Letter to President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari By Awojobi Fadairo
Dear Mr. President-elect,
Please permit me to, on behalf of millions of Nigerians, offer my warmest congratulations on your indisputable victory as the President-elect of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your exceptional courage and consistency has no doubt encourage the commitment of Nigerians to democratic values and also enhance their determination to continue on the path of democratic reform. Your humongous goodwill and mass appeal has been validated through this election.
Sir, your victory is a confidence booster for Nigerians -there is now a renewed hope in our country. Certainly, many who work with and and for you during the election did so because they know that Nigeria will be safe in your hands, and that your kindness would extend to all; irrespective of tribe or religion. For many, it is a thing of pride that you allowed us to be worthy partakers in this assured journey to Nigeria’s prosperity.
Your Excellency sir, I would like to use this moment of victory to remind you of the challenges that still lay ahead. Many of these stubborn problems are already well known to you as you have already spoken about most, if not all of them, during the campaigns. The only thing that is worth repeating here is the need for the right people to help you tackle these challenges. In fact, the import of this letter, dearest Mr. President-elect, is to volunteer opinion on the people whose antecedent and pedigree already bear eloquent testimony to their capacity to join hands with you in tackling these knotty problems in the overall interest of securing a better life for Nigerians.
Your Excellency sir, before I proceed to submit my humble request as regards those to be included in your cabinet; I will like to draw your attention to a very obvious abnormality in the process of nominating and confirming our government functionaries, especially Ministers. It is very absurd and strange that in this modern time, Ministers are still being nominated without anyone having an idea of which Ministry they will head. This has now led to a ridiculous situation whereby the Senate would interview a Minister-designate for a job in the ministry of Agriculture, but the President will end up posting such a person to the ministry of information. This is why the performances of many of our successive ministers have fallen bellow standard and expectation. And this is why in this piece, I will endeavor to attach specific names to specific portfolios, citing brief justification for my suggestion and hoping you will consider this humble submissions.
One of your eggheads was and still is Dr. Kayode Fayemi. Sir, you know this man better than me or any outsider for that matter; so it would be foolhardy to begin to introduce this exceptionally intelligent man. But sir, kindly indulge me to reiterate some of the key reasons that I think Fayemi would be good for the portfolio I propose him for; of course without his knowledge or solicitation.
Sir, during the campaigns, you had a very good policy team which did a wonderful job of providing blueprint and policy direction for your would be administration. While your opponents were busy attacking your personality and trying unsuccessfully to taint your unassailable pedigree; you were travelling the length and breadth of this country discussing issues with voters and sharing with them a manifesto that did not just consist of fine words but actionable plans. Although you have an unbelievable mastery of policy issues yourself, an incredible skill for a great retired general like you; you were however supported by some really intelligent and smart brains. One of them is obviously Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Sir, with the successful handling of the policy aspects of the campaigns as the Director of Policy and Strategy, Dr. Fayemi would be a fine candidate to occupy the ministry of National Planning and Economic Development. I would not like to bore your Excellency with too much details, but your excellency will agree with me that having Dr. Fayemi as the Minister of Economic Development would ease the process of implementing your policies that were already enumerated during the campaigns.
Your excellency, with the massive infrastructural development that Lagos witness under Gov. Babatunde Fashola, it would be fascinating if we can have this man replicate same at the national level. It would be fantastic if your excellency can have Fashola as the Minister of works and Infrastructure.
Sir, you will also agree with me that government is about concrete deliverables rather impressive curriculum vitae. Your excellency may be tempted to make a professor your Minister of Education, but with due respect sir, modern education in 21st century is no longer about academic prowess. Education today is now tied closely to the market- a graduate must have the sorts of skills employers need. This, I am sure, you know too well.
For me, I will suggest you make Bolaji Abdullahi your Minister of education. You may be tempted to send him back to the Sports ministry, but you may also reconsider when you ask anyone familiar with Abdullahi’s track record as Commissioner for education in Kwara State. His laudable education policy in Kwara State tagged EVERY CHILD COUNTS is till date a clear reference on educational development in the country.
How to quickly address youth restiveness and give hope to the teeming youth population that are already getting disillusioned and discouraged is very fundamental. So the choice of Minister of youths must be deliberate and strategic. For me, Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed is my ideal candidate for the youth ministry. Although I read someone already suggested this, but I am not exactly emphatic on the portfolio that should be alloted to this vibrant youngman. Ismaeel did a wonderful job with the youths during the campaigns. He featured in many of the APC town hall meetings and actually impressed many of us with his eloquence and smartness. Mr. President-elect would need to consider Ismaeel for a cabinet position that would place him in the position to further galvanize the youths and rekindle their hope in the country of their birth. But like I said before, making Ismaeel the Minister of youths would enable him to serve as motivational role model to his peers. Moreover, this would also be the first time that the truly young, both physically and mentally, would be serving as Youth minister. This will definitely connect the youths to this administration and bring them to queue behind the vision of the president-elect.
Time and space will not permit me to detail my favourite candidates for your cabinet sir. But let me just quickly add that my list include the following gentlemen: James Ocholi (Attorney-General of the Federation), Usman Bugaje (Foreign Affairs), Col. Hammed Ali (EFCC Chairman), Jasper Azuatalam (Presidential Adviser on Youth and student matters) and Akin Oyebode ( SMEDAN).
Mr. President-elect sir, I am sure most Nigerians, just like me, would have their ideal candidates in mind. But since your excellency promised to listen to inputs from Nigerians, and being a man of your words, I would expect that you will listen to and consider all shades of opinion, especially concerning the all-important matter of appointing credible Nigerians.
Sir, like most Nigerians, I appreciate the obvious challenge that you have taken upon yourself to run again for this post, the highest in the country in response to the calls of the Nigerian people for a better administration where our people can realize their dreams of living a peaceful, prosperous and productive life.
I pray you will consider my submission and others like it, and recruit great Nigerians who will help you to achieve the best for our beloved country and to address together the many common challenges that face the people of Nigeria.
I wish you every success, God’s guidance and overall protection always.
Please accept, dear Mr. President-elect, the assurances of my highest personal regard.