Home » » Don’t expect magic from Buhari, but he will take us to the Promised Land - Dan Onjeh

Don’t expect magic from Buhari, but he will take us to the Promised Land - Dan Onjeh

Written By Idoma Television on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 | 10:38:00 AM

The harmless remark made recently by Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces about the limit of what he can do given his advanced age has been completely taken out of context and manipulated by people still suffering from the agony of defeat to imply that the President is giving an excuse for failure! Nothing can be further from the truth

Age is a number and while the President is his seventies and cannot be expected to be as agile as a middle aged person, he has a constitution, is in good health and physically fit as fiddle. It is not how old you are when you assume the mantle of leadership or how long you stay in that position that matters. 

It is how well you serve and this is by demonstrating political will and leading by personal example of integrity, honesty, credibility, transparency, accountability, justice, fairness, and equity. Leadership has always been the bane of Nigeria and that is why we are always “a potentially great nation” but would never reach there without a paradigm shift in the recruitment and mentoring of leaders.

President Buhari’s personal integrity and aversion to corruption is well known and this has positively affected the way business is done by both international and local enterprises who know they will be held to account for all shenanigans because unlike his predecessor this President’s “body language” does not “encourage corruption” (apologies to Tambuwal).

The Transition Committee set up by President Buhari worked under serious constraints but did a thorough job. 

They were not given the desired cooperation by functionaries of the out gone administration who laid so many booby traps for the new Administration that are well documented-mass employment and sensitive appointments, depletion of the foreign reserves, the Excess Crude Account, devaluation of the Naira, an unsustainable fuel subsidy regime and opacity in the management of the nation’s resources.

President Buhari just moved into the Villa, about 23 days after assumption of office. It is erroneous to say the President is too slow. The level of rot he inherited and systemic dysfunction is unprecedented. 

It will be foolhardy for him to rush into making vital and critical appointments without extra careful scrutiny to avoid shady characters and fifth Columnists of “Nigeria corruption incorporated” from infiltrating his administration in which the vast majority of Nigerians have high expectations.

The President unlike his predecessors is mentally, physically, psychologically, spiritually and intellectually prepared to govern this diverse and difficult nation. He has held all command positions in the Military, including the ultimate-Military Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. 

He has headed the vital Petroleum Ministry (which had a total of only 3 bank accounts during his tenure, compared to the uncountable accounts of the Diezani era). He also successfully headed a special intervention agency, the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

That the Former General is now a converted democrat has been demonstrated severally by his recourse to the judiciary to fight his electoral battles. President Muhammadu Buhari has therefore contributed significantly to the evolution, development and advancement of democracy in Nigeria.

Mr. President has assured all and sundry that he will not “rule” but “govern” with justice, equity and fairness, providing the leadership which is critical to national self-actualization, advancement and greatness. 

His resolve to fight corruption and insecurity vigorously will definitely be the prologue in our long march to the Promised Land. As he is fond of saying, “if Nigeria does not kill corruption, Corruption will kill Nigeria”. 

Once corruption is tackled, all other things, including insecurity (a consequence of corruption and social exclusion) will be successfully tackled

The Asian Tigers were less developed than Nigeria in 1960. Today, South Korea is the world’s 13th largest economy. 

These Asian countries-Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore-did not make progress until the emergence of visionary leaders of unquestionable integrity and political will, who fought corruption as the “Enemy No. 1”. Today, China has become the second largest economy in the world, and if present growth rates continue, may surpass the United States in the next 25 years! China deals ruthlessly with corruption and has executed or jailed prominent Government, Political and Security figures.

President Muhammadu Buhari, like Nelson Mandela is a man of history. His immense goodwill as contrasted with “Goodluck” has already attracted international respect, recognition for, and cooperation with Nigeria. A very meticulous planner, he will implement policies, plans and programmes that are both short term or immediate, and long term goals whose benefits will be relevant much later.

He has proven that he belongs to “everybody and to nobody” and has been aptly demonstrated by his resolute decision not to interfere in the leadership contest of the National Assembly (NASS). Even though Saraki and Ekweremadu’s emergence is legally kosher, it is morally indefensible.

Now that Nigeria is regaining her voice and influence on the African and International stage, it is a moral imperative for all Nigerians, including the 40% who did not vote for President Buhari to fully support him in the following ways-prayer and supplication, being law-abiding and respecting constituted authority, paying our taxes, being our brother’s keeper, being selfless, and being the best we can, so that Nigeria will attain true “greatness”.

The previous administration cooked the statistics and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance has been lampooned and derided as a “Voodoo Economist”. There was growth without corresponding jobs or improved standard of living. The number of Nigerians living in poverty has doubled in the past 6 years and after roughly $20 billion spent on the power sector by the PDP Distribution Agency in 16 years, power generation fell from 4,000 MW of electricity to less than 2,000MW on the eve of Jonathan’s involuntary exit from Aso Rock. 

Without Power, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs), which are the engine room of any national economy, cannot thrive. By cleansing the opaque oil and gas sector, revalidating the failed power sector reform and giving agriculture its due place, Buhari would set in motion the machinery of our national progress and advancement.
This will equally entail a radical or revolutionary institutional re-structuring and true National re-orientation in all spheres of our lives and endeavours.

In spite of his age President Muhammadu Buhari will lead us to the Promise Land.
May God preserve Buhari, Bless and Unite Nigeria. AMEN!!!
Dan Onjeh was the former president of National Association of Nigerian Students/West African Students Union
He was also the Benue South Senatorial Candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
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