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Just like yesterday, five months have gone since the elections that brought change and change is still the scarcest commodity in the market today. President Buhari has spent too much time travelling and talking than identifying the areas in governance that needs solutions and providing those solutions. While his critics have not relented in telling him the truth, his fanatical supporters continue to tell him what he wants to hear. There is no policy on governance. We have no policy on the economy, commerce, industry, education, agriculture, health, housing and those for the constitution itemized ministries now waiting for ministers.
Now that President Muhammadu Buhari has returned from India, it is time to ally with Baba Gana Kingibe, that the honeymoon is over and the country cannot wait to see him stamping his footprints on the sands of time. The India trip brought its controversies. Mr. President’s harping on corruption and his declaration that the country is broke are on all fronts undiplomatic. If there is anything wrong with the Naija economy, citizens deserve to be told first and in great details, not read it from an Indian declaration. It does not matter whether the news is broken to a cross-section of Naija citizens resident in India or at the India-Africa Summit. A president’s loyalty is first and foremost to his citizens – this is why public organs should be preferred to foreign ones.
On corruption, one tends to agree with those who say that Mr. President should tone down the rhetoric. With due respect, India has nothing to teach Naija on fighting corruption judging by the stories that come out of that country. It is shameful enough that African leaders fail to develop the full potentials at home only to go abroad to grovel and beg foreign countries to come and exploit their citizens. There is nothing that India has or achieved that Africa is incapable of achieving in double or quadruple measure – the difference is opportunity and prioritizing. African leaders should stop going abroad to beg others to come and exploit their citizenry and their economy, they should make the space enticing for their own – that is the purpose of the AU and other moribund regional bodies.
Yes, social media has broken the final shard of the Berlin Wall blocking the free flow of information between countries and there are no secrets hidden from Google. Is Naija corrupt? Yes. Does India know this? Yes. Yet it is bad to go to a country you are begging to come and develop your own and telling them that your people are corrupt.  Mr. President should learn to be diplomatic in his speech to his foreign friends by itemizing the potentials of our country, the plan he has to harness them and what kind of help he needs from foreigners. Later on, his ministers can iron-out the fine details. That is the right way.
The reason Mr. President keeps harping on the corruption is not that India is better on the corruption index; it is because Mr. President has not subscribed to a policy document by which his government can be assessed. It is high time such a document is unveiled. That way, citizens and foreigners alike can start holding his government accountable for its promises.
A president’s mandate is NOT to fight corruption but to govern. Fighting corruption is the legal responsibility of law enforcement. A president can help the process by ensuring that the law respects no one. Equality before the law and a policy of non-interference is what reduces corruption. Interference comes in two ways. Officially, it frustrates investigation and at the top of that enters nolle prosequi on cases likely to harm its friends before the courts of law. Second, is via the body language of the leader that may force lily-levered law enforcement officials to engage in self-censorship where cases involve high-profile friends of the leader or his party. On the part of those vested with authority to fight corruption this is nothing but a pure demonstration of a lack of moral fibre, which can be penalized using institutionalized checks and balances. We, the citizenry and law enforcement officials should test the tolerance level of government by insisting on doing the right.
Mr. President sounds like a broken record talking about corruption at every public forum because he has no policy on governance and no cabinet. No leader can singlehandedly fashion a governance blueprint for a country as run down as Naija. He needs the wisdom of other experts. One hopes that with the approvals given by the senate, he can finally settle down to govern. The honeymoon is over. A budget ought to be in the legislature by now. Politics ended on May 29, so Mr. President, let’s settle down and begin to govern.

DailyTrust

Sorry Mr. President, you can’t fight corruption

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