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ATIKU AD ASIWAJU’S ECONOMIC MANAGEMENTS AS THE ONLY GOOD STILL LEFT OF NIGERIA’S ECONOMY By Hashim Suleiman
When once a society derails from encouraging robust conversations from all divides and objective ones at that, it has basically lost the most common basis for development and some of us have taken it a duty to bring these points to bare, perhaps we may see the light and begin to open up these conversations for the gullible, the half-gullible, upcoming ones and those who may have missed out on certain points.
As our democracy is growing through natural tendencies and less citizenry efforts, so many of the citizens seem to be forming this holier than thou character which appears to denigrate the efforts that certain patriots have sacrificed to achieve regardless of how imperfect, recall that same people could even do worse if given same opportunity because a lot of their opinions are not borne out of criticality but rather beer parlor talks, bandwagon and a general character of mischief that promotes pulling down people.
I have said in several fora that I’d be grateful if God can bless me as much as He did Obasanjo and so many others, this is to dissuade those young people who could be easy to throw tantrums and insult on these statesmen without understanding that they only gave what they had under the prevailing circumstances. They also do this some other times for support of their political icons forgetting that the entire elites are friends and bare no grudge less for political bashings that remain basically games to them.
Accordingly, I’d like to remind the citizenry of the exceptional strides that Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu had put in to our economy which remains the only bedrock that is still keeping the economy of the country moving. Everyone practically latches on them to be able to pull of some achievements of government.
You may recall that Atiku as the chairman of the economic management of the country between 1999 to 2007 opened the economy to the world by simply assembling sound brains who had the KnowHow and he monitored alongside his boss to ensure they delivered the much they did. He first identified government had no business doing business and they quickly lobbied the National Assembly to pass the Act on privatization which saw to the setting up of the Bureau of Public Enterprises that was headed by Nasiru Elrufai himself a recruit of Atiku Abubakar to midwife the sale of government businesses that are today still functional like Ntel which provides one of the best bundle services in Abuja, Lagos and Portharcourt. Regardless of how imperfect, it’s still employing thousands and standing on its feet, imagine what could have happened to her if it was not privatized. So many of the private Telcos are leveraging on their infrastructure to do business, some monies are changing hands through that too.
Recall also that all the policies around IPPIS, GIFMIS, TSA, FIRS etc which ensures mop up of revenues and discourages wastages were babies of an Okonjo Iweala and her lieutenants like Okauru and others. Atiku Abubakar equally shopped these individuals and supervised them to ensure deliveries, every government policies afterwards has leveraged on these policies to be able to make something good of their economic policies.
Nuhu Ribadu was equally recommended by Atiku for recruitment to pilot the setting up of the EFCC and it’s not in doubt how that institution has remained what every administration uses to attempt to fight the almighty corruption. It was indeed robustly set up as it has stood the test of time. People would accuse him of privatizing to himself and same people will today say he is broke but I have never seen one person that has pointed to what Atiku sold to himself till today. This space will not be enough to highlight all of Atiku’s economic strides in that era but I have highlighted enough to get people to begin to research and perhaps expand the conversation.
On the other hand, Asiwaju’s economic management of Lagos did no small help to the Nigerian economy as every other Nigerian leaders that have emerged after 2007 have had to leverage on the revenues from Lagos to ramp up VAT collections and subsequent sharing by all tiers of government. The opening up of the city to beautiful infrastructure had provided an opportunity for the entertainment industry to blossom leading to influx of Forex through international shows as well as the provision of ample employment opportunities. Little wonder why the young entertainers in lagos don’t care who the next president is, they would rather organize a carnival of a protest like ENDSARS and share food to themselves while dancing- ‘catching cruise’ like it’s said in local parlance.
Asiwaju’s human capital development has also led to the availability of human resource to manage the very difficult task of managing critical sectors. President Muhammadu Buhari would thank such efforts as it provided him ample Human Resources to utilize for his administration.
