I belong to the class of seemingly faceless Nigerians in the majority, who have always dreamed of a greater Nigeria; although we are not there yet, I know that we have taken a giant stride, a step further in the right direction of nation building.
Dear General Muhammadu Buhari,
First of all I will like to congratulate you, your team and Nigerians on this historic victory at a very important time in our nation’s history.
I belong to the class of seemingly faceless Nigerians in the majority, who have always dreamed of a greater Nigeria; although we are not there yet, I know that we have taken a giant stride, a step further in the right direction of nation building. The lessons learnt from President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration include the fact that the power has truly returned to the people. In 2011, these same Nigerians who, out of love, voted him into office have voted him out at the just concluded general elections. They did this because of incompetence and broken promises.
While many have described you as our Abraham Lincoln, I think you stand as Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela wrapped in one person. These two, were leaders of their countries at very trying times when their countries needed unity and stability. Like the case of Nigeria, you will inherit so many challenges, top on the list is the level of disunity and distrust borne out of bad politicking. Like Lincoln and Mandela, these issues should be tackled with care and purpose of keeping Nigeria as one united, indivisible nation.
I believe that travelling the length and breadth of the nation during your campaign afforded you enough opportunity to witness first hand not just the sufferings of Nigerians but also the deep rooted distrust among several ethnic groups in the country. Nigeria is at a critical state right now and requires urgent attention in the areas of trust, love and unity. You have a huge task ahead of you in uniting and building the trust among the different groups that make up this great country.
Your predecessor made some remarkable economic progress which unfortunately were more statistical than real. Nigerians need jobs.
Over 40 million Nigerians are jobless and many more under-employed. Reviving our non functional refineries, building new ones and revamping the steel industry will help create hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities.
The entertainment industry is a goldmine and proper regulations that will reduce if not stop piracy will go a long way to help in employment generation.
Maximising the potentials of each region, like agriculture in the North, administration in the South West, technology in the South East and oil in the Niger Delta will also do a great deal of good.
One of the greatest undoing of the outgoing administration is the team that President Goodluck Jonathan worked with. Nigeria is blessed with very intelligent individuals who can hold their own before anybody in the world. Good governments in the past have searched for the best brains to work. Reaching out to the best will be a big plus for your government.
As you are aware, institutionalised corruption is the biggest problem of Nigeria which needs to be curbed. But the fight against corruption shouldn’t blind the administration from the main objective of putting the nation on the track of greatness once again. I believe that investing too much time in pursuing vindictive roles won’t be the best for the country right now.
Listen to Nigerians:
Like you, I am an unrepentant believer in the Nigerian project and her collective destiny. Nigerians will expect a lot from you and I will suggest that you listen to them at all times. Nigerians are more exposed and enlightened today than in the past and will hold you accountable for all the promises made during your campaign. President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was seriously criticised because he reneged on his promises.
The truth is that no President can fulfill all his campaign promises but communicating why you cannot to Nigerians will go a long way.
Secondly, do not allow the noise of your aides and advisers to over shadow the voice of Nigerians. Always stay in tune with the pulse of the people because your victory has shown them the power of their PVC.
Nigeria is in dire need of infrastructural overhaul.
Poor transport system, bad roads and road network etc. We need power which will help generate employment, functional railways that will reduce the use of our roads and automobile accidents.
The educational sector requires total restructuring. The lecturing process and syllabus needs to be upgraded to what is obtainable in other parts of the world.
As a former General, your knowledge of the military should be used to strengthen our security forces and the security of lives and properties in the country. Our borders should be properly manned to avoid the entrance of illegal immigrants in order to beef up security against the importation of weapons for terrorist and militant groups.
These are my few concerns.
Once again, I want to congratulate and wish you a wonderful time in office.
God bless Nigeria!
Long Live Nigeria!!!
– Onyeka Ibeanusi is a Musician, writer, social commentator and founder of Hype9ja.com