Politics of presidential succession




 The American author, James C. “Jim” Collins, said in his book, ‘Good to Great’, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much:  If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”Thus, it can be seen that a leader’s challenge is to identify the right people and then develop and empower them to take the country to someplace great, through careful planning for a successor.However, President Muhammadu Buhari said this week that he plans to the opposite of that. Specifically, the president said he has no plan to groom anyone to take over from him in 2023.The president said this when he received members of the Progressive in Academics (Pro-Acad) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.Though the president’s plan not to favour a successor, at its face value, may seem absurd, he, nonetheless, has his reason for not grooming successor. Why would he, when naming a successor, as he said, would create problems for the beneficiary?“I think, if I identify anybody I’d create more problem for him or for her,” the president said. “So, I’d rather keep my mouth shut. Let those who would want to be president try as much as I did. And I believe that those who are interested know that I tried three times.”This is the crux of the matter – working hard to earn peoples’ trust, confidence and votes, which the president did right from his days in the military, shunning corruption, especially, and identified himself with the downtrodden.Unlike most other priviledged Nigerian leaders, the president consistently fought for the causes of the common people and exhibited high moral courage and example and fearlessness that endeared him to Nigerians. Though a former military governor, minister, Head of State and head of the PTF, the president was never found wanting in the discharge of his functions.Still, while the president is right to allow others pay their leadership dues, especially now that ill-gotten wealth, rather than competence and credibility, determines who becomes a leader, the need for him to favour a successor cannot be overemphasised.Otherwise, a fear exists that the country could, once again, after Buhari, be hijacked by some corrupt moneybags some of whom may have supported Buhari in 2015 and now see him as a bad investment, principally because he has failed to yield to their corrupt tendencies.The president should realise that through preferring a successor, he wants his legacies to live on and that simply can’t happen unless there is someone prepared to take the baton.Even better, however, is for the president to make that successor wiser and more prepared than he is because the challeges he or she would encounter will be enormous. That’s how legacies can grow and make major impact.

The Senate, presidential pride!
 The process was fast, yet, thorough and meticulous. In the end, all the 43 ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening and confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari scaled through the process and became confirmed as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Of course, after a long period of executive and legislative feuds, Nigerians have now got a reason to applaud the Senate, not for doing the president’s bidding, for doing the right thing at the right time for the country and its people.And when the Presidency equally praised the diligence of the Senate in confirming the 43ministerial nominees and ensuring a swift and efficient process, that did not come to anyone as a surprise.On the other hand, the reaction made by the Presidency in this regard only heightens expectations of Nigerians that things would get better under the current Senate, unlike during 8th Senate when disputes characterised relationship between the legislature and executive.Many Nigerians believed that the Dr Bukola Saraki-led Senate sabotaged the Buhari-led administration in some ways as even the budgets were not approved early and like the executive wanted it. Approvals were not given for some appointments promptly and some bills took ages to be passed.It is believed that if the administration had had its way like it has done now in 2015, the president would not have had any problem getting whatever he wanted approved from the National Assembly.
Thankfully, now, the Buhari-led administration can live up to the high expectations of the people who are yearning for the fulfilment of many promises of improvement of their standards of living and good governance at all levels.
However, to truly move forward as a country, the executive should not take the support and understanding extended to it by the Senate for granted.
Ideally, the various arms of the government, the executive, legislature and judiciary, are supposed to operate independently. As much as they are supposed to work harmoniously, each arm must not fail to perform its checks and balances role in accordance with the democratic principles.
Gratefully, now, it’s a different Senate headed by a forward-looking, purposeful, progressive and focused leader, and what the people need are not more than what the Presidency demands when it said: “The people of Nigeria want results, and with this list of ministers, we are confident they shall be delivered.”Gratefully, too, the nominees are fine, capable and committed individuals who, together with the president, will work to ensure a secure, prosperous, corruption-free country.On Maiduguri funeral attackers…
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday condemned the dastardly attack on a funeral procession in Maiduguri, Borno state, causing the deaths of tens of mourners.Boko Haram gunmen on Saturday killed 23 mourners in Borno state in Nigeria’s restive North-east after they attended a funeral.The attackers, riding on three motorbikes, opened fire on a group of men as they walked back from a funeral in Nganzai district near the state capital, Maiduguri.The president, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said he has received assurances from the armed forces that the terrorists who committed these killings “will pay a big price for their action.”Unsurprisingly, the federal government said it is firmly and resolutely committed to taking measures to safeguard the nation’s security. “This administration is determined to end the menace of terrorism,” the president said.Of course, individuals who perpetrate wrongdoing should face the law and regardless of how long it takes that to happen, culprits must not be allowed to go unpunished. This is what obtains in civilised countries. Regrettably, in Nigeria, the wheel of justice is very slow and, in most cases, is not served.Though the president said a major exercise has begun to hunt down the attackers with air patrols spearheaded by the Air Force and ground operations by the army, the truth is that hardly, if ever, were the culprits prosecuted and or punished to deter others from committing similar crimes.This trend must come to an end. Offenders must be arrested and prosecuted, no matter how long it takes to do so. The country’s judicial system must be overhauled with a view to making it serve justice quicker and faster and security personnel should, at all times, be proactive.It is, however, gratifying that the president assured the residents of Maiduguri and those in IDPs camps that they would be protected from future attacks from the assailants.It is, therefore, incumbent on security personnel to give legs and teeth to the president’s promise to Maiduguri residents and, indeed, Nigerians, who live under constant threat of attacks from the Boko Haram members and other criminals. 

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