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No government taxes citizens to poverty

Dear Mr. President, Having traveled extensively across Nigeria with you during the 2023 campaigns and being a devoted member of the Renewed Hope Family, I…

Dear Mr. President,

Having traveled extensively across Nigeria with you during the 2023 campaigns and being a devoted member of the Renewed Hope Family, I remain steadfast in my belief that you, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu, possesses the determination, capability, and skill to lead Nigeria towards progress. The Nigerian populace did not err in electing you as President.

Throughout the campaigns, you emphasised the imperative of revitalising the Nigerian economy and steering it towards growth and development. You were candid in acknowledging that the necessary reforms would initially entail considerable pain for Nigerians. Presently, we are all experiencing the repercussions of these reforms.

It is important to acknowledge that the dynamism displayed by ABAT in Lagos has been tempered by the frailty of ageing. Nonetheless, your mental acumen, sagacity and capability endure. This presents challenges in conducting physical inspections of projects, necessitating a reliance on trusted aides. 

However, this reliance, on trusted officials, also poses a vulnerability to potential sabotage within your administration. I implore you not to place unwavering trust in any individual to the extent that their words supersede your own, even if inadvertently. Vigilance and continuous oversight are essential.

Drawing from my experience as the Presidential Liaison Officer to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who passed away 14 years ago, I witnessed firsthand how his illness rendered him susceptible to exploitation by ministers and personal staff. Some of them exploited this trust, exacerbating crises that ultimately led to the Doctrine of Necessity. Although this is a topic for another occasion, it is worth noting, Olusegun Adeniyi, in his characteristic humility didn’t explicitly name such individuals. I have been working on a paper dealing exclusively with: “The Powers of the Unelected Personal Staff of a President – from General Abatcha to PMB”.

My second and concluding pointer is to, respectfully, draw Your Excellency’s attention to the fundamental economic principle that no government can tax its citizens into near poverty and expect sustainable growth and development. 

May Allah grant you good health and the capability to achieve your objectives of making Nigeria great. Your success remains one of my daily prayers

Ambassador Habib Baba Habu, OON, lives in Kano.

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