As 2018 is just few hours away, my advice to President Muhammadu Buhari is not allow the issues surrounding the 2019 presidential election make him take his eyes off the ball of governance, which is the real reason the people of Nigeria elected him in 2015, in the first place. For too long he was struck down by ill-health. As he battled for life, critical aspects of governance and certain major decisions stagnated.
To help the president, I want to ask him to sit back and have a moment of introspection and tell his conscience the truth by honestly answering these questions. Mr. President, have you fulfilled the promises you made, which I recall made you shed tears when you lost election for the third time in 2011. If not, why?
Again, Mr President, do trust 50 per cent of the people working with you? Mr. President, if you can understand me I want urge to drop the PDP-APC mentality (Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Congress). You should think more about Nigerians are passing through and bother less about partisan politics.
Yes, I agree that you are in a political office, but remember that you are not a politician. You are seen more like a person who needed the platform of a political party, as the Electoral Act stipulates, to get into office. The truth you need to hear is that so many people these days go to bed hungry. There is destitution in the land, all because of the wicked policies and bad governance of some state governance who embezzled the statutory allocations of their states. Some have wasted the Paris Club Refunds made to their states on frivolous projects that add no value the people in their states, on invested on worthy infrastructure projects that would benefit their people. These state leaders poke their fingers in the face of your administration and ask who can question them. One of close aides, in one of his back page opinion articles had talked so glowingly about he called the Buhari Effect, which made people sit up in the early days, in 2015, after you were sworn in as president. Today, are we still seeing this?
Bad political office holders are finding ever more clever ways to loot the treasury. Some of your appointees re-loot the loot allegedly recovered from officials of the past administration. The merry-go-round of looting continues. Several instances abound that I do not need to begin any names.
If there was a time Nigerians desperately needed you, this is more the time. Unfortunately, wicked politicians who are only concerned about how to corner more of the nation’s resources are trying to distract you with issues relating to 2019. They are telling you to remember the mammoth crowd of children, youths and men that welcomed you to Kano State, and they point to 2019. The level of desperation has reached the level of a rumbling volcano about to erupt. Mr. President, please urgently deal with our pains and frustrations as well as the agony of our jobless youths before a social upheaval happens in our country. I want to suggest that you set up a private monitoring unit in your office, headed by a person you really trust, who will then recruit a small team of dedicated individuals. The head of the unit will report to you directly. The unit will monitor the people that are working for you. Indeed, a good number of them are just using the power of the presidency and their being part of it to pursue their personal agendas while hiding behind you. Some of them are betraying the purpose for which you sought this office three times before God allowed you to get it after the fourth attempt.
Mr. President, have it in mind that some of the big guns you see as your political partners, some of the corrupt ones among them will definitely plant other people around you, and they would be giving information about your moves to the people that positioned them. The truth of the matter is that Nigerian politicians are smart and very calculating, always seeking to take advantage of every situation to advance their interests and benefit themselves.
Most of all, give Nigerians true unity. A united Nigeria will put a stop to many issues such as insecurity arising from the frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in all parts of the country, agitations by militants, and so forth. Mr. President forget the past and work harder to genuinely, sincerely and wholeheartedly unite Nigeria. God bless you and make you healthy, strong to work for Nigerian masses. Have a Happy New Year of service to our Fatherland.
► Romanus Ndehigwo wrote from Idiroko, Ogun State.