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The Making of Nigeria's Best President
My dearest Nigerian citizens, I thank you all for finally getting me into the highest office in the land. Today marks my first day in office and with great gratitude, I wish to say that my immense thanks goes out to everyone – those who voted for me and those who didn’t. I thank you all for your efforts and for considering, trusting and then voting a greenhorn like me into this office even though I am not as experienced in governance as most of have rightly expressed during the time of my campaign.
If you recall, most of those apprehensive people who said they will never allow a newbie to become your president said that they never understood my game plan since I was not so forthcoming with disclosing my plans for you all to you all. I don’t blame them in anyway.
It is for a reason. Think about it and just tell me the truth, how many people will even consider voting for me if I had announced that the only real leadership position I have ever held in all my entire life is as the head of my family of three girls, two boys plus my wife?!
Tell me, what impact will such a person with that type of experience have when it comes to managing the nation’s economy as well as in our foreign policy?
So that could be also part of the reasons why I didn’t disclose all my plans then.
But don’t wonder again. Today you will get your answers.
One other reason which some people who openly disapproved of my candidacy quoted was the fact that the people who have been identified as my so called financial backbone aka “political god-fathers” are actually some of those who have been publicly fingered to have their hands soiled, or to quote it verbatim like I saw it in most of our national dailies, are those who are “neck deep” in corruption!
Some well meaning Nigerians pointed out that my hands will be seriously tied if I become the president because there is no way on earth I will have the courage to go after my so called corrupt friends if I seriously said I am going to fight institutionalized corruption which many have identified as the only problem our dear country has.
I perfectly understood their fears. I mean, how can you be frolicking with those people and still expect us to expect you to fight corruption to a standstill?
I knew it was going to be a hard sell and so I didn’t want to do anything that will come out as pushing my good luck so far. So that was why I purposely kept mum when all those pressmen and media kept on asking me those tricky questions on how I was going to fight corruption.
To tell you the truth, that stance almost cost me this entire presidency.
Didn’t it ever cross your minds that those my so called fathers could also be listening to hear what I was going to say?
Do you think I don’t know that everybody was listening to hear me slip so that they will go home and complain to their family members saying, “I told you so, didn’t I? This man is not our man!”?
You have to agree with me that that is exactly how confusion and subsequent distraction sets in to destroy everything we have carefully planned to do so as to make Nigeria better. So, I knew that the earlier I avoided getting into explaining myself all the time, the better for all of us.
Therefore anytime they came with those tricky questions, to play it by the ear, I will just kept on throwing them off by saying “I am the change we need” similar to Barack Obama’s style in 2008, a strategy which I knew was the only message I could offer to at least assuage the quest as well as satisfy the curiosity of so many of our citizens who were still in doubts concerning my mission and plans for them as at that time.
In the same vein, when some of those pressmen and women wanted to know how I was going to fix the economy if I was elected into office, I was also vague.
I was vague not because I never knew what to do or how to go about doing it like my opponents suggested. It was not because, as so many people often said, I was completely clueless. It was just because I wanted to get into the office first! That was my utmost priority!
To tell you the truth, since that day I got the inspiration to run for the presidency more than seven years ago, I have dedicated all those years in working out the various ways of doing what really needs to be done immediately to fix the economy and get things back on track.
But I didn’t want to come off as a Mr. Know-It-All which I know is going to make me look so bad in the eyes of those whose votes I was really counting on. Besides like any good strategist will tell you, it is never always good to promise so much. Let your actions speak for you, that was my personal policy or rather resolution.
Apparently, against all odds it worked! And to God be the glory.
You see, since most Nigerians have been promised a lot of thing in the past by our politicians and most of those promises are yet to be fulfilled till date, common sense told me that it will be pointless to follow that same pathway. That will be so self-destructive because it is not we needed in these trying times.
What we need is change and that change is me!
So once again I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity, for trusting me and for believing that I might just have that magic touch that will set us on the right path.
If you recall during the campaigns, I kept on hinting that I was going to run an inclusive government so now is the time. I am inviting all of us to get ready to see that all our plans are going to be fruitful. It’s not in my hands alone as your president; the real truth is that it is in our hands!
And so today, you will be hearing for the first time first-hand, what my plans for us in the next four years really looks like. Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow countrymen, I finally present to you my 10-point agenda that I believe will fix our Nigeria, once and for all…
Our reward system
This is one area I am going to concentrate upon with so much effort. Our reward system is nothing to write home about. Our people have to be given this very incentive that will make them to always contribute their best towards the development of this great country.
Everybody has to be given a reason or two to believe in whatever good he or she is doing for the country and what better way to achieve this other than to make sure that this person is duly rewarded at the end of the day.
