Buharism As A Culture to Nurture for the Future, By Alaba Yusuf
Buhari’s busy fingers could be seen moulding several pies. Ranging from his setting up of the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Anti-Corruption Committee, the request for special corruption courts, civil service reform, police reform, oil and gas reform, military reform, the cancellation of government sponsorship of pilgrims, the unification of citizens data, the introduction of a single treasury account, the public declaration of assets and a 50 percent cut in the president’s and Vice President’s salaries; to endearing global diplomacy and a spring of good national image, tantamount to: PMB PERFORMING BETTER for Nigeria and Nigerians!
“When an old man tills the ground to plant trees, wisdom dictates that he isn’t planning to live forever, or hoping to enjoy the shade that the trees will provide; but leaving behind a worthy legacy to generations yet unborn.” – African Proverb
It is my public relations trademark to always benchmark success in any endeavor as the seamless synchronisation of the tripodal factors of production, which I simply abbreviate as: D.T.S. No DTS, no success!
Taken in fullness, DTS stands for Dream, Team and Steam. It is the fusion of aspiration and perspiration to create a congruence of innovation for human progression. Life without DTS thus becomes incomplete, unfulfilled and unpleasant. For only a well-defined DTS can make the difference between success and failure in human affairs – be it at individual, corporate or governmental levels. Failure, apparently, emanates from the aggregate of a dream without a proper team and/or a subtraction of a suitable steam or budget backing.
Hence, placed safely in inverted pyramidal perspective, good governance derivable from able leadership forms the dream while an active and constructive citizenry and stakeholders’ input become the team; plus a harmonised human and natural national resources as the steam – a veritable powerhouse for development.
Meanwhile, let’s begin to cascade things down from the world of abstract philosophy to the spheres of homegrown reality. Take 1: Nigerians voted for good governance and emancipation from tyrannical and a very corrupt political cabal. March 28, 2015 answered the people’s prayers for security, equity, unity and national development.
Take 2: on May 29, 2015 a new President rose to the rostrum at Eagle Square, Abuja and received the crown and staff of office. Saunter in President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), a new Sheriff in town, aptly described by US President Barack Obama as “a President that came to power on the wave of enormous integrity.”
Now it is hundred days so far that the Buhari phenomenon hit Nigeria’s body politics. What has changed? After all, his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was nourished and polished in “Change Mantra.”
With PMB in the saddle, Nigeria’s image has positively occupied the global canvass. From the ECOWAS subregion to the African Continent, Europe and America, the Giant of Africa is back on track as a beautiful bride that world suitors now compete to date. From the G7 Summit to the White House invitation to the Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria now engages the world comparatively. Without doubt, the first plus for Buhari’s government is the provision of a good national image for Nigeria and Nigerians, at home and internationally.
For PMB, a former military head of state, ex-Governor, ex-Minister and ex-chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), to publicly declare a total asset of less than N30 million cash in his entire single-bank account, plus other paltry property, goes to show the rare honesty, modesty and austerity of a man who lives in a country renowned for untamed duplicity and complicity in corrupt practices.
Similarly the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), an erudite legal illuminator and social welfare engineer, also disclosed his non flamboyant asset for all to see. Never has the country been gifted with such men of honour, for whom transparency and accountability are watchwords. History is in the making here.
So much that jitters now jolt corrupt elements everywhere in a country of so-called sacred cows. Both the ICPC and EFCC have been steely strengthened and can now bark and bite with new Buhari canine. Even the police, under the watchful eyes of the cerebral Inspector General Solomon Arase, has woken up from slumber and effecting and beating criminals to their game.
For effectiveness and qualitative service, the President directed the IGP to withdraw police personnel from so called VIPs and also employ 10,000 fresh legs on the beat. Annoying and extortionist road blocks now belong to the past too.
Security is the third platform of activity where the soldierly ingenuity of President Buhari has frontally projected itself. From the Sahel of North-Eastern Nigeria down to the swampy mangroves of the Niger Delta, the ‘bad boys’ are getting punched where it really hurts. Aside the boosted morale of the infantry brought about by synchronised and concerted armed forces campaign, the populace and the world are fast backing Buhari on his war against the dastardly Boko Haram insurgents. And the results are showing. “We will exterminate them before December” a proud army commander has promised. At last, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are beginning to have a respite.