Therefore, the 2023 elections have presented very fine gentlemen who have utilized their times and opportunities to leave a mark that is undeniable in the history of our dear nation no matter how imperfect. I would continue to wonder who would celebrate ours for us if not us, there is absolutely no reason to continue to denigrate these individuals considering more of the fact that they have learnt appropriate lessons to improve on the lot that they have both achieved if given another opportunity. Recall also that we may not be able to do better if given the opportunity.
Consequently, I submit that head or tail Nigeria stands to benefit from the outcome of the 2023 elections, let us support appropriately, improve the conversations, reduce the bitterness and imbibe optimism and positivity for the hope of a better nation going forward.
God bless Nigeria.
PANTAMI’S MOBILIZATION OF THE GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM FOR CONSOLIDATION OF HIS DIGITAL POLICIES By Hashim Suleiman
So many people have been wondering where Prof Isa Pantami has been over the last year or so and they couldn’t understand he had become enmeshed in the next level of his agenda of entrenching a proper digital society that will ensure economic transition and which will guarantee jobs and liquidity in the system.
As someone who had been strategic about his mission, he phased his digital mission with the initial step being the reawakening and rebranding of the sector and that saw him renaming the sector and then identifying the right Human Resources to help drive the agenda. Afterwards, he started to engage in public awareness through his recurring presence in the digital space. He culminated this by ensuring he mobilized the administration to key into his mission. You could know this by the increase in the allocation of budgetary provision to the ministry amongst others.
After the first stage comes the next important stage which was identification with the diplomatic community locally, he ensured he secured their confidences to the extent that they began to organize events and various avenues of criss crossing ideas and finding a way to key into the large digital market the world could ever have. All the digital giants of the world recognize the importance of the Nigerian market and they have always been wishing for a serious manager to step in so they could harness the best of it.
All of these have culminated into many business springing up regarding the production of SIM cards, chips and many more intentions to invest in the sector that it’s potentials had started to be imminent. Many more startups have become interested in the sector especially in the hitherto not so much interested northern Nigeria. There is now a more friendly handshake between the local ecosystem and the government policies. Only an Okonjo Iweala had been able to mobilize a sector close to this good in the history of Nigeria.
However, some may have noticed that the Prof had gone down low afterwards and they wondered what that was for. The results are already trickling to let us know it was strategic for the purpose of stock taking and working to consolidate on the networks that had so far been created through all of the above. The digital sector cannot blossom to its full potentials if you don’t align it with the global happenings and this made Prof Pantami to begin international sensitization and marketing and it was so good that it attracted him to be appointed the Chairman of the 2022 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This happened after his appearance at the Blockchain summit in Dubai as well as the deliverance of a paper at World Economic Summit Group in Davos, Switzerland.
This international extension of handshake has led to so many investors and players in the digital industry to shift focus to Nigeria and the latest of such big catch was Elon Musks purchase of a telecommunications license to operate in Nigeria. There are many more fiber, forex and digital currency companies trooping in to participate in the sector. The Nigerias Central Bank has equally admired the digital sectors and had since floated the Digital Naira called the ‘e-Naira’. All Nigeria’s data has been synchronized to be complete with data. The minister had just returned from
Morocco where he attended the the high test gathering for the promotion of identity in Africa.
All of these efforts are absolutely long term in nature and Nigeria would certainly reap them
In due course, however it was important to put ink on paper about them for posterity sake.
God bless Prof Isa Pantami
God bless Nigeria
A friend had after a political conversation yesterday shared an excerpt of the interview granted Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe of Lagos state by Arise TV. Therein, the senator had opined that the north was a master in the political game and he saw no how they were going to relinquish power to Asiwaju Tinubu, he felt they could at best utilize his funds and deny him power, he made references to Awolowo and Abiola of blessed memories. The Senators submission was full with criticality that one would want to pick interest and critically review. Let me attempt to do that here in combination with what I know.
