The 2015 presidential election has been won and lost. What’s your reaction?The election has come and gone, Nigerians have spoken. We are moving forward. General Buhari’s victory at the poll represents a new dawn in the country no doubt about that but there is a great task ahead.In your own view, what are the immediate challenges before the new government?The in-coming president and the government will inherit a full plate of problems. These problems cut across various sectors and will require an equally varied approach to finding necessary solution to them. The new government is going to be confronted with various challenges because he is going to meet a nation that has been divided along religious and ethnic lines and the rest. There are challenges like tackling industrial-scale oil theft, the Boko Haram menace, arresting the fall of naira, managing hard feelings from the 2015 general elections, tackling the rot at NNPC, power sector, security and most importantly, rescuing of over 200 Chibok girls that have been in captivity for months.From your experience or observation as a statesman, is there a particular challenge that you think is critical for the President-elect to overcome for him to succeed?As a realist, I know he would succeed going by his past performances. I don’t envy him. One important challenge that I forsee as the essential first step to be taken which will determine how successful the new government will be is the composition of those who will work for him, those that will make up his kitchen cabinet. He must be extra careful in picking who will do what. He needs an effective team to make the desired change that Nigerians had craved for. I believe General Buhari has the knowledge of choosing those who will work with him to perform. By now, I expect him to have hit the ground running after collection of certificate of Return from INEC. By now, he should be compiling the list of those who will work for him. He should take decision of who will take care of where? There should be no space for mediocres, the President-elect should take the search for his working team beyond his party. It should not be a party affair, he should reach out to intellectuals and technocrats. He should not be partisan in choosing those who will work for him but focus on people who are capable. If Gen. Buhari can get this right, all other challenges would be dealt with accordingly and Nigeria will be on the right path to development once again.What advice do you have for the in-coming government?The new government should try and put Nigerians in a national orientation stage. Issues like impunity, injustice, inequality, lack of democracy and lopsided federalism that characterised the polity in the past 16 years should be done away with. These are what have given lots of Nigerians unnecessary headache. Like I said earlier, this is a new dawn, Nigerians look forward to drastic change from what they have experienced in the last 16 years.What advice do you have for the out-going President Goodluck Jonathan?His promise that he would remain a statesman during his broadcast to the nation after he has accepted defeat is a welcome statement. I think it is good for him like that. I’ll advise him that when he arrives home, he needs to sit down and take a deep look at his mistakes while in government to enable him give correct advice to those will be in government after him. I know people in government either at state or federal level will still seek his advice on various issues. The out-going president has a big role to play in the development of this country after this election. He has been in the saddle for six years and he too has had experiences in many regards.
If you are happy to be contacted by a Daily Trust journalist please leave a telephone
number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will
be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state
otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures,
video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others,
take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the
terms and conditions.