By Abdullahi O Haruna Haruspice
Nothing strengthens governance like concerted efforts by those given the mandate to do so. Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has not been too lucky with those who found the same podium with him. The wheel of governance under him seems to be riveting only within him. From his aides, ministers to his governors, it’s been same repeat of lethargy where everyone works not in tandem but self-designed voyage. To say, it hasn’t hurt governance is to say COVID-19 hasn’t dealt the world a blow! Buhari’s government is bleeding profusely from non-committed handlers.
Government at the local level seems more distant from the vision of the president as they govern more self-fiefdom than for the good of the people. Insecurity at the state level pervades in frightening dimension with bandits and kidnappers having a field day.
The man is obviously a lone voyager, only him seems to be on this journey, most of those he chose to travel with are mere passengers motivated obviously by their personal gains and idiosyncrasies. I’m still in search of that appointed scion of the president who stands in pride of the man defending his policies and decisions. Like morbid elements, almost everyone exists like there is no obligation to be and stands with the president to deliver his mandate as promised the people. During the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, almost all his ministers spoke and lived the vision of that administration. Frank Nweke, then minister of information was everywhere speaking to policies. Femi Fani-Kayode, another minister ihat administration was tearing to pieces anyone who dared mess with Obasanjo; Nasir el-Rufai was managing the FCT like his life depended on it while Oby Ezekwesili, then education minister, was everywhere trying to remodel our education into private contraption.
It was damn impossible not to hear policy analysis from ministers every day under Obasanjo. Unfortunately, that isn’t here anymore as what we have now are people contented with a docile schedule of working uncoordinated, with no one giving policy statement or explaining government policies. A lot is being done by the government but no one is communicating them to the populace. About 340 students abducted from a school and later rescued, till date no show of solidarity by the aides of the president. As usual, they wait in time for the president to lead the way. So sad! Imagine the ripple effect if ministers had converged on Kankara awaiting the return of the abducted boys? The optics would have been massive and a boost to the dwindling fortune of acceptance of the administration. No one cares how the president fares, afterall their jobs are never threatened. Only a Buhari will keep ministers for six years, what do you expect from people who aren’t threatened by sanctions?
The people who speak for Buhari are those not connected to power, they are defined by their altruistic valour and unquenchable love for the man. They go all length to explain his strides, struggled to look for policies to explain while those appointed and paid handsomely are never seen defending Buhari’s strides and standing up to him. Hardly do you find anyone in the embrace of power standing in defence of the responsibility given to him or her. There is so much disconnect between the president’s men and Nigerians. Very uninspiring relationship with the governed. In the coming days, we shall be calling out those given the cup of responsibilities but are deadly disconnected from the vision of the president. I don’t want to hear the bucks stop at the table of the president here, it takes others; efforts for the bucks to get to the table of the president. We can’t continue to have people who aren’t genuinely tied to Mr President’s agenda. If you can’t help the man, get out.
What those saddled with governance responsibility must know about leadership is that I am a leader not because all the people around me are blind but because everybody around me can see. Leadership is delivering on the responsibilities given to you and when you don’t manifest these responsibilities, you fail in your capacity as a leader in trust. A lot is wrong with our governance because of the lack of commitment by the enablers of governance. The onus lies on the president to awaken those he has picked to work with him otherwise, we shall continue in rigmarole of not delivering good governance to the people.