President Tinubu, Don’t Leave Hungry

By Emmanuel Akaolisa
Letter President Tinubu, Don’t Leave Hungry

Dear Jagaban,
Congratulations again on your one-year anniversary in office and the celebration of democracy in Nigeria, even though many believe there is nothing to celebrate about Nigeria’s democracy these 25 years, it is not mainly your fault, there have been others before you.

This letter is written on the premise that like all altruistic leaders throughout history, you have aspired to lead the country called Nigeria to a better place and give its people a good life. Actualizing this aspiration is no mean feat, kudos Jagaban. But if sincere good leadership was never your plan, then you can ignore this piece.

Analyzing the challenges of your predecessor Muhammadu Buhari, he failed because of 3 main factors; malice, trauma and bad ‘friends’. Even though many people who know him say he is a good man, it is clear from his 8 years in power that he allowed diverse human weaknesses to prevent from being what a good leader should be.

At the beginning of his administration, he told all who cared to listen that because some sections of the country gave him little vote, they should not expect much from him. This was coming from the lips of a president in a federal setting. Maybe this was what influenced many of his anti development decisions, unbeknown to him. Most of his appointments centered around the North without the consideration of fairness and competency. Dear Asiwaju, you have also been accused of this same action, maybe you learnt from him.

When all the security apparatuses were headed by Northerners and people screamed nepotism, I tried to look beyond that. Was it possible that the trauma of the coup which removed him as military head of state in 1985 was still haunting him and so he felt that having his kin in sensitive positions would prevent a recurrence. But he probably forgot or neglected the fact that the coup against him was from his kin.

Trauma is very potent Sir, it has the power to distort reality to the traumatized and make them fight imaginary battles. Towards the end of the Buhari administration, even his wife Aisha Buhari hinted at the battle with PTSD.

What of his friends, was there no one to advise and help him, even if it was just in the fight against corruption which was his main campaign promise? I think he had bad friends, not even his ministers could do their work properly, let alone advise him, or did they advise but he didn’t listen, did his body language encourage sycophancy?

Dear President Tinubu, though I have used this many lines to talk about your predecessor in a letter meant for you, it is to help you make better decisions now that you have the chance.

I believe there is a soul hunger which pushes already great men like you and others to higher aspirations, and not even money can fill this hunger. If you do not want to leave the seat of power hungry, wanting for extra time, there are things you should do Sir.

From observation, providence has structured Nigeria in such a way that it cannot make tangible progress through injustice, whether from the South to the North or the North to the South, from minority to majority or vice versa. It therefore suffices to posit that you must be fair to all irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political persuasion and other differences.

If you are going to stamp your name for good in the Nigerian story, you need the will to stand against corruption at all levels, no matter whose ox is gored. You must damn every political baggage around you. Corruption remains the singular monster troubling Nigeria on all fronts, but because it has been called time and time again, it now sounds generic and cliché, and humans believe that dwelling on clichés is not a smart innovative act.

But even if corruption is cliché in Nigeria, it is an uncommon cliché, an evergreen one constantly metamorphosing into different forms. If you can tackle corruption, your work would have been reduced by more than 70%. What is even corruption? It is simply the distortion of right processes. The absence of rule of law.

For example; if you tackle corruption there will be enough money in government coffers, hence no need for taxing the masses to death, a double-edged sword of political bravery and administrative cowardice.

If you do not tackle corruption and ensure that your appointees at all levels perform optimally, if you do not see yourself as the president and servant leader of Nigeria but that of only a part of Nigeria, if you do not allow justice, merit and rightness to guide your reign, you will find that when your tenure comes to end, you will find yourself hungry, hoping for more time that will not avail itself.

There is usually not much time Sir, a year is gone already.

By Emmanuel Akaolisa
[email protected]

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