The above submission also resonated with the conversation I always hold with the Director Women mobilization of my defunct #30PercentOrNothing group, she hails from Delta State. She had always opined that God had been fair in the sharing of the Nigerian space to the extent that the West has the formal economy, the south has oil, the east has trade while the north had power and therefore she had no issue if the north were to remain in power forever, after all they’re masters in the game. Her submission was equally rich with facts that one would not wanna ignore.
Against this backdrop, I took a few minutes out to analyze how realistic it was for the north as a political bloc to relinquish power to the south. Recall that the emergence of Buhari in 2015 came with myriad of issues which created deep cracks that in my opinion have not been healed yet. A lot of the issues may be termed as perceptions but those perceptions have today become reality to many and it was such that led to heated arguments about north and south presidency penultimate to the current season. You could see a semblance of disdain for the power to return to the north and such was visible in the build up to the PDP primary elections. It only took the emergence of an Atiku Abubakar to douse such tension and this made me understand the importance of networking and liberality.
Furthermore, economically and structurally, the northern Nigeria has never been at a low ebb like now and I will be suspecting that the north may not be ready to relinquish its only piece. This makes it expedient for anyone with discernment to look deeper into the issues going on in the ruling APC especially as regards the recommendation for the power to shift to the south in that party. The party actually boxed itself into that level through its management of perceptions and relationships throughout the country. Whether such will be in the best interest of the north and its power brokers remains to be seen in the availability of a sound option like Atiku who is trying for the fifth time. Remember that in all honesty, the north does not posses the sort of patience and buffer needed to survive a perceived or realistic bias against them.
This piece is just a realistic analysis of the issues based on history and recent happenings and does not in any way represent a state of mind. We wish for the country to come United but equally believe that the actions and inaction of the leaders will be instrumental to that.
May the best man lead Nigeria.
I read Fani Kayode’s piece on a narrative that PDP betrayed some ethnic groups in the country as well as portraying a live televised presidential primary as a corrupted one. This was all in an attempt to give Atiku a bad name so people should hang him, I pitied the citizenry if indeed Fani and others think such lowly of the readers of their pieces.
The number one question is: does Fani think Nigerians don’t know all the candidates in all the parties share money to delegates? How could Fani stare us in the face and insinuate that only the delegates of the APC are critical and objective enough to vote based on conscience or whatever he was trying to portray. He even punctured the same narrative of his by finally going totally undemocratic by insisting Buhari must whimsically produce the next candidate of the APC, this murdered his initial advise to the Afenifere regarding that politics was all about intrigues and maneuvers as well as been a game of numbers.
How could Fani Kayode annex Asiwaju Tinubu when the pulse in the land says only him stands a chance to defeat Atiku. How could Fani Kayode condemn Atiku and then go down to insist the Northeast deserved presidency, has he forgotten where Atiku comes from or it’s all in attempt to showcase to us that he’s indeed tying to cash in on our vulnerability to hoodwink us with grammar. I simply refused to be hoodwinked not because I support any particular candidate but because we must encourage the need for a more robust engagement in our system.
The article displayed lot of hypocrisy and double standards lookout considering how former friends and allies were painted black just because he needed to advance his points. How could Fani Kayode feel entitled to define corruption in Nigeria, ‘wonders shall never end’ they say. How could he equally qualify himself to speak about bigotry or less of it. He also insisted to make a point as to why everyone must support APC without giving them the appropriate variables to convince them, infact I can’t even understand why he would feel denigrating his own region to advance some other narrative suggesting power shift to some other region makes him appear objective enough in Nigeria. I thought one could advance his points without necessarily denigrating another.
I do acknowledge Fani Kayode’s lyrical prowess and his freedom to advance same for his progression and that was why I wrote an article to defend his moving to APC which I titled ‘Fani Kayode and the import of developing selling points’ and can be read here: https://witnessngr.com/fani-kayode-and-the-import-of-developing-selling-points-by-hashim-suleiman/. However, he shouldn’t be carried away into thinking he can dump just anything on us. This article is meant to call him to order so he can appropriate his strategies to utilize his skills better.
