Open letter to President Buhari on second term in office
By Ayodele Fagbohun
Whilst avoiding sweet and pleasant preliminaries that always accompany letter writing, I humbly and respectfully beg to differ and go straight to the thrust of my discourse that revolves on good governance.
His Excellency must not lose focus that the vast majority of the electorate massively and fervidly re-elected you for the second and last term to improve upon your previous outing, make amends, re-strategize and to firmly consolidate on the gains already recorded and in the final analysis, accelerate the tempo of national progress, unity and stability on rectitude.
Without cultivating rectitudinous and positive change of heart to public and private business or enterprise, and failure to imbibe spontaneous ethical revolution towards national growth and development, without let or hindrance; fine policies and programmes enunciated by his governments (federal, state and local) towards national development goals, will be tantamount to mere sound and fury and not worth the papers on which they are written.
Your antecedents and pedigree in the commanding heights of the national economy as former governor, Minister of Petroleum and to cap it all, former Head of State though in a brief spell. As a person and senior official with an aversion to corruption, corrupt practices and to any form of malfeasance.
His Excellency is in the neighbourhood of 80 years old. This no doubt serves you in good stead to be unafraid as time is no longer in your favour. This is the right time to take far reaching decisions, take the bull by the horns; strike the iron pieces on the anvil where it is hottest for lasting impression by laying rock solid foundation for prosperous and united Nigeria, Where no political scaly wags will come and rubbish the country after your exit come 2023 and beyond.
As a dyed in the wool Fulani, your appearance as a shy and reticent personality should not be misconstrued as arrogance nor diffidence lacking self confidence. But in the endeavour of taking pains in clone study of the situation and thereafter take necessary plunge to reach the ultimate goal as an average Fulani herdsman as a good shepherd will not be stampeded into any rash decision. In a calculating, sure and dogged manner guide his flock to safe destination free from being killed in a terrorist ambush.
In the similar manner, His Excellency should take proactive measures, this time around and quickly nip in the bud all manner of challenges and problems that monstrous reptile try to swallow the nation.
His Excellency, it is tautological to say that corruption in the public office is the bane and nemesis of the economy. If not frontally attacked and destroyed at its root, it will rear the ugly head and destroy the corporate existence of the country before our very eyes, Sir. Corruption is hydra-headed monster that has refused to subside and recede away from the financial system of the nation.
The more we talk about the enormity of corrupt practices as impediment in the smooth running of the administration, the more the scape graces and their cohorts that pillaged the economy for 16 years under the auspices of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) continue to rationalize that you either have no clues to the nation’s multidimensional problems or your administration is not prepared for real governance. That your are out for political jamboree. Far from it.
His Excellency must go full throttle by marshalling required forces including executive powers to quickly within three months bring all the economic vampires that looted and stole government treasury blind to book.
The administration must, without further delay set up mobile courts in synergy with the ICPC and EFCC in bringing the looters and rogues to speedy trial.
The economy must be rejigged and overhauled; the recovered looted funds should be ploughed back to the economy for rejuvenation to grow agriculture, commerce, education and health in comatose.
His Excellency, this readily comes to mind the rationale behind the recent re-appointment of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for another term in office having not done much to bolster and strengthen the value of our currency that is fast depreciating in the world market.
However, I salute the courage of Godwin Emefiele for his confessional statement while appearing before the senate, about his failure and inability to uncover the intransigence of the unnamed economic saboteurs that thwarted his drive for economic recovery.
That excuse, His Excellency as flimsy and untenable should have disqualified Emefiele in an ideal senate and cost his re-appointment, and appointment to bring on board a new hand that keys into the pragmatic and drastic approach required to bail out the economy from the trough of quaquire and the attendant corruption euphemistically styled economic recession.
His Excellency will agree with the writer a staunch APC party man that there is urgent need to recharge the economy for optimal performance; to enhance the value of the naira and kobo bto compete favourably and even be at par with the US dollars and the British pound sterling. If we cannot with immediate effect go back to the pre -military era when our Nigerian currency and even the naira and kobo got more value and strength than the British pound and the so called American dollars that have recently usurped pre-eminent stage in the finance of the country.
