It is, perhaps comforting to know that Nigerians by and large get along with the electoral process. However, governments need to pay some attention to the wishes of their citizens. Major social disturbances, such as protests, shift public revenues and expenditures to new and heretofore unimagined levels.
As precursor, let me reiterate that I am not in any way envy the next president of the federal republic of Nigeria. So much work to be done. Fraction of it is bridging the distrust gap existing between government and the governed. Disinformation follow when there is apparent cluster in information gateway. No serious attention to social infrastructure. Often times, we see this lack of political will in resolving crises. Look at the needless logjam over naira notes swap. Information filtering in from different quarters, causing chaos in the country. Yet, no respite in sight. I do remember when our sitting president was abroad for routine medical check-up and our Vice President was standing in as acting president. He ordered the sack of DSS’s Director-General over infractions that could jeopardize security and integrity of the nation. This is pointer to the fact that it is possible for our political leaders to doing the right.
Who are the ‘cabals’ in Aso Villa bilking President Muhammadu Buhari? Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna state alluded to this in recent interview with the media. He should know better. Even advanced nations, especially, the United states of America, from whom we copy virtually everything, including pseudo federalism that we are practicing would never do anything threatening the peace and security of her citizens. A quick analogy:
More than four decades ago, President John F. Kennedy was pestered by his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, over the fact that there was a large sign directing drivers to the central intelligence Agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters. The attorney general saw this sign every day that he commuted to work and grew increasingly irked; he believed that its presence violated federal policy by advertising the address of the supersecret spy agency. After listening to intensifying complaints of his brother, President Kennedy ordered an aide to have the sign removed; the aide, in turn, directed the Interior Department to remove it. Nothing happened. A few days later, the president repeated his order.
Again, nothing happened. Aggravated by both the bureaucracy and his brother persistence, the president personally called the official in charge of the signs: ‘’ This is Jack Kennedy. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning. I want that sign down by the time the attorney general goes home tonight, and I’m holding you personally responsible.’’. The sign was removed and the president had learned a lesson: ‘’ I now understand that for a president to get something done in this country, he’s got to say it three times.’’
This scenario often play out in my dear country. However, the difference is lack of political will in following up. There is disconnect between our leaders and those saddle with the responsibility to carry out official orders. This, creating single narrative: that our leaders, especially, politicians, in this part of the world, are bad. The risk of the single story, the one perspective, is that it can lead us to default assumptions, conclusions and decisions that may be incomplete, and may lead to misunderstanding. Operating from the context of a single story can prevent us from a more complex, nuanced view of a situation.
The President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, already has his job cut out. He must prove to be effective. Effective leadership is one that is tailored to the situation, needs, and culture of the nation at the time. Therefore, this is the time in displaying his inherent sympathies with people are real and many of those policies of the current administration that are lacking public sympathies are regurgitated.
From research, what Nigerians: youth; elderly; East, North, South and West desire is simple: good governance. A leader who can meet up with their expectations, which are not tall orders. Nigeria is immensely endowed. The distinction between us and other prosperous countries is leadership. People are trooping out en masse to nations where their basic needs and aspirations could be met.
If the new President-Elect could reinvent the wheels and transform Nigeria, working in the area of economic well-being; posterity will never forget him. Now to the question: how do we address the growing distrust between our leaders and the led? How do the government earn public trust? The lack of confidence and distrust is so wide you can cut it with a knife. Most important, how do we change the single narrative that all our leaders are insincere in their social contract with the citizens.
Like him or loathe him, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would be remembered for making giant strides in our nation’s economy. Most conspicuous was GSM revolution. That maid guards, hawkers and others at the low income pyramid could own and communicate with phones at relatively low prices must be credited to him. If you ask many Nigerians, they would like the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, upon swearing- in, to focus on economic transformation and providing constant electricity, that would lead to even development. This is possible. God bless Nigeria.
Pastor Olakunle Yusuf, Lead Consultant, Above Media. He can be reached via 08023423396 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Reply