As the dust begin to simmer over the historic victory of the Kastsina born resilient General cum politician at the March 28 presidential poll, it is impossible not to note the rise of certain issues which have to do with the president-elect and Nigeria as a nation. Before those are discussed, a big congratulations to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on his election as the next President to rule or, “govern” this country beginning May 29th 2015. Buhari truly deserves a huge felicitation from all considering the hurdles and spanners in the wheels he had to weather through to his success.
The ruling party ( now opposition party) through the campaign organization of its candidate, did a lot of damage to the image of the general, but as fate would have it, he still won the election. Congratulation sir.
One of the very important and urgent issues Mr. President – elect should consider is a change of title. He should not make the mistake of carrying on the title of ‘General’ into his presidency – as a civilian. It was alright, in fact demanding on Nigerians to address him as Major General Muhammadu Buhari when he was the military head of state but it will not be fitting for him to be addressed as such in a democracy. One of his predecessors changed his from ‘ General to ‘chief’ which is rather comely, how would the new president want to be addressed? Mallam, Alhaji or Mr?
Secondly, there have been calls by some organizations particularly Buhari Friends Organization Network (BFON), coordinated by one Saint Athanasius Okon, that the president – elect should re-introduce the War Against indiscipline (WAI) project which was birthed under his rule as a military leader in the 80s. But as much as the need to urgently deal with the evil, corruption, is appreciated, it will be totally wrong for “WAI’ as in the ‘WAI’ of the 80s we know to be re-introduced or carried out as executed those days.
For those who are old enough to know, it was an era of dread, of course it was a period every Nigerian comported himself or herself well complying with public rules and regulations. But it was a regime of total fright, Nigerians lived in awe, in veneration of the authority in power. An era when the police and military reigned with iron fists.
The world has moved on and away from that, those tendencies are no longer acceptable in the current civilization anymore. Anybody trying to revive that idea will obviously be drawing the country backwards. The job of WAI should be assigned to the Federal Ministry of Information, the National Orientation Agency and other relevant government institutions while the police is allowed to enforce the law which is one of it’s primary assignments anyway. The military and mobile police should be drafted into this assignment at all.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission should also be awakened to the purposes of ‘WAl’ and they should also be awakened to the purposes of ‘WAI’ and they should be directed to carry out their work with the core aim to correct rather than ‘punish’ Nigerians at the slightest opportunity.
It is not a secret that a lot of Nigerians do not mind a Buhari presidency, but many are afraid of his firm personality, with many saying he is too firm for their liking. If the new president heeds the call to rebirth the “WAI’ of the 80s, it will only help to cause more damage to his image. There will be too much fear of him by Nigerians, and if that happens, his government will gradually be seen as dictatorial. This is not good for him and the country’s democracy. Borrowing from Governor Fashola, a leader should be firm but compassionate.
Although it may be too early to start touching on the economy with the incoming administration, it is relevant for the president – elect to be advised not to try tackling every sector at the same time, others who did failed. His administration should focus on a few areas of the economy per time, achieve results there and perhaps that will give them a smooth return for second tenure in 2019.