• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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The presidency Tinubu would have given us (2)

Tinubu’s silent and unreported achievements

I ended the first part of this article by asserting that Tinubu deliberately did not want to test the depth of a river by putting both legs into it simultaneously. He was bullish on tackling the economy, which is now causing more hardship to the poor masses. The second aspect is the high cost of governance and the lavish lifestyle of the political appointees.

The presidency Tinubu would have given us on the economic side differs from what he is offering. He is giving us what a visionary leader would do. This is to make tough decisions without considering the impacts on his future political chances. As good as that might be, it might cause Tinubu profound damage in his political career, except his policies can reverse the trend of suffering and deprivation the masses are experiencing. Otherwise, the next election will count. People will show their powers and vote for people they don’t know, thinking that will relieve their hardships. We will return to the era when Buhari was voted into power to eliminate Jonathan. Buhari should have taken steps but acted less than expected and was not near to producing the change we desired. Tinubu is different. Otherwise, he could have given us another lame presidency like Buhari and wasted eight years of our dear national life.

Read also: The presidency Tinubu would have given us

Having taken on the economy, which currently breeds more suffering, one would have expected Tinubu to complete his revolutions by cutting down on the cost of governance. This will start with the national assembly reducing and declaring their monthly salary for talking at sessions with little impact. He would have reduced the number of ministerial appointments, cut their offices’ perquisites, and eliminated frivolous travels associated with the offices. Seyi Tinubu should not have used the presidential jet to watch a polo match. This would have been a step to complement and complete the visionary changes the president is doing with the economy.

I understand Mr. Tinubu, whom I wrote about and nominated for the presidency in 2019. I did that because he is the only candidate who has done something remarkable in governance. At this stage in Nigeria, we need less rhetoric and more decisive leaders. Tinubu was strong as a governor among his peers and took on the almighty and less diplomatic OBJ. The fight benefited Lagos state, with its Internally Generated Revenue increasing.

Recently, the Labour Party’s VP candidate described Tinubu’s actions on the economy as a disaster. I expect nothing less. The political leadership of Nigeria is the same in characters and interests. They speak to their interests only. I wonder if Datti, who is more literate and should criticise constructively, says things as if he does not understand why the current hardship is inevitable. Those are Nigeria leaders for you; Tinubu is not an exception, though a bit different. He is doing something about the economy and closing his eyes on the political structure.

 Having taken on the economy, which currently breeds more suffering, one would have expected Tinubu to complete his revolutions by cutting down on the cost of governance

Suppose Tinubu had decided to reduce the cost of governance, he would have been sinking himself. Nigeria’s main problem is leadership. We have the resources to be the best, including intellectual capacity. However, resources without purposeful and selfless leadership will breed corruption until there is a genuine change.

The president is old and knowledgeable enough to know how not to commit a political suicide. I am happy he took on the economy, but expecting him to give us a presidency that will radically reduce the benefits to the political classes is an uncompromising dream taken too far. All Nigerian politicians want eight years and, if possible, extend it to a third term. They are military in thinking in terms of power longevity. None of them will voluntarily vacate their political office except with the restriction of the constitution or defeats by their opponents.

Considering this, I wouldn’t expect Tinubu to have behaved as if he’s at the end of his political career by exterminating the conduit pipe that supplies wealth and power to the heavy-weight political forces. Those he will rely on to get to the finish line. He won’t fight his troupes for any reason. He would rather have his enemies decamp into this loyal voyage in anticipation of finishing well, even if it is only in terms of personal accomplishments.

The only way for Nigeria to move forward is to revisit our unity, which is negotiable. Democracy is a game of dialogue and negotiation. To those who say Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable, I pray they won’t see the day when negotiations are held on tribal and bullet platforms. History contains examples of countries that went into oblivion because dialogue was prevented.

Nigeria needs a new arrangement and a new constitution. The current constitution is an aberration and an imposition of the military and a few northern oligarchies who see power as their natural resources. Atiku Abubakar was among them until persistent defeats at the polls changed him to a crusade for the truth and a man craving true nationalism. He recently declared the truth about the rotational presidency among the six geographical zones deleted from the 1999 constitution. He had used such to his benefit until he got to the wits ends of another unexpected defeat despite using ethnicity to campaign. How desperate can our leaders not be?

I was told that one of the ministers wanted to convey a national value conference. What an effort in futility! What is the relevance of a value conference where the youth are hungry, the traders cannot trade, and insecurity is high? They want to leverage the skills and knowledge of some motivational speakers and value-driven persons appointed into offices. A national value conference is a wrong precedent where the constitutions and the current arrangement pitched Nigerians against one another. Nigeria has two camps: those benefiting from the government and those suffering from the current arrangement. Everyone is looking for how to be part or port to the camp of those who are benefitting from the government, including those in the opposition camps.

Read also: What to expect as Tinubu presents 2024 budget today

We, therefore, need a national arrangement and co-existence conference to discuss and agree on a new constitution that will be equitable and fair to all Nigerians and give confidence to those agitating for self-succession.

All must start with the desire to build institutions, fight corruption, and create a society where equity and justice prevail. Otherwise, no national value can be entrenched.

Who will restructure Nigeria?

It is not Tinubu alone because he is still in love with his political career and personal interests. However, I expect him to use a self-regulation approach by asking the national assembly members and his ministers to voluntarily reduce their salaries and the perquisites of their offices. I doubt if that would happen before 2027.