Mandate of the plebeians
“People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible” – US Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.
DEAR President-Elect, a word of admonition. The road ahead is tough. People are going to be impatient, remember you are their servant and you should understand their plight. But, beware of praise singers, come not near religious bigots, have an eye with AGIP (Any Government in Power), and remember they all love thee not. Nigeria has been hemorrhaged by corruption. Nigerians will appreciate you if you can send a bill to the National Assembly to slash the stupendous salaries of our lawmakers. I assure you that Nigerians will support you in this direction. It is high time our lawmakers served, not to be served, with ostentatious lifestyles. Your government should make Abuja unattractive to political entrepreneurs in this new political dispensation.
Lead us to make Nigeria the destination for investments, tourism and a hub of attractions to the international community. Nigeria is endowed with untapped potentials (human and material) and these potentials are the envy of the international community. Lead us to use our sense of imagination to explore and unleash these potentials to the benefit of all. However, the America the world respects today has its treasure hidden in its diversity, sense of purpose, imagination and possibility.
As a bonafide citizen of America and the true “son of the soil” of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, my experience as a stakeholder in the greatness and security of America gives me hope that the two countries share common greatness in human resources and diversity. Why does the world adore American exceptionalism? Because their forefathers did not labour in vain as their leaders past and present respect the constitution and relentlessly continue to create an egalitarian society for present and future generation. We discern these qualities in you as a leader with strong belief in your country’s greatness. Your antecedents in firmness, fairness and consistency depict the discipline in you as a true genius and the mind of a leader.
As you lead us on the road to recovery, all of us will be part of the change. Irrespective of our party affiliations, Nigeria is a winner and we are all stakeholders in its greatness. We the people are also winners. We may differ in tongues, religion and tribes, but in brotherhood, we stand. We can surely come together to build a strong united Nigeria.
As you begin to govern us and not to rule us, as you begin to serve us, not to serve you, we will follow you in your quest to build bridges; jettison our sentiments and form an inclusive government of the people devoid of corruption and unleash our potentials to build an egalitarian society, a Nigerian society where we all share common prosperity imbued in its greatness.
Lee Kuan Yew, father of Singapore (1923-2015) did for Singaporeans what your election signifies for Nigeria. Lee, as an envisioned leader, is recognized as the disciplined founding father of independent Singapore with the country being described as transitioning from the “third world to the first world in a single generation” under his transformational leadership. He was maligned and confronted with phantom, baseless allegations.
Lee, just like you, authored his own responsibility to the people. He remained focused with vision and mission of a new Singapore. Singaporeans are among the happiest people on the face of the earth and Lee sacrificed himself for a new Singapore. You share and epitomize the mind of Lee and his exemplified leadership to his people.
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, our message to you as our providential President-elect, is to remain focused and consistent in your unquestionable and incorruptible persona. You should surround yourself with patriotic Nigerians who have unblemished and dependable credentials.
Your mandate is the mandate of the plebeians who have been the beneficiary of the brutish, short and nasty lives in Nigeria. Your government should begin to provide basic amenities – good roads, constant and uninterrupted power supply, potable water, security of lives and property, good governance – all these are engines of growth and development. You and your team should urgently go to the drawing board to begin to actualize all these for the people. The road ahead is undoubtedly tough and challenging, but you can lead us to our dreamland. The owners of your mandate have been the vulnerable and the hapless Nigerians whose wealth is flaunted to them in the midst of plenty.
In the words of an anonymous famous disabled American athlete at the Olympic: “After the rain comes sunshine; after darkness comes the glorious dawn. There is no sorrow without its alloy of joy; there is no joy without its admixture of sorrow. Behind the ugly terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity. So tear the mask!”
As we are tearing the mask of pessimism, hopelessness and darkness and joining the road to our dreamland, the trust millions of us reposed in you is unblemished, and we will work with you to imprint your name and legacy in the history of Nigeria and the world. Your disposition and indefatigability before and throughout the period of the mundane campaigns epitomize you as a true leader, and you will soon join your contemporaries who are shaping the world for the common good of humanity.
We congratulate your political opponent, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for making history. The President heeded the advice of concerned world leaders. He avoided our repetitious and ugly past and the burden of history to save many lives. History will forever smile at him for respecting the wishes, expectations and aspirations of all Nigerians. We are all winners.
God bless you Sir as you mount the mantle of leadership of our great nation and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
• Balogun sent the piece from Arizona, USA.