Yar'Adua, You Can Do It! – 10 Reasons Why You Can!

by Gbenga Badejo

Mr. Yar’Adua, Nigeria is in the grinding crucible of poverty and probably the highest level of injustice in the world. Senior citizens die in disgrace and ill-health, able-bodied men can’t find work, and young undergraduate women are subjected to a poverty-fueled immorality – selling their bodies to buy cheap spaghetti tops and hipsters. A compassionate heart and a visionary mindset is required to radically transform our country.

1. Yar’Adua, you can do it. Because you are the President. You are one of the most powerful people in the world. Only eight other people in the world currently have the privilege of governing over 130 million people like you do. Not even the German Chancellor, the British Prime Minister or the French President enjoys this privilege. You are also the President of the largest black nation in human history. Further, Nigeria is a rich nation providing you with the human and material resources to govern effectively.

Your executive decisions can transform lives and shore up goodwill and a lasting legacy. Mr. Yar’Adua, you are the President, not the pretenders in your party, not some behind the scene fantasists like Babangida, Atiku and certain traditional rulers. Yar’Adua, you can do it because you are the President; the President of Nigeria.

2. Yar’Adua you can do it. Because you are privileged to preside over a nation of resourceful people. Nigerians are not lazy, they are ridiculously resilient, innovative and not interested in handouts. They have changed the face of the United Kingdom, they are changing the face of North America, given the right climate by a visionary leader, they can change the face of Nigeria.

Mr. Yar’Adua, don’t waste this people. Cast your net far and wide, find out the best Nigerians home and away and employ their knowledge for the benefit of our nation. Mr. President, surely, you can do this. Don’t be like Shagari with his adamist ‘it’s the people you gave me’ excuse. Everyone knows that the challenge of leadership is to face issues squarely and solve them and not give excuses. Or like Babangida, the great failure. His sins are double-fold; he did not have a strategy to lead, yet he terminated the mandate of the person who did.

3. Yar’Adua, you can do it. Because unlike many Nigerians, it appears you are not greedy for money. Dis-interest in the allure of money is liberating. It will help you to focus and free you from the vision-destroying appetite of material acquisition. Mr. Yar’Adua, you don’t need to shore up your future. Trust me; if you do well, your legacy will. Don’t squander this unique quality. Use it to your advantage. Focus on the need of the average Nigerian – electricity is tops for most of us. Focus on how to bring this about. We don’t want any rhetoric or the practiced but unfruitful sincerity of the past. Mr. Yar’Adua, we are not asking for much. And we know you can do it.

4. Yar’Adua, you can do it. Because many Nigerians actually want you to succeed. As a trainer on Public Speaking, the first thing I tell people is that contrary to their personal beliefs, most audiences usually want them to succeed. In the same vein Mr. President, many Nigerians do want you to succeed, even if you think otherwise. There is a pragmatic reason for this; we know that your failure is detrimental to our socio-economic well-being. Nigerians also want to be proud to say you are our President if you do well. Though we may tear into you with gusto – Dracula fangs and all, it is because we are desperately hungry for your success and for the good of our nation. People criticise and forensically analyse everything you do, or not do because they care about the country and its people. You should be really worried if we don’t.

Mr. Yar’Adua, 130 million Nigerians are like a sea of witnesses cheering you to achieving the victory of uninterrupted power supply, the victory of security of life and property, the victory of lasting police reform, the victory of quality education and the victory of free and quality health for all. Mr. Yar’Adua, you can do it. You will win our hearts if you make these happen. We will cheer aloud without inhibitions like impressionable teenage cheerleaders in an American Basketball game. We will be blindly loyal like English football fans.

Mr. Yar’Adua, forget the grandstanding of teaching Soludo and Ribadu a lesson of who is boss; it’s about the common people, isn’t it? If your actions show no appreciable benefits to the life of the common man, those actions effectively become inactions. History will not hail you for sacking Ribadu or for putting Soludo in his place. History will celebrate you for putting food on the tables of your people.

