Tinubu, your road is rough

 

FEMI ADEOTI COLUMN,

No pretence. Even long before the kick-off: President Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, your road is rough. It’s tough, harsh and hard. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
It couldn’t have been otherwise. You are practically naked. Do not turn against us in anger. Don’t make it violent for us. You asked for it. You’ve got it in full measure.
The challenges are enormous. Yes! Overwhelming, tasking, daunting and Herculean. Muster all the strength in you. Discard all arrogance.
Confront them headlong!
You need not be told all this. We assume you know far more than we think you know. That’s why you are where you are today. So? Prove us right. Tell us we’re not wrong.
Tinubu, where is your dexterity? Where are those deftness, agility and
shrewdness attributed to you? Display them. Demonstrate them. Put them into good use even now.
We are eager to see you showcasing all these to our delight. You made us to wait this long for this time. You’re speedily running against time. And this time is precious to us all.
He spoke to us on Monday, May 29, 2023. It confirmed a sweet reality. That the odd old has passed away. Things are turning pleasant. A new dawn has dawned on us. That is what we naively thought.
Now that you have spoken from the throne, oblige us to speak back to your throne. And you will be exceedingly glad you did.
A walk through your abridged inaugural speech gave us some hints. You
encouraged us to believe in ourselves. Your confession: “My love for this nation is abiding. My confidence in its people, unwavering”
Then your unshaken faith in the Creator: “And my faith in God
Almighty, absolute. I know that His hand shall provide the needed moral strength and clarity of purpose in those instances when we seem
to have reached the limits of our human capacity.”
You speech was on a good note. Stay on this solid rock. All other grounds are sinking sands. You need to keep to this lane. It’s the wisest to do all the time.
He didn’t miss it at all: “We have endured hardships that would have
made other societies crumble.” Though fumble and stumble. We refuse to cave in. We opt not to be broken. We elect to firmly stand our ground. And it pays off handsomely. The reward is what we witnessed last Monday.
Our resilience uncanny; our resolve uncommon. You can’t easily find it
in other climes. We were resolute from start-to-finish. We braced all odds. We are happy for our actions.
Tinubu confirmed this much. He read appropriately. His corroboration
was on spot: “For many years, Nigeria’s critics have trafficked the rumour that our nation will break apart, even perish.”
True. We are hard survivalists of no small means: “Yet, here we are. We have stumbled at times, but our resilience and diversity have kept us going. Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never
break us.”
He strived hard to rekindle our hope. And calm our frayed nerves. We do appreciate that very deeply. And we will pay him back in his own “coins.”
On our part, we will make him restless and restive. We will put him on his toes. We will continue to knock on his doors several times over.
We’re going to constantly remind him of his profound pronouncement:
“We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.”
He did not feign ignorance. He knew we are more divided as a nation like never before. Not even did the 30-month civil war tear us apart as now: “We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.”
He dared to touch a most vexed issue. And he did with a degree of
astuteness and acuteness: “May I offer a few comments regarding the election that brought us to this juncture. It was a hard-fought
contest.”
You may elect to agree or disagree with him going further: “And it was
also fairly won. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has not held an election of better quality. The outcome reflected the will of the people.”
He spoke to the feelings of his co-contestants:  “However, my victory
does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.”
He then wormed his way into their hearts: “They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent
important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dares not ignore.
“They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is
the essence of the rule of law.” No qualms!
His immediate concern, he is desperate. He went down on his knees:
“Let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of
creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.”
Gospel according to Tinubu: “Our Constitution and laws give us a
nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social
cohesion and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.” Right and right!
Let’s stand on his promise. We hold him to his affirmation: “I shall
serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.” Well said. Well taken.
Our honest response: Tinubu, deliberate ignorance and arrogance should be far away from you. They have never done anybody any good. They are
super-destroyers. Testimonies abound all over.
Be sensitive and responsive. Pay attention to some little things.
They’re the fault lines and landmines. They can be easily disregarded. But they can derail a government without knowing.
Do not ever leave us in the dark on any matter. Gear up. Be bold and brave. Right the wrongs. You can’t fret from it. Neither can you run away from it. Perhaps, the very reason you are here.
And that is why we are this shocked. Hear us out too. Fuel subsidy removal! The manner you’re handling this is killing.
You threw it at us angrily. And you closed your eyes. And shut down.
Why? So soon! What did we do to deserve this maltreatment? If you care to know, we are dying at the speed of light.
Are you such in a hurry? You have four years, in the first instance, to make impact. Don’t rush us out of existence. It’s not strategic. It’s tragic. Sad!
This is what you promised us just last Monday: “Our administration shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate.”
Walk your talk. Apply wisdom. Handle it with discretion. The
implementation is heartless with gross insensitivity. Treat us with dignity. After all, we are human beings. Blood is running in our veins, not water.
You’re deliberately making your path tortuous. It is your turn to shine. And the choice is absolutely yours!
LAST LINE: The headline of this piece is not a proper adoption of Tai
Solarin’s work: May Your Road Be Rough.

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