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Nigeria After Buhari By Ben Lawrence

President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election is a challenge for him to immortalise himself in this home stretch of his active political life.

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He must draw from the same pool as Nnamdi Azikiwe, ObafemiAwolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano, Yakubu Gowon, Samuel Ogbemudia, MichaelOkpara, Lateef Jakande, Tony Enahoro, Emeka Ojukwu and a few others whoconsidered the public weal more important than self-enrichment. They displayedvalues that bought the general trust of the people. And they were ready to paythe cost for us to follow them.

One has been thinking of Nigeria after Buhari’s era and onehas come almost to nowhere for a successor with grand qualities of selflessnessthat command public appreciation. These qualities are not purchasable oracquired overnight. That is what Atiku Abubakar does not know.

Leadership comes from self-respect, trust-worthiness, andability to manage disparate forces, vision for overall public good and areadiness to pay any price, even supreme, for a genuine general cause. That waswhat the votes cast for Buhari in the just-concluded election translate to,judging by his meeting the constitutionally stipulated one-quarter in almostall the states of the federation.

If you cast your net into the sea of political waters, calmor troubled, now, you hardly can catch any fish like Buhari or any of thoseleaders we had in the past.

One beamed one’s satellite across the southern part ofNigeria and came to a void. There are no young people of 60 years downwardswith original or articulate political ideas here. Everything is America, WorldBank, democracy or some nebulous economic doctrine hawked by the West, butwhose time has passed.

Yet, we have everything to build a powerful, healthy nationswarming with high quality manpower and an infrastructure that can standimmeasurable estimation. The north still has some articulate persons of thatage group. See the comments of some so-called political pundits in the closingyears of this tenure and you find hacks and empty writers.

They did nothing but to harp on Hausa-Fulani or unfoundedreligious conspiracy.

One tires of hearing people talk of America and democracy.We used to mock the Yankees about their system in our active political life ofthe 1950s to the 1990s. The Nigerian politician then was more informed aboutthe world than any American colleague. That was why when we drafted theindependence constitution; it was typically Nigerian because it cared for ourmulti-ethnic forces.

What is democracy that does not take into account how thepeople should co-exist in a plural society?

In those days, we appreciated the social conscience of theNordic peoples, the freedom of the French people and the self-respect of theEnglish. People like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah should realize that democracyhas no one definition because it changes from one country to the other.

Well, why Buhari should be congratulated on trying to rescueNigeria so far from the political, philosophical and economic abyss she wasplunged by visionless, reckless and corrupt politicians that wasted her plentyfor 16 years, he will need to act differently in some areas of his crusade. Heshould form holding companies to distribute power now. Revoke the contracts ofthe DISCOS – they don’t have the knowledge, management and expertise to deliverpower for aggressive industrialization.

Change the governor of the Central Bank and acquire one withmore original and pragmatic ideas, not this buying and selling of FOREX.

Buhari was oil minister before. For God sake where did heget this disciple of constant and endless hikes of petroleum prices in acountry overflowing with crude oil?

He needs more Audu Ogbehs, Ogbonaiya Onus, Godfrey Onyeamasand Kayode Fayemis. Try Babatunde Fashola elsewhere because his resourcefulnessis suspect for power delivery.

Buhari should mobilise Nigerians to do things for themselvesand look inwards for their salvation. We have all the resources and we shouldnot be a dumping ground of foreign goods, ideas and cultures.

Buhari should be prepared to offend those who ride roughshodour public till, salting our resources out to develop already successfuleconomies.

Talking of political articulation, it is a sad commentaryfor the indifference of the young Yoruba in Lagos. Where is their future? Dothey think politics is for Up National alone? Or is it because of the absenceof leadership with vision locally? They were playing football when every Igboin Lagos was queuing to vote.

One has been thinking of Nigeria afterBuhari’s era and one has come almost to nowhere for a successor with grandqualities of selflessness that command public appreciation

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