Find below some responses to last week’s column. Enjoy:
Great piece as usual Doc. Your and Ahmad Joda's stories also remind me of mine when I applied for the Chevening Scholarship that brought me to the UK. The interview panel initially consisted of people I had become friends with over the period I worked as Trust's Foreign Editor. So, they stepped down and unfamiliar faces replaced them. One of the new panelists who came from Lagos on the day did not hide his dislike for Daily/Weekly Trust whose representative he felt I was. He said we were too critical of OBJ's government and supported Iraq and Zimbabwe as opposed to Britain's interests. I expected my support for Palestinian independence and Zimbabwe's land redistribution policy and opposition to the invasion of Iraq which often reflected in my articles to count against me. But a white lady on the panel saved my head. These things happen, but there are always unbiased people like Joda to insist on merit. I genuinely believe President-elect Buhari would succeed in moving Nigeria forward. But Nigerians need to be aware that such change won't happen in months. Improving power supply on a long term basis would, for example, take up three years. But if we put pressure on the regime it could take a short cut that would, in the long run, be costlier and less effective. Same applies to petroleum - building new refineries is the ultimate solution but it can't happen as fast as we want. Nonetheless, having people of high integrity in his government would inspire many. And tackling security challenges headlong could give real hope.
You are simply on point. The initial paragraph is simply true. And the statement about #strongmen and #stronginstitutions trumps everything in the article. We just need strong institutions which can only come from strong men - the Real Leaders not Rulers. @MBuhari is a great leader and I believe he will write his name in the history books as one of the greatest leaders Africa ever had.
John T. Okewole
Very aptly put. Even though the administration of Buhari would be potentially facing a daunting task—like the poor state of the economy, depreciating value of crude oil price worldwide, the corruption that's institutionalised by this admin etc.—I do believe Nigerians will not be disappointed for sending Jonathan back to Otuoke. Nigeria was heading towards total decline and failure prior to the March 28th polls—which gave virtually everyone a good hope that a new Nigeria—under General Buhari—is possible. It is a slap that Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, Africa's largest oil-producing country, had to borrow money to pay the salaries of workers. It is very infelicitous! This current administration has completely finished the country's resources in order to finance their seemingly never-going-to-materialise 2015 election. Thankfully, Nigerians voted for genuine change else, another four years of Jonathan would have completely run Nigeria dry.
However, change— to me— is a gradual process and it does not happen overnight. With this current situation, we are expecting to see a viable, sustainable and outstanding change but we have to wait for a while. Buhari and Osinbajo will surely put things in place. There is no question about that. Corruption will be at its lowest ever level in history, punctuality to work, discipline (not the military version of WAI), respect for the rule of law, infrastructural development etc. will be recorded.
As for the AIT hullabaloo, I— for one— supported the ban not until I read a piece from you—condemning it. I endorsed it based on the fact that AIT carried out a campaign of calumny and denigration against Buhari's personality which was meant to deceive gullible Nigerians to vote against him. But I now understand that media freedom must be treated with utmost alacrity in a typical democratic setting. I was glad when the General rescinded the decision himself.
Muhd El-Bonga Ibraheem
I wish General Muhammadu Buhari all the best as he is about to be sworn-in in the next coming weeks. As the man is known for being the epitome of justice, equity, transparency and good governance, I do believe he'll try—as much as possible—not to disappoint. I don't see him as a northern version of President Jonathan, just like many fanatics are expecting to see him. I see him as a man on a mission to salvage this nation from the brink of total decline and destruction; a man that is the President of NIGERIA—with all the 36 states inclusive
Thank you Prof. You have broadened my mind especially on Joda and Garba Shehu. I would like Garba Shehu to become Buhari's director of press, Lai to retain his position as APC's spokesman, Sam Nda as communication minister.
I’m now better informed. I must confess that I wondered why Mal Ahmed Joda was selected as the chairman of the transition committee. Not many in my age group know him very well. Unfortunately, Nigeria is a country that doesn't celebrate merit and uprightness. That is why our age mates only got to know him well now that the right government has come. The expectation of most people is that we would have a person younger than him to chair the committee, but GMB knows better. I’m convinced that we are moving right in the direction of change.
Auwal Gambo Ya'u
I was telling many friends of mine that PMB will not retaliate what GEJ did, but won't compromise in punishing those found guilty of corruption, stealing, and other vices committed during Jonathan if proven beyond doubt. In sha Allah, Nigeria is developing.
Abdulkadir Muhammed Yahaya
Very intelligent and articulate writ- up. We wish you were in Nigeria to partake in the government to be able to shape the destiny of this country.
Idris Ibrahim Karshi
I always have faith in those you trust. Right from the time I could read papers, I came across your write-up where you talked about your living heroes, those whom you had high praise for. But you know what? Those you recommended highly always excel while those you underestimate always go down. You're such an eloquent champion of not only the under-privileged, but also of those who're privileged and honest but afraid to take advantage of their right to speak. You're the one whom all of us should be proud of. Keep moving forward and stay away from all the bullshit. You are my MODEL!!!