Justice they say is expected to be served without bias but trust me as it sounds so easy to dispense, you’ll experience the most difficulty of it when you find yourself leading in whatever capacity in a secular society. Every part of the divide will want a 100% implementations of their wants and needs and unless that is served you’ll be perceived as being biased and you have to learn to manage such if you wish to succeed in such arrangement.
A classical example of definition of secularity is Nigeria. The two major faiths of the country require that the country be totally branded as belonging to their faiths, this is coupled with the counter arguments about which is more populated. The proponents of both faiths quickly forget you have taken an oath before God Almighty to uphold the constitution of the republic. They wish you suspend such oath occasionally for their whimsical tendencies and honestly unless you’re critical enough to guard your conscience, they could confuse you to assume if the religions have different rules regarding loyalty to oaths and pacts.
A cursory look into both faiths reveals that God commands justice and forbids discrimination and abomination, but in secular society you become faced with who’s place it is to adjudicate over who deserves justice or not. All the various laws have been crafted before various representatives were drafted to formulate a constitution that had been signed off by all before God. For people to now come in the middle of a game and request for the rules to be changed smacks of greatest form of unfairness and injustice that cannot pass for any godly test.
These issues and more require that a leader of such kind of society must be fort-right and work to satisfy their conscience, otherwise it’s every difficult to lead. You would have to be seen to sometimes offend your kith and kin in order to serve justice but you can’t be bothered because you’re only upholding your oath before God to protect a certain pact of living together. Every statement is read from the prism of ‘them vs us’ as against a collective national matter.
These kinds of matter become worst when the society has been left over the years to get to the point where most people are scared to speak truth to followers for the fear of being vilified, mocked and insulted. Chaos takes the center stage, suspicion becomes rife, injustice becomes order of the day and you can never have a proper recipe for imminent implosion other than these. Nigeria is basically at this stage where even leadership is scared to attempt to institute justice without being hounded into a narrative of ‘us vs them’. This is most unfortunate especially that it is taking a dimension of no return.
However, some of us who have privilege of putting our thoughts to paper in order that someone may see and make a meaning of it would love to add a voice on this matter as relates to Nigeria and call for caution and opening up of sincere conversations with a view to ensuring a secured future for all. The bloodletting and free flow of it in our land is becoming scary and a pointer to a dangerous future. We must allow leadership to execute their oaths with God to implement the content of the constitution which in itself is a pact before God. We cannot choose to be holy in piecemeal, we have to be seen to imbibe the spirit of fairness and ability to place one another in others shoes so as to know where it pinches. The curses we reign on ourselves and leadership is enough to attract all the negative vices there can be. What is a society without leadership, in one scoop we blame all the problems on the leaders, in another scoop we condemn their efforts at trying to be just and manage implosions and crises.
The making of secular nations is an arrangement that has to be based more on initiating engagements and discussions to amend certain items of the pacts as against intolerance and mockeries that could deepen the fault lines and the consequences of it in the long run would not be beneficial to anyone, we’re almost there already.
A word is enough for the wise!
Some of us who are young are deserving of mentorship so as to ensure the emergence of the leaders of tomorrow that imbibe the needed virtues for national cohesion and integration. However, the activities of some so called statesmen leaves some of us wondering how to kowtow to their shenanigans in all honesty. Some of these men are perhaps oblivious of the fact that we’re in jet age where the young people of the day are tech savvy and having access to information of events as they happen and equally possessing needed discernment to decipher.
I have been following the activities of an association called the Afenifere in Nigeria, it’s a socio- ethnic organization that was formed to protect the interests of the south west Yoruba people of Nigeria and honestly in all of the times I started paying keen attention to happenings in the Nigerian polity for my personal development, they have come off to me as people who are lazy and narcissistic about knowledge to the extent that they feel every other tribe or region of the country is inferior to them in terms of rights to belong and expression of opinions. Otherwise, how could an association be consistent with churning out demands that are undemocratic in nature.
