Africa

Nigeria: Mr. President – Is the nation’s problems too much to contain?

Jonathan-bending-headABEG President Goodluck Jonathan is weak. We need somebody who is strong-willed, someone with a mind of his own, who is willing to take risks,” blurted Sam this Saturday morning while the commuter bus was moving through Ikeja on its way to Apapa Wharf.

His statement was not unconnected with recent happenings in the nation.

“Weak? I beg to disagree. How do you define weakness and what makes you think he is weak?” asked John. “Just look at all the dangerous things that have been happening in the past few weeks. What has he done about them? Imagine the recent seizure of 13 containers of arms and ammunition.

The very next day, we ere told the arms were meant for Gaza Strip! Can you believe that? From Iran to Gaza, so how come it came into Nigeria?”queried Sam. Continuing, he said: “A real leader would have taken action immediately.

Look at the incessant crises in Plateau State. It wouldn’t take much for a proactive leader to stop it.”

“Well, Sam, this is democracy and not military rule where the leader could act without consultations. In a democracy, you don’t do such. The fact that the man does not make a lot of noise does not mean he is weak. Haven’t you noticed that it is the empty barrels that make the most noise?” asked Mike, adding: “Noise is not synonymous with strength. Strong people don’t make noise.”

Said Sam: “You are missing the point here. I’m not talking about noise, I’m talking about taking action. For instance, the perpetrators of the Jos crises are easy to get if we really want to. What stops government from using air surveillance to catch the people red-handed?”

“But that’s the problem. There are too many interests,” noted Tim. “Exactly! And so a leader needs to be decisive. Do what is necessary and in the best interest of the nation and damn the consequences.”

“Sure, that could happen in a military regime but in a democracy like ours, the president cannot do anything without recourse to the National Assembly or else, they will start crying blue murder,” stated Mike. “What happened to veto power?

In some situations, a leader should employ such power,” noted Sam. “In any case, our brand of democracy is unlike any other in the world. We practise real democracy when it suits us and practise whatever else when it suits us so as a nation with peculiar problem, our solutions should be peculiar too.”

“Anyway, the president is not weak, he is using brain rather than brawn. As for the arms seizure, there must be thorough investigations before he can act,” said Tim.

“Nigeria is a very easy country to govern if you ask me. Just choose the right people, put them in the right positions and shun sentiments. For instance, if I were the president of this nation, I will put credible people in strategic positions to work with me.

Someone like Mr. Femi Falana should be the Attorney-General of the Federation, Col. Abubakar Umar should be the Defence minister, General Muhammadu Buhari can head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while Alhaji Abubakar Tsav should be made the Inspector-General of Police. I tell you, with these people, the fortunes of this nation will change for the better,” said

Sam, adding: “I tell you, if these people come on board, all those bad elements will be on the run because Nigeria will be too hot for them.”

“Hmm! Interesting indeed,” said Joy. “May be we should vote for you then.,” she added laughing. “But I hope the usual virus of corruption will not invade them as soon as they get into positions of power.”

“I doubt it. These people have tasted power and have remained above board to the best of my knowledge,” replied Sam. “There are so many other credible Nigerians that can help lift Nigeria out of the mess she’s found herself in but we can start with these ones first.

“One more thing that must be done is that we should go back to the parliamentary system, scrap the National Assembly because I don’t see their usefulness. And then, the local governments should be collecting their money directly from the Federal Government and not through state governments to minimize stealing,” stated Sam.

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