Adeolu Akinyemi: What the “Not so Complicated Nigerian” expects from President Muhammadu Buhari
For many of us, the chant of change was and is not merely a mantra. We deeply believe that the advent of Buhari into the official leadership of Nigeria spells change. It wasn’t a campaign slogan for many of us, we know that long before change became a mantra “Changi Dole!” was the cry of the masses.
As you step into office in less than 48hrs, here is an aggregation of thoughts from lense of a small community of people I have had the privilege of spending time with and providing a little leadership for.
1. Reset Our Expectations
We know that majority of the declarations made on the election grounds on the platform of the APC were not really yours. We understand that in order to play the politics, you somehow found yourself in the company of those who chose to promise unachievable things in order to match the tempo of campaigns by the ruling party. We also understand that some of these promises were made without knowing clearly what was left of the currently passing administration. We believe that all the highfalutin speeches and ideas need to quickly be reset into practical contracts with the people of Nigeria.
We expect that your first speech would be to tell us what is real and what is imagined. Shave the fanciful promises, and give us realistic goals against which to benchmark our expectations. What should we expect in 100 days, and what can we expect in 1yr.
We don’t want to exist in fools paradise, we need our foundations to be based on truth.
2. Select Men of Character and Competence.
Leadership is meant to be a balance of competence and character. A man of character is easy to trust, but without competence is difficult to believe. A man of competence is easy to believe but without character is difficult to trust. (man is human meaning man or woman)
Be your ministers 19 or 31. Let them be men who are willing to work for this nation for free! Men who have no deal with greed. Men who are FREE financially and are content. Men whose life of self has ended, and are willing to lay what is left down for a legacy eternal. Give us men who have big dreams for our nation, and would serve to be recorded on the side of history that led to our rebirth. Let the choice of the ministers fill us with fresh hope. Let the sound of their names, and the antecedents they represent, fill the wicked with fear, and give joy to the city.
Give us men whose mention will throw our cities into joyful exuberance. For we know that “when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people morn” – Prov 29:2.
Give us men and do give us women! Give us the old, also give us the young. Give us not by age, sex or tribe. Give us people whose tribe is based on common values and character and whose language is competence.
Give us men who meet the standard’s of Josiah Gilbert Holland’s Poem.
GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
3. Let Justice and Judgement Start from Home! Show mercy impartially.
We understand how completely the time of this government can be wasted if it begins to dig into past sins. While we believe the governments time should not be wasted, we believe that the body language of this government needs to be clear from day 1.
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” – Ecc 8:11
If Nigeria will be rid of evil, the system of justice needs to gain speed. The first clear signal is to ensure that those who are close and are in APC get the first warning. Let charity begins at home! The teacher that punishes his own son, on the first day of school sends a clear signal to all the other students!
Your decisive action on those who are of your party would sent a signal around on what the president will or will not tolerate. The signals need to be loud and clear. People who supported the elections and want to be compensated should explain if they supported with their money or with the nations money. If a line is however being pulled over the past, then all should be treated equally.
Please let’s see some actions in the first 100 days. We want to see thieves relocating, getting jailed or returning their loot. Please organize a conference in the US for all visible Nigerian leaders. Let’s know those who America is looking for.
4. Hit the Floor with a Bang! Do what you have to do!
Things are at an all time low in Nigeria now! We haven’t seen it as low as it has been in the last few days. With schools closing, telecommunication companies warning and radio stations canceling night shifts, we have broken new records in how low we have fallen. While these have made the news as bad news, we think they are a blessing in disguise.
A blessing because, now that things are so bad, anything you do is change! Now that our power generated is less than 1,400MW, you don’t even need to do too much to be seen as changing things. We understand that things first would go bad before they get better, and those tough choices are difficult to make! Feel free to make the tough choices, we have seen bad, it’s been really dark, from here on, it can only get better!
Let Nigerians and the world around know that there is change! Let civil servants re-arrange! Give us the lionic daddy’s horn effect. The kind that sounds from outside the gate and makes all children re-arrange the house in record time! Let all the rats who have taken comfortable seats in the living room find their dark spots at the announcement of the entrance of the cat. Do not let the temperature grow gradually on us, enter the house with a bang!
If you do these 4 things sir, we believe that you would have set the tone for the Nigeria we all hope to be a part of. One we will believe in, not one we will be leaving!
Excited about the birth of a New Nigeria!