We have to thank Goodluck Jonathan, firstly, for the rude awakening of the politically unconscious young Nigerian, and secondly, for his political maturity during the election.
Congratulations to the man of the moment, Muhammadu Buhari, for his die hard resilience and victory at the polls.
This is not a like-Buhari-like-Lincoln piece. This is also not a scholarly work. It’s something a Free Reader would write. You know the Free Reader? That guy that resumes every morning at newspaper stands and never buys a single one. These are things that Free Reader wants addressed in the first 100 days:
1. Security: One of Nigeria’s biggest problems at the moment is the North-East insurgency. It’s why the world is looking at us. We’ll notice that the past few weeks have seen the Nigerian troops gain significant victories against the insurgency alongside the international coalition. It’s expected that the President builds on that momentum. Pretty basic.
The happy ending or should I say “glorious beginning”, will be closure on the Chibok girls and the other hundreds being held against their will. I say closure because the two sides of the coin are fear and hope.
Fear that we’ll probably never find all the girls, because, let’s face it, girls are expensive to hold. The sanitary issues might seem minor, but when you multiply that by almost 300, plus the hundreds of others they’ve kidnapped, you know there’s a legitimate worry that the Chibok girls might have been handled by Boko Haram the ‘more profitable’ way. Hard to swallow but true.
The only glimmer of hope is the reports of people who have escaped from Boko Haram camps saying they know where the girls are kept. Besides that, Boko Haram has no logical reason to keep them, except as a bargaining chip.
Nigerians should expect a miracle as regards this.
Let’s go to the other end of the country, the South-South. Their brother has lost. Perhaps it’ll be important to keep it in mind that they have the resources to upset order. Which brings us to the next issue.
2. Reconciliation: If we must be honest with ourselves, this election stinks of ethno-religious sentiments, looking at where Buhari and Jonathan had their ‘power’ votes.
Most of the people from the South-south and South-east who didn’t vote for Buhari had two issues; old ‘northern’ wounds and ‘Islamisation’,
The Islamisation agenda is as real as Lady Koi Koi, but the old ethnic wounds are the main issues.
Let’s face it, we fought a war and moved on like wounds don’t turn to ulcers when left untreated. We need a proper reconciliation process that will make secession movements become irrelevant. Not only will it be good for National unity, it’s the most brilliant thing to do, politically. New allies, etcetera.
The person he must draw the closest to himself is his predecessor in this aspect.
3. Cut down on Government spending: These are hard times. Nothing will bring the goodwill of the people like showing empathy. The masses literally pay with their sweat for the excesses of the government. Most people believe he’ll look into it. I believe too.
Imagine Buhari cutting down his allowances and the pressure the people can mount of the legistlature to do the same. This is one thing that wouldn't surprise us with Buhari.
4. Power: One industry with arguably the largest amount of jobs created since 1999 directly and indirectly is the Telecomms industry. Think about the airtime sellers, think mobile phone retailers. Yep, that’s a lot.
Imagine a Nigeria where we fix power. Mind-blowing possibilities. The industries will return. Cost of production will reduce for small businesses to grow and that can help create more jobs.
See, if Nigeria’s power problem is fixed, jobs will fall in line.
Imagine someone like Messiah Prof. Attahiru Jega at the helms with NEPA, or is it PHCN? I mean, we could bring back someone like Prof. Barth Nnaji. I remember how much improvement we got when he was in charge.
5. Why the people voted you: Buhari wears the Anti-corruption tag so much that you get the feeling that his body rejects any form of biological corruption, whether malaria or headache, or even the cancer that some people insisted was killing him.
This is the reason Buhari won. This hope that somehow, with the swish of his thin mustache, corruption is going to disappear like it was never here. We’ve hit rock bottom. I mean, we are already drilling the rocks.
I might be asking for too much, but Buhari is President, the first democratically elected leader that wanted to be a leader, not one that stumbled upon it by chance. There are no limits.
But for the love of all, whether winners or not-winners, I say the only direction to go, is forwards.
Stay close to those who put you in power, the people. Those who came out in the rain and sun for you. Some of them gave their lives for you because they believed.
You can go from Messiah to Antichrist in a flash. Ask the person whose bed you’ll be sleeping on come May 29.