Dear President Buhari,
A time comes in the life of every President, when legacy and posterity beckons. That time is now, because time is ticking, and time is no respecter of any person.
This is not a partisan message. As a bona fide new-generation leader, and fellow stakeholder in the Nigerian project, I acknowledge that you did make some efforts to keep Nigeria moving forward in your first term; especially in your efforts to contain security in our Northeast corridor. However, most Nigerians have now judged those efforts as insufficient, given the state of insecurity nationwide today.
The security situation has now given rise to economic challenges. All Nigerians have a right to expect more from you, especially in your much avowed war against corruption, and insecurity.
On a very practical note, the below are areas Nigerians need to see timely dividends of democratic governance from your second term, with greater urgency. Ignoring this well-intentioned counsel means a clear and present danger of Nigeria unraveling under your watch.
1. National Security
Nigeria is a very fragile nation today; from Sokoto to Ibadan, from Akwa Ibom to Bornu, and from Anambra to Adamawa. Mr. President, your inner circle may have played this down for you, but there is a crisis in the country now.
Most Nigerians suspect that close advisers, who were also referenced by your wife in a 2018 speech in Abuja, may be limiting your exposure to the reality of today, because we are not seeing the sense of urgency that the moment requires from the government.
Mr. President, there is a clear and present danger that Nigeria may unravel under your watch, or right after, if things do not change for the better. We do not want Nigeria to unravel, and we do not believe that you want that situation as well, because there simply will be no nation to govern if Nigeria unravels.
2. Corruption and Cronyism
Mr. President, though we do not accuse you of personal corruption; however we have seen many cases of bizarre corrupt practices among your comrades across Nigeria under your watch.
Most especially, we have seen recent former or present governors, who basically plundered their state beyond recognition, but who are still tagging alongside you and your party, in order to shield themselves from prosecution.
We are all watching to see how a particular former Governor from the Southeast, who plundered his state beyond belief, and who drops your name every so often, will fare under prosecution by the EFCC. We have seen this particular governor making moves to avert justice by seeking a perpetual “injunction” from prosecution, if this injunction succeeds, then we’ll know impunity has started in earnest under your watch. We hope you will encourage the EFCC to do a creditable job with these people.
3. The New Cabinet
If anyone had informed Nigerians in a dream, that they would be hearing the names of the likes of Timipre Sylva, Godswill Akpabio, and others, who have “active” corruption cases running into billions of Naira, as ministerial designees in your new government, we would say it is a bad dream.
However alas, we have been shocked by the list you just submitted to the Senate for confirmation, containing the names of these same people, plus other former ministers, who basically undermined your government, through extreme incompetence during your first term.
What message are you sending here Mr. President? Is this a signal that you have now embraced wholesale corruption in public life in Nigeria?
4. Infrastructure Power Works & Housing
Our Telecommunications and “Power Works & Housing” infrastructure is really of marginal condition, thereby leading to a stubbornly sluggish economy. Lack of electricity alone, and a poorly maintained nationwide road network; limits interstate commerce inside Nigeria; thereby limiting the growth of our internal economy. The state of telecommunications is limiting us from the 21st Century economy.
Mr. President, let us not deceive ourselves, there’s no development or economic growth coming under the above conditions. In-fact, serious investors are either turning back or deciding to wait you out.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who manned the “Power Works & Housing” ministry for you, was either overrated, or you didn’t give him a free hand to do the job. Either-way, infrastructure is in dire need of attention.
Mr. President, the least you can do right now is to rein-in the ethnic group in the mouth of every Nigerian, and increasingly every African and the world today; our very own Fulani brothers. We are currently one country and all first-class citizens of Nigeria; therefore, if a rule applies to one ethnic group of Nigeria, it should apply to every ethnic group.
While I have met you one on one, and also have met many Fulanis in the ordinary course of a heritage in Nigeria, and do not believe every Fulani is evil; however somebody is indirectly inciting or condoning atrocities committed by people who wield AK47’s while herding cows across the country, it is even worse where those people are not known to be Nigerians.
Your ambivalence and lack of condemnation of various atrocities across the country speaks volumes. Further, “Ranching” is inevitable in a future Nigeria. The sooner we join the league of civilized nations by “Ranching” our cattle, the sooner we can begin to enjoy a more robust economy, based on modern animal husbandry.
Today, the violence has also reverted back to the Northeast (and now the Northwest as well); because the insecurity was not contained as it ravaged the Middle Belt and the South. This time the insecurity is mixed with kidnapping and banditry.
Mr. President you would do well to support the urgent matter of initiating State and Community Policing urgently, that way, local officials down to the local government levels, can contain security in their regions, states, and LGA’s.
Some former or present corrupt government officials must be prosecuted aggressively, and be convicted where the evidences warrant conviction, and actually serve commensurate long sentences for violating public trust, and impoverishing their states. Various economic and security catastrophes including loss of citizens lives, can be directly attributed to the corrupt failures of some governors who governed these states, or manned certain agencies.
Legacy and posterity beckons to you Mr. President, let us not waste this opportunity.