They association is made up of individuals from the first republic and majority of whom have participated all through to the first and second terms of the current democratic dispensation. Majority of them live in high brow areas of lagos and owing large businesses and private learning institutions, I don’t want to go into how they might have amassed such wealth but their determination to ensure Nigeria seizes to exist in its current configuration leaves a lot to wonder considering that they were part of the major beneficiaries of it. It could be likened to a Hausa adage that translates ‘you eat the bread and want to tear the package of it’. This is certainly not the way to go and some of us who are coming up with a zeal to see things done differently will highlight some of these anomalies.
Just recently, the owner of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti came up to request President Buhari to not conduct the 2023 elections but rather appoint them as members of an interim government so they can decide what I don’t understand. The entire Afenifere association followed that up by requesting for a government of a national unity to midwife the emergence of a next government for the country. In all of their requests, what will always fascinate one is the mode with which they wish to form these interim arrangements, there is clear intent of the nominations to be them so they could formulate what they were not able to do when they held sway as critical members of Nigerias existence from independence till date.
They will completely act ignorant of the existence of a National Assembly when making their requests and that hurts a lot. Some of us who have under studied these processes wonder why they can’t simply sponsor candidates into the chambers and effect whatever changes they are desirous of, such makes their actions suspicious and smacks of laziness and attempt to intimidate others into accepting their shortcut methods into prominence. If such strategy had worked for them in the past , simple critical thinking should tell them it won’t fly anymore because of changed times, only a person who is opportunistic and not realistically smart will not recognize that as times change, strategies should also change.
But in all of it, I was able to deduce that the actions are not unconnected with the 2023 presidency. I had analyzed in several of the articles that it was imminent power was returning to the north as that was the only strategy left for PDP to return to power and APC would not want to give that up so they would follow suit. These elders have sensed that and instead of putting up their strategy caps to see how to counter the matter which was borne of out the north’s mastery in the game as well as a homogeneity in a large population that had been borne out of cultural and religious needs, they resort to an attempt to utilize this method that had been dangled severally and is known to fail at the first instance even by their kinsmen who are presently a part of the establishment in all of the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. They consider it their time to serve and why would anyone who had enjoyed their time and established enough to protect their upcoming generations want to truncate such opportunity albeit selfishly for that matter.
Therefore, my candid advise to these elder statesmen as they ought to be is for them to utilize the times they have left to acquire the necessary goodwill and build the required bridges that they had not established before which could have ensured their place for a seat on the negotiation table. As it is now, the table is full with people from all the creed who are willing to damn their kinsmen as long as they are promised a slice of the cake.
Strategy wins always!
Let me refresh your minds to my November , 2021 article which I had tagged ‘Underrate Atiku at your Peril’ and which can be found here https://politicsdigest.ng/underrate-atiku-your-peril/. In the article, I had called the APC’s attention of the dangers that Atiku’s imminent emergence under the PDP will cost them and I had advised them to be cautious of it by putting up their thinking caps and ensuring they match the PDP strategy for strategy. Well, they seem to have heard my advise and the National Chairman stated last week while granting an interview that the issue of zoning had not been decided on yet. Such comments set tongues wagging to the extent that the real stories had started to emerge due to expediences.
Party leaders and opinion molders in the APC who all spoke on condition of anonymity stated rightly that for strategy sake as well as the need to keep power at all cost, it was time to cede the APC presidential ticket to the north considering that it was imminent PDP was going that way. The news got so strong that governor Akeredolu of Ondo state had to come out in his half clever way to make a comment and threaten the APC against any such action and some of us would wonder when politics became too cheap that it was about speaking up from one corner rather than building the necessary goodwill and bridges necessary to bring the votes which APC desperately needs at the moment and which all of them including Akeredolu know where they can be gotten, The North.
