The Weight Of Responsibility


It’s been over three months since the former INEC chairman, Prof Attaihiru Jega, announced that Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the winner of the Presidential elections. It’s also been 39 days since Mr. President was officially sworn in as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The “change” mantra that inundated the polity before and during the last general elections has simmered down. Since the assumption of Mr. President to the helm of affairs, Nigerians have been impatiently looking forward to the “change” in all aspects of their lives, albeit the present administration is just over a month old. Nigerians have high expectations for the present administration and can’t wait for the ball to start rolling. Hence, the current public discourse is that of impatience, frustration and indignation in some quarters within the polity.
The recent return of queues at filling stations, the current violence by the dastard insurgents in the North and the yet-to-be-appointed ministers are contributing to the perceived notion that the present administration is slow in action. While these Nigerians have the right to censure the present administration, they should also have it at the back of their minds that Rome was not built in a day. Moreover, there is a saying that slow and steady wins the race. It is better for the present administration to take its time in permanently tackling the myriad of problems facing the nation than to hurriedly provide temporary “cosmetic approaches” than would not stand the test of time.
This is the first time in our democratic history that an opposition political party would successfully wrest power from a well-grounded and entrenched ruling party. There is already a lot of rot in the system and certainly, Mr. President could not have envisaged the extent of the rot he is meeting on ground. Via the revelations and proffers of the Ahmed Joda-led transition committee, one can tell that Mr. President has a lot of arduous tasks ahead of him. He has a lot of revamping, resuscitation, and overhauling to do in order to get things up and running. With dwindling oil revenues, the economy on a down turn, states unable to pay workers, terrorism annihilating livelihoods in the Northeastern part of the country, etc., the President has got a lot on his plate. I believe Mr. President knows the responsibility before him and from all indications he is looking at such problems as his personal responsibility not from the toga of his political party.
From his antecedents, Mr. President prefers tackling issues meticulously and from its genesis.
The argument out there is that since Mr. President has been seeking this position for a while now, he should have been prepared for the myriad of problems before him. While I concur with this, it is different when on the hot seat. I believe the President wants to get things right and does not want to be in too much of a hurry in doing so, apparently in order not to make many mistakes. The previous administration made a lot of mistakes in governance which led to its downfall. The present administration does not want to tow in the same line, which is why it is obviously being cautious. The present administration does not want to make the same mistakes as the previous one, especially in the choice of men and women who are going to deliver on the promise of change of this government. The problem here is that Mr. President seemingly has only people from a political pool to choose from. His choice has been limited to people within his political party who share the same vision and seek to change the fortunes of our country. However, perusing his antecedents, Mr. President would want efficient and capable hands working with him in realising his vision, regardless of political party affiliation, creed or ethnicity. Mr. President would have to look for alternative options (which from all indications he is doing). This would take a little more time.

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