive age, administrative dexterity, political agility and good health are no longer tilting in his favor for optimal performance.

These inhibiting natural human conditions have made the president to become too susceptible to frequent ill-health, operational lapses, barrages of political attacks and occasional decision rules that have commonly been fraught with operational lapses.


Some American analysts, (Michael B. Grossman, Martha Joynt Kumar and Francis E. Rourke) stated: “The aging of president’s during second term makes it more difficult than his first.”

They remarked that the second term of presidents Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon “were marked by failures while those of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower were far less productive for the country than their first terms.”

The above analysis examined basic reasons behind the decline in power and influence during their second terms. The report came out with the following notations:

The re-election campaign.

Relationship between the president and his administration.
Patterns of cooperation and conflicts with the Congress.
Efforts to reach out to the public.

In my own opinion, while applying the above parameters coupled with the present age factor, declining health and the Nigeria political factors generally, it will be to President Buhari’s advantage to gracefully step down from the saddle of political leadership for a younger, more agile and resourceful leader who can build on his present achievements.

If he can do this, history will forever applaud him as a selfless leader who reasonably shunned the irresistible entreaty of ruling political gladiators, allure of power, collective voice of ineptitude political lieutenants and advisers who fed fat on their closeness to the corridor of power.

Presently, the whole world is eagerly awaiting president Buhari’s action about his re-election and unfolding political scenarios after the next general election. This in itself will set the basis and pace for the reasonable gamut of Nigerian leadership.

The parameters for comparison of leaders on the global scale cannot be underplayed in the Nigerian situation to measure the president’s performance.


It is apparent for global political watchers, analysts and developmental rating institutions to compare the leadership of president Buhari with some past and present leaders in the world who have played decisive roles in turning around their nations’ economies.

National leaders who were able to tactically align their countries on the path of economic growth, ethical decency and recognised hi-technological development have always been given ‘locomotive applause, unceasing kudos’ and due recognitions among the comity of nations.

Therefore, Nigeria has no reason not to align her leadership pursuits and ratings with the current global trends.

There must be a well planned and realistic turnaround of the national economy from its precept of calamitous downturn to the stratum of decisive growth.

Hence, vital, well-planned and properly executed socio-economic reforms for achieving uncommon and rapid developmental feat and security of the citizens are the major yardsticks to measure president Buhari’s performance over the past three years.

It is no gainsaying that Nigerians are now majorly concerned with electing a successful leader who can make real, reasonable and recognizable impacts on their lives and effect a meaningful turn-around of the economy coupled with the security of the people without given vain excuses.

The present day Nigerian electorate will vote for presidential candidates with the wherewithal, sound developmental knowledge and requisite skills that can bring about a drastic change of the economy.

A highly exposed president who understands and can resolve the present nagging conditions of Nigerians, bordering on prevalent poverty amidst plentiful resources by bridging the distended gaps in collective succor and as well obliterate existing hibernating economic growth conditions will be preferred.

The next Nigerian leader should be fully action-packed and deliberately patterned towards the like of late Nelson Mandela (who was focused with good health, full energy, purposeful and resourceful leader).

Okunrinboye Olu wrote from Washington DC

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