With sincere gratitude to Allah (SWT), I say ‘Alf Mabruk’ to President Muhammadu Buhari over his victory in the February 23, 2019 presidential election. ‘Alf Mabruk’, which is an Arabic expression that denotes ‘a thousand congratulations’, is the technical expression used by the Arabs to felicitate with anyone who has achieved a feat. To defy this linguistic tradition of the Arabs, Buhari deserves to be greeted with ‘Million Mabruk’. As ordinary Nigerians, we glorify Allah (SWT) who commandsus in Qur’an 23:28 to say ‘Praise be to Allah who has saved us from people who do wrong’ after being rescued from the ill-intensions of some detractors. President Buhari’s feat in last week’s election is not only a collective victory for patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians but alsodepicts triumph of good over ill-will; of truth over falsehood; and of integrity over material wealth.
Nigerians certainly have some lessons to learn from the February 23, 2019 election. One, it reveals the latent fact that it’s not everything money can buy including power, fame and influence. Two, itaffirms that the Allah (SWT), all-Hearing, listens to and answers the prayers of his righteous servants among Nigerian masses who constitute President Buhari’s primary constituency. In 2003, one of former President Olusegun obasanjo’s political associate who is a presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections reportedly said during a radio interview that “God does not answer the prayer of Nigerian masses”, which in his false thinking was why they (the masses) have not had their preferred choice of political leader. This postulation was rendered void by the outcome of last Saturday’s presidential election in which God answered the payer of Nigerian masses.
Three, results of the votes cast in the presidential election showed how Buhari is admired or detested by residents of particular region or cities across Nigeria. Forinstance, results of the presidential election in Abuja illustrate how residents of the city which is the first home of treasury looters and their cronies abhor Buhari’s re-election. Four, it is discernablefrom the election that whoevertrustsin God will certainly not despair. There were insinuations that President Buhari wanted to extend the service years of Ibrahim K. Idris as Inspector General of Police (IGP). Buhari quickly shamed that opinion and allowed the IGP to proceed on retirement.Besides Allah (SWT) whose command, when he wishes a thing, is “Be” and “it is, President Buhari needn’t the IGP or any other person to win his re-election. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 65:3 ‘…whoever puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him…’
Let’s talk about ‘Next Level’. To reciprocate the civil gesture of Nigerian voters, President Buhari in this second term must further strengthen the 3-point agenda of his first tenure. The war against insurgency must be intensely fought to the finish.Theanti-corruptionfight must continue to be vigorously fought with a special spotlightbeamed on the judiciary which requires a thorough turnaround sanitization. The country’s economymust continue to be diversified through the continuous revitalization of non-oil sectors especially the agricultural and solid minerals sub-sectors.
The huge infrastructural development (with less resources) that is on-going in the rehabilitation of roads, railway lines, airports and the powersector which are some of the laudable programmes that endeared President Buhari to Nigerians should be pursued with more commitment. Social investments programmes, should equally be strengthened and expandedto accommodate more low-income earners. These are the laudable programmes that account for President Buhari’s popularity among Nigerian masses. Babatunde Raji Fashola actually made extensive impact in the country’s infrastructural sector.
Nigerians earnestly also look forward to more Executive Orders especially on economy and education. In addition to the implementation of some accounting and anti-fraudinstruments including BVN, TSA and IPPIS;we need more fiscal policies that would further help to block unresolvedleakages and thus reduce wastages. There is also need for macro-economic policies that would create job opportunities and provide enabling environment for manufacturing industries to spring up and survive. Nigeria’s education sector also needs critical reform agenda. We are still waiting for the state of emergency promised by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu. Although such a reform agenda may be capital intensive, it is a necessary task that must be endured.The education reform we are calling forshould capture the remodeling of the age-long Almajiri system in Nigeria. My last voice on this matter appeared on this page in the June 23, 2019 edition of Daily Trust on Saturday. It was titled ‘Buhari, time to sanitize the Almajiri system’.
President Buhari needs to begin preparations for his second term in earnest; three months before his inauguration on May 29, 2019. Mr. President needs to quickly and critically appraise his first four years in office, identify areas where improvements are required and then put strategies on ground to correct such errors. Unlike in 2015, it should not take President Buhari long to form a new cabinet. Most Nigerians believe that some of President Buhari’s political appointees unfortunately became liabilities to him, instead of assets, after assuming office.
To commemorate President Buhari’s victory, I have suggested to Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, to use the occasion of the next National Nupe Day celebration scheduled to come up later this year to declare all Katsinawa (indigenes of Katsina) who have Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) as free-born. Before now, two personalities have enjoyed special waver from being ‘slaves’ of the Nupe. They are President Muhammadu Buhari and Malam Kabiru A. Yusuf (Chairman of Media Trust Limited). The Wazirin Katsina, Dr. Sani Abubakar Lugga, was to be the third person to be granted a similar waiver during the first Nupe Day celebration but could not eventually make the list.
While we urge President Buhari to remain focused and not to be distracted by opposition gimmicks, we pray that Allah (SWT) grants him wisdom, good health and long life to take Nigerians to the Next Level, ameeeeeeeeeeen.