5. Mr. Yar’Adua, some of your predecessors have been closed off in the tight boundary of their ethnic identity. Mr. Yar’Adua, you are not elected President of Nigeria to fight for the Hausa/Fulani hegemony. You are the President of the Ibos, the Ibibio’s, the Kanuri’s, the Efiks, the Edos, the Ijaws, the Tivs, and the Yorubas. You are President of the Old Oyo Empire, the Kanuri Empire, and the Benin Empire. You are the Aare in Yorubaland, the Ogbuefi in Ibo and the Megidda of the Hausas. You are the Chief Executive of Nigeria Inc., the Secretary General of our United Nation-States of Nigeria. For all of Obasanjo’s faults, he cannot be accused of ethnicism. You will do yourself a huge dis-service if you start to dance to the familiar but dangerous hip-hop of some parochial ethnic or religious gangsters.

6. Mr. Yar’Adua far too many Nigerians are hurting:

o Babies born in sub-standard hospitals are!

o Hundreds of thousands of children dying of malaria fever in Nigeria every year are!

o Those who have been maimed and cut-down in their prime by armed robbers are! Their families are!

o Pupils who attend classes in desk-less, window-less, book-less and teacher-less schools are!

o Those who endure the tragic flesh to flesh molue journeys in Lagos everyday are! Other citizens across the nation who experience transport problems are!

o Those who die the slow and painful death of mortal diseases without hospital or palliative care are!

o Those who see their aspirations withdrawn by unemployment and poverty are!

o Those who experience the injustice of lack of justice are!

o The roadside Boli seller and those scouting for valuables from refuse dumps are!

o Those who are raped by oppression, and whose ambitions are buried by poverty are!

Our people are hurting. Mr. Yar’Adua. Ease their burden. This is enough motivation for you. Mr. Yar’Adua, you can do it.

7. Yar’Adua, you can do it. Because the current National Assembly is willing to be different from previous Parliaments in that they are making attempts to tackle real issues. The Senate’s retreat at the Niger Delta, the Integrity Group and Dimeji Bankole’s purposeful leadership of the House are a refreshing breeze. Mr. Yar’Adua, use this to your advantage. You can do it! Nigerians are tired of rhetorics and endless committees set up to create jobs for the boys.

8. In most countries, Mr. Yar’Adua, the brightest and the best – those who can bring about radical transformation are headhunted as Ministers. Mr. Yar’Adua, most Nigerians feel short-changed by the feeble menagerie of hangers-on parading themselves as Ministers. Mr. Yar’Adua, you can do something about this. You are the President. You need to carry out a root and branch reform of governance in Nigeria. For instance, why do we have more ministers than China? Why do we still have a Minister for Information – a relic of military and communist dictatorship used for propaganda purposes when we now live in a democracy? Surely, the Presidential spokesperson is sufficiently capable of articulating government policies and matters arising.

Mr. Yar’Adua, you also need to differentiate yourself from the madness of loading reform committees with tired and clueless brigands who were part of the problems in the first place. Filling important positions with incompetent people in the name of federal character is criminal. Having a committee with 20 members is pushing it for no meaningful outcome can be derived. The destiny of Nigeria is in your hands. Don’t mis-appropriate it. Come-On! Mr. Yar’Adua, you can do it.

9. Mr. Yar’Adua, the overwhelming spread of evil in our country is doing people in. You just can’t allow things to tick along. As it is, we are going to have to run hard just to stand still. Nigeria requires more than the calmness of a flowing river; what we need is the turbulent intervention of a raging sea. Our situation is too precarious for the steady and slow fire from a gas cooker; we need the wild fire of deep reforms that will lick away injustice, poverty, and insecurity.

10. Mr. Yar’Adua, if you don’t do something quickly, you will be sawing up the branch on which you are sitting. Mr. Yar’Adua, the country is on life support and in the words of Martin Luther King Jnr; there is a fierce urgency of now to solving our problems. You cannot afford to sit like a rabbit in headlights. Mr. Yar’Adua, you don’t want to be a blip on history, leave a legacy and imprint your name indelibly on the canvas of our hearts. Yar’Adua, you can do it!

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1 comment

Timothy April 24, 2008 - 1:14 pm

Lets hope he or his aides get to read this, believe it and act on it!


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