The Bar Pops Pink Champagne for #Nigeria


Nigeria, You Deserve So Much Better
Should a former dictator with such a record be offered another chance? Surprisingly, many Nigerians think he should. One reason is that, in a country where ministers routinely wear wristwatches worth many times their annual salary, Mr Buhari is a sandal-wearing ascetic with a record of fighting corruption. Few nowadays question his commitment to democracy or expect him to turn autocratic: he has repeatedly stood for election and accepted the outcome when he lost. He would probably do a better job of running the country, and in particular of tackling Boko Haram. As a northerner and Muslim, he will have greater legitimacy among villagers whose help he will need to isolate the insurgents. As a military man, he is more likely to win the respect of a demoralised army. (Source)

The outcome of the Nigerian election and the thus-far peaceful reaction to it is the most hopeful news out of Africa's largest country in years. For the first time in Nigeria’s history, an incumbent head of state has been defeated at the ballot box.

On May 29, when president-elect Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in, Nigeria will have cleared the highest hurdle on its path to entrenching electoral democracy—the first peaceful handover of power from one political party to another.

In an unprecedented move, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan made a congratulatory call to Buhari, graciously conceding defeat even before the final poll numbers were officially released. Jonathan later went on television to tell the Nigerian people: “Nobody's ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. The unity, stability and progress of our dear country is more important than anything else.”

To his party colleagues he said: “[We] should be celebrating rather than mourning. We have established a legacy of democratic freedom ... and free and fair elections.” It was his finest hour.

Your Excellency Sir: Let me quickly jump in front of the oncoming bandwagon in offering my congratulations. I know you do not have too much time for niceties because much has been left on the Augean Stables for you to clean up.

...(Declaration of Assets) Even before your official swearing in ceremony scheduled for May 29th, go ahead and declare your assets as you promised. Do it publicly. In fact, find some money and buy space in a few national dailies and online media outlets and declare your assets. I am sure your Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will follow suit. Nigerians know both of you are not stupendously rich, so no need to worry about having to explain how you came about your assets. Then go ahead and make it (in private, of course) a requirement for all your ministerial, judicial and heads of MDA appointees, to also declare their assets.

...(Defense) Like NNPC, this is another sector about which nobody can lecture you. As the Boko Haram quagmire has shown us, there has been gross corruption or negligence or incompetence of all of the foregoing in the Ministry of Defense dating back to before your predecessor...Heads have to roll. In fact, heads that have left the service but responsible for the rot in the military must be recalled and set rolling.

...(Intelligence) There are too many unintelligent personnel parading themselves as intelligence operatives in our country. Like the military, they too have been co-opted into serving the whims and caprices of the government of the day....The gun-toting, sunglasses-wearing and suit-decked so-called intelligence personnel are just collecting pay checks. Where, for example, is the Boko Haram leader? Where are the Chibok girls? How are weapons getting inside Nigeria – and I mean heavy weapons? How are fighters getting inside Nigeria and how are they getting re-supplied?

...(Medical) Please send a bill to the legislature prohibiting all government officials from using government money to fund any aspect of medical care they receive abroad. They can exercise their inalienable right of free movement, but Nigeria should no longer pay for anybody to receive treatment abroad. In the mean time and while the bill snakes through the legislature, use your executive powers to deny requests for overseas medical travels that involve the use of government funds.

"No doubt, this nation has suffered greatly in the recent past, and its staying power has been tested to its limits by crises, chief among which is insurgency of the Boko Haram. There is no doubt that in tackling the insurgency we have a tough and urgent job to do. But I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas. We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism.

"Furthermore, we shall strongly battle another form of evil that is even worse than terrorism—the evil of corruption. Corruption attacks and seeks to destroy our national institutions and character. By misdirecting into selfish hands funds intended for the public purpose, corruption distorts the economy and worsens income inequality. It creates a class of unjustly-enriched people.

"Such an illegal yet powerful force soon comes to undermine democracy because its conspirators have amassed so much money that they believe they can buy government. We shall end this threat to our economic development and democratic survival. I repeat that corruption will not be tolerated by this administration; and it shall no longer be allowed to stand as if it is a respected monument in this nation.

"...We will govern for you and in your interests. Your vote was not wasted.

"This is not the first time Nigerians have cast their votes for us, and this is not the first time they have been counted; but this is the first time that the votes have been allowed to count. With the help of God, we pledge to do our utmost to bring forth the Nigeria you seek."

Wow. It happened. Like, I knew it was gonna happen, but happened.

Goodluck How-dare-he-call-himself-that Jonathan is gone, children! Once Buhari is sworn in, dude is gone.

Don't get me wrong; Buhari's record is by no means squeaky clean, but I get what the immortal Wole Soyinka is saying about giving the man a second chance. He has lost multiple elections but hasn't tried to take power via a coup. And I'll be honest: I like that he's a disciplinarian. I dig that he's a "sandal-wearing ascetic" who isn't rolling in cash.  That's what a lot of governments need right now, not just the African ones.

I am so in awe of Nigeria right now!!! I feel optimistic, not just for the nation, but the whole continent African. It's amazing to feel like this.  I don't remember ever feeling like this.  I didn't even feel this either time Obama was elected. It's hard to explain.

Cameroon could take some notes, you know...given that our President has been "President" for over thirty years.


  1. Hmmm..Idk...a former dictator?

    I admit that I'm struggling with this. Goodluck didn't seem like a good president ,but I'm skeptical about someone being a dictator. It's one thing to be a bad president,but being a former dictator scares me. I guess if the people of Nigeria is willing to give him a second chance,it's something that I will accept. I'm hoping that he will contribute in the release of those young men and women from Boko Haram. I wish for the best for their country.

    1. He was deposed after a year and some change, which I think gave him some necessary humility. As did a losing a succession of elections, which showed how much his country was not feelin' him. I think that humbled him as well.

      Nevertheless, his attitude towards corruption is necessary in Nigeria right now. Last time he was in power, over 500 politicians and officials went to jail. Jonathan one criticized Buhari for jailing an official who stole money, but not enough to buy a car. Seriously.


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