Why Buhari must emulate Mandela’s leadership qualities

Let me start by saying a very big congrats to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari for winning the March 28, keenly contested presidential election against all odds.

A standing ovation also to our heroic president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for conceding defeat as the first incumbent in the annals of Nigerian politics and graciously saving our troubled nation another unwarranted bloodshed and destruction of property.

Going forward, I strongly feel and believe that now the election had been contested and won by Buhari and his opposition party, they should and must remain magnanimous in victory.

Anything other than that would be interpreted in bad light within and outside Nigeria.

APC should not see Jonathan, all PDP members, supporters and sympathisers as conquered enemies or prisoners of wars that must be crushed, hounded into gulags or sent to Siberia. This is the advent of national rebirth and reconciliations.

Buhari should uphold all the promises he made in his acceptance speech that Jonathan deserves all the respect due him as an ex president and therefore has nothing to fear.

Anything contrary to this when he assumes office in the next couple of weeks would be seen and viewed as witch-hunting by not only Nigerians, but also the international community who still have their eyes hovering over us.

Interestingly, Buhari has promised us change, and anything short of that change, Nigerians will not accept or even tolerate from him. He should hit the ground and start working on the day of his inauguration.

Buhari must give Nigerians change in the comatose power sector. We are tired of living in perpetual darkness and gradually going blind and deaf from the fumes and noise of generating sets.

To accelerate national development, Buhari and his team must provide change in the security of lives and property, health, education, good roads, pipe-borne water and other social amenities that will help ameliorate the daily sufferings of millions of Nigerians, who are constantly dying from hunger and frustrations.

This is paramount and non-negotiable, if they really meant the word-CHANGE.

Till he left office as President, the great Mandela never went after or hounded those that sent him to prison and denied him freedom and justice for nearly three decades.

Rather, legendary Madiba courageously and courteously courted and embraced them with open arms till he died, thus earning the revered and scarce status of international statesman and icon.

Today, Frederik de Klerk, ex president of apartheid South Africa, is still walking the length and breadth of his country without fear or intimidation from agents of government despite him and his party not being in power. In fact, Klerk is still accorded the highest honours as ex leader wherever he goes in the rainbow nation.

With all sense of modesty, I want to recommend “Long Walk To Freedom”, for our in-coming president. He should try and read the autobiography of Madiba, but if per chance he has read it before, I want to implore him to read it again before his swearing-in on May 29.

Another important advise I have for Buhari is for him to do just one term and hand over to a younger person like Mandela did, if he truly wishes to be respected by the international community.

Buhari in my opinion should also continue with most of the on-going projects of President Goodluck Jonathan. Terminating or abandoning such projects will not add any value to his government.

Government globally is a continuum, so Buhari is expected to further rev up the engine wherever Jonathan stopped.

He is very much aware that part of the issues raised against him in the build up to the presidential election was that he wickedly cancelled the Lagos metro line project of the Lateef Jakande administration, which was conceived to ease the heavy traffic in Lagos without cogent reasons.

Again, any attempt to stop the on-going work at the second Niger Bridge would be viewed by Ndigbo and all true progressive souls as an act of vengeance.

Buhari must complete and commission that historic bridge before the end of his first four years in office.

This is one of the major tasks he owes not only Ndigbo but the entire nation, because when completed the bridge will link up all parts of the country and further open windows of development and opportunities.

In one of his several wise counsels, George Herbert noted that: “He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”


Amatus wrote in via azuhamtus@yahoo.com

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