In the same, the multifarious mushroom illegal refineries hitherto hidden in the creeks of the Niger Delta, siphoning millions of petro-dollar crude on daily basis, are now ferns for military inferno. Strangely, not even the usually tough talking ex-militants can cough in opposition. May be ambitiously, PMB has called on the armed forces to start manufacturing weapons and ammunition. It is an added bullet to his belt of courage though.
As the field work continues, the government has been unrelenting in its reconstruction and rehabilitation drive. A substantial world bank loan with low interest and a decade moratorium was secured to re-build the North-East. In the same vein, the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of Brigadier General Boroh (rtd.) has been sanitised and regularised through biometrics and equitable distribution of resources to the mass of the disadvantaged in the zone. Tuitions and welfare to genuine students at home and abroad are now being paid at due dates.
On energy and power supply, Buhari performs better than most leaders before him. The fear of the stoic soldier-turned-democrat has brightened the bulbs in our homes and on the roads. Electricity, in most places, stays with Nigerians more than 12 hours on the average. And the Discos and Gencos are now sending out real bills and not the imaginary ones of old. It is no longer business as usual.
Amazingly, Nigeria’s economy has been on the rise despite low prices of crude oil – the country’s mainstay. External reserves have increased from under barely $30billion to nearly $32 billion within two months of PMB’S administration – even though oil prices still fluctuate around $45 in the global market!
This upward surge in national revenue index may not be unconnected to the latest watertight and productivity based reforms at NNPC and the gas sector. Coupled with the introduction of a single treasury account (STA) into which all government revenues now accrue. Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is also looking up. Thus allowing the federating states to share more from the national pool of resources. Many states have imbibed the Buhari culture of single, manageable and audit-friendly accounting.
Today, Nigerian workers who wallowed under the heavyweight of unpaid salaries for nearly a year, are now heaving a sigh of relief from what some people coined as the ‘Presidential Bailout.’ Long time debts hitherto hanging on the necks of State governments like Albatross have also been converted to easy to bear bonds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), based on the advice of PMB. The federation account is now being audited and made more accessible.
For the first time too, a Nigerian leader has taken the gauntlet of restoring lost aviation glory back to a nation that used to have Nigeria Airways with a staggering 34 airplanes in its fleet. All sadly defunct now. PMB wants a revival of our pride in the air. I flew Emirate Airbus A380 recently, and I know the honour and prestige plus financial independence it yields to the United Arab Emirate.
On tackling joblessness via wealth generation, Buhari is hopeful to buoy the country’s commonwealth through intensive exploration of solid minerals and agricultural potentials of the nation, in order to provide needed employment for yearning Nigerians – young and old.
President Buhari has also undertaken the challenge to alleviate the sufferings of senior citizens by directing that all pensioners, private or public, be paid their pensions. The youths too are not left out in this policy bracket. The Vice President has disclosed that at least a meal a day will be supplied to pupils in primary schools. This is expected to be a precursor to the welfare benefit to unemployed school graduates.
Finally, Buhari’s busy fingers could be seen moulding several pies. Ranging from his setting up of the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Anti-Corruption Committee, the request for special corruption courts, civil service reform, police reform, oil and gas reform, military reform, the cancellation of government sponsorship of pilgrims, the unification of citizens data, the introduction of a single treasury account, the public declaration of assets and a 50 percent cut in the president’s and Vice President’s salaries; to endearing global diplomacy and a spring of good national image, tantamount to: PMB PERFORMING BETTER for Nigeria and Nigerians!
Hence, the trending political phenomenon known as Buharism, just like Ghandism, must be emulated by all as a culture to be nurtured for the future. For when old men plant trees, they are doing so not for the benefit of themselves but that of generations unborn, for the continuity of sanity among humanity. Once more, let’s hail Buhari, Mr. Integrity, who’s bringing Nigeria renewed dignity. President Buhari is a dreamer-leader who needs us as team to give steam his dream.
Alaba Yusuf, a journalist and publicist, writes from Enfield, London, UK.