Consequently, names had started to drop from last week with the first been Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President and in all honesty and with much respect, I knew that would be difficult to fly because he is not governor, never been and not of the trio of Hausa, Fulani or Kanuri tribes who basically control the north and don’t easily give up that stronghold of the power base in the region. Have you ever wondered why no one outside the Kanuri tribe has ever being governor in the duo of Yobe and Borno states? It’s deliberate, it’s a dynasty thing, you can’t beat it and that is why no one has ever thought of any likelihood of Ahmed Lawan becoming a governor in Yobe State. He became Senate President out of APC’s desperation to correct the anomaly they created in 2015 and the rest is history.
Finally, just yesterday, perhaps the real game changer’s name dropped and it was non other than Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the current governor of Jigawa State. The man had simply been a silent strategists whom all underrated but he’ll always come out on top, how he does it I don’t know honestly. He had quietly proven to keen observers to be the strongest governor in this dispensation. He had taken the party and got a stronghold of it and just when things were about to go out of hand, he redirected the party and conducted a Congress that produced party executives with no rancor and almost all positions were filled on consensus basis, it only takes a political wizardry to achieve such feat rancor free.
While Badaru had silently displayed all of the above described political mastery, it’s natural in life that things don’t go unnoticed and when the chips get down, reality dawns and the most sellable of the options available is turned to in order that everyone gets saved and everyone moves United as a family while all interest are intact and protected. Badaru has demonstrated capacity to protect interests because it was only such that guaranteed his being able to single-handedly maneuver the APC party to its current stable state. He has equally proven to be a unifier owing to how he awesomely kept his state off any headache of insecurity, chaos, political rascality or excess poverty. He ran an all inclusive government to the extent that today in Jigawa State, it what’s he says or nothing, that’s Leadership!
Todays column may not be enough time to delve into his developmental strides in the state because we’re more about party politics now and his major selling points have been highlighted above, in fact they are overboard, they even come off as the most needed qualities Nigeria’s next president should poses at the moment. In the event that he emerges the flag-bearer, we’ll throw our flashlights into his developmental strides especially in Agriculture and juxtapose them with the above stated qualities in order to make a meaning of them.
Interesting times ahead.
2022 EID-EL-FITR: IN SEARCH OF COMPETENT, GENUINE AND PRACTICALLY FAITHFUL PATRIOTS FOR LEADERSHIP (A CASE STUDY OF KASHIFU, DG, NITDA) By Hashim Suleiman
For avoidance of sounding like a former state governor, who publicly stated that Nigeria’s woes are a result of the sins that the numerous citizenry committed, I wish to agree in another way but certainly not his own narrative and submission, little wonder he was not able to formulate critical strategy that could ensure his retaining the state even after serving eight years as governor with four of them as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors forum. He felt the victory was going to be sent from above miraculously, can’t remember when I saw or heard of any miracle happening anywhere in the current times, we however read of them during the prophetic times.
The only area where I could relate to his submission is the fact that apart from competence which must form the fulcrum of choices for leaders, we indeed need them be sound in faith and character and of-course not necessarily a faith that is lip based but one that has been practically demonstrated. I have observed with keen interest how there was heightened worship during this holy month with the mosques daily filled and the so much energy exhibited towards prayers even though I’m sure most will be for prosperity and perhaps national stability and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Sweet life is something everyone would crave.
However, what has been missing all along our years of intense prayers is genuine faith exhibited through character. How much have individuals contributed to the wellbeing and sanity of their brethren before seeking for God’s intervention and that way it becomes easy for God himself to intervene knowing certain virtues He appreciates have been adhered to and exhibited. The height of it is people who have never had any inkling with religion during their years of service automatically becoming clerics overnight for the sake of hoodwinking the voters for electoral victory. This purely smacks of hypocrisy and voting such kind of character deficient hypocrites will certainly come with nothing other than chaos and further retrogression.
