Before The Cabinet Reshuffle: What the President Should Do.


Nigeria is a big country and ranks one of the first in the comity of nations. While some call it giant of Africa others have found a reason to denote it as “big brother of Africa”. Outsiders who have never had the chance to visit the country would relish the idea hoping they will be ushered into an Eldorado when eventually they arrive. If their opinion is high out there, it is not so for those inside. Since democracy was ushered in 1999 to date successive administrations have combined to ruin whatever reputation the nation has. Under the current one, it is simply unexplainable the downturn of events as life has become unbearable with poverty, hunger starvation looming. Where the government is scoring zero in the provision of amenities and welfare of its own citizens, they have 100% in propaganda speeches extolling a nonexistent achievement while Rome burns. It is not the fact that in major cities electricity supplies are still epileptic, infrastructural decay pronounced, pothole littered streets, fuel prices up; the truth is that in the hinterlands mostly in the far north, it is blood tears, excruciating pains, the misery that is rife. What kind of government would tolerate this debauchery of human life and existence? What is the plan of this administration? It seems incredible that after the euphoria of the establishment of democratic structures, this is all Nigerians may reap. The inability of democratic Institutions such as the National Assembly being powerless to effect any change or checks is regrettable; so also other Institutions that ought to have contributed meaningfully to halt the downward trend. In all of this, perhaps appointed Ministers of the Federal Republic on the assumption of office simply become distracted and automatically ineffective. The hope is that President Muhammed Buhari who had said severally that he belongs to nobody and everybody remains the last hope of the common man. He may not have a track record of cabinet reshuffle, but now as is being claimed in certain quarters that one is impending, then he may well be advised. The time of playing politics is over; so also the time of listening to political godfathers who end up producing their acolytes for selfish interest. The president should put the national interest first and above sectional considerations and do the right thing. There are people who can change the tide of negative spirals for the good of the country. The president should consult far and wide and bring in tested professionals. The way Mr Adewunmi was reelected back to the hot seat in African Development Bank shows clearly how to do the right thing. Nigeria does not lack good hands. It is only in our decision making that we flounder. For example, we depend more and appoint people who can serve “personal” interest rather than “national” interest. And unless we are economical with the truth, the sweeping appointments made so far gives the impression of sectional supremacy—or hegemony. And you may want to ask: what is the motive? This question can only be answered by the president on whose shoulders lies the authority to make an impact on the country. It is left for him to do what is expected using this impending cabinet change as lunch pad, for this is the basis for which history would judge him. Our policymakers have to be careful; smaller countries like Rwanda, Burundi, and Namibia are all making progress not to mention Ghana; and here, we are steeped in stagnated programmes designed not to achieve progress for the entire country, but one hegemonic plot or the other. Yet Nigeria is derided as the giant of Africa! A big brother that should be our brother’s keeper Africa! The message here is this: If we are practising democracy, let us do it with the fear of God, if not let us stop the pretence. Let’s get the country going. Nobody can do it for us except ourselves. It is a sheer delusion to think that we can continue at this rate and still survive. Only good policies will guarantee our future; not godfather or weak federal institutions.  President Buhari should make his remaining 3 years in office to count. He should focus on his job and avoid further distractions. He is the president of Nigeria—not his ethnic stock—and this is how history would judge him in future. Any cabinet reshuffle should accommodate every section of the country, not people from a particular tribe. He has to show indeed he belongs to everybody and nobody in particular.