Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Open Letter to Buhari

what about govt sponsored Fulani terrorism?


On 29/03/2017, Jibrin Ibrahim <> wrote:
> *Moving Nigeria Forward: Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari*
> 28th March 2017
> Mr. President, we are a group of Northern non-partisan academics and public
> intellectuals who wish to share our concerns on a number of issues facing
> the nation. In so doing, our only intention is to be helpful to your
> Administration, which we believe is sincerely committed towards taking
> Nigeria further along the path of positive change and the improvement of
> lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.
> First, our warm congratulations on your improved health, following your
> health vacation to London. We wish you rapid and complete recovery.
> Second, we wish to congratulate you on your resolute war against terrorism
> and corruption, both of which have had considerable success. It is
> important that your government builds on this success to broaden the scope
> of change.
> The struggle for economic recovery has had more mixed results and quite
> frankly, there is consensus in the country that your economic management
> team simply does not have the capacity to meet the nation's expectations.
> The recent publication of the economic recovery and growth plan after 20
> months in office is an indication of the team's lethargy even if it is a
> significant step in the right direction and provides important indications
> of what needs to be done.
> We are aware that many people of goodwill have made suggestions to you that
> are similar to the ones in this letter but our hope is that as more people
> make the same suggestions, you are more likely to take them seriously.
> Mr. President, Nigerians voted for you because they believed your promise
> of good governance and cleansing the political arena of the corrupt, vile
> and self-serving persons who had previously ruled our country. Today,
> Nigerians are worried that many such people remain in government. It is
> important to note that in governing, statesmen are obliged to practice the
> type of politics that would work for both sustaining the result-oriented
> political coalition that produced victory and indeed expanding the
> coalition. The end game however is to produce the dividends of democracy.
> In this pursuit, the public must be continually assured that Government is
> on the right track. Success emanates from producing the results of improved
> and more secure lives of citizens.
> Mr. President, in politics, sustaining the loyalty of the political
> coalition that won the election is always important. You are lucky to have
> charisma and your thinking might be that this charisma would be sufficient
> to carry you to the Promised Land. Charisma, it will be recalled, is the
> authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace that breeds
> personal devotion and personal confidence in followers. It is important to
> point out however that history is replete with examples in which charisma
> fails because there is no political machine or process to sustain it. Mr.
> President, you are very well aware that your charisma actually has
> geographical limits and what produced victory in 2015 is not the
> charisma-inspired following of your base, which has sustained support for
> you throughout your political career but extending this political support
> to areas where your charisma is limited. It is for this reason that
> sustaining the alliance that produced the APC is crucial.
> Mr. President, it appears that you have kept the large coterie of
> 'professional politicians' - who worked hard, invested resources and
> mobilised to get you into power - at arms length. We understand the logic
> that would make an honest person act in this way. If your intention is not
> to work with politicians, the question you should ask yourself is, 'What is
> the alternative?' Simply refusing to act cannot be the alternative. The
> effect would be for many constituencies to lose hope in the future and that
> could be very dangerous. It is for this reason that we urge you to take
> this advice seriously.
> *Major Concerns*
> 1) The internecine and open fights between some leading members of your
> security team is threatening national cohesion and is destabilising the
> ability of government to work in concert. It is well known that when
> different security agencies are competing against each other and subverting
> themselves, it is the security of the nation that suffers.
> 2) The narrow base of your close advisers is giving the impression that
> you are running a closed government in a political environment that
> requires a participatory approach of all relevant stakeholders. Nigeria is
> a large country and has a complex history with a commitment to federal
> governance. Regular engagement with a broad section of stakeholders would
> significantly improve the quality of governance.
> 3) There appears to be no political strategy to your engagement with your
> own political party, the APC and the National Assembly. As preparations for
> the next round of elections pick up pace, your Administration needs a
> strong political team to help you achieve your objectives.
> 4) As you approach the mid-term of your mandate, your legislative agenda
> needs to be pursued with more pace and vigour. There are at least three
> urgent issues. The first is the reduction of the cost of governance through
> carrying out legislation that would address some of the issues raised in
> the Oronsanye Report and a new RMFAC formula, which would scale down
> remunerations of political office holders. The Second is the Petroleum
> Industry Bill, which candidate Buhari had promised would be prioritized
> within the first quarter of the Administration. Finally, legislation is
> necessary to strengthen the anti-corruption agencies.
> 5) Corruption appears to have tainted some of your leading subalterns and
> maintaining them in office gives the impression that you support corruption
> within your circle. The significant success you have achieved in the
> anti-corruption arena is being undermined by this impression.
> 6) There are an incredible number of vacancies in your Administration two
> years after your election. It is imperative that you fill them immediately
> so that you have competent people to pursue the implementation of the
> programmes for which you were elected.
> 7) Regular communication with Nigerians should be an important part of
> the Administration's style of governance. The impression so far is that the
> President rarely talks with Nigerians and presidential spokespeople appear
> to talk without full consultation with their principal, often finding
> themselves on the wrong side of what the President believes. Nigerians
> often hear the President reveal information during foreign visits and it is
> simply respect for citizens that the President should talk to them more
> often.
> *Recommendations*
> I. Stop the internal war among your security team and remove
> those who are unwilling to do their work in a loyal manner and are spending
> all their energies fighting others
> II. Make an effort to appoint more advisers, formal and
> informal from wider circles, and open up to other ideas and suggestions
> that would improve national cohesion.
> III. Appoint a high-powered team of economic advisers that can
> create coherence and synergy as well as guide the economic recovery plan.
> IV. Appoint a high-powered team of political advisers that would
> guide the process of revamping your party and develop your political plans
> and strategy. The political team should also have the capacity of
> developing a modus operandi of working successfully with the National
> Assembly to pursue your legislative agenda.
> V. Act decisively to get rid of your ministers and officials who
> have been tainted with engagement in acts of corruption.
> VI. All vacancies in ministerial positions, boards, agencies and
> departments should be filled immediately.
> VII. Develop a schedule for regular television appearances and town
> hall meetings to brief citizens directly on the conduct of government
> business.
> Sincerely
> Prof Massaud Omar
> Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed
> Comrade John Odah
> Prof Jibrin Ibrahim
> Mallam Y. Z. Ya'u
> Mr. Chom Bagu
> Prof Mustaha Gwadabe
> Dr. Chris Kwaja
> Mallam Ibrahim Muazzam
> Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
> Dr. Yohanna Kagoro Gandu
> Prof Abfulkadir Adamu
> Dr. Salihu Zubairu Mustapha
> Mallam Danladi Aliyu
> Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim
> Dr. El Harun Muhammad
> Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
> Senior Fellow
> Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
> Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17
> --
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