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Monday, 7 September 2015

Let’s Support President Buhari To Rebuild Nigeria, By Joe Igbokwe


Buhari Writing
…given the state of the nation, I am of the opinion that time has come for us to do away with this ethnic balancing in the discharge of national assignments. It has become the biggest threat to national unity and development. Everybody now thinks about his state of origin and tribe but no one thinks about Nigeria as a country. The country has been milked without conscience, gang-raped without remorse, pillaged and plundered without mercy, and any attempt by the past leaders to address the drift has been met with stiff opposition from loyal kinsmen who felt one of their own is being stopped from stealing enough for his family and tribe.
From his struggles to rule Nigeria from 2003 till 2015, when God answered his prayers, I think President Buhari has been the most prepared leader to govern Nigeria since independence. From his puritanical disposition, power of tenacity, courage, persistence, body language and his recent assets declaration, I believe that President Buhari has been thrown up by the forces of history to begin to reposition Nigeria to take her place in the global economy and politics. Given the gamut of hate attacks, name callings and even attempts to take his life during the campaigns, the most vicious in the history of Nigeria, I believe that God has a hand in picking this 72 year-old man to rebuild Nigeria for all and sundry.
Not happy with the outcome of the March 28 Presidential elections, a cross-section of the country has vowed to throw mud and stones to any decision the president takes to move Nigeria forward. They have made it a point of duty to attack every step the man has taken to reposition Nigeria. They say he is “Baba go slow”, they say he has no plans for Nigeria, they say he is not prepared to govern at all, they say he is a jihadist, a tribalist who is confused about how to govern Nigeria. They are still very angry, hitting their heads against concrete walls, vomiting venoms and wishing that Nigeria ceases to exist as a political entity. But we can do better than this. Once elections are over, people are expected to support the winner and wait for the next election.
President Buhari’s recent appointments escalated the matter further. Heaven was let loose and criticisms came from all corners and the noise was deafening and is still deafening as I write this piece. I share the sentiments of those who are protesting, I share their feelings and I love them, but I love Nigeria more. Nigeria and Nigerians have gone through many disturbing, frustrating and bitter times to get to where we are today, and given the state of the nation, I am of the opinion that time has come for us to do away with this ethnic balancing in the discharge of national assignments. It has become the biggest threat to national unity and development. Everybody now thinks about his state of origin and tribe but no one thinks about Nigeria as a country. The country has been milked without conscience, gang-raped without remorse, pillaged and plundered without mercy, and any attempt by the past leaders to address the drift has been met with stiff opposition from loyal kinsmen who felt one of their own is being stopped from stealing enough for his family and tribe.
Given the situation in Nigeria today I make bold to say that if President Buhari can find the first eleven from Benue State or Ebonyi State, he should use them to rebuild Nigeria. This approach appears to be too radical and provocative, but please think about it, think about Nigeria, and think about 16years of PDP in Nigeria.
Now my take is this: We are in an unusual situation in Nigeria and an unusual situation demands an unusual solution. We have to do the unthinkable, we have to change the rules, we have to do things differently, think and reason differently. In the human rights community, we are told that when a law is structured in such a way that will encourage injustice to all, endanger all, starve all, punish and humiliate all, such law must be broken. Given the situation in Nigeria today I make bold to say that if President Buhari can find the first eleven from Benue State or Ebonyi State, he should use them to rebuild Nigeria. This approach appears to be too radical and provocative, but please think about it, think about Nigeria, and think about 16 years of PDP in Nigeria.
Former President Obasanjo ruled Nigeria for eight years and yet there was nothing too spectacular to point to in the South-West as a landmark achievement. Chief Pius Anyiam from the South-East and Ebonyi State has been the Senate President and Secretary to the Federal Government and yet the second Niger Bridge was not built, Enugu-Onitsha expressway was not rebuilt, Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway was not rebuilt and no serious federal presence was felt anywhere in the South-East. Again what did former President Jonathan do in the South-South of Bayelsa, Rivers and others? What did IBB do in Minna? What did Abacha do in Kano? What did Yar’Adua do in Katsina? What did Shagari do in Sokoto? What did Gowon do in Jos? When Chief Alex Ekwueme was the Vice President, was the River Niger dredged? When Chuba Okadigbo, Evans Enwerem, and Wagbara were the Senate Presidents what did they do in the South-East?
A recent world report says Nigeria is one of the world’s worst business destinations. Again, Nigerians are living witnesses of the upsurge of refugee crisis in Europe as a consequence of the Civil War in Syria and Iraq. We just need to buckle up to these new challenges to quickly build a country we can all be proud of. Let us be patient with President Buhari until he finishes with all the appointments and if any section of the country feels marginalised, they can then protest.
I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that President Buhari means well for Nigeria. He has shown through actions and deeds since May 29, 2015 that he has an idea of how to get Nigeria out of trouble. As a former President, a former governor, a former Minister, Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), etc., I hold this truth, which is self evident, that if given the right support and encouragement this President can restore the glory of Nigeria.
Unless some people are still deceiving themselves, PDP ruined and decimated Nigeria in the past 16 years. We know it, even PDP knows it and the world knows it also. There is no need for PDP to continue to maintain a bold face and be showing Dutch courage in the face of the unmitigated disaster they left behind. I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that President Buhari means well for Nigeria. He has shown through actions and deeds since May 29, 2015 that he has an idea of how to get Nigeria out of trouble. As a former President, a former governor, a former Minister, Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), etc., I hold this truth, which is self evident, that if given the right support and encouragement this President can restore the glory of Nigeria.
He needs all the support because corruption is fighting back ferociously. Corruption, like a raging fire is spreading its tentacles everywhere, fighting to stay on. Let us support this President to break the backbone of corruption in Nigeria and fight it to surrender. If he succeeds, and I am sure he will, Nigeria will gain and all of us will gain too.
Joe Igbokwe is Publicity Secretary of Lagos State Chapter of APC.

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