THE WORLD had barely settled down to
the reality of Brexit when Donald Trump
trounced Hillary Clinton to clinch victory in
an election that would eventually shame the
power of opinion polls. Trump purportedly
played a fast one on unsuspecting Americans
and the world was left to grapple with ‘Trump
Trauma’.
A few weeks after, Fidel Castro was
done with the wildness of this world and
the world, with the exception of those
who felt threatened by his Marxist-Leninist
disposition, mourned the passing of a great
humanist. Along the line, Yahya Jammeh
trampled on our democratic psyche and that
tragically revived memories of sit-tightism
that has all along been the bane of our
Africanness.
Elsewhere in Europe, Italy stunned the
world with a referendum which, though
looked and sounded marginal in shape and
size, has in all the important ways changed
the face of global politics. And, uninterested
in being uncounted, Nigeria continues to
grapple with recession even as economic
juggernauts catwalk excuses!
Indeed, the global village is in a mess and
all eyes can see it! Nations are waging wars
against nations! Sicknesses and diseases are
defying medical prescriptions! Conflicts,
endless droughts, hunger and deprivations
are separating us from our journey and it is
as if signs of the end times are already staring
us in the face.
With special focus on Nigeria, that our dear
country is experiencing a siege/revolution is
no longer news! Willingly or by happenstance,
the town is tough while the glory of the
gown is tormented. In addition to the global
uncertainty which has shaken Nigeria to her
foundation, politics, not policy, threatens her
existence and it is as if godly minds have eloped
with their prudent counsels. Like a steeringless
vehicle, inflation has got to an unbearable
level and it is as if those witches and wizards of
military-era Nigeria are back at work! To make
matters worse, Africa’s foremost giant, which
has the world’s 10th biggest oil reserves, now has
more than 60 per cent of her people living on less
than $1 a day. In 2016, unemployment rose from
12.1 per cent in the first quarter to 13.3 per cent in
the second quarter. Only God knows where it
now stands!
Truth be told, events of the last few months
have again compelled bewildered Nigerians
to debate the particular nature of the ‘change’
they voted for! Of considerable worry is their
inability to discern whether or not the events of
March 28, 2015 were destined to take Nigeria
to her Promised Land or Muhammadu Buhari
was merely ordained to be Nigeria’s Moses. For
God’s sake, why is a bag of rice, which sold for
N7,500.00 in December 2015, now selling at more
than twice that price, and how come less than 500
people are sitting on not less than 20% of Nigeria’s
2017 budget, all in the name of constituency and
other meaningless projects?
Widening the scope of our worries, why has
Cuba, in spite of her travails, become a socioeconomic
success while Nigeria, despite its
touted giantness, continues to look Northwards,
not inwards, for succour? All said, will Nigeria
get out of this miasma unbowed and where lies
the road to comfort?
An Igbo proverb says: “you don’t need a
mirror to see what you are wearing on your
hand”. Agreed! The times are quite unusual. But,
Nigerians have to work together for their teeth to
chew the meat! Bola Tinubu struck the right chord
when he urged the government to “re-engineer
the economy bottom up, diversify the economic
base, strengthen our industrial base, modernize
infrastructure, enhance agriculture, provide
employment and, of course, improve ease of
doing business.” It is interesting to note that
Buhari has been there before. Therefore, that he
knows what to do to navigate the country out of
economic turbulence is not in doubt. But, he has
to act fast and the earlier he does this, the better
for the ruling party and this fractured microcosm.
Assuming that government at the centre is
currently moving beyond sharing our pains
to making genuine efforts at restoring Nigeria’s
political and economic credibility, keying into
Osun State’s ‘government unusual’ which has
made the business of governing and growing
the state an exciting experience will not be out
of place. With its adoption of some of the state’s
initiatives like the School Feeding, Elderly
Welfare and Youth Empowerment schemes,
Nigerians will agree with me that the Federal
Government is on the right track. But, more
still needs to be done, especially, in the area of
massive infrastructure development, if it must
deliver on the promised dividends of democracy
to the citizenry soon. The president must come to
terms, not only with the details and the intricacies
of ‘cash’ in the people’s “pockets and food in their
belly” but also the basics of the “promises of a
brighter future.” After all, a naked man does not
put his hands in his pocket.
Platitudes aside, for any country in the world
to develop, the socio-economic benefits of good
road network can never be overemphasized.
Apart from getting people, markets, services and
knowledge connected, it is also advantageous
in the economic growth of the society. Osun
has demonstrated the impactful interaction
between the state’s economic development and
the sufficiency and quality of its road network.
Therefore, it is time Buhari rose to the task of
Interpreting the ‘change’ we voted for
tapping from this wonderful experience
that has turned the state into ‘a permanent
construction site’.
Again, this is where those who are accusing
the governor of wasting resources on the
construction of an airport have also missed it.
As a matter of fact, there are a lot of benefits
derivable from an initiative as laudable
as this. Among them are speed, reliability,
rapid delivery of medical supplies as well
as efficiency in connection of markets across
states, countries and continents. Statistics
reveal that no lower than 35% of world
trade by value is transported by air. In 2013
alone, about 49.3 million tons of freight were
handled by air.
As we know, Osun State is adjoined by not
less than five other states: Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun,
Akure and Kwara. At a time like this when
the state is putting its trust in diversification,
a cargo airport will in no small way add to its
income generation capacity.
Buhari will be doing progressive governance
a lot of good by learning some useful tips
along this line from Osun State. Education,
Agriculture and Security are some other
important areas where I am optimistic the
Federal Government can effectively partner
the state in order to meaningfully impact the
lives of Nigerians.
Warren Buffet made a strong statement
when he remarked that no one gets credit for
predicting rain but for building the ark. In
other words, how Buhari goes about fulfilling
his election promises to Nigerians will go a
long way in determining how posterity will
remember him

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