In this open letter to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, president-elect, Afolabi Abiodun, a multi-award winning serial entrepreneur who pioneered the business of corporate telecoms brokerage in Nigeria, advised that he must take a drastic step to move the country forward in no time at all. Abiodun, who also is the Joint Venture Partner of ZKTeco for West Africa and also the convener and host of Nigeria’s Employee of the Year Awards & Summit (NEYA), urges Tinubu to appoint great minds into his cabinet, and also have respect for the sanctity of life.
I am writing this open letter to you with a deep sense of concern about the future of our country, Nigeria. Nigeria is a country with vast potential but it has been plagued by many problems, including corruption, insecurity, poverty, and a lack of basic infrastructure. The people are tired of the old ways of doing things, and they are looking for a leader who can bring real change.
We trust in your administrative capacity and your political sagacity. We believe that you have the inherent ability to provide the vision the country needs at this time and the big vision to advance the course of our nationhood. We are earnestly hoping that you will provide the direction the country needs at this time and the wisdom to heal the deep wound the country is currently nursing. The President-elect has a rare opportunity to turn things around and set Nigeria right. But, it would require bold and decisive actions. Winning the election has revealed how unpopular you are, and a majority of Nigerians are opposed to your presidency.
Over 60 percent of Nigerians do not want you as president. They expressed their choice by voting for other candidates. However, providence made you emerge as the winner, against all odds. It, therefore, calls for a deep reflection on the need to win more people to your side through actions that identify with people’s concerns, and current emotions, while at the same time taking long-term decisions that will put Nigeria on the path to a new future. The people do not see you as someone who can bring change, and it is time to disappoint Nigerians.
While basking in the euphoria of victory, I quickly have to remind you of the daunting tasks ahead. Yes, I know you are aware of the enormity of these responsibilities. It is, however, worth stating them from the commoners’ point of view, especially from the perspective of someone who has no direct economic interest or quest for political patronage but simply a burning desire for a prosperous Nigeria, fair to and working for all. As you take on this huge task, I would like to bring to your attention the most critical areas that need your immediate attention:
Create the opportunity for true nationhood
First of all, as a country, we have lost the essence of NATIONHOOD. There is zero interest in patriotism as the average Nigerian has lost faith in a united Nigeria. I will urge you to be deliberate in working at unifying the country regardless of tribe and religion. Notwithstanding the skewed regional contributions to your victory, all regions in Nigeria, including the South East, should be treated with fairness in wealth distribution, political consideration, and economic drive.
Appoint the best minds
It is on record that you have the ability to select the best for a job. We urge you to continue on this path. Nigeria needs the most competent hands to navigate through these trying times. From 1 April, you have to start choosing your cabinet; the full list of your cabinet should be ready on or before May 29 when you will take charge as President. You need to prioritise MERITOCRACY in your appointments. The people who helped you achieve success in the election may not necessarily be the best candidates to move Nigeria forward.
Unlock our potential
You must look into creating a system for STATE AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE, where each state can set a clear path for development using every means available within its borders. Let the economic giant in us arise! We need you to help unlock the wealth of each state. Our gold, oil, bitumen, granite, gemstone, leather, and the plethora of natural resources should bring much wealth as our current oil exports. Dear BAT, be our hero!
Wrestle graft to a standstill
Another area of pain is CORRUPTION. Yes. As a country, we are crumbling under the weight of corruption. Despite the high hopes of the outgoing administration, it is perceived to have done little to change the trend. While the average Nigerian does not believe in your will and ability to face this daunting challenge, I appeal to you to disappoint your doubters by facing this issue head-on. One quick win for you is to lead by example. Declare your assets upon assuming office and compel your appointees to do same.
Hold sacrosanct every life
INSECURITY requires urgent attention. Nigeria has been facing the scourge of terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping for several years now, with human life counting for nothing. Millions of Nigerians live in perpetual fear. You need to prioritize security and ensure that Nigerians can lead their daily lives free of fear. Our President-elect, you can do it!
You must find work for Nigerians
Nigeria’s UNEMPLOYMENT rate at 37% is disheartening! This is dangerous in a country where 70% of its population is below 35 years, by far one of the best human assets in the world. These energetic and creative youthful populations should be fully harnessed for maximum productivity. Dear Asiwaju, we have found that leader in you. Please stay true to our beliefs!
New forex management system required
Let me draw your attention to the importance of FOREIGN EXCHANGE POLICIES in promoting business and growth in our country. By strategically aligning with international business groups like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), we can promote business equity, security, and balance of trade. We can also gain access to new markets, trade opportunities, and investments. However, we need to adopt a flexible exchange rate regime for the efficient allocation of resources. Also, export promotion policies should be prioritized. These could include export subsidies, tax incentives, and relaxed regulations.
Knowledge and skills acquisition are non-negotiable
Please prioritize the EDUCATION sector by investing in advanced learning and strong technological innovation. Nigeria currently faces significant challenges in providing quality education to its citizens. By investing in advanced learning, we can equip our students with the skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Investing in infrastructure is crucial to achieving this goal.
Additionally, incentives for teachers such as training and access to technology must be provided to attract and retain quality educators with strong technological skills. Our curriculum must also be relevant to the needs of society.
We need a productive and accountable public service
Revitalisation of the public service is a must. As you are aware, the productivity level of our public service sector has been low and not sufficient to drive a working economy. It is imperative that policies and procedures be instituted to manage our public corporations effectively, which will improve efficiency and productivity across sectors. To achieve this goal, public officeholders’ performances must be measurable, and they must be held accountable to the people.
In conclusion, it bears reiterating that you have a rare opportunity to make a difference in Nigeria. You need to prioritize security, tackle corruption, create jobs, improve education, and invest in healthcare. Nigerians are looking for a leader who can bring real change, and you have the chance to be that leader. While we understand that most of the concerns raised in this letter are already in your manifesto, Nigerians yearn for a strong will to implement them. Stand tall and come through for Nigeria. Be the unifier the country needs!
Mr. President-elect, you have a great responsibility to lead Nigeria to a brighter future. Please do not disappoint us.