People say Nigeria is not working but come to think of it, what do really you expect from a society where people are not duly rewarded?
People scoff at our police when they hear that the policemen run away when they come face to face with daredevil criminals but I don’t think they get it. How do you expect these noble men and women who have elected to protect our lives and properties to take on this daunting task if they are not going to be rewarded adequately in the end? Are you forgetting that they all have their respective families and what do you think will happen to these people should our servicemen die while serving us?
So we are going to roll out several reward programs that will ensure that a system that rewards our citizens for doing good will be cultivated and enshrined in our national culture.
Our students have to be rewarded for learning. Our teachers too will be rewarded for teaching us the right things in the right way. Our doctors will be rewarded for the good work they are doing in keeping us alive. Similarly, our security agencies will be motivated to provide adequate securities for us everywhere in the country. Salaries of our workers will be paid as at when due because that is one sure and easy way of getting our people motivated and to cooperate with the government.
Dignity in labor
In addition to improving our reward system, my government is also going to see to it that people embrace the fact that there is dignity in labor.
Due process is our watchword!
We are no longer going to sit back and watch people who are only interested in getting rich quick overnight try to tempt and confuse us by giving us kickbacks for awarding juicy contracts to them or their cohorts for jobs they may not even execute at the end of the day!
Those who are willing to put in the time and work will be paid adequately. Though our present workers’ monthly salary structure is nothing when compared to other developing countries like ours, I don’t want to rush into announcing immediate salary increment at this time.
If you are disappointed by this news, please I beg you not to be. I will surely increase salary but before I do that, I will like to put so many things like standard price control mechanism in place to avoid the usual price hike or inflation that has always accompanied such announcements in the past which eventually makes any increment in workers’ pay meaningless.
They say a laborer has his reward in heaven but in the next four years of our governance, we say our laborers will have their own reward here on earth! They will not have to wait until they get to heaven…
Our people will be encouraged to work. Our people will be encouraged to not only do things right but also to do the right things. We will roll out housing and car loans, grants, pensions and several other schemes and perks that will enable our workers to appreciate the fact that truly there is dignity in labor!
We are the government
We are going to inculcate into the minds of our citizens the fact we are the government. Often times, when people mention the government, they get the wrong picture of some group of elected people who are actually just the representatives of the government but it is not supposed to be that way.
We are the government and the government is us. It is only when people are made to realize this very important fact that they will see reasons to cooperate with us and also be ready to protect government properties everywhere in the country.
Haven’t you noticed that most times, people tend to be careless with things that do not belong to them? They use or rather misuse it anyhow and they don’t care if it gets spoilt in the process. That is simply because it doesn’t belong to them.
The same happens in governance. I presume that we all know that if people are made to see reasons why they are stakeholders in our governance and why everything we do we do for ourselves, they will really sit up and participate in governance to make sure that it is our collective effort that we don’t fail because if we succeed, we succeed together!
Teaching people their rights
The only reason why anybody can abuse anyone and get away with it is because the person who is being abused does not know his or her rights. Sometimes, even the person abusing the victim may not even know the extent of what he or she is doing…
When people know their rights, it will be so hard if not impossible for anyone to ride on them. Check it, if I know that you know your rights as a fully fledged citizen, I will always think twice before I do anything that will come across to you as an abuse of your fundamental human rights without risking the threat of some serious and/or unending court action and/or damages.
So as a way of making sure that we are no longer seen as a country where people are abused in several ways on daily basis, we are going to start a program where our citizens are taught their rights.
In doing this, there is going to be a massive campaign across the nation aimed at creating awareness in our people concerning the need for them to know their full rights as citizens of this great country.
We will direct most of our energies to the grassroots and that means we will also strive to catch them young. That is to say, we are going to concentrate more on letting the children know about their rights as individuals and as citizens of the free world.
We are going to embrace entrepreneurship, no doubts. We are going to introduce entrepreneurial studies at all level of our educational institutions – in our tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools.
You don’t need to look so far for our reason/s for embarking on this route as this is so obvious for all to see from the way things are in our country today.
I am not going to lie about it. When you take the pains to look at our unemployment figures, you will surely see why I say that the government is completely overwhelmed. The ugly truth is that the government can no longer guarantee employment opportunities for all our teeming graduates.
And so we turn to entrepreneurial skill acquisition as our last bastion towards preventing a massive impending collapse in the system. Our youths most especially will be made to think along the lines of “seek for what you can do for the country and not what the country will do for you!”
Our universities will no longer be there to serve as just degree awarding institutions that is always busy churning out low quality graduates year in year out without considering what happens to them or even what happened to all those who were thrown into the already overstretched labor market the previous years.
Rather our universities will be ranked based on the number of quality graduates they are pouring into the national grid of small and medium scale managers and employers of labor that we are going to resuscitate!
