By Dayo Johnson; Samuel Oyadongha; Peter Duru; Rotimi Ojomoyela; Egufe Yafugborhi Chioma Onuegbu; Steve Oko; Shina Abubakar; Ochuko Akuopha; Ozioruva Aliu; Deola Badru & James Ogunnaike
In the heat of the campaigns during the last presidential elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, now president, pledged to follow in the footsteps of the then President Muhammadu Buhari, a pledge that made both Buhari and Tinubu the butt of jokes by the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike.
Having been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Tinubu assumed office last Monday as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Eminent Nigerians have however counselled the president to be wary of some of the false steps taken by his predecessor which he must avoid in order to repair the damage that had been done in the country.
Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former President, of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must avoid the tribalistic and nepotistic tendencies of his predecessor, ex-President Muhammadu Buhari. He must unite Nigeria by placing merit, equity and geopolitical spread above tribal sentiments in his appointments. Buhari divided Nigeria with his nepotism. We had expected Buhari to depart from the culture of a leader surrounding himself with people that look like him and sound like him. That’s not the way to unite Nigeria. Tinubu should not follow that pattern.
He should show an understanding of the workings of the economy and not engage in policy somersaults or ignorance in economic management as exhibited by his predecessor. He should avoid thinking it’s okay to keep borrowing and printing money.
That devalues the Naira and raises inflation. Tinubu must be real and genuine in the fight against corruption. Buhari pretended to be fighting corruption but there was no real evidence. Under his watch, there were more corrupt individuals and corruption cases in Nigeria. Nigeria’s rating in the corruption index also worsened. We expect that Tinubu should be present and not absent. He should show proof that he is in charge, unlike Buhari that stood aloof.
I commend Tinubu for his quick intervention in the recent face-off between the EFCC and the DSS. He gave orders immediately and there was calm, unlike Buhari that looked away. Tinubu must be impartial in the war against insecurity, unlike Buhari who fought against his ethnic Fulani bandits with kid gloves. Tinubu must respect the rule of law, an attitude, Buhari lacked.
He should not be discretionary like Buhari. Government must obey its court orders. If government disobeys its own laws who does it expect to obey it. That can lead to anarchy.
Tinubu must also give conscious attention to investment promotion. He must show an understanding of the relationship between job creation and investment. He should focus on investment promotion and try to make Nigeria attractive for investors. He should maintain a single exchange rate.
We cannot talk of developing Nigeria by depending on money printed by the Central Bank. We need investment capital to flow. And the only way it can flow is by creating the enabling environment, making Nigeria conducive and attractive for investments”.
Ambassador Yemi Farounmbi
The major footstep of former President Buhari which President Tinubu should follow is infrastructural development, there were attempts to develop the infrastructure, like the second Niger bridge, the establishment the University of Medicine and Nutrition, Polytechnics and Technical Colleges of Education, Lagos-Ibadan express road, Enugu-Port Harcourt express road and Oyo- Ogbomoso-Ilorin express road.
But I hope President Tinubu will not follow Buhari’s footsteps in the area of security, because, under his watch, the security deteriorated or totally collapsed in Nigeria. What used to be a North-East crisis became a national tragedy and headache. We also hope he will not follow Buhari’s footsteps in his fight against corruption.
We didn’t really see an active fight against corruption the way we thought we would see. We hope he will not follow Buhari’s footsteps in the pauperisation of the people because it will appear the people were economically healthier when he came on board eight years ago than when he left last week. We hope the new President takes a more rational, objective decision to tackle the economic situation.
We hope the escalating inflation is curtailed so that the value of the naira will be enhanced, poverty is drastically reduced, more jobs will be created or a conducive atmosphere is created for those that will do it. That is what we hope to see from this President.
Chief Frank Kokori, former General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and Chieftain of APC
If Bola Tinubu said he was going to follow in Buhari’s footsteps, it does not mean he is going to be like Buhari. He was looking for power, so those were just political talks. Tinubu will follow his own strategy and from now on, you will see changes. Buhari does not have any philosophy or achievement that people can be proud of which Tinubu will follow.
Tinubu is a wise person; he has his own agenda and one of the first things he should do is to ensure that Nigeria is run on a real federal system. Nigeria is being fraudulently run by what the military did, so he should decentralize the government properly.
All Nigerians know the importance of security. Buhari talked about security but he could not perform anything on security; he was a failure in the area of security. Tinubu should fight corruption and get the economy running. Buhari was very secluded, and taciturn and barricaded himself with a cabal.
Buhari was not in control of his government, his ministers were in control. Buhari’s ministers were lords, they could do anything. No government in the world allows its ministers to do anything they like.
Dr Bitrus Pogu, National President, Middle Belt Forum
Nigeria will plunge into a disaster if President Bola Tinubu emulates or follows the footsteps of former president Muhammadu Buhari as there was nothing good about the outgone administration to emulate.
There is nothing in former president Buhari’s governance that one would follow that would move Nigeria forward. Is it the economy, is it the unfulfilled promises, is it the insecurity, is it the worsening poverty, is it the state of education in the country? The list is endless.
Mr Ayo Fadaka, former South West Zonal Publicity Secretary, PDP
I have queried myself as to what Buhari’s footsteps are and do not seem to have an answer. The truth is that the Buhari years represent an era of hollowness and comprehensive depreciation in our national life and if the Tinubu years are going to be a semblance of that, Nigeria will decline and disintegrate.
The hike in the prices of fuel has dire consequences that spiral across all facets of our economic life and those at the lowest rung of life are affected the most, that is over 70% of the population. Tinubu must put on his thinking cap and roll out policies that will relaunch Nigeria and position it into its previous place of pride in Africa, failure to do this will only spell doom for our democracy and nation.
Mr Taiwo Akerele, former Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki
Buhari performed in the infrastructure sector, particularly in the railway and roads across Nigeria. So it will be a welcome development if the Tinubu administration can even triple the amount of money that the out-gone government of Buhari invested in that sector.
The only advice is that it should involve the private sector in infrastructure financing because the government alone cannot fund infrastructure.
The Buhari government also invested significantly in human capital particularly during COVID-19 when the economy was shut down and a lot of people could not do business.
For the first time, Nigeria carried out a very ambitious social investment program that affected millions of people across the country. However, Tinubu should differ in other sectors particularly in the area of economic management, because the Buhari government did not do well in that sector.
He should also differ in the area of security, he should have zero tolerance for kidnapping, and he should have zero tolerance for the abduction of school children, it is totally unacceptable that under the Buhari government, children were being kidnapped on a regular basis, especially between 2021 and 2022.
So, the Tinubu government should come out with a national security architecture that will take care of school children and people travelling along the expressways, in-fact he should guarantee the lives and property of our people.
Abagun Kole Omololu, National Organizing Secretary, Afenifere
President Tinubu has outlined his policies during his inaugural speech. He only identified with Buhari on infrastructure and it is a good thing that the President wants to follow that step. Tinubu is a cosmopolitan city boy, nepotism and religious bigotry are alien to him. He was an international student and a corporate giant who understands world view.