10 good things, 5 bad ones Buhari has done

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

So far, I have recorded ten good things and five bad ones that Buhari has done in his five-month old pres­i­dency. But first, the good. One, his ac­tive sup­port for the emer­gence of Nige­ria’s Adewunmi Adesina as the African De­vel­op­ment Bank Pres­i­dent. This has shown him to be a broad-minded pa­triot as op­posed to his for­mer im­age as mil­i­tary head of state in which he was seen as a nar­row-minded re­li­gious and re­gional bigot.

Two, his tol­er­a­tion,so far, of a con­stant per­sonal and po­lit­i­cal ir­ri­tant called Gover­nor Ayo Fayose of Ek­iti state. Three, his courage and abil­ity in re­strain­ing his wife from be­com­ing a public nui­sance in the way wives of most of our re­cent pres­i­dents have tended to be­come since the late Maryam Ba­bangida made the po­si­tion of First Lady glam­ourous. I do not know whether it is too early in the day to com­mend him for this ‘feat’. But if later in the day the pres­i­dent be­comes less vig­i­lant and his wife bolts out of his re­straint and be­gins to carry her­self as an al­ter­nate pres­i­dent, dab­bling into se­ri­ous af­fairs of state in the name of gen­der main­stream­ing or such other friv­o­lous pos­tur­ing, I will re­move this from the com­men­da­tion list and put it in the con­dem­na­tory one. Trust me. We paid with our votes for one pres­i­dent and not for two or for one and a half.

Four, his war against the Boko Haram ter­ror­ists. It seems fo­cused and de­ter­mined, which is why it is reap­ing great re­sults. Five, his war in favour of fi­nan­cial ac­count­abil­ity and pru­dence in the man­age­ment of the na­tion’s funds. His striv­ing for cut­ting down on the cost of gov­er­nance is a part of that noble war. Why Nige­ria has wit­nessed slow rate of de­vel­op­ment is at­trib­ut­able in large part to the way our gov­ern­ments spend money like drunk­ards. Six, his car­riage and com­po­sure has been very pres­i­den­tial. He shows him­self as a high minded man who is above the fray and who seems fo­cused on the larger is­sue of mak­ing Nige­ria great again. He is not med­dling too much into party pol­i­tick­ing try­ing to por­tray him­self as na­tional leader of party as well as head of gov­ern­ment. This has al­lowed him time and energy to con­cen­trate on the se­ri­ous busi­ness of find­ing so­lu­tions to Nige­ria’s nu­mer­ous prob­lems.

Seven, the ku­dos he has been giv­ing to his im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sor, Good­luck Jonathan, for con­ced­ing de­feat and spar­ring Nige­ria avoid­able blood­shed and other calami­ties.

He did so in his inau­gu­ral ad­dress and once again, in his In­de­pen­dence Day broad­cast.

This has again shown him not to be a churl­ish man who lacks a gen­er­ous heart.

Eight, his In­de­pen­dence Day broad­cast which was brief but broad in cov­er­ing what he had to say at that pe­riod in his young pres­i­dency. Although he is not a tal­ented com­mu­ni­ca­tor, the good sense im­bued in that speech has made him look very good. The peo­ple of Nige­ria do not need long, bor­ing and of­ten dis­hon­est speeches from their lead­ers. Just say some­thing that cov­ers your mod­est achieve­ments; that an­swers the anx­i­ety and crit­i­cism of your coun­try­men; that re-as­sures your peo­ple and which gives them hope about a bet­ter fu­ture. Pres­i­den­tial speeches should not try to bor­row any­thing from Honourable Pa­trick Obaghaig­bon, the man from the land of Igodomin­godo, who blows your head with big gram­mar. Save your breath and in­vest it in some­thing that can add mean­ing­ful value to Nige­ria.

Nine, some crit­ics have ac­cused him of lop­sided ap­point­ments, but so far no one has ac­cused him of ap­point­ing in­com­pe­tent peo­ple. I am a man in favour of merit and com­pat­i­bil­ity. Given how low Nige­ria has sunken in many re­spects, I ex­pect a pres­i­dent who wants to re­store Nige­ria back to her promis­ing glory to go for the best men and women and ones with whom he will be com­pat­i­ble in work­ing for na­tional sal­va­tion. So far, Buhari has tried to do just that.

Ten, his mak­ing his deputy, Prof. Os­in­bajo, an ac­tive part­ner and not a spare tyre. This will help to take the load off his 72-year old shoul­ders and re-as­sure the South West that they are not de­ceived. Now, the bad ones. One, his ob­vi­ous hand in the ju­di­cial per­se­cu­tion of Saraki in the name of fight­ing cor­rup­tion and to me, even more un­for­tu­nately, his de­nial that he had a hand in it. One of the things Buhari has to his credit is that we think he is above this sort of things and that he can­not lie. A se­nior friend of mine once re­buked me for say­ing that a for­mer pres­i­dent of this coun­try lied on an is­sue I will not men­tion now. You can say he made a mis­take or an er­ror of fact in his state­ment but to say a pres­i­dent lied is in­suf­fer­able, he ad­mon­ished me. So let me just say that PMB made an er­ror of fact or a slip of the tongue in say­ing he had no hand in Saraki’s tra­vails!

Two, his stay in the USA for the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly for seven days and seven nights.

Nige­ria, I be­lieve, is an emer­gency case and I do not think any Nige­rian pres­i­dent has a right to stay away from this ‘pa­tient’ for a con­tin­u­ous three days and three nights, not to talk of 7 straight days. By the way, what se­ri­ous thing do they do in that yearly UNGA apart from talk and more talk, which achieves pretty lit­tle? Way back in 2003, Buhari made a dev­as­tat­ing jibe at then Pres­i­dent Obasanjo for gal­li­vant­ing. Now it seems he has been bit­ten, not by Obasanjo’s gal­li­vant­ing bug but by a hon­ey­moon pro­cliv­ity! My dear PMB, the so­lu­tion to Nige­ria’s prob­lems lies right here at home and not any­where else, be it New York, Tokyo, Ber­lin or Lon­don.

Stay put here and mo­bilise your peo­ple to find and ap­ply home-grown reme­dies.

Three, the im­pres­sion he cre­ated that bribery and cor­rup­tion and other ills be­gan with and have ended with the Jonathan ad­min­is­tra­tion. This is what raised the anx­i­ety in some quar­ters that he was out to per­se­cute or witch hunt Jonathan and key mem­bers of his gov­ern­ment.

Four, his re­pu­di­a­tion of two key cam­paign doc­u­ments My Covenant with Nige­ri­ans and 100 Things Buhari will do in His First One Hun­dred Days. Again, some of us think Buhari is Mr. In­tegrity per­son­i­fied and that he will not have a hand in any­thing that will por­tray him as dis­hon­ourable or a ‘nor­mal’ Nige­rian politi­cian. It is true that Buhari has been un­able to ac­com­plish even one tenth of his prom­ises con­tained in those two doc­u­ments. But be­cause of the way we see him, he ought to have sat down and fash­ioned out an HON­EST and sen­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion of his fail­ure and Nige­ri­ans would have be­lieved him rather than adopt that dis­hon­ourable op­tion of re­pu­di­at­ing his prom­ises.

Five, the un­nec­es­sary de­lay inthe for­ma­tion of his cab­i­net which has cost the coun­try dear and which also did his im­age some harm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.