Now that the Ahmed Joda led transition committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari has submitted its report and the 8th National Assembly is in place, this administration needs to get to work fast.
Those who govern Nigeria need to realise that it is with same passion that the people are trusting that they are impatient. I do not think Nigerians understand waiting on anyone endlessly, no matter how much goodwill they showered on you in the past. Before Friday when that report was submitted, not much had happened other than a series of foreign trips, first to Chad and Niger to solicit regional cooperation for the fight against Boko Haram and then, a familiarisation visit with leaders of G-7 countries who were meeting in Germany where the president went to draw on the blank cheque of a wish list requested from him by leaders of the world’s most powerful countries. The President has also held a series of meetings with service chiefs as well heads of state and government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission creating the impression that he is cooking some strategy with which the Boko Haram situation would be history in a very short while. And that is commendable.
We also got to know, in the course of the last week, that the military is working towards actualising Buhari’s instruction that the command centre for the fight against insurgency in the country’s North East be moved to Maiduguri. But then the insurgents have gotten increasingly daring lately. In the two weeks since Buhari took over government, well over 150 people have lost their lives to attacks believed to have been perpetrated by Boko Haram. This is one of the reasons why the meetings have to quickly give way to some action.
Some Nigerians also talk about the failure of the President to appoint people into key offices like that of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGC) as well as the Chief of Staff (CoS). The latter indicating that two weeks into his administration, the president cannot be said to have a functioning office. Although I have read arguments dismissing the importance of appointing people into these offices, the truth is government cannot claim to have taken off at the moment. To even assume, without conceding, that the president could make do without the SGF and CoS, what has happened to the approval of 15 Special Advisers granted by the Senate almost two weeks ago following a request by the President himself? Why has no one been appointed to those offices more than one week later? The loud silence from the president has continued to give life to the rumour that contentions between different interests in the party is the reason why the president is unable to take a decision on who should be appointed into what position. But he is president for goodness sake and should decide!
One other fallout of the none take- off of this government two weeks after inauguration is the growing rumour of the marginalization of Vice President Yemi Osbinajo, a rumour which no one has made any attempt to dispel . The administration may think that such speculation is not worthy of response but this particular smoke may become a fire too hot to handle. It is important, therefore, that the media aides of the president or those of the Vice President (if he has any yet. )
While the President was away attending a meeting of the African Union in South African yesterday, Osibajo was reported to have promised at a lecture in Abeokuta that the government was planning far reaching reforms that would affect every strata of national life. That sounded good to hear but the VP was not even speaking at an official government event. In any case, we have so much of these promises that Nigerians are itching to see some action and that should start with the President saying something to us about his plan to move the nation forward. Twitter:@niranadedokun