The streets in many parts of Nigeria went into ecstasy at the announcement of the return of President Mohamadu Buhari and the road that led to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport was packed with excited Nigerians waiting for his arrival. Dateline 19th August 2017, the people were jubilant and the secrecy with which the whole sickness scenario was earlier conducted will not hold them back. The All Peoples Congress South Africa Chapter would love to join other Nigerians to welcome back President Mohamadu Buhari (The people’s General) and draw on critical messages from the current issue.
While appreciating the Almighty and all who prayed for and wish the President well in his medical sojourn abroad, it is instructive to also point out the lies that the likes of Ayo Fayose, Femi Fani-Kayode and those false prophets and pastorprenuers who saw death coming for the President. He is back on his feet for now. No man is infallible and sickness is not a plague not to be associated with. Using the word of Baha'u'llah
“They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy.”
The next person to be sick may be a Fayose, a Fani-Kayode, a Pastor X, Y Z or one of those Facebook witches and wizards who practiced medical wizardry online using their cheap phones. However the secrecy with which the President men treated the issue of the illness was unwarranted. While every man has the right to medical privacy, a Nigerian President is more that a private citizen and it was just appropriate that it should have been mentioned that he was ill and will be going for medical holiday.
The issue of the President’s illness bring to the fore the need to empower the Vice President’s office appropriately to handle country’s administration in the absence of an incumbent President. It also raise the issue of empowering such person amply even before the absence of the President. The recent events almost gave an opportunity to hijackers, wolves and lions (apologies to Mrs Buhari) to take over the government by stealth. Different scenarios played out within the corridors of power right from the National Assembly to the executive. There is a need to have a critical look at the current constitution and see where restructuring can be implemented and reorganization of power can be implemented.
Whereas the President is also back, he will need to carefully choose his advisers and wards and he will need to be wary of sycophants who prefer to stay in the corridors of power no matter who must be sacrificed to achieve their intentions. While months of administration have been lost, the government will need to restructure and reprioritize on things to be done including immediate battling of food insecurity, tackling of hunger, fighting increasing poverty, and refocusing on war on corruption. Currently, Nigerians are despondent and have begun to see the war on corruption as a propaganda machine. To date, there have been many revelations and noises with no tangible prosecution and no deterrent. Going back to the campaign promise “no hospitalization abroad”, the government will need to capacitate our hospitals and make it world class. There is no need to build hundreds of hospitals or reproduce universities and their teaching hospitals including many of the recently commissioned universities by the PDP government which are more or less like glorified secondary schools. It is advisable to select a few institutions and build them to world class status. On Diaspora, many Nigerian professionals abroad are quite good in what they do and foreign government and corporate organizations have benefitted immensely from them. These individuals can contribute meaningfully to issues at home if they are engaged in the right ways. Issues including Diaspora voting, Diaspora integration back into the Nigerian economy and government systems will need to be reevaluated and implemented.
We are aware that the PDP government has destroyed a lot of the national institutions in the last 16 years and these cannot be cannot be repaired with 2 years, however setting the priority right and pursuing it with an uncommon vigour will be apt. The APC government should work faster and harder to help alleviate the suffering of Nigerians in the next few years.
This piece was developed and delivered by:Engr. Bola Babarinde Chairman (All Progressives Congress, South Africa Chapter)
Prof. Folorunso Fasina. Secretary (All Progressives Congress, South Africa Chapter)
Date: Sunday, August 20, 2017