Ibraheem Dooba: Nigerians Don’t Need A Mandela In Buhari

In his contribution to Naij.com,Ibraheem Dooba looks back at the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan’s legacy and the praise Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect, directed at him. Do Nigerians need Nigeria’s Nelson Mandela in the person of Buhari?

“Let me state clearly that President Jonathan has nothing to fear from me,” the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, said when he received the certificate of return from Professor Attahiru Jega, the INEC chairman.

“Although we may not agree on the methods of governing the nation,” Buhari continued, “he is a great Nigerian and still our president.”

Not entirely correct. Is Jonathan still our president? Yes. Is he a Nigerian? Yes. But should we call someone who literally danced when Boko Haram were killing us a great person? An individual who wrecked our economy? A man who told Nigerians he didn’t “give a damn” even if we criticized him “from Heaven” when we simply asked him to declare his assets? Up to this moment, Jonathan has not been to Chibok!

Jonathan is only a Nigerian, not a great one.

Buhari also said in his quite inspiring speech that his love and concern for this nation and what he desires for it extends to all, even those who do not like the APC.“You’re all my people, and I shall treat every one of you as my own,” in his words. Beautiful.

You see, general, we have already accepted our compatriots who supported Jonathan. But leaders who misled people must take responsibility and accept the consequences of their actions.

When Buhari was asked during the Chatham House lecture if he would give amnesty to Boko Haram, he said doing so wouldn’t be fair to Nigerians because people had died due to Boko Haram. That’s how we expect you him to talk, and that’s how we expect him to act now. Consider Nigerians first, then speak and act.

Forgiving Jonathan or saying that he’s nothing to fear from you is not being fair to Nigerians.  So should we just forget about all the money that disappeared and the lives that were lost? We didn’t elect you to forgive. We elected you to lead.

You’re no Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. He forgave that personal injury done to him. You’re free to forgive whatever personal harm done to you by Jonathan, but don’t pretend you’re going to forgive bad things done to us on our behalf. You don’t have that mandate. We prefer you to be a Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore or Dr Mahathir Mohamed of Malaysia. People who were not overburdened by the concerns of big individuals and didn’t give a damn about egos. People who, within reason, crushed anything that stood in the way of their march to national development. That’s who you are. That’s what we want you to be. That’s why we elected you.

We hope rumours which purport that you’ve grown soft are not true. We didn’t invite you to lead us because you’re now soft. We invited you to bring the toughness you’re renowned for into the democratic arena. Instead of enacting decrees, we now want you to use the rule of law. In other words, retain the toughness, absent the dictatorship.

Remember that the wave of change that brought you here is still here to keep you on your toes. Yes, we’re here and going nowhere. The momentum gathered in voting Jonathan out is still with us and can only grow. We’ll not hesitate in criticizing you, we’ll not hesitate in criticizing you harshly.

Don’t continue with the lowering of our standards, in the way of the old. For that’s what you’ll be doing if you continue to forgive rascals and allow the AGIP to crash our party. If you do so, in the future, any president can mess up our economy, kill professionalism in the military and disunite us – believing he would be forgiven. Let’s not set that precedent now.

Don’t forgive people on our behalf!

Ibraheem Dooba: Nigerians Don't Need A Mandela In Buhari

Dr Ibraheem Dooba

Dr Ibraheem Dooba is a teacher. You can follow him on Twitter.

This article expresses the author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Naij.com or its editors.

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About Sylvester

The world will always give you the opportunity to quit. In trying times, too many people quit trying. One of the most powerful success principles ever preach is: Never Give Up!
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