And for any individual who is brave enough to achieve this great feat and provide jobs for his or herself as well as for others in the process, he or she will be greatly rewarded as part of our reward system improvement which I talked about earlier.
Some members of my cabinet are already asking me where I intend to get the money to finance such a huge project but I have their answers right now. Some are even afraid that I may have to resort to past government’s usual method of hiking petroleum prices to raise the money, a cunning practice which has never augured well with the various labor organizations in the country which normally leads to massive nationwide strike action across the nation.
There will be no need for industrial strike actions because that will always set us back for sure! We are going to use another means to raise the money.
We are not going to do this alone.
We are going to work with the international community to help us in retrieving all our stolen wealth by past looters in government. The good news I announce to you today is that many of those foreign governments are more than willing to help us in this regard.
But that is not all.
Already, we have made plans on how to encourage all those who have been the fingered with the looting of public money at one time or the other to put those loots to good use.
This may come as a surprise to you but history has shown that many countries that carried out similar actions were able to turn things around for the better for themselves.
So, you may not read about this government sending anybody to prison for looting the national treasury in the papers because that will not serve any useful purpose in the end as it concerns tackling and demystifying the huge unemployment debacle we face in the land today. Rather such persons will be pressurized with our own small but effective methods which we have already developed, to use those monies and set up businesses, start companies where people will work and get their daily/monthly take home pay.
They will be forced to use such stolen wealth to set up avenues, companies, programs, businesses, technical schools where our people will benefit rather than stuffing the ill-gotten wealth in private Swiss or other offshore bank accounts.
At this juncture, I don’t want to promise so much but I think we can even initiate the payment of unemployment benefits to our unemployed youths with such recovered funds.
You will only read about someone being sent to prison, when this whole arrangement fails.
You will agree with me that this is one very subtle yet effective way of handling corruption while keeping detractors who will definitely like to fight back by destabilizing this government at bay?
Some say since we run a mono economy based oil which strictly depends on the fluctuations in the global oil price, it won’t be possible for us to accomplish all that but I am not bothered at all.
I’ll tell you why.
During the time of my campaigns and when I was consulting with some major stakeholders in the private sectors, I was made to understand and see for myself that there are more gold that can be mined from the human creativeness and potentials more than any country in the world can handle.
Many of the social problems we have such as rising crime wave, examination malpractice, illiteracy, technological backwardness etc. will also be left for our entrepreneurs to provide us with everlasting solutions to such problems and get paid very well in the process.
I have this strong conviction that it is very possible for this to also happen in Nigeria. All we need is to provide an enabling environment for our people. All we are going to do is make sure that we provide this enabling environment for our people to prove us right!
Promotion of Indigenous technology
China is where they are today because they had the common sense to embrace indigenous technology. Now the whole world is looking towards China and other Asian Tigers for technological advancement or breakthrough, something that was not even imaginable some years back.
So it is our turn to become the next African China. We can do it because we have all the necessary manpower and natural resources at our disposal to do it. We have to promote our own technology because that is just one sure way out of the woods for us as a developing nation.
We have to develop the culture of buying made in Nigeria products. Some people will argue that we are saying these things just to be saying it but I am telling you now, it is not so. Government agencies will be encouraged to turn to made in Nigeria products. The aim is to reduce the burden on importation which tends to only provide solutions to our present needs only while leaving our long terms needs to chance.
Some argue and say Nigeria products are either fake or of substandard quality. This could only be as a result of the level of skill and manpower put into the production of such goods. So if we can be able to upgrade our technical skills in those fields, I see no reason why we can’t be able to produce goods that will definitely meet world standards.
Don’t bother about who is going to pay you for all your troubles because the Federal government is there to recognize and also reward you adequately.
In line with our entrepreneurial skill acquisition drive mentioned earlier, we are going to provide funds that will enable our people to go really deep into themselves and tap into their natural creative abilities and so come up with creations that can change the world just like that Facebook boy did!
Coming to the aspect of our inability to provide our citizens with inadequate electricity, this government will not waste your time or money or even fill your ears with stories of Megawatts of electricity this; Megawatts of electricity that.
No we won’t. I know it is going to shock you but we won’t even build roads nor tell our people that we are going to provide them with portable water.
Why is this so? Remember I said I will not be toeing the lines of our past presidents because from experience which everyone can see, obviously it is not working!
Why should every successive government talk about building roads and providing electricity and portable drinking water? Is that the only thing government is all about? What happened to the roads built by the previous government?
So you see, this is when and where we are going to set our entrepreneurial minds to work for us. We don’t have to solely depend on our oil anymore.