These are the issues bedeviling us as a nation and issues that are requiring urgent intervention in order that meaningful progress was to be made in our nation. Isn’t it ironic how regardless of your intent to do good in leadership, it is always almost impossible to achieve? The fact is you get subdued by the sort of characters that you will surround yourself with and they will get you to eventually give up and righty so because it will be too late by the time you’ll recognize that’s if you have what it takes to do so. Any leaders first intent to genuinely succeed would first have to be the choice of people to surround self with.
Let me use the case study of Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency to buttress my point. I met the young technocrat in the line of street hustle and his character was enough to melt me into recognizing I had met a different breed from the everyday people I meet. And to also show you Prof Pantami was one of those who pays apt attention to succeeding, he first brought him close as his aide and finally recommended him for the post of the Director General of same Agency. The success that resulted this amazing combination of competence, faith and character is there for anybody to see through NITDA and Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy or through my several articles on the duo.
Furthermore, apart from my 2015 open letter article to Badaru Talamiz, the executive governor of Jigawa State, I had not followed up so much on his governance considering that he had vindicated the letter by appointing and empowering as much youths to help steer the affairs of the state with him, he finally knocked me off when through his several interviews where he had revealed the sort of individual he wanted to succeed him as governor. He mentioned characters like competence, faithfulness, humility, patriotism amongst others and lately rumors started to trickle that such choice had been narrowed down to Kashifu Inuwa and I said he was indeed deserving of my standing ovation because he had just set the state on the path of genuine progress because the man in question embodies all the characters he itemized and he had exemplified them at NITDA and before.
Consequently, in the spirit of the just concluded Ramadan and the celebration of the Eid, it was expedient to reecho the fact that Nigeria requires more and more genuinely faithful and competent individuals to steer affairs of state so meaningful progress would be achieved with assurances of sustainability too.
Eid Mubarak Nigeria
It sometimes make me wonder how lessons are just not heeded to in this country. Could it be why some people believe Nigerians forget things to early to the extent that such assertion has become more of a cliché. I could actually believe so considering how much the APC had early into their administration forgotten practically all the lessons that should have been learnt from the mistakes of the PDP and today we have come round to people debating more for a repetition of those mistakes even though the PDP appears a little more wary about them.
We have just come from the conduct of the APC national convention where the attempts at a consensus for the national chairman almost tore the party apart but for the immense fear and respect that the party governors and big wigs have for the president and in fact the much that has been tolerated from the party and government by party faithfuls is as a result of that respect and deferment. While all of it have been enjoyed by Buhari and the beneficiaries of it, it may not last up to the presidential primaries when the suppressed effects of the past will combine with the resultant ones from an attempt to foist a presidential candidate and finally bury the APC as a party.
This matter needs to be echoed because it’s evident that the managers of the party or rather the managers of Buhari have become totally comfortable and complacent over how easily Buhari’s instructions are heeded to regarding some of these issues around consensuses and impositions and they assume every instruction of Buhari will just be sailing through even without appropriate consultations. Their inertia is deep enough not to even let them see the little trembling that resulted from the consensus processes leading to the selection of the national working committee of the APC. From the cutting short of presidential trips, to counter letters from within and abroad and culminating in tears and reluctance of candidates to accept outcomes on the stage of the convention. If all these are not indication of buried landlines waiting to be stepped on, then I don’t know what could ever be more.
While some members of the PDP who have learnt lessons from the past are insisting on an open contests to clinch party tickets, the incurable lazy ones who have refused to learn any lessons and insist on the ways of the past are championing zoning as a way to bring back imposition through the back door. These people must be resisted for the sake of Nigeria’s democracy. Once the major fabrics of the democracy which are the political parties are destroyed, what are we going to have left again. This will only take the clock backwards to pre ’99 when all the work about building a formidable democracy will have to be started again, little wonder why the National Assembly in its wisdom initially submitted an amended electoral act containing only direct primaries as a means of nomination of candidates by political parties. However, as usual those lazy politicians who would always want to use privileges to advance their selfish agenda worked to truncate such provisions by ensuring that their most potent tools of indirect primaries and consensus was introduced.
