For Buhari, a Golden Opportunity to Reset His Agenda

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President Muhammadu Buhari

By Omololu Ogunmade

After a rigorous electoral process, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress has been reelected for another term of four years. His reelection offers him yet another opportunity to reposition his government for a better delivery of services to citizens of Nigeria.

Although Buhari had been declared the winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential election, it had not totally been a walkover for him as the results in some parts of the country showed that the president lost a substantial measure of goodwill which was his lot in 2015.

For instance, he lost a number of states that he comfortably won in 2015 such as Benue and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the North-central and won Nasarawa and Kogi by slim margins.

It was the same trend in the South-west where he lost some of the states he won in 2015 such as Oyo and Ondo and won others such as Osun, which he won by over 100,000 votes in 2015, by a narrow margin of 10,000 votes this year.

Now that the election has come and gone, it is expected that the president will reset his agenda for the country in a way that every citizen will find solace in his administration and will be given a sense of belonging. The president for instance, has a huge responsibility to calm frayed nerves, stretch hands of fellowship to those who lost and bridge the division already created by the elections.

One of the factors which shrank the president’s goodwill was dissatisfaction with his performance by many Nigerians who expected so much from him. Added to this is the perceived inability of many of his ministers to live up to the expectations of the citizenry.

It is therefore expected that the president will immediately return to the drawing board and ensure that the best, seasoned and most capable hands who can drive the country out of the woods and reposition it on the part of accelerated development are appointed into his cabinet this time.

As a matter of priority, the president should avoid the pitfalls of 2015 when he failed to constitute his cabinet for several months, thus leaving the country stagnant for about six months. Some analysts believe that the failure of the president to appoint ministers for six months contributed to the recession that hit Nigeria in 2016.

Therefore, all eyes are on him to conclude the process of appointing his ministers between now and May, so that as soon as he is sworn in for another term on May 29, he can promptly send the list of his cabinet nominees to the National Assembly for prompt confirmation and consequently hit the ground running.

Besides, the president should address allegations of lopsided appointments which characterised his first tenure by not only observing the principle of federal character in his appointments in his second coming, but also leaving no one in doubt about his commitment to this instrument for nation building in a heterogeneous society.

It is also expected that the president will move quickly to heal wounds inflicted by a fierce electioneering. He should be magnanimous in victory and unite the people for the urgent task of nation building.

The victory at the polls is yet another opportunity for the President to reappraise his campaign promises which centre on addressing security challenges, fighting corruption and improving the state of the economy.

There is insecurity in the land, scores of innocent Nigerians are killed daily by terrorists and bandits. Against this background, the president needs to do more by tightening all loopholes in the nation’s security architecture with a view ensuring safety of lives and property and stemming the tide of wanton shedding of blood of innocent Nigerians.

He should also apply a fair procedure in the fight against corruption and come up with more vibrant economic plans that can make the Nigerian economy buoyant again so as to pull a great number of Nigerians out of poverty.