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METELE ATTACK: In open letter to Buhari, SERAP calls for probe of military spending from 1999

By Joseph Edgar…

This is the question that should be on the President’s mind as he begins the process of building his cabinet for his second term. What legacy would he be leaving behind? That should be his guiding vision as he brings together human capital with a strong view to plugging in on the vision.

His albatross in his first coming was the inescapable need to satisfy all the influences and blocks that assisted in wresting power from a dumb Jonathan government and that was why I suppose it took almost forever for the cabinet list to be released. That Nigerians were disappointed at the composition was stating the obvious as some very tired and empty people made it into the list and not too surprising we have seen the performance of the team in some very critical areas like power, health and infrastructure to name a few.

Although there were some bright lights like in Agriculture, Finance, especially with the way the CBN has deftly managed the currency, the cabinet mostly performed below par giving the President an almost uphill task in getting re-elected. He really had no choice at that time since his candidacy was a child of circumstances. It was more like the coming together of strange bed fellows who had to be rewarded if he was going to last in power, talk less of securing a re-election.

Today, things are obviously different as there is no more election except there is an inordinate ambition to push a third term agenda which is very unlikely. What this means is that the President really has no one but Nigerians to contend with as he assembles the team that would work towards immortalizing him or leaving him at the peak of the rubbish dump.

As Mr Buhari begins this arduous but otherwise simple task he should ask himself very carefully what legacy he would be leaving and what sectors would readily assist in stamping his role within the annals of Nigeria’s history. After doing that he would now ask himself another simple question…which Nigerians irrespective of sex, religion, ethnic positioning is best suited to deliver on these promises?

Read also: INEC And The Foreign Observers’ Reports

So, lets go back to history. Awolowo wanted Free Education to be the bastion of his legacy in the Southwest. He then built a team who not only shared the vision but also had the capacity to deliver on the promise. He did not choose a team that came from Ikenne or its environs nor did he only look for Christians or use any of the narrow minded initiatives we have come to see to build and deliver his team. That is why today years after his death when free education is talked about any where in the world as regards Africa, Awolowo is thrown up.

Same for Obasanjo, in his first and second incarnations. In the first one, he pushed Agriculture. We all remember the Operation Feed the Nation and how that threw food sufficiency to the front burner. His second incantation was more perceptive. The economy was his bastion. The re-emergence of the middle class and you saw the team that delivered that for him. He threw up champions and surrounded himself with some of the brightest minds no matter where they came from or their gender. People like Adeshina, Okonjo Iweala to mention a few. He also reached out to the private sector and worked closely with people like Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Aig Imhokhuede in various policy initiatives and that is why today some people have said that Obasanjo’s time was the golden era for the economy. Central to the achievement of the administration was the creation of millions of jobs, banking consolidation, pension reforms GSM, amongst others.

So Buhari, the ball is in your court and the decision is yours. Are you going to rise up and use the next four years to emerge as one of the greatest Nigerian Statemen or will you allow yourself to be mired by lowly ethnic sentiments, thereby loosing once again this opportunity that history has thrown up at you?

The choice is yours, we can only advice.

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