Agenda for Tinubu

It is the dawn of a new era as the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, begins work. Having received the “baton of leadership” during his conferment with the highest honour in the land, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), on May 25, 2023 and sworn in yesterday (May 29), it is President Tinubu’s fortune to renew Nigerians’ hope and lead Nigeria to greatness.

The campaign slogan of the President, “Renewed Hope 2023” resonated with many Nigerians because citizens have become frustrated to the extent of seeking any means of leaving the country. Besides, it also reflects the mood of “Hope ‘93”, the slogan of the late business mogul and winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief M. K. O. Abiola. So, if “Hope ‘93: Farewell to Poverty” became stifled as a result of its annulment, “Renewed Hope 2023: Action Plan for a Better Nigeria” is here to assure us that hope is not lost.

Using the President’s name as a guide and acronym, I consider six issues as highly imperative as he settles down in the office. The first of them is taking Nigeria to where she should be by thinking out of the box to create clear-headed policies and programmes. No Nigerian is satisfied with where Nigeria is. And, since the totality of human achievements derives from quality thinking, the President has to figure out ways of taking Nigeria out of her conundrum so that our challenges will be surmounted and peace cum general wellbeing will be restored to the country. Virtually every aspect of our national life requires rethinking and a change of direction.

Secondly, there is a need for immediate inauguration of a competent and action-oriented team. It is axiomatic that a tree does not make a forest and it takes committed people to make a good government. The inauguration or placement of round pegs in round holes is crucial and this should be done in days, not weeks or months, because the countdown has started and Nigerians are hungry for results. The President had demonstrated his inimitable capacity to identify the right people for the job when he was the governor of Lagos state. Then, he sought quality above other considerations and assembled a formidable team, many of whom eventually became leaders who have left indelible footprints on the Nigerian socio-political and economic arena.

Then, Nigeria has to neutralise insecurity and it should be President Tinubu’s top priority to take the bull by the horns. The neutralisation of insecurity is expedient and all threats like Boko Haram, terrorists, bandits, killer herders, secessionists, known and unknown gunmen and all categories of forces of insecurity should be demobilised. There can be no development without security and the foremost responsibility of government is the protection of life and property.

Moreover, unlocking Nigerians’ potentials is highly desirable for the President. Nigerians are talented and they thrive wherever they are but the Nigerian environment limits their potentials. This has been called the Nigerian factor. But by creating an enabling environment for work and study, for business and investment, for justice and social inclusion and by removing all the vestiges of corruption from the polity, there is no doubt that Nigeria will attain greatness.

Besides, President Tinubu should begin to build a nation out of the country. Four elements of nation-building are political, civil, socio-economic domains and the rule of law. To build Nigeria, economic wellbeing, sense of belongingness and feeling of patriotism have to be assured such that everyone would truly believe, in the words of activist Aisha Yesufu, that no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigerian. In this regard, all elements of human security identified by UNDP (i.e. economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political) should be institutionised.

Lastly, the last letter of the President’s name should make him unite the people as unity is strength. Today, Nigerians are deeply fractured by politics, ethnicity and religion. These three played roles in the last elections and it was unfortunate that leaders who should appreciate the danger of ethnic and religious politicking chose to play to the gallery. President Tinubu must take urgent and active steps to unify the country. Fortunately, he is a broad-minded personality that won’t find doing so Herculean based on his pedigree.

In summary, President Tinubu’s agenda should take Nigeria to where she out to be, immediately inaugurate a competent and action-oriented team, neutralise insecurity, unlock Nigerians’ potentials, build the nation and unite Nigerians across broad.