MEMO TO MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT,C-IN-C (Elect) 1

Your Excellency, I must begin by joining most Nigerians to congratulate you on your success at the March 28 Presidential elections. You truly deserve to be congratulated. Perhaps except for the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo , the Nation has not found any politician who has labored so much to be given a chance to govern Nigeria. I know that Chief Awolowo tried about three times or possibly four times( if we add the alleged treasonable felony). But despite his spirited efforts, he could not make it. Some Nigerians insist he is the best President Nigeria never had. Well... But in your own case you succeeded at the 4th attempt. You have indeed set a record. What is more is that you are the first Military man to subject himself to this democratic exercise this long. It was difficult to imagine that a Soldier would have the patience.Chief Olusegun Obasanjo tried once and got it on a platter of gold, tried a second term and got it on a gritty platter of Iron. His plan for a third attempt or term was aborted on the Floor of the Senate. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida tried twice or so, but most were half hearted, as he readily gave in to his competitors at the primaries for one reason or the other without real fight, and he actually never faced the general electorate even once. But you won the primaries of the different parties you crisscrossed on your determined way to the Presidency and faced the General Nigerian electorate four grueling times. You are indeed a strong man and your determination to govern Nigeria has no part two( as Nigerians are wont to saying).
  And all these efforts were after you had been a military Head of State which you became through a coup d'├ętat. So,it is not that you have not tasted power at the presidential level, it is not that you have not seen the challenge of trying to change a Nation that needed plenty of change and it is not that you have not seen how slippery and treacherous Nigerians are when you work with them. After all, it is your followers or lieutenants, some who are still lurking around that over threw you from office. I know that you are aware that some of those who are shouting 'sai Buhari' today will be among those who will shout 'down Buhari' sometime in the future. I therefore believe that you know the risks involved in trying to govern or lead Nigeria but you have decided to discount them.
Therefore, there must be something you want to do so badly that has pushed you to this point. And you know that it has been a very costly journey to you and to the people of Nigeria. When I think of the amount of money that you and your supporters have spent in the four electoral cycles, I shiver. Must be very decent sums, especially in the 2015 elections. I also will like to believe that you are aware of the sources of all the 'investors' in your Long drawn presidential bid. I am thinking of the opportunity cost. What of the number of people who have lost their lives these years supporting your cause, including those who died recently celebrating your eventual victory. The human cost has been humongous. I do not know any Nigerian leader whose electoral success has been watered by the blood of so many Nigerians.
   Your excellency, your assumption of office in a few days time as the 4th democratically elected President in the 4th Republic is a watershed historical development. You know why you badly need this opportunity. Some you have spoken of during the campaigns. But since, there is always some difference between electioneering campaign promises and reality, we are anxiously awaiting your inaugural speech on the 29th of May from the Eagle square. I suspect however, that speech may not say all you would like to say,because, it will be reviewed by other people in the party who would want you to be politically correct. That is reasonable but to be sincere to you, many Nigerians will want the speech to be original not a window dressing. They want to know what is really in your mind and why the Nation has made the tremendous sacrifices that brought you to power.
  We know that the expectations are quite high and I had advised that you do not try to dampen the expectations of Nigerians. Yes, you can ask for patience but you will need to martial your plans to reach the key important goals in a manner that Nigerians can understand and identify with. We expect a clear VISION statement for Nigeria, to be achieved in your tenure. Thereafter, we will have to undertake a comprehensive and coordinated program to sell the vision to Nigerians and get them to fully support its implementation. This must be your vision, not one imposed by any think Tank or consultant. Competing for this position four consecutive times, indicate to me that you are fully prepared for this job. It has been said that no previous President had adequately prepared for the Job. Obasanjo was begged by the military leaders to become President, against his will, perhaps to compensate South West Nigeria for denying Abiola the position. Obasanjo picked Yardua, to become President, perhaps to compensate North West for the for the ' untimely' death of the elder Shehu Musa Yardua  who died in Abacha's prison. Obasanjo picked Goodluck Jonathan in the place of Peter Odili to become Vice-President and Divine intervention moved him to become President .None of these men had any meaningful preparation for the position they eventually occupied.
  All those who seemed prepared for the job were denied- Azikiwe, Awolowo, Abiola, Falae, Ogbonnaya Onu and Odili. You are to the best of my knowledge, the only one who seemed prepared for the job and wanted it, fought for it, got it and is alive to consummate it. Your Excellency, this is why you are unique, this is why expectations are high and this is why you must hit the ground running with your vision. I do not think  you need TOO much advice from any one, so that no one unduly dilutes your vision. I also will be surprised if you go ahead to set up too many committees. Most of what you need to do to change the country are already well known to you and to your transition committee. There is much literature on what is wrong with Nigeria and how Nigeria can be changed. Many books have been written including mine- NIGERIA: NEED FOR THE EVOLUTION OF A NEW NATION that have outlined practical strategies and plans of action to move Nigeria from a third world to the First World as Lee kwan Yew did in Singapore.
  What I believe you need sir are first, to find Enlightened, Experienced, Patriotic,Dedicated and Honest Nigerians to support you in implementing your Vision; Secondly, the Political will to take hard decisions and  thirdly the fear of God to be fair to all. I am praying.
  Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR


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