THE situation of our country today, the condition of the president and the intervening variables in the form of our political actors demand that we help President Muhammadu Buhari, if he is to succeed. Whatever we have done with our past are building blocks and serve as direction to the way forward.
The Holy book says that ‘I have given you the path to life and the path to death; choose one’.
That is the choice we are faced with as a nation. The path we have taken since the country attained independence in 1960 has led us to a dead end, it is time to chart a new course, the path to life. At no time is the nation poised to do this than now. We lost the opportunity when President Olusegun Obasanjo came in 1999. The goodwill was enormous, the military had voluntarily agreed to go back to the barracks, with a president that has experienced the lowest and the highest points in life, having spent four good years in prison, a lot was expected but what did we get?
Not quite one month in office, signs of manipulation, scheming and manoeuvres started manifesting. People were put into offices in undemocratic fashion and that highlighted the beginning of corruption in the new republic; from the National Assembly to the ruling party, Peoples. Democratic Party, PDP, and this endemic corruption had remained in successive PDP governments until they were voted out in the elections of 2015.
Another opportunity has come through the election of President Buhari, he must not fall into the temptations of the past. Pastor Tunde Bakare in his ‘Moment of Truth’ television programme said that “every time there is a chance, an opportunity presents itself to make a choice, once that choice is made, consequences follow”. Presidential power is a very powerful instrument. It can be used either for good or evil. It determines the direction the nation is heading to, whether it progresses or remains stagnated. Therefore, the holder of that position must dispense it with a great sense of humility, knowing that any mistake can affect the lives of millions. Much as the direction to take is his, the president cannot succeed in any path he chooses to take without the support of the people.
As it is presently, the dynamics of our democracy is already taking shape, direction and range. So many circumstances have made change become inevitable; technology, education, religion and so on. The foundation has been laid for change. It is now left for the leader to ride it. It must not be by force, but in partnership with the people, that is why we must move on.
How do we move on? We must allow the dynamics of the system to correct itself. The structures and institutions to run the system successfully are already in place. It only failed to work because the needed leadership to drive success was not given. Even without much prompting, the institutions are beginning to work again, mainly the EFCC and other security agencies.
High profile personalities – Sule Lamido and sons, Murtala Nyako, Timiipre Sylva and a host of others are now being docked and many more – Steve Oronsaye for instance is getting ready to join them. One has it under good authority that the engineers at the NNPC have resolved to make our refineries function and we are gradually seeing the restoration of electricity supply here and there.
It is our belief that President Buhari will give us that. The target of focus must now be directed at our civil service, if the corruption in the civil service is not adequately addressed, all efforts would have been wasted. The picture that I am trying to paint here is that we allow president Buhari to concentrate on giving the nation a good direction without too much dislocation to the system through unnecessary political interference, as the politicians can really cause one to derail.
A major plank of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s success in governing Lagos was his ability to separate politics from governance. He allowed Sen. Ahmed Tinubu to do the political runs while he concentrated on governance. Other governors who tried to combine both did not achieve much as they were embroiled in endless controversies. Once a president has been elected, he becomes the leader of all – irrespective of party, ethnic, tribal, religion or indeed any other factor, his loyalty cuts far beyond party considerations. For Buhari to succeed therefore, the party should allow him to concentrate on governance and remove all trivial matters from his job schedule and appointments.
The party must realise now that at his age, Buhari should not be jumping about on every issue but to concentrate on providing lasting projects. The activities of politicians can really make a government to lose focus and this we should not allow to happen with the Buhari’s administration. That is why he must not be dragged into the National Assembly brouhaha. If the party cannot resolve it amicably, it should be left to the National Assembly.
They all represent various competing and complementary interest that is why whether by fact or law, they are not bound to agree on all matters that are brought before them, including the selection of their leaders.
They should be left alone to make their choice. Majority of law makers are from the ruling APC party and will not deliberately shoot down their party programme unless it is anti people or against their constituency interest. It is not compulsory that they agree, the APC’s leadership must note this, sentiments are cast aside immediately elections are over and real governance begins. It is incumbent on Buhari to run a progressive and people friendly government, so that his requests and bills go through the National Assembly without undue opposition, that is what we expect. Meanwhile, the politicians must sheath their sword and allow the people elected to concentrate on their job.
Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, writes from Lagos

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