By Rev. Br. Kenneth Alamezie, BSS
“Success in life is not so much about how much luck one has, as it is about one’s ample level of discipline, integrity, skill cum knowledge,” I said instinctively, during one of my discussions with a group lately.
It is not in doubt that the new administration of President Mohammadu Buhari and his Vice, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, their team has inherited a very tortuous near-chaotic government culminating to a sad disheveled country hanging on the brink, shrunken economy—owing to mismanagement, disingenuousness cum cluelessness of some of those that handled various significant ministries, in the former administration—with almost an empty purse and mountainous debt, left for the new administration; that is, judging by media reports on the state of the country’s economy and also respective evaluations of some high profiled intellectuals regarding such. Notwithstanding, the situation could be unmistakably seen even by born-blinds, to show the severity of what is on ground. All these, I infer, are the consequence of incompetency or perhaps mere insouciance personality of the man that piloted the ship, in the past administration.
In my opinion, I think that what must be of great concern to all, especially the new administration, this of which in actual is my chief aim of taking up my biro this week, should be more than enough focus on how to right the wrongs done already by the past administration, ways to proffer feasible measures of rebuilding our country, Nigeria, and stabilizing and diversifying our economy, which at present is in a state of comatose; and not crying over spilt milk. This onerous duty, though a task that seems attainable only in the realm of dream and imagination, due to the country’s dismal state and the very many complicated issues besieging it, can become not just a reality, but one achieved with stunning and lasting success, within the shortest possible time, if only we would all make it a collective responsibility. We must understand that this is not just a Buhari-Osibanjo affair, but one that concerns every Nigerian that indeed has the interest of this country at heart.
Nevertheless, the Buhari administration ‘must’ learn from the mistake of the Goodluck’s if it must thrive and leave something worthwhile for posterity, else the one known viruscorruption– which we know has always asphyxiated productivity, vision and growth in the country thus, crippling almost beyond rehabilitation the giant of Africa, resulting to her present beggarly condition, may soon rear its ugly head to finish up what it had started. Mom made it impress in our young hearts, while growing up, “that the wise learn from other people’s mistakes to avoid repeating such,” hence, I strongly believe the new administration should learn from this saying and make good of it, by mapping out formidable techniques that would aid to kill and bury corruption in the country, beginning among the cream la de cream in government to those being governed, as it’s obvious it was something the out gone administration never had or cared to have. All the same my confidence in the person cum administration of President Buhari, especially given to his stance on zero tolerance to corruption, still beats high, very high. I only pray that those whose hearts, it seems were made of steel, and fibers of corruption, would not blindfold his disciplined stern eyes with dirty stinking corrupt bandana. God help him!
The out gone president Jonathan, with his recent display of statesmanship, should have garnered more fame, success, respect, and lasting legacy written in the sands of time with gold pen, had he dealt serious death blow to corruption. But it appears he never was told what havoc the iron claws of corruption could do, or perhaps he knew but decided to coddle it and those perpetrating such. Government leaders who want to achieve substantial level of success and who so desire to leave office better than they met it, must not coddle with corruption of any sort and that is no matter whose ox is gored, but give it a straight Red card. It must be “war against corruption” otherwise failure becomes inevitable. This to me is the only success route in leadership. And I pray the president, Buhari, doesn’t forget it.
To say that the man ,Jonathan, had luck working for him, is to say but the least, as it was obvious he also had initially divine back-up prodding him, his political career, before things went acerbic and the people cried foul for change.
Goddy at the beginning …
When I look back now, I can still remember vividly what it was like then in 2007, when the name Jonathan came up as a running mate to the late President Yar’adua. His inclusion to run as the vice president made many hive a sigh of relief— that at last we’ve got two honest folks ready to take our country beyond the clouds of unrealistic political promises and manifestos. But it wasn’t long before the latter went to pay a lasting visit to his ancestors, and the mantle fell upon the shoulder of the shoeless one– Goddy.
Remember that name? Am sure you wouldn’t forget in a hurry, but in case you have, then I’d advise you look for the message titled ‘OKORO’ by Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka. Apparently, the message, at the time, was a prophetic revelation of a man—a no body per se—who would rise from the Niger Delta side to take up leadership position in the country in order to salvage and soothe the wounds of the poor people of God. It was actually during Obasanjo’s administration that Fr. Mbaka gave that message, thus it came ever before Jonathan dreamt of going to Aso Rock. And Jonathan’s final ascendance into the hot seat at the Villa marked the fulfillment of that prophecy. This, however, corroborates the assertion made earlier—that the man Jonathan had more than luck prodding him in his political career.
