At a very critical moment in the history of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken over as president of the most populous black nation on earth. This is coming after an election that has been described by many as one of the most controversial in the history of Nigeria’s democracy.
Both local and international observers had said the election that produced Tinubu was flawed by irregularities. Accordingly, frontline contenders in the election are challenging the processes and results of the election which had Tinubu declared as winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Court cases and grumblings among the citizenry notwithstanding, nature they say, abhors vacuum. The Nigerian constitution does not give room for the office of the number one citizen to be vacant either. Somebody has to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who had said he was inquisitive to go home after 8 years in office.
However, among Nigerians, Tinubu has trust deficit. Even the declared presidential election results attest to that. This is not unconnected with the fact that his party, the All Progressives Congress failed Nigerians, in the person of Buhari, who handed over to him, coupled with the Muslim-Muslim ticket which his candidacy was anchored on. What must he now do to gain the people’s confidence?
To many, this may seem a difficult question to answer, but a political analyst, Mr. Chukwudi Divine posits otherwise. According to him, “Governance is not rocket science, it is simply service to the people. Any leader who listens to and meets the yearnings of the people, will succeed.”
“Nigerians do not believe in Tinubu because they think he is not in anyway different from other politicians who have failed them. They needed a different breed of leaders, some fresh air kind of. Now, he has got a chance to prove otherwise. In fact, I think he has no choice, because posterity will only be kind to him if he proves otherwise,” he said.
“First, appointment into his cabinet and other key sectors must be equitably balanced and reflect federal character. He must include all faiths and regions. He must also pay attention to women, youths and other groups that feel politically marginalised. Above all, he must put technocrats in charge of all sectors. That is the only way he can move the nation forward.”
Recall that Tinubu’s Deputy, Kashim Shettima, had on Saturday, May 27, during the presidential inauguration lecture, refuted the insinuations that there is a plan to islamise Nigeria. Talking about his emergence as Tinubu’s running mate, he maintained that he was a child of necessity, that they intend to run an all inclusive government.
On dousing the political and economic tension in the country, Mr. Chukwudi said, “What Tinubu needs to do is to extend an olive branch to those that contested against him. He needs to de-emphasize party politics. We all know that the economy needs immediate overhauling. He needs to pick the best hands to help him do that, not minding their political affiliations. He must also understand that what Nigeria needs now are economic policies that will soothe the sufferings Nigerians have been through, and act accordingly.”
“He has taking over a nation with about 41 per cent unemployment rate. Let him create jobs for the teeming unemployed population. He was emphatic about improving electricity, that is power generation and supply, during his campaigns; let him act accordingly,” he noted.
At a time that a secular Nigeria is polarized along ethnic and religious divides, at a time of economic retardation, growing insecurity, heightened agitations, among other red light situations, a president whose legitimacy is contestable and his emergence is being contested, has taking over the country’s leadership. What will Tinubu make out of his controversial emergence?