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Letter To General Muhammadu Buhari -President-Elect

By: Kurtis Adigba
 minute read

I have waited for this long to congratulate you on your hard-fought victory in the just concluded election because I also want to use the opportunity to chip in some few words of advice.

Now that the victory has become a reality and the euphoria has settled, I offer you my congratulations and pray that God who made the victory possible, will keep you, grant you wisdom and strength to lead His people.


Now, let me offer you a few words of advice.

Keep them on your left palm so that you will not eat it and forget them. (my mum's counsel to me while growing up).

You will be confronted with a parade of critical and difficult issues daily and only what is in you, will be of help as most people around power are not known to give sincere counsel to power men in this part of the world;

Be the leader that will make decisions for the next generation and not just for the next election: Many around you will suggest that you set up structures that will secure you another term as soon as you takeover. Ignore them and concentrate on leading.

The future belongs to God.

Always stay in touch with real people: Do not allow power merchants to box you in and disconnect you from the real people.

You may consider setting up a system that encourages real feedback from real people.

President Obama created an system that allows him to receive letters from ordinary folks on issues and challenges of daily living.

This will help you in getting to know the real issues that affect real people.;

Live by your principles and values of honesty, integrity and incorruptibility that has become your second skin: Don't allow anyone to deceive you that now is the time to cure poverty in your lineage.

Every generation will face their own famines and challenges and you cannot legislate the future.

Do not allow for a divided presidency: Keep it tight and close. See your VP as an integral part of the government.

Delegate functions but never cede your executive power to anyone.

Do not allow people to come in between you and your VP.

If you are not happy about any issue, let him know. Create time for him and listen to him. Hold a weekly dinner with him and be opened to each other.

He is your pick no matter how you arrived at his choice.

Always preserve the latitude to disown and correct any anti-people policies of your officers and heads of our public institutions: Don't be the first line of defense on any issue, be the last.

Have a common sense agenda that will touch directly the lives of ordinary folks: Avoid a fanciful and meaningless agenda.

Measure economic progress by the living standards of the real people: not by some statistics of Standard and Poors (S$P), not GDP paper increase, not growth or ratings by global rating agencies.

Embark on reforms -- but only the right kind of reforms that protects the quality of lives of the people and enhance the system of governance.

Do not seek vengeance but withhold not justice according to the law: Let anyone everywhere who has stolen from the people be made to return what they stole.

They should also, face the appropriate punishment.

As you said, if we don't kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.

Fight corruption with everything at your lawful disposal, it has become the catnip of our populace.

Always focus on the important things: Don't be distracted by inconsequential politics.

Be careful of shapeholders -- Mark Kennedy, prof of political management at George Washington university defined shapeholders as "the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape, constrain or expand a firm's (party) opportunities or risks."

Treating shapeholders as stakeholders when they have little or no stake in your success leads to sub-optimal results.

Keep your eyes on the defectors who played.

No role your victory.

Listen to, and respect the coalition that produced you but never compromise on your principles and that which is good and noble.

Don't think the people who elected you are too stupid to figure out what is going on at any time:
Explain and explain and get their buy-in. Let them own the process and the government.

Bear in mind at all times that the people will yearn for the following things: the ability to speak their minds and have a say on how they are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; and government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people.

Build a country that is rooted in the idea that we are better and stronger country when everyone gets a fair shot and a fair shake or deal where hard work and responsibility is rewarded and all of us are accountable.

Seek to overcome withering partisanship and ideology, bring people together around common sense solutions to stubborn problems.

Rein in the power of special interests that have continuously tilted policies in favour of the elites and godfathers at the expense of the people and country.

Be the president of all not of a section of the country and not of your party. and

Be the champion for the poor and needy.

Mr President, I hope and pray that this letter gets to you and that you find time to go through.

My greetings to your wife, Hajia Aisha and the children.

God bless.


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