11th September, 2015
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe” — Abraham Lincoln
After sixteen years of destructive and primitive politics, dismal performance and unconscionable looting of the nation’s patrimony any serious leader who knows his onions and wants to succeed must go to the drawing board to redesign, reconstruct and redevelop a robust plan for the way forward. President Muhammadu Buhari as a war time General understands this very well. President Buhari knows that the only way a General with a small army can defeat another General with a big army is simply because the General with a small army understands the meaning of robust planning and preparations.
President Buhari as a war time General understands that before a well trained Army General goes to war, he needs to sit down to study the map of the war zones. He needs to look at the size and strength of his ground troops to know how fit they are. He needs to measure the strength of the enemy. He needs to reassess what is in the Armory and how good they are. If air power is to be used, he needs to look at the state of the war planes and to make sure they are in order. If sea power is to be applied, he needs to crosscheck the state of the war ships and the naval ratings. He reassesses his strength, his weaknesses, his opportunities and threats. Once the General is satisfied with what is on ground he goes to war to win.
A typical example of how a good leader thinks is what happened four days after President Buhari was sworn in. He jetted to Chad, Mali, Niger, Cameroun, Germany, and USA to begin consultations and engagements on how to confront the monster called Boko Haram. Those international engagements have yielded great dividends. We now have the cooperation of the neighboring countries. We have the cooperation of the international community in getting the tanks and ammunition to effectively challenge Boko Haram. We now have the support of even the United Nations to forge ahead in the campaigns to defeat Boko Haram.
President Buhari at his inauguration ordered that the headquarters of the Command and Control Centre of the military operation against the insurgents be moved to Borno State. Today the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai is the one leading the troops to the war zones. This singular act has boosted the morale in the Army and gingered the excited troops to fight to conquer. Today, Nigeria has recorded tremendous and unprecedented gains in defeating Boko Haram. Boko Haram no longer takes war to Nigeria, but Nigerian soldiers take war to them and put them on the run.
President Buhari has also adopted the same common sense strategy to rebuild Nigeria’s economy and to reposition Nigeria to take her place in the comity of civilised nations. He has deployed military strategies and experiences he gathered for more than five decades to recover huge looted funds, and methodically plugged the loop holes and leakages within the system in order to build up the funds required for projects. Consequently, he has found his committed and trusted associates of many years to be in his kitchen cabinet.
President Buhari’s carriage, character, attitude and body language speak volume. Even his shadow is sending strong signals that it is not business as usual. Nigerians are releasing their energies once again to work for the good of the commonwealth because they know that a man of integrity and honour is in the saddle. In the power industry and the oil industry Nigerians are now compelled by the President’s shadow to do the work they are paid to do. The fear of President Buhari is now the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria. A nation suffers when children are in power and now that we have the real man in power things are adding up.
In three months, just about 6% of his 48 months, the angry election losers have been at work. They want mountains to be moved, they want Nigeria turned to gold overnight, and they want 30 million jobs created. They say that President Buhari would have formed his cabinet and hit the ground running. They say he has achieved nothing in three months. Yes, we agree but he still has 45 months to go. If I may ask, why is it that we cannot wait till he finishes his remaining 45 months before we call for his head? In three months the losers claim they have not seen anything. Yes they may not have seen anything because they do not want to see anything. Honesty is of God and dishonesty is of the devil. The devil has been a liar from the beginning and the world knows it.
With all the trillions of naira in 16 years PDP could not provide more than 2000MW of electricity. But in one year alone President Modi of India built 5000MW of electricity and more than 5000KM Transmission line. Supporters of President Buhari gave him a four-year mandate to prove his leadership skills in Nigeria and I do not think we can judge him just after three months. The President should be allowed to use his strategy to prove his point. We need unusual solution to address an unusual problem in Nigeria left behind by PDP in sixteen years. We need to do things differently and wisely too to reposition Nigeria to the path of honour and greatness. We need to apply an unimaginable solution in addressing an unimaginable problem created in sixteen years. This is our chance!
—Igbokwe is Lagos APC publicity secretary