Our dear President,
Please kindly excuse my making this letter open when I could possibly have sent it to you through a number of channels and contacts. But it is not a private letter and it is a letter meant to generate public interest and possibly public input.
We employed the Media in a way never before deployed in this country to chase away Jonathan after demonising him to high heavens. It was not Bill boards or radio and television jingles that nailed the coffin of Jonathan: it was majorly the print and the social media with its all pervading ubiquity and instantaneousness.
Your unique personality, your irreproachable pedigree and legendary probity and famed integrity that were thumbed up as prime alternative to Jonathan coupled with the well couched phrase of Change did the finisher.
Now Jonathan is gone. His roguish cabal and thieving cabinet are in disarray while the political party that entrenched impunity and unprecedented looting has gone under, even ignored and despised by undertakers.
While crying desire for change of leadership may have informed the frenzy with which Nigerians trooped to Election booths, it was particularly the cry for a new leader, a new vision, a new direction and salvation that motivated the electorate to vote for you, the acclaimed symbol of Change.
By November 29, you would have spent clear six months as leader of Africa’s most populous country and the largest concentration of chocolate-brown skinned people in the world. Nigerians are actually eager to start counting from the moment Jonathan surrendered power to you through a congratulatory phone call in March.
A lot of behind the scenes efforts have been made by your administration to chart a new course and put up a new identity. Committees upon committees were set up and lots of consultations have taken place. Yet Nigerians are still groping for signs of the much anticipated change.
The National Assembly has been woeful in its operations and has disappointed Nigerians in more ways than one indicating to every one that they are not part of the Change Agenda and that they should be left to carry on with their business-as-usual mantra.
Insecurity and corruption, twin devils that spelt the death knell of Jonathan maladministration have attained greater and more frightening crescendo to the extent that they have left Nigerians in all corners and crannies of the country perplexed and confused.
This letter is not meant to regurgitate the past misfortunes or to lament the reality on the ground but to help with suggestions and recommendations- steps that would quickly jump start this administration and restore hope and confidence and reassure Nigerians that Buhari is the man we have been waiting for these past sixteen years!
Thank God you have sworn in your ministers, most of whom are well tested and trusted hands in management and administration. You have also made some key appointments with people whose pedigrees are convincing and credible. But beyond all that there is the most important element that your attention should be drawn to and that is actually the crux of this open letter.
As beautifully and succinctly argued by Mr Lagi, a staunch APC leader and I quote: “The change was only in the new leadership, the courts, legislature and other institutions like the army, police, etc., have not changed. The president has no powers to fight corruption; the institutions do. He can’t take a corrupt person to court. He can’t arrest a corrupt person. The reality is that the country hasn’t moved forward.”
This position is corroborated by the fiery Pastor Tunde Bakare who recently submitted that our President is ‘helpless’ implying that you are handicapped by the bogus Constitution we operate and the extant and antiquated laws we have on stealing and allied vices including armed robbery, kidnapping and ritual murders.
The reality on ground is that out of the four estates of the realm that is the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Press; you have only two; your cabinet and the media on your side. Even out of these two, the cabinet is still a virgin and no one knows whether it would turn prostitute once deflowered. You must find a way of quickly bringing the Legislature awash with stupendous wealth, and the Judiciary the very apex of law enforcement agents on board before their foetid festering wound becomes a cancerous sore.
What do we do?
We must recognise that ideas rule the world. And as argued by the emerging Philosopher Dr Jimanze Ego-Alowes, it is fresh IDEAS, fresh thinking, fresh approach that are needed to tackle the problems and challenges of the New Age. We cannot be doing the same old thing and expect new results.
Japan, Germany and the US assembled their best thinkers, their best ideas men and women to chart new courses for their countries when they were faced with unusual challenges after the Second World War. The Asian tigers did the same thing and achieved the wonders the world is celebrating today.
I had an A in Economics in both my GCE Advanced Level and Cambridge Higher School Certificate Examinations 50 years ago. I bet those scores, impressive as they sound, will tumble in the face of modern Economic challenges!
Nigeria’s problems and challenges are not new. And every cab driver can tell you what these problems are, but not every Harvard trained University Professor or every governor that won an election has a clue as to what the solutions are. This is where new ideas come handy and are very imperative.
Permit me sir to proceed with a suggestion which is a recommendation that you constitute without delay an Ad-hoc Committee of about twelve to nineteen brightest Minds in this country whose members shall meet for about three days every month, and after each 3-day meeting hold a session with you and your cabinet.
I have some individuals who have over the years articulated ideas as to how we can get out of the woods. I am not talking of agitators and critics. Talk is cheap. In fact most agitators and critics perform poorly when they are given opportunity to perform. Therefore, I am recommending IDEAS men and women; vibrant young men and women whose views are rich and robust. Mr President can scout for a few more than the names I am recommending but such individuals should not be older than 50 or thereabout; the younger the better. I know some governors who have extraordinary vision and ideas which the nation can benefit from. There also exist some former governors brilliant and booming with creative ideas but who fortunately are already in your cabinet.
I recommend 1. Emeka Obasi. 2, Professor Adeolu Durotoye. 3. Ms Ayisa Osori. 4. Dr Jimanze Ego-Alowes 5. Professor Wale Adebanwi. 6. Ms Funke Egbemode. 7. Babajide Ogunsanwo. 8. Bassey Osagie 9. Gabriel Akinadewo, 10. Pius Ilogu. 11. Kehinde Shogunle. We need about 8 more to make the required number. But I should warn that it is not a federal character jamboree. When the US assembled her IDEAS men for the Marshall Plan, more than 60% of the members were German-Americans.
I wish you a successful tenure as I wish Nigeria and Nigerians the very best under this uniquely positioned dispensation.
With great respect.
*High Chief Tola Adeniyi
Executive Chairman, The Knowledge Plaza and Founder, Global Intelligentsia for Buhari.