By Yemi Adebowale
It seems President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t know that elections are over and it is time to start actualizing his promises. The first few days of a new President in office matter a great deal. Acting authoritatively within 24 hours of being sworn will send the right signal to all that he is ready to implement change. Buhari has already failed in this regard. He is supposed to hit the ground running considering the mirage of problems facing this nation. The new President simply hit the ground and sat down there. The cabal controlling Nigeria has already ringed him. He could not appoint a Secretary to the Federal Government, seven days after his inauguration. He could not even appoint a Chief of Staff. He is struggling with his list of ministers. So many interest groups within his ruling All Progressives Congress are holding him by the jugular. Ogbonnaya Onu and Rotimi Amaechi are battling for the position of SGF. Buhari should be reminded that a forward-looking leader like David Cameron of the United Kingdom announced his cabinet with 48 hours of emerging victorious.
Our dear Buhari could not even appoint a spokesman. He ended up appointing spokesmen. I have never heard of this in any sane society. He has Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu appointed as spokesmen just to satisfy diverse interest groups. Ever heard of leaders like Barack Obama or David Cameron operating with spokesmen? This is an agenda for chaos in the media management area.
I can’t understand why Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Barde and Army Chief, Kenneth Minimah are still in office. If we are talking about change and wiping out Boko Haram, the men in charge of the war’s Command and Control ought not to be in office by this time. Buhari obviously has no blueprint on how to handle Boko Haram. These bastards have killed over 300 people in the last seven days. The President has directed that the defence headquarters be moved to Maiduguri. There is clearly no sense in this. Buhari simply wants to jeopadise the Command and Control Centre. The United States did not move the Pentagon to the Gulf region during the Gulf war. Yet, they decapitated Iraqi forces. United Kingdom did not move its defence headquarters to the Falkland during the war with Argentina over the Falkland. Buhari’s directive is an archaic military strategy. This is obviously unnecessary in modern warfare. Obviously, our dear President has no blueprint for tackling the Boko Haram problem. All he did during the election was to excoriate Goodluck Jonathan’s security failure. He had no plans of his own.
The next thing the President did was to dash to Niger and Chad to talk to their leaders about curtailing Boko Haram. Yes, this would help in shortening trans-border terrorism. But how will this stop ongoing suicide bombings inside Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states by the blood-thirsty Boko Haram? The suicide bombers are obviously not crossing into the country from the neighbouring countries. They are within the country, manufacturing and using Improvised Explosive Devices. They are using petrol and gas cylinders, all obtained within the country, for suicide bombings. Intelligence gathering and technology are key to detecting and curtailing the deadly activities of these suicide bombers. We need to put our internal security in order before running to Chad and Niger republics.
I am also surprised that heads of failed government departments and agencies that have done collateral damages to this country are still in office eight days after Buhari’s inauguration. How can the leadership of the Customs and Excise still be in office by this time? Why should the leadership of the NNPC and the NERC still be in office? The leadership of the FIRS is still in office, yet we are talking about change. Change in this direction should come within 24 hours. We are still waiting for our dear President to act.
Buhari response to the power crisis in his inauguration speech was also appalling. How can the President say that, “careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.” So, the President did not do a thorough study of the power crisis and the way forward before campaigning to take over from Jonathan? So, the President has no blueprint on how to tackle the power crisis? So, Buhari is just about assembling a team to decide on what to do? That should have been in his bag already. It is part of what is called hitting the ground running in governance. I hope we have not entered a one chance bus? I guess that was why Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo sent him his own blueprint on the power crisis. My humble suggestion is for Buhari to quickly go after Atiku Abubakar and collect his comprehensive blueprint on how to tackle crisis in virtually all the sectors of our economy. A better-prepared Atiku commissioned a very reliable team to do this during his campaign for Presidency. But the APC painfully denied him their Presidential ticket. It is a pity that a well-prepared Atiku may never become the President of this country because we always celebrate mediocrity.
Buhari has also left many bemused by his refusal to make public his asset declaration. Garba Shehu said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has declared his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If anyone is interested in knowing details of his asset worth, such a person can avail himself or herself of the use of Freedom of Information Act to seek the information from the bureau.” What an insult. One of Buhari’s key campaign promises was public declaration of assets and liabilities. How can he now do this to Nigerians? Late President Umaru Yar’Adua made public his asset declaration after submitting to the Code of Conduct Bureau. Clearly, Buhari has something to hide. The National Secretary of the Labour Party, Kayode Ajulo was right when he accused the President of failing to keep the covenant he had with Nigerians to publish his assets publicly. Ajulo said: “The promise on the declaration of assets made to Nigerians was to woo voters. Now, the voters have fulfilled their part of the agreement. It is left for Buhari to fulfill the other part, failure of which is a clear violation of the social contract he had with millions of Nigerians.”
Now, the President has approval for 15 Special Advisers. What does he want to do with all these men? These Special Advisers will also have a retinue of special assistants. They will also need to maintain offices and vehicles. So, where is the belt tightening which our President promised in this scenario? On removal of fuel subsidy, Buhari is still shivering, eight days after inauguration. May Allah help Nigeria.
Culled from Thisday