Grudging Admiration



On a recent trip by ferry from CMS Marina to Apapa in Lagos, this reporter overheard some revealing chats on the governance process in the country. After a short boastful man had painstakingly ripped the current administration apart for poor performance, he was forced to listen to the other ferry passengers.

The short man, who proudly revealed he voted for the now opposition party in 2015, was told to take a closer look at what was going on now around him, with speakers giving credit to the acting President for doing a good job in the absence of his ailing principal. Among the notable strides were reduction in inflation, relative peace in the Niger Delta, taming of the forex shylocks, busting of kidnapping rings and a friendlier disposition from the Executive to the citizenry.

This reporter watched in amusement as the short man was forced to eat the humble pie and grudgingly admit that indeed there was improved governance in Nigeria. Aside from praying for his swift recovery, little mention was made of the president, who every speaker admitted remains a symbol of integrity and principle. The main lesson that readily came to this reporter’s mind from the conversation flow was that Nigerians appreciate good leadership and that the current efforts of the man on the hot seat, whether acting or not, deserve some commendation.

The underlying perception was that it doesn’t matter the ethnic, religious or political attributes a leader has, as long as he gets the job done. And truth be told, despite huge challenges of corruption, poverty and now unity, governance appears to be improving in Nigeria, whichever way one chooses to look at it. Credit must be given to the president and the acting president…tag team

– Abimbola Akosile