That thing that is most dangerous with all these consensus and imposition is that it has even permeated our everyday life. People have no regard for competence and competitions anymore, everyone wants to create shortcuts or having their way out of everything. From work places to business environment and voluntary unions and associations. You’ll always see how people would unconsciously begin to mobilize towards truncating any competitive process using their privileged positions and because most of the people at the helm also emerged through same shortcuts, they mostly don’t have enough intellect or wherewithal to understand the effects of these things and even when they do, no guts to say no to them.
The 2023 elections are fast approaching and majority of the candidates from all the parties just want to be endorsed and affirmed. They are busy rallying around principals and waiting for endorsements while all others who have worked all their lives to gather enough goodwill as competitive edge must be jettisoned and schemed out. This can never be good for democracy, thankfully though, the National Assembly has introduced a caveat to consensus by saying all candidates must put in writing their acceptances to the consensus arrangement. One could say this is a little deviation from total imposition but we could do better.
Finally, this is an advisory to all contestants and political parties to recognize that we must truncate the culture of imposition before it kills us as a people. The culture of hard-work and completion is daily giving way for these short cuts and we must work to put an end to them for the sake of the survival of our democracy and the society in general.
When all the hullabaloo about the expectation of a declaration for the presidency by Prof Osinbajo rented the air months back, one would assume that the eventual coming to light of it will shake the land through the advent of some A-Class strategies and strategists. However, the entire event was far from expectation, perhaps as a result of the sort of individuals that were involved in it. One wouldn’t have expected anything more from the sort of individuals that featured in the entire Osinbajo programme.
The only critical contributors to the entire Osinbajo agenda was Channels Television, who deliberately first aired the recorded video of the declaration as well as following up on all the rented crowds from certain states and claiming it was a spontaneous celebration. These guys couldn’t have thought us what a spontaneous celebration would look like when we are just coming from a Buharinomia of which they themselves are major beneficiaries of. Spontaneous celebrants don’t carry placards, they invade runways and close down streets.
In all honestly, it is not this event that made me started to doubt the Professors ability to make critical recruitments. I had always wondered how a Laolu Akande would be a spokesperson to a cerebral person like Yemi Osinbajo. He lacks depth and originality whenever he’s meant to defend his principal, he always dodges critical debates. The only recruitment I had liked that the Prof did was that of Ajuri Ngelale and the guy too is too formal for Nigeria’s rugged sake. Which other Osinbajo’s recruit demonstrated the much needed street credential that the Jagaban Borgu has brought on board all these while.
Akinwunmi Ambode also attempted to outshine the master at that time. We all also thought he had his game tight and was just going to pull it through. Unfortunately, it was as empty as box of shreds. He fell like a fallen tree which has not even started to develop any roots nor develop any fruits.
We all also recall how Babatunde Fashola left Governor and totally lost touch with politics and mobilization. He became more of a technocrat that was just good at getting the job done using the bureaucracy but not recruiting any street smart people to mobilize and form a movement. This is why even though Buhari ponders making him a presidential flag bearer, he just hasn’t demonstrated enough political sagacity to encourage such thought. It’s all in your ability to make critical recruitments folks.
There’s no need to waste time talking about Lai Mohammed who only stylishly jumped on the O-to-Ge movement but has since found it difficult to prove it was his idea or that he was fully in charge of it. Little wonder why Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stayed put and paying the appropriate dues of loyalty.
All of these have proved a simple point that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains the best recruit of men who could get the job done and even though he has empowered them enough to be able to form their own dynasties, they have simply failed at it and at this point we all don’t have a choice but to drop the cap and salute the Jagaban of Borgu.
Much respect Sir!