Nigeria After Buhari By Ben Lawrence

President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election is a challenge for him to immortalise himself in this home stretch of his active political life.

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He must draw from the same pool as Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano, Yakubu Gowon, Samuel Ogbemudia, Michael Okpara, Lateef Jakande, Tony Enahoro, Emeka Ojukwu and a few others who considered the public weal more important than self-enrichment. They displayed values that bought the general trust of the people. And they were ready to pay the cost for us to follow them.

One has been thinking of Nigeria after Buhari’s era and one has come almost to nowhere for a successor with grand qualities of selflessness that command public appreciation. These qualities are not purchasable or acquired overnight. That is what Atiku Abubakar does not know.

Leadership comes from self-respect, trust-worthiness, and ability to manage disparate forces, vision for overall public good and a readiness to pay any price, even supreme, for a genuine general cause. That was what the votes cast for Buhari in the just-concluded election translate to, judging by his meeting the constitutionally stipulated one-quarter in almost all the states of the federation.

If you cast your net into the sea of political waters, calm or troubled, now, you hardly can catch any fish like Buhari or any of those leaders we had in the past.

One beamed one’s satellite across the southern part of Nigeria and came to a void. There are no young people of 60 years downwards with original or articulate political ideas here. Everything is America, World Bank, democracy or some nebulous economic doctrine hawked by the West, but whose time has passed.

Yet, we have everything to build a powerful, healthy nation swarming with high quality manpower and an infrastructure that can stand immeasurable estimation. The north still has some articulate persons of that age group. See the comments of some so-called political pundits in the closing years of this tenure and you find hacks and empty writers.

They did nothing but to harp on Hausa-Fulani or unfounded religious conspiracy.

One tires of hearing people talk of America and democracy. We used to mock the Yankees about their system in our active political life of the 1950s to the 1990s. The Nigerian politician then was more informed about the world than any American colleague. That was why when we drafted the independence constitution; it was typically Nigerian because it cared for our multi-ethnic forces.

What is democracy that does not take into account how the people should co-exist in a plural society?

In those days, we appreciated the social conscience of the Nordic peoples, the freedom of the French people and the self-respect of the English. People like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah should realize that democracy has no one definition because it changes from one country to the other.

Well, why Buhari should be congratulated on trying to rescue Nigeria so far from the political, philosophical and economic abyss she was plunged by visionless, reckless and corrupt politicians that wasted her plenty for 16 years, he will need to act differently in some areas of his crusade. He should form holding companies to distribute power now. Revoke the contracts of the DISCOS – they don’t have the knowledge, management and expertise to deliver power for aggressive industrialization.

Change the governor of the Central Bank and acquire one with more original and pragmatic ideas, not this buying and selling of FOREX.

Buhari was oil minister before. For God sake where did he get this disciple of constant and endless hikes of petroleum prices in a country overflowing with crude oil?

He needs more Audu Ogbehs, Ogbonaiya Onus, Godfrey Onyeamas and Kayode Fayemis. Try Babatunde Fashola elsewhere because his resourcefulness is suspect for power delivery.

Buhari should mobilise Nigerians to do things for themselves and look inwards for their salvation. We have all the resources and we should not be a dumping ground of foreign goods, ideas and cultures.

Buhari should be prepared to offend those who ride roughshod our public till, salting our resources out to develop already successful economies.

Talking of political articulation, it is a sad commentary for the indifference of the young Yoruba in Lagos. Where is their future? Do they think politics is for Up National alone? Or is it because of the absence of leadership with vision locally? They were playing football when every Igbo in Lagos was queuing to vote.

One has been thinking of Nigeria after Buhari’s era and one has come almost to nowhere for a successor with grand qualities of selflessness that command public appreciation

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