Three Years In Office, President Buhari Misses A Tunde Idiagbon? – By Hussain Obaro
It’s no longer news that the main reasons Nigerians voted en masse for Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election were his perceived integrity, firm stand against corruption and no-nonsense disposition to all forms of indiscipline and administrative recklessness. Some Nigerians are however of the opinion that it was the late major general Tunde Idiagbon who was behind many of the successes recorded, especially the war against corruption and indiscipline to which the then Head of state, general Muhammadu Buhari was given credits and accolades. The Ilorin born major general was believed to be at the centre of coordination, was general Buhari’s “backbone” and the brain behind most of his achievements. The submission that Muhammedu Buhari never made key decisions without first consulting his vibrant lieutenant during the military regime has however been proved right by the series of events that had unfolded since the inauguration of the present APC-led administration three years ago which has made many Nigerians to begin to doubt if Mr president is really in charge of his government.
If the glaring and unnecessary rivalries and contradictions between agencies of the federal government, cases of insubordination and utter disobedience to direct presidential orders and directives by appointees of the president, the needless clashes, battles for supremacy and lack of respect to the constitutional provision of separation of power by the executive towards other arms of government, and the way and manner with which this government goes about the ongoing war against corruption are anything to consider, they show there’s a lacuna and great lack of coordination within the present government. The Buhari led government hasn’t done much in terms of strengthening our institutions to be able to function optimally and independently, as emphases is still centred round individuals and personalities. A clear example is the president’s insistence and continuous stay in office of the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu despite his rejection by the legislature.
The fact that President Buhari lost track from the very beginning on what democratic leadership and governance is all about was evident in his refusal to assume a full leadership role of the APC until recently when he finally lend his voice on the attempted tenure elongation plan of the current executives of the party. The president’s decision to abandon party leadership for governance in the earlier part of this administration almost resulted into chaos and a breakdown of order in the National Assembly when a self-serving bigwig in the APC made an effort to install his cronies as leaders of the National Assembly against the Constitution and rules of the national assembly. The recent pockets of crisis that has engulfed the ruling party which was evident and resulted in the parallel state congresses held across the country and the chaos that the infighting within members of the party is a pointer to the fact that discipline and the right mentality is far from being entrenched within the APC and the current government hasn’t done much in carrying majority of the party members along or give all a sense of belonging.
The widely quoted phrase from the president’s inaugural speech “I belong to no one, and I belong to everyone” turned to be a meaningless political talk, as hues and cries of marginalization and exclusion by the different tribes, ethnic groups and geopolitical regions of the country has characterised the past three years of the present administration. The seeming weakness, lack of ideas, unseriousness and slowness in halting and permanently putting an end to the almost daily cases of herdsmen killings and massacre of innocent Nigerians across the country has put a question mark on the capacity of the present government to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians even as some people have accused the president of siding with and protecting his Fulani kinsmen and their herds. Some have also opined that the president is not fully in charge of his government just as its been alleged that a cabal which comprise some APC bigwigs, a few ministers and some of the president’s relatives are the ones ruling the nation and controlling Mr president.
The war against corruption is gradually losing steam, as it’s now being perceived as a mere ploy to witch-hunt, harass and silence political opponents and perceived enemies of the president. This became obvious as prosecutions of some individuals facing charges of corruption are have unnecessarily slowed down, coupled with the fact that they turn friends of the president who rewards some of them with appointments as soon as they decamp into the APC. The present government suddenly remembers an individual’s past corrupt deeds as soon as such a person starts opposing or goes against the president. The action of the federal government in which alleged names of looters and corrupt Nigerians were listed and published has further ridiculed and made mockery of the so called war on corruption. Not even the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International is impressed with the alleged escalating cases of corruption under Buhari.
Although it is a standard practice in leadership for a leader to devolve, shelve and assign responsibilities to his lieutenants or appointees, but such leaders must first of all ensure that pegs are fitted into the corresponding holes while making appointments or choosing assistants. Unlike in his military regime when he was blessed with capable and dependable hands like late Tunde Idiagbon, president Muhammadu Buhari cannot be said to be that lucky to be surrounded with selfless, competent and trustworthy men this time around. Despite having a vice president who is generally seen to be religiously upright, intellectually savvy and academically shrewd who should complement the seeming weakness and limitations of the president caused by advanced age and declining health condition which has prevented him from functioning like he did in his military government, professor Yemi Osinbajo hasn’t shown or displayed the mentality of thoroughness, strictness, and grit in coordination to which Tunde Idiagbon of blessed memory was known, feared and respected.
Rather than continue to waste valuable time brooding about the past and blaming the PDP’s sixteen year rule which the current government has consistently done for the last three years, it’s high time this government moved on and concentrated on the herculean task of governance, strengthening our institutions, reforming and restructuring our system of government and providing dividends of democracy to Nigerians. The vice president, professor Yemi Osinbajo should stop duelling and walking in the shadows of certain individuals, it’s time for him to come out of the shell and step out of the political shade. The onus now lies on him to summon some level of guts and courage needed to assist Mr president in piloting the affairs of the nation and salvage the APC administration from collapse. Like late Tunde Idiagbon did, professor Osinbajo should always be there to guide and complement the president, there’s the need for the vice president to genuinely belong to everyone and belong to no one as his expertise in law, science and being a clergy is needed to bring this government back on track and ensure that the change agenda is delivered to Nigerians.
Hussain Obaro…firstname.lastname@example.org…Lokoja, Kogi state.
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