Nigeria: Buhari's Second Term - What Legacy for Nigeria?

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opinion

The victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the just concluded February 23, 2019 elections has without any doubt guaranteed that Buhari will continue as president for another term. While many have continued to send congratulatory messages to the president, which ofcourse is not wrong, however, very few have bothered to look at or remind Buhari about what being president has been for him. For many us that have followed Buhari in his sojourn into politics since 2002, we didn't think that it was enough for Buhari to be in power for its very sake. It has been our credo that Buhari will fix the numerous problems facing the country and lay the foundation for a better, prosperous country. Many of us envisioned a purposeful and impact driven presidency under Buhari.

In his first term, Buhari made attempts to address certain challenges that include insecurity and corruption which has been an old problem. However, despite all efforts in these areas and others, including infrastructure, a lot needs to be done. This becomes especially clear when we take a look at the criticism that followed Buhari's first term in office. Many believed that Buhari has not delievered on his promises to the country despite all that was achieved. The problems of unemployment and poverty still persisted. and that corruption still persisted too. The slow pace in which government business was run was also an issue of concern. Powerful officials under Buhari were said to have been responsible for happens and at which time and were never cautioned. And for this a mystery about a cabal came into existence, and that they wielded more power than the president himself.

As a consequence, not only is there the need to engage in a very deep sober reflection, but also the need for the president to think about what legacy he wants to leave behind and how and in what way he wants to be remembered in Nigeria. Therefore, at this time, while we congratulate president Buhari for winning the elections, we at the same time remind him of why he joined the presidential race in 2002 and the need to achieve and impact positively as president of Nigeria for eight [8] years. The president must remember the sacrifices of ordinary Nigerians from 2002-2023, their aspirations and hopes in his leadership and how they gave their all to him and to none before him, and ultimately Buhari must consider leaving behind a legacy for himself.

And as citizens and well wishers, our responsibility to Buhari and Nigeria is to offer counsel, ideas and solutions to issues facing the nation and or how best Buhari executes a meaningful plan for the country. Buhari at 76 and his last term in office must lay a solid foundation for the future of Nigeria. A future that is youth driven; Buhari needs a youth guided vision for the country that will be acceptable to all. Education is key to whatever Buhari sets out to achieve and as such must be given special priority in the remaining years of Buhari as president. A five year plan must be crafted by Buhari and his team in which the economy must receive a stimulus through infrastructural development projects. In this regard Buhari should create centers of excellence across the north and south of the country that will lay the foundation for a new modern country. The creation of states and capitals like Dutse in Jigawa state and Uyo in Akwa Ibom by the Babangida regime are examples of development transformations in our clime.

The Buhari administration can identify these centers or cities north and south of the country and select atleast 5-7 centers in the two regions as models for future development of the entire country. Each center will have an enterprise institute, business incubators, farms, schools, markets and a hospital and clinic system built according local sensibilities. Wind, solar or bio power plants could be built in these centers and the centers will be self sustainable. The national centers for excellence as will be known will be a program of community development and agri business. Each center will consist of a total of about 3,600 houses, transport hubs and parks, apart from others mentioned above. It is expected also that as work begins, each center will create about 3,000 employment and training.

These are some of the ways that we think the Buhari government would make an impact and at the same time leave a legacy for generations to come. This will not only create a temporary impact, but will provide a guide, a model that can be built upon in the future across Nigeria and Africa. The final goal will be the development of Nigeria and indeed Africa. It will mark the transition of African societies and communities from a backward under developed one to a modern, developed and sophisticated society as obtained in Europe. Economically, agri business, housing, enterprise training institute etc will raise the standard of living and create employment and empower citizens as well, so they can engage in agricultural related international business from a community level. The administration can employ the services of international consulting firms, in collaboration with our local consultants the projects.

Once again we congratulate president Buhari for his victory in the elections and pray that God gives him the wisdom and ability to do what is right for his country and citizens to the best of his ability. It is a herculean task no doubt; it requires courage, will and above all the good will of people around the president and the patience and support of the good people of Nigeria.

Dr. Gamawa wrote this piece from Bauchi State University

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