No wonder his presidential ambition in 2011 received massive acceptance amid wild jubilation by the citizenry. Personally, I became at once a die-hard fan of his; with visibly keen but a kind of opinionated zeal for the shoeless one, for the supposed messiah. I have to be honest. To buttress this a little, my undaunted supports, endorsement of his candidature for the presidency in 2011 took a leap that to some extent I could literally, then, not withstand the very presence of anyone who shared a contrary opinion of Goddy. It was as true as that; and, that to me was just my own way of showing solidarity, patriotism— first to my country which interest lays heavy in my heart, and second to the supposed messiah. You may not blame me that much, as others like me, even those in the far north, thought and behaved likewise.
In fact, I know of a fellow who had to leave his base in the states to come down to Nigeria in order to cast his vote for GEJ. However, in all that I think we weren’t wrong anyway; at least GEJ, if not for anything, has today saved Nigeria from experiencing another civil war.
What went wrong…?
The shoeless oneas he would fondly say of him– actually did prove a point with his method of governance— that our opinions of him regarding his unfussiness were not in the least wrong; perhaps his humble background added to making him lenient to a fault. To some extent it really made it seem he was a naive and corrupt leader.
No wonder his other half, it seemed, assumed the position of authority—overstepping boundaries and stepping on toes with reckless abandon. She was on many occasions accused of meddlesomeness, and to her such wasn’t an issue of due consideration, as the world was under her feet. Even those surrounding him, it appeared, dictated the jingle for him; and these we cannot deny made his government seem to be the most corrupt and scruffy ever seen in the history of this country.
Our economy, though appreciated and rated at the international community as doing great, actually tumbled and crumbled almost beyond hope of rejuvenation. That not done, PMS, kerosene and gas prices kept skyrocketing without due consideration for the end users, the poor masses. Crooks received fanfares, as they constantly without the slightest prick of conscience looted and milked dry the resources due for the citizenry. Even, potbelly thieves never bothered, as their bellies continued to protrude with gross recklessness and impunity. Corruption and impunity thrived almost in every sector of governance, and that under his watch. The problem of insurgency, on the other hand, escalated almost beyond containment; this equally made Jona looked so helpless, like the Biblical Jonah when in the belly of the Whale; and without hesitation one could term him a feeble unpatriotic president running a clueless and vulnerable government. Indeed, many things went sour, very sour under his watch in which the citizenry expected from him more than what he did to contain them. Thank goodness those are now in the past, yea, in the past!
Needless to say that reasons abound why the people cried foul for change. ‘Change’ indeed became necessary. And before long the word ‘change’ became a sing-song to the most affected— the poor masses. Hitherto it wasn’t a known ideology but ‘transformation agenda’ and ‘continuity’. But amidst helpless situations visibly consigning the masses into situation of penury and vulnerability, but protruding the ever expandable pockets and stomachs of some few gully bellies—whom otherwise would have been inmates, what would the masses do if not sing with resounding echo the word ‘change’?
Amidst all these it appeared our man was obdurate to the call of the people whom he was sent to soothe their pains. And as we know, God will always hearken to the voice of the poor of his own. Perhaps the reason there was somewhat a sudden ‘change’ of allegiance ever before there was the election.
It could now be understood why the shrewd and austere General, GMB, suddenly became the people’s choice, me not in the least exempted, as I sang the change song even in my dreams. For the country needed one with zero tolerance to her one and only enemy— corruption—kworroption.
President Mohammadu Buhari and his lieutenants should thus justify the trust given them by Nigerians, especially the poor masses, by making sure that corruption dies a natural death in the country, and the poor masses given their rights, given a voice and chance to enjoy, at least, the basic dividends of democracy, in this democratic entity of ours. President Buhari should, please, not forget his promises to Nigerians during his electioneering campaigns, as Nigerians are watching. He should, however, know that hopes are high, pretty high that, owing to his pedigree of a no-nonsense fellow, those vultures in government who are hell-bent on seeing the country set on the brink would themselves be made to live on the precipice, by getting all them a place in the rehab. For my part, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that Buhari has still the magic wand of 1983, and all am asking is that he wields it once more to get discipline integrated in all sectors of governance; thus, our country now hanging on the precipice would regain balance.
Lest I forget, the Enugu-Onitsha express way– a Federal road I learnt– deserves immediate attention, as the road has become a death trap for its users. Sai Buhari/Osibanjoi…! God bless Nigeria!! God bless you!!!