Sir, with due respect, I make bold to submit that this scenario is the hangover of new colonialism and fascism that will not only hamstring our independence and sovereignty but miserably consign the nation’s economy perpetually on the apron string of American and other Europeans’ imperialism. It is food for thought.
What I am saying in essence, Your Excellency from the foregoing and person or group of persons that covertly or overtly moves to subvert and sabotage the laudable policy to revive the economy should be exposed and ruthlessly be deal with according to the extant laws of the land. Such a person or group are traitors; not be treated with kid gloves and dubbed a sacred cow as he latter no longer in existence in India.
It is the people and character that run and rule the nation. As the nation, deserves the type of government it gets, people of proven integrity, good and fair conduct and character driven by mission and nationalist fervor to transform the country into prosperous and more secured polity should come forward to the rescue of our nation from the strangle hold of unrepentant obdurate wicked and powerful oligarchy.
The entire country is the constituency of Mr. President Hence, His Excellency reserves the right and freedom to spread his tentacles across the country and choose the next cabinet san ethno religious and partisan political considerations on which the outgoing first term is severely criticized for lopsidedness on the selection of political functionaries in federal ministries, parastatals and agencies. The nation is quite endowed with the reservoir of personnel retired or still serving in the private sector, enlightened and committed to fastrack development in the nooks and crannies of the country.
I humbly recommend for His Excellency 60% from the political class and 40% astute technocrats of the progressive mould imbued with passion, and great vision in tandem with the zero tolerance for greed and corruption which is the trademark of your administration. Besides, the next cabinet should be compact to only reflect the six geo- political zones still in operation, should cut across various associations like the women and youth councils of Nigeria fully committed to the oneness of the nation and not impinged on violent ethno religious and parochial interests designed to polarize and divide the country.
In this connection, His Excellency must count himself lucky as destiny in its inscrutable manner beckons another rare opportunity on you Sir, to correct the monumental and fundament wrongs and to do what your erstwhile boss in the military, former Head of sSate and later elected president, General Olusegun Obasanjo undid to slow down the pace and even at some critical juncture halted the democratic progress and development of the country nascent democracy.
For General Obasanjo, as first elected president in the 4th Republic politics, he ought to have curtailed and reduced the excesses, and the financial squandermania, the voluptuous tendencies of the National Assembly now becoming an uphill task and albatross for the nation.
On the contrary, the ex-president, General Obasanjo gave vent to National Assembly members’ lasciviousness, profligacy in a reckless and brazen manner suggestive of giving Obasanjo soft landing for his dreamy and unconstitutional third term in office.
His Excellency, characterically is a thoughtful reserved personality given to laconic and quiet disposition and pronouncement in carrying out policies that will promote the corporate existence of the country.
The bottom line is this Sir, you must promptly deploy the human ingenuity and your nationalist credentials to set in motion necessary machinery for the restructuring of the country without further delay.
Happily and interestingly, a renown human rights’ activist, erudite lawyer and chieftain of All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Dr. Tunji Abayomi said if you, as president really wants to promote true federalism in Nigeria, there is need for a new constitution.
According to Dr. Tunji Abayomi, “It is not government that gives a nation a constitution. It is the constitution that gives a nation a government.”
His Excellency should strive hard and work with every ounce in his body amongst all genuine stakeholders of Nigeria’s project with a view to bequeathing worth legacy, leaving the country more virile united and prosperous than you have met it.
Lastly, His Excellency should as a matter of course be circumspect about the issue of local government which is purely constitutional lest the president run foul of the law and simultaneously be accused of running a unitary constitution under the false garb of federalism.
1999 constitution (as amended) expressly assigns state government and the legislature as the state organs having overriding influence on the local governments Federal government can only play advisory role and ensure through constitutional means that elected local governments are allowed to run its statutory terms without let or hindrance.
Besides, His Excellency has a lot to contend with and time is hard and precious, running out for your administration to dissipate much energy and time on issue outside your province outside your province (that can be tackled by other public functionaries in the state or local government) whilst other pressing and knotty subjects of great and national import like security, economy and administration crying to high heavens for justice.