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While Baba Is Away, Let Us Talk

The title of this article was influenced by a hashtag that was popularised last year upon President Buhari’s first foreign trip.
#BabaWhileYouWereAway was a humorous way of letting Buhari know what he missed while he was attending his foreign function.

In the numerous times Baba has traveled since then, it seems that Baba is more away than at home (He’s probably in Egypt as we speak).
In a few weeks, Baba will have spent one year in Aso Rock, as I write this in the heat of my house because there’s a budding fuel scarcity, I feel no need to sugarcoat anything.

Very few APC supporters will accept the many similarities between Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari. In fairness, when you win an election by painting the other guy as the devil, it’s impossible to be objective.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was voted for in 2011 on the promise of a “breathe of fresh air”. The man who had no shoes wooed us by appealing to our emotions and so we trudged to the polls to vote overwhelmingly for him

Suffice to say that by the end of his tenure, the breath of fresh air had left many suffocated.

In 2015, armed with a promise of ‘Change’ and the sentiments of an altruistic past, the man who had ” never stolen a penny”, dragged us to the polls again.

First lesson: Nigerians value sentiments above facts

The foundation of effective leadership is an ability to think its way out of situations. This is not to say that leaders do not sometimes place blame, it is that they go beyond blame games to actually find situations.

Obama, having inherited an economy in a recession, griped for a month or two and then came out with bailout plans and policies to fix an ailing economy.

Goodluck Jonathan had long shown a penchant for making excuses, he was the classic Nigerian man, seeing enemies where there were none.
We started to hear of a “cabal”, a group of shadowy individuals who the President seemed to know but refused to name.
In the end, the President’s refusal to think critically instead of endlessly making excuses came back to bite him in the rump.

Fast forward to the current administration and you can already see where I’m going with this. The watchword for Buhari supporters has been ” wailers”.
The alternative has been “fencists” and both words have allowed every single item to devolve into a PDP vs APC affair.

The Buhari administration has placed blame throughout its stay, we have seen no solutions.

Lesson Two: Leaders think their way out of a mess, they understand that the buck stops at their table.

While I have my reservations about Chinua Achebe, he has raised some intelligent points in some of his books.
“The Trouble With Nigeria” written many years ago is still as relevant today as when it was written many years ago.

The sad truth is, Nigerian leaders have refused to improve over the years, they’re essentially the same as they were 30 years ago (I swear this is not a swipe at Buhari).

There’s a dearth of intelligence in Nigerian government is staggering. It means that successive administrations come up with the same ineffective solutions.

If you’ve lost count of the number of times importations have been blamed as the bane of the Nigerian economic problems, then you understand.

Importation bans didn’t work in the time in of Jonathan and I bet my cojones it won’t work now.

Lesson Three: Insanity is doing the same wrong thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.

God bless Nigeria.

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