Buhari’s appointments fair so far (2)
The bottom line we should be asking for is – in the 100 plus days of Buhari, is Nigeria working?
I know the Igbos are angry at what they describe as exclusion and a continuation of what they perceive as Nigeria’s hatred for Igbos since 1966. My reply is perhaps simple. Let them seek out an audience with Buhari to find out his mind set towards them. However, presuming that they are being excluded in appointments as they claim, were they not the first to play the exclusion game by calling APC an Awusa party and that it was the PDP that loved them the most.
They told us not to weep for them as they sided with Jonathan. I thought the Igbos claimed to be all knowing. So how come they do not know that politics, especially the presidential system is about “winner takes all”? Why do they want the “spoils of war”, a war they did not want to win anyway? Why are they eyeing the rest of us? Should they not be content with their choice in March 2015? Perhaps they would know how to be politically savvy and pragmatic in Nigeria the next time. Besides, they still long for Biafra. So why do they long for appointments inside Nigeria? How come they are not satisfied with being Secretary to Government and ministers in their dream Biafra?
Anyway for us still in Nigeria, what I think that should concern us all is – whatever choices Buhari makes whether in the heads of MDAs, or special advisers or in the next round of appointments or even the ministerial nominees, the bigger issues are that like the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Hassan Kukah advised, unending probes are distractions from governance. I agree that while probes should be ongoing, the economy – needs faster stimulus package, which in what is not Buhari’s tradition, should be driven by symbolisms and through the private sector. Because at the end of the day, puling the nation up in character, in morals, and values should also entail driving the economy up the slope anyhow he will do it. Attending to wasteful and thieving governors through a CBN bail out is rather a military perspective. The economy hangs on his shoulders. Where this is not being attended to with productivity, growth and investments (local and foreign), Nigerians will not stomach “discipline meals” for long. Food, the good life, security are all going to matter and urgently too.
The critical in all of these is to ask, is he, Buhari entrenching enduring values and legacies? Would a discipline culture and proper attitude he seems to emphasize, would they endure? Would the institutions he seems to be imbuing with new strong men and values, would we see new ethical behavior percolate and become the new norms, going forward or are we going back to the precipice in four years time or can we truly shout, Uhuru!! Amandla!! Victoria a certa!! at the end of his four years? These are my nagging worries. For unless an improved economy go pari-passu with this body language discipline, we are heading back to Golgotha. There must be an added function and impetus to the job of the National Orientation Agency. Their job seems cut out right now. They were never more needed than now.
What I expect of a Buhari’s Presidency is to focus on not this scorch earth policy 1983/1984 style of stagnation and probe, but a stimulus driven economy that is directed and reflated. A consciously driven and purposeful national orientation of a “good people, great nation”. Otherwise, he would soon sink in public estimation and perception. He may, by default thereby obliterate his name and legacies which would wipe off as an inscription on water. Where is DIFFRI? Where is SDP? Where is OFN? I caution therefore on his chosen thoughts and strategy, otherwise in a history class in five years time, the compulsory examination question would be – Who was Buhari?
Or put another way, if in five years time, Basket mouth was at a comedy performance and asked the same question, Who was Buhari, it could provoke a roaring laughter in the audience. And that would be a roaring pity.
•Abolo, a public affairs analyst, writes from Benin City