Buhari As A Sole Administrator | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari As A Sole Administrator

Posted: Sep 29, 2015 at 12:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Today marks the fourth month that Nigerians have been governed by a sole administrator – a man the majority of the electorate voted for in the March 28, 2015, presidential election, to give the country a change in leadership. But since May 29, 2015, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) assumed the federal administration, the change mantra, which was their Unique Selling Point (USP) during the electioneering campaign is fast becoming a faux-pas or so it seems.

So many Nigerians that one has had cause to interact with on the subject of the present administration, though divided in shades, are of the opinion that we may have entered a one-chance-bus (a commercial bus with which armed robbers deal with unsuspecting commuters) in which we will never get to our destination. Of course, destination point is good governance in all of four years.

At the inception of this administration, so many Nigerians were deluded that with President Muhammadu Buhari at the saddle of national leadership, we will witness the rebirth of a new Nigeria. After the inaugural ceremony, however, to the chagrin of many thinkers, all hopes of unifying the deeply divided populace, arising from the electioneering campaigns, were dashed in the very acts of the President. What we see is four months of an administration without a cabinet, policies and programmes. Nigerians have waited for all of 120 days in vain, while Buhari is engrossed with shopping for saints from outer space to run his administration. Without belabouring the point, we have also seen appointments that are lopsided without an iota of consideration for the need to unify the country. Added to those ones are the much noise about anti-corruption and the war against the Boko Haram terror group, with conflicting statements on the Chibok girls. 

Quite a number of people will agree that Nigerians bargained for something much better than this, within the first four months of the Buhari’s administration. Alas! Baba Go Slow is fast becoming a disappointment.  Maybe our expectations of the man who in his early 40s showed some razzmatazz as military head of state in1984/85, were really too high and that the national political shenanigans of the 1980s are thoroughly different 30years thereon from the personal idiosyncrasies of present day Nigerians. In this wise, it would only be proper to  recall Buhari’s statement in South Africa to the effect that at 72years, there is not much he could do and his regret that he did not become president at a much younger age. One does sympathise with him on that note but he knows he was that old before he sought Nigerians’ mandate to lead. Age simply has nothing to do with it.

But is that really reflective in what presently obtains?  The limitation of old age shouldn’t constitute a problem in appointing his cabinet. Rather it ought to expedite it. But the President’s determination to sole-administer had him make the awful statement that “minister are noise makers.” That best explains why he is yet to appoint ministers. Just as well, old age shouldn’t constitute a clog in the formulation of the administration’s economic blueprint and policy direction, more so, given the fact that for 12years, Buhari canvassed for leadership. Or is it that in all of these years, he had no idea of what he intends to do in office as President? If truly, he does have, then four months is more than enough time to unleash it.

Honestly, it is time President Buhari stops the honeymoon and gets serious with the act of governance. The September dateline he gave for the appointment of minister is a day short of running out. By tomorrow he would have failed to deliver on that promise. He needs no saints from outer space to run his administration; therefore, it is time enough to appoint his cabinet. This becomes more imperative because there are speculations in some political quarters that some lawyers are studying the constitution to ascertain if the non-appointment of ministers over a period of time constitutes a breach of the constitution and an impeachment offence. There are grave implications to that. And we cannot afford to heat up the polity. It is also pertinent to state that we cannot rule out the fact that an embittered National Assembly leadership could read a crime against the President in his non-appointment of ministers. It is, therefore, not out of place to advise that the administration should be circumspect in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, as it is generally perceived as political.

That brings to mind the issue of the would-be Senate’s screening of the yet to be appointed ministers. Will a Saraki-led Senate be very receptive to Buhari’s ministerial nominees? Your guess is as good as mine. All things granted, the minister designates will need about three months to learn the ropes in order to adapt to ministerial duties. That by implication means that today, should the President forward his ministerial list to the Senate, Nigeria would have wasted precious seven months before the Buhari’s administration settles down to governance. This is highly unfortunate; a consequence of his sole-administratorship.

Apologists and propagandists of the administration will, however, differ averring that Buhari means well and he is in good stead, stirring the ship of state in the right direction. They will never agree that the economy, for now, is lying prostrate without a policy direction and investors confidence is waning by the day as evident in the daily trading activities at the Stock Exchange. Neither will they agree that Buhari operates as a sole administrator and have made some appointments that breach constitutional provisions, nor that the administration’s modus operandi is sending the wrong signal to international investors that this may be a dictatorship in civil garb.

Interestingly, the APC leadership that vehemently accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of dictatorship and impunity does not seem to see any wrong in Buhari’s actions and inactions; so the need for correction does not arise. It is a case of “it is right in reversal option.” Certainly, though; Nigeria needs a government not a sole administrator…Shikina!