By TAJU TIJANI
PRESIDENT Mohammadu Buhari’s admirable obsession to change Nigeria through visionary prescient is taking a rugged shape. Seriously, we need a man of consuming vision with a hungering and thirsting heart to take us through the economic, social, educational, employment and infrastructural challenges humbling Nigeria. What faces Nigeria is not an uphill task that cannot be surmounted, but essentially our journey out of the wood needs a man with uncommon leadership skill, stubborn boldness, restless intelligence, fearless ambition, workaholic, a fighter and a passion for change.
Beyond President Buhari’s languid look is that penetrating and steely determination to deliver on his electoral promises and unplug Nigeria from its deeply diseased and despised status among the comity of nations. To change a psychically damaged nation, President Buhari needs a clarity of purpose and honest desperation to avert falling into the usual political folly that had consumed successive leaders since the birth of our democratic experiment.
To President Buhari, our past failure is a dissembling nightmare that needs to be addressed. His idealism for a genuine change may probably account for his determination to take on the task of an awaited messiah. His ongoing clarion call for a shift in our consciousness, institutions’ building, inspired patriotism has so far been enthusiastically embraced by both the chattering classes and even political opponents. His speeches which are often studded with nationalistic rather than narrow party pitches, have all gone down well with majority of Nigerians.
To back his vision with action, President Buhari recently assembled a team of Ministers and many of them are proven politicians and technocrats. Buhari’s integrity has been drawing the brightest and best to his change-driven administration. Clearly, many of the Ministers are men of distinction but Nigerians are not happy with seeing old, recycled and spent politicians calling the shot again. Many Nigerians would have been happy if Buhari had gone for real shocker: calling on unknown faces to drive his change-driven mandate.
Nigeria is a blessed nation with many unknown, unseen, unsung, talented and young technocrats who would have represent a blast of fresh air from the usual revolving door of hiring political cronies and elites into high offices in Nigeria. Change is meant to be a break from the usual, old habit of doing things in all spheres of national life, but with the recent appointments, President Buhari goofed and disappointed Nigerians.
However, we have to warn President Buhari that his rebuke must not be timid on errant Ministers. His courage must not be silent on corrupt Ministers who may want to be enemies of the change we fought so hard to achieve. His vigilance must not be diverted from people who may want to subvert our collective dream for a genuine and clearly changed nation.
President Buhari must deal decisively with corrupt Ministers to drive home the point that Nigeria is at a troubling crossroad where old discredited habits of greed, indolence, vulgarity and unpatriotism have to give way to new and inspiring vision of greater Nigeria. President Buhari has to set aside any party sentiment and sack erring and clearly corrupt Ministers and other officials in positions of trust to set precedence for generations of public servants to come.
The president has to rise up and become this nation paradigm breaker, the very opposite of the universal politician – liar, arrogant and corrupt – to assure Nigerians that their trust in his integrity is not in peril. Once his vision begins to calcify under the weight of excessive pressure from different groups, then Buhari would have fallen into the mould of a false messiah who could not defend his integrity under intense political heat.
As I write, there is a kind of ferment, a passion for the old Buhari with his rod of correction especially against indiscipline and corruption. There is public expectation for action against corrupt officials in the last administration. Beer parlour discussions are daily centring on the ungodly delay in persecuting corrupt government officials who defrauded this nations of billions and are still walking around arrogantly. Nigerians are impatiently awaiting the commencement of mass prosecution of enemies of this nation who stole heartlessly without fear of a day of judgement.
President Buhari must have been shocked with the level of corruption he met once he assumed the presidency. He has to sustain his anger and refused to be tempered by the simpering argument of forgetting the past so as not to be bugged down by witch hunting. Please Mr President pursue all the unpatriotic Nigerians who destroyed Nigeria through blind greed and wickedness.
Today, Nigeria is like a pagan temple that needs to be consecrated of its past idolatry, corruption and shame. That was the reason Nigerians had to vote in a shamanic talisman like President Buhari to clean up the mess of our past perversions. President Buhari, Nigerians cannot wait any longer.