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When President Returns

THERE is no shortage of suggestions about the problems with Nigeria, and even Nigerians. One major ingredient that has been lacking in the Nigerian situation is leadership – the type that would provide purposeful direction for Nigerians. A shortage of such leadership exists where it matters most, the presidency.

When the President returns, he would discover that his aides have exploited the enormous powers the Constitution invests on him with recourse only to themselves. They expect his gratitude.

Writers of the Constitution assumed the President would be selfless, patriotic and endued with zeal, knowledge and commitment that would infect those who serve with him. The backwardness of Nigeria in provision of food, housing, education, roads, health services, water, electricity, employment, security and justice continues. Our leaders talk more than they work.

Twelve years of democracy have proven that we need a President whose programmes would centre on ploughing the resources of this country into creating wealth and improved infrastructure. The President must provide direction, especially with concerns about the future of the world’s most populous black nation.

Nigerians have little faith in the future of a country that cannot meet their needs today. Millions of Nigerians are overwhelmed by the burden of daily existence. Why should they bother with the future? What is the future without a present? The leaders dwell so much on the past that they are out of touch with the present pains of the people, pains that point to a more painful future.

The months after the President’s return would be consumed by all manners of solidarity visits by all sorts of people, who must pledge their unflinching loyalty and regurgitate tales of their roles in holding the forte while the President was away. Nigeria cannot afford that type of waste at this critical moment.

Ceremonies would consume what is left of this presidency. The same divisive and morbid strategy of appealing to base sentiments that has been used on putting the country on hold for the President would be explored in explaining why he would require some time to pore through the heaps of sensitive documents that our new Constitution says only presidential  hands are fit to touch.

Nigerians expect the President to understand that the poverty ravaging the land is not just statistics. He must halt it. He must rediscover the Constitution which he disobeyed flagrantly during his unprecedented absence.

The President must stamp his authority on government, for once, on the side of the people. When governments create so much hardship they cast the people aside, and ignore Section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution which states that, “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government…”.

When the President returns, Nigerians would want to feel the impact of the administration, for good.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.