36 state govs ask court to stop $418m Paris Club debt deductions

By Kenechukwu Obiezu

BECAUSE no one tree can make a forest, not even the kings of trees like the iroko, the cedar or the baobab, good leaders have always soared or fallen on the strength of their team.

Because teamwork has always been shown to produce astounding results while commensurately cutting costs and labour, it has long been realised that without a good team one would continue to struggle in vain, or achieve less than one could actually achieve with a good team in place.

The importance of teamwork in practically every aspect of human endeavour takes on even more urgency in leadership where a leader is expected to rely as much as he can on those around him to achieve set goals. Thus, in such situations, a leader is only as good as those he has on his team.

Their flaws become his flaws and their strengths become his as well.

In 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari won a historic election as Nigeria‘s president.

 It came out of nowhere as it was the first time an incumbent president would lose election in the country. In the run up to the election, while he campaigned, Buhari had pledged to help build a country where corruption would no longer be tolerated. He had also promised to get things working again in Nigeria.

Thus, it was eminently frustrating for many Nigerians when it took six months for Buhari to pick his team upon assumption of office. The eternity it took to pick the team, most of which was retained in 2019, seemed to generally set the slow pace of an administration that seems to take an eternity on each decision.

With many of the ministers starting out like a house on fire before eventually cooling off as harsh Nigerian realities coldly doused out their flames, Nigerians have found frustration aplenty in the portfolio of some of the ministers.

For example, the one who was Minister of Finance upon the inception of the administration was swiftly embroiled in a certificate scandal. Another one who came on board only in 2019 swiftly sleepwalked into a storm of terrorist sympathy.

The one in charge of justice has done almost everything injudiciously. It was eons ago that Nigerians stopped believing anything that came from the mouth of the minister in charge of information, while those in charge of labour and education know to amuse themselves with those antics that are incompatible with labour and education in the actual sense.

When the National Assembly stood its ground and refused to cede an inch of its legislative territory on the question of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 which invariably put political appointees seeking political offices in perilous positions, the battle moved to the courts. A short-lived decision of the Federal High Court invalidating the section had Nigeria‘s Attorney-General rubbing his hand in glee.

With the decision having been upturned on appeal and many of Buhari‘s ministers having spent millions into procuring tickets to run for political offices, he has asked them to resign. About 10 of them have done so in the last few days with a few others chickening out as the prospect of being stranded in the political wilderness stared them square in the face.

Now, what are many of them that have left so far leaving behind? ASUU remains on a strike that is about to stretch into five months. Insecurity has become a constant companion of Nigerians.

The standard of living keeps getting lower for many Nigerians, and as if to add salt to injury, distractions now abound for a team that has always been too easily distracted.

As an administration that promised so much but delivered so little prepares to leave office, Nigerians have many memories of the ministers who served in this administration. Unfortunately, the memories are anything but fond.

Obiezu, a social commentator, wrote via [email protected]

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