Ordinary Nigerians like you and me will be given the chance to provide us with those sustainable roads we all want. Everlasting solution to our electricity problems will be provided by our own Nigerian engineers and engineering students. It is going to be their challenge to get all our refineries working at 100 per cent efficiency which will invariably drive down the soaring prices of petroleum products in the country like it is obtainable in other OPEC countries.
I recognize that these set goals are by no means child’s play. We are going to start immediately by investing heavily on research to find out simple but yet highly efficient ways of providing our people with constant electricity using renewable natural sources like solar, hydro, wind power and even natural gas which as you already know, we already have in abundance.
And the good news is that we are going to rely so much on indigenous technologies to get all these things done within the next four years of my administration.
We are going to emphasize so much on the principles of good followership in the next four years. I am not going to mince words here when I say that from what I have observed for some years now; our people are not good followers.
We have people amongst us who are only interested in seeing the government fail so that they can go home and complain and say to one another that there is no hope for Nigeria. We have people who are only interested in their own well-being alone as followers. That is not a healthy development because such people are more than ready to derail the whole process of what we have been trying to build as long as they stand to benefit in one way or the other.
We don’t have people who are ready to make the necessary contributions or input in the form of suggestions or constructive criticism. We only have people who see the government as a case of them against us. Sadly though, our previous governments have done nothing to curb this anomaly.
It is time to reverse that trend. Our people need to be convinced that good followership means good leadership which translates to good governance for all and sundry.
That is why I have always hinted that I am going to run an inclusive government.
Conducting credible election process is one of the things that is going to get most of our attention during the life of this administration. This is very important because as long as the people do not have their say in who rules over them and in choosing those who are elected to represent them in the government, that government is very much illegitimate as far as they are concerned.
I don’t want this situation to occur again. It may have been okay in the past but it is time to put an end to it.
Credible elections will guarantee that those who don’t have any business of being in government will never get into public offices. Credible elections will help us do away with all these long process of electoral tribunals which continue long after the said elections have been conducted and the elected person has resumed office.
Credible electioneering will not allow the ugly situation whereby governors are removed from offices and new ones are installed halfway into their terms, a situation which only creates more confusion, disharmony and hatred amongst people who should be working together towards the general development of the their people.
Credible elections will enable us to always see any government we have as our own government which will enable us to effectively practice that policy of “we are the government; and the government is us” I have earlier on mentioned.
Credible election is the change we need!
Love your brother as yourself
Oh yes! This is going to be our unofficial true national anthem – love your brother as yourself.
No progress will ever be made where people don’t love each other. We will never be able to achieve any of those lofty goals we are targeting if we don’t practice love.
The type of love I am preaching at this very moment is that which is formed from the basis of doing for or to others what you want them to do you and loving your brother or neighbor as yourself.
Where there is love, there is peace. Where there is no love, there is war! It's as simple as that. We can only achieve little or nothing when there is no peace!
Since all religion preaches love and since many of us are so religious, we are going to use that to our advantage. We are going to promote an environment where our people first see themselves as one and as such have the same problems rather that this diverse collection of people from different ethnic background who are only being held together by crude oil rather than oneness and love for one another which fosters the greatest unity, peace and progressive development any country in the world can ever ask for.
Over the next four years of my administration, we are going to initiate the tradition of de-emphasizing that wrong Nigerian mentality or notion whereby one is judged first by his/her religious or ethnic background before being adjudged a Nigerian. In other words, any citizen should be first seen as a Nigerian citizen before any other thing rather than a Yoruba Muslim man from the west or an Ijaw Christian woman from the South-south.
Finally, any country that cannot feed itself is a dead country. We must strive never to allow our country to become a dead country by embarking on serious agricultural programs that will always guarantee food on our tables.
All sorts of farming – plants and animal farming will be encouraged. Banks will be directed to grant people the necessary loans from the government to enable them embark of full time agricultural production. This will enable our people to become self employed and thus remove the word unemployment from our national lingua franca.
Our people will be encouraged to start small farms or gardens. We are no longer going to be depending so much on importing agricultural products from abroad. We are going to start our own productions at our various backyards!
Fertilizers will be seriously subsidized and effectively distributed so that it can reach those who are ready to use them towards making this our great nation an agriculturally self-reliant country where no one will ever go hungry again!
I can see it already happening. I am seeing a wonderful situation where instead of our people saying “my car or my house is bigger than yours”, we will be saying “my farm is bigger than yours!”
Will this dream come to fulfillment? I am convinced that with your unwavering help and support, it has already started moving from a possibility onto a reality.
The good citizens of this country, those are my plans for us all. I am ready. I strongly want to believe that you are ready too and as you can see, there is so much work to be done even as I recognize the undeniable fact that the countdown has already begun - for me, for us.
So what is it going to be?
I say let’s get it started at once.
Long live Nigeria and God bless you all.