Nigerians and political observers were understandably concerned about the snail-speed process of cabinet ‘construction’, because of the myriad of challenges – economic, social, political and security – facing the nation. In his first coming (2015), it took President Muhammadu Buhari six months to perform similar task, and this had an enormous effect on the performance of that government afterwards.
It is against this backdrop that Nigerians expected a shift, a better focus, and decisive action from president. Another stumble on this task by President Buhari, again led to avoidable anxiety, moaning and agitation among Nigerians. Thankfully, the lacuna didn’t last as long before President Buhari finally released the (ministerial) list and the eventual inauguration of the ministers some weeks ago.
Concerned Nigerians have however raised issues and expressed doubts on some names on the list because of concerns on competency, character, integrity and spectre of corruption allegations hanging over others.
Yet, in the interest of equity, fairness and justice, we must not rush to proclaim anyone guilty of corruption without conviction. Nevertheless, it is important for Nigerians to give President Buhari and those ministers under investigation the benefit of the doubt, and to trust that the president has chosen those he trusts to help him actualise his programme for optimum results to Nigerians. The onus now rests on these ministers to prove to doubters wrong by collaborating and working assiduously in consonance with the vision, aspiration and Next Level Agenda of the president and his party.
Nigerians expect the dividends in massive jobs creation, youth empowerment, provision of basic amenities and economic growth in the interest of every Nigerian. The cabinet members must avoid disagreements and unnecessary bickering which has always been the bane of performance of ministers in the past.
Unlike in his first term when the president was aloof with his ministers, he would do Nigerians a great favour this time around by placing his ministers on probation and periodically assessing them and also not hesitant to fire anyone who underperforms or is found wanting in any way. It is important to say that, though the re-appointed ministers have proved their mettle in the first term, they also need to redouble their efforts and commitments, whilst the new ministers among whom Nigerians expressed misgivings about should be challenged by the naysayers and take the enormity of the task before them seriously to drive the policies and programmes of the administration. All these should be their focus and the driving force, not pursuit of self-interests and self-aggrandizement.