Seven Wonders in Seven Weeks of President Tinubu

No more news of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ramping up the engine of governance in Nigeria and immediately hitting the waves since he was sworn in on May 29, 2023.

From Abuja to Zurich, the story is the same: a new sheriff is in town and rushes to give the giant of Africa a new lease of life.

During his seven weeks in office at the Presidential Villa, President Tinubu has made proud of those who laid down their necks for him.

He also shamed those who wanted anyone else but him.

Those who sold a grotesque caricature of the man to stop him are embarrassed.

Doubters and skeptics who either skeptically or openly opposed Tinubu’s presidency are being converted not by propaganda but by the weight of the man’s actions.

While I was working on this piece, a cerebral friend, who I know is not generous with praise, called me to confess how he was “blissfully disappointed” with Chief Tinubu’s leadership skills.

He has now turned into a PBAT cheerleader.

For my friend and many others, there are countless things that President Tinubu has done or traits that he has displayed in the last seven weeks that they never thought he could do.

Some of us aren’t at all surprised that the president got a chance to see it up close.

In the second round of elections, the opposition wrecked jobs and blinded many Nigerians.

But with President Tinubu now at center stage, in a great place for everyone to know what she is made of, most Nigerians are now wiser.

In public and in small group chats, the talk is now how the President has performed miracles to the surprise of many.

Here I am compiling some of the buzzwords on the lips of many Nigerians.

1. ENERGY, PURE ENERGY: One of the first wonders for many people brainwashed into believing that candidate Tinubu was undead was the energy they now see effortlessly exuding.

Some of us who were in the campaign had seen the real Asíwájú on the hustings, different from the insinuations and fake news they peddled out there.

In a piece just before the election, I wrote that candidate Tinubu did more than any other candidate.

This was not an exaggeration. The man visited all states, some more than once. He never rested.

Sometimes he even had to be begged, tricked, or even forced to rest because he worked until the morning hours of the next day.

Nigerians began to see this energy from inauguration day, when President Tinubu stood for the duration of the long inauguration ceremony.

Shortly thereafter, he moved to the State House for another long ritual of welcoming world leaders and standing for photo opportunities.

From that moment on, governance began and there is no stopping.

Many State House staff found it strange that the Speaker was in the office every day of the week until late.

It is often too late. Many are expected to adjust quickly to the new sheriff’s extended schedule.

2. DECISIVENESS: In his first few weeks in office, President Tinub demonstrated an important quality of leadership: decisiveness.

The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, said that while a leader should always look for the right things in decision-making moments, the worst thing to do is to do nothing.

Like all great leaders in history, President Tinubu has demonstrated that he is no fence-sitter in the business of governance.

With him there is no beating about the bush or procrastination on matters that need to be dealt with quickly.

So far, the President has left no doubt that he is fully in charge and responsible for the decisions his administration makes.

No shadow president anywhere, no clearing houses outside the president’s office.

With extraordinary courage, President Tinubu has taken a number of decisions that have taken many observers by surprise.

Some of these resolutions concerned issues that were considered too hot to be addressed at the time.

At the heart of the city is the feeling that the country isn’t running on autopilot.

One may disagree with the direction one is taking but no one will accuse one of not making a decision at all.

However, in taking these decisions, President Tinubu has proven to be an inclusive leader who consults widely and falls in love with the wisest counsellor.

His mantra is “open door policy”.

Among many other voices at home and abroad, the Oba of Benin, Omon’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, expressed awe at the president’s energy and decisiveness when he visited him last week.

“We predicted that you would take the job, and you did it even faster than we thought,” the monarch said, wondering where the president’s enormous energy comes from.

3. SUPPORT KILLING: Many were shocked when on May 29, President Tinubu declared the subsidy leech dead.

It was a decision that evoked many positive reactions at home and abroad.

Yes, it does come with some pains in the form of inflationary trends, but the consensus is that it’s the least pain to endure compared to the disintegrating effect of continued subsidy payment on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

In later speeches, President Tinubu would liken the current situation to the pains of childbirth and the happiness that comes with childbirth.

We are currently experiencing labor pains, but in the end, Nigerians would smile, like a mother comforted by the sight of a new baby. Wisdom dazzled.

Since the decision, two videos have surfaced on social media.

One was of a group of youths in one of the neighboring countries who were mourning the removal of the subsidy in Nigeria.

The last one I watched showed a large number of fuel barrels and casks in a village along the border that have become fallow due to the removal of the subsidy.

The village was teeming with smuggled fuel from Nigeria until 29 May.

The magic is reflected in the numbers.

The regulator reported that daily fuel consumption was reduced by 35%.

4. SAVING THE NAIRA FROM THE RENT-SEEKERS: For years, experts and economists have warned that the hitherto way of managing our forex was unsustainable.

The rentiers, revived by the permissive Central Bank administration, took over the administration by cashing in at the expense of our collective misery.

While it was becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary Nigerians to obtain even a few thousand dollars to meet essential needs, some received huge allocations from the source at unrealistic rates.

They then return to the parallel market, where they earn a large amount of cash without breaking a sweat!

Speaking at a civic reception at Marina Palace in Lagos during Eid, President Tinubu told the audience that the arrangement he had encountered was enticing and that he could choose to keep it and benefit from it.

The multiple forex window had for a while served as an avenue of dispensing favours to family members and friends.

His family and colleagues might smile at the bank, but “God forbid!” he said.

The decision has since restored confidence in the Nigerian economy as Nigerian equities hit all-time highs and investors bet on our market.

5. STOPPING AN INVISIBLE STRIKE: The atmosphere was tense as unions accused the government of President Tinubu’s bold decision to stop the hemorrhaging of fuel subsidies.

Typical of its default mode, organized labor saw the decision as an affront to the poor.

They wanted the decision overturned and issued a strike notice.

This was the first test of President Tinubu’s leadership.

A skilled manager of men and equipment that he is, the President immediately took action inviting the leaders of the work to the negotiating table.

Using facts and figures, he explained to them the reason for the decision.

6. THE RETURN OF NIGERIA TO THE WORLD STAGE: There is no doubt that Nigeria’s respect and leadership within the subregion and beyond is being renewed.

In his first visit to ECOWAS, President Tinubu was unanimously elected by his colleagues as the new chairman of the regional council.

He has since gone on to demonstrate leadership at that level as well as evidenced by his inaugural speech after taking over. “Nigeria is back,” he roared.

The dignifying address was reminiscent of Murtala Muhammed’s January 1976 address in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Like General Muhammad, President Tinubu is a Pan-Africanist who believes in the continent’s ability to meet its own challenges and be treated as an equal on the global stage.

Outside of West Africa and the wider continent, President Tinubu is coveted by all. Remember the warm welcome from French President Emmanuel Macron?

7. SPECTACULAR OFF-THE-CUFF SPEECH: President Tinubu delights his audience with a straight-from-the-heart speech without thinking too hard.

To be a man with original ideas and clarity of vision, he did not need cosmetic scripts.

This allowed the president to speak from the heart and connect more intimately with his audience.

The brilliance of these speeches not only elicited applause, although the applause may be for visual service, their deeper meanings also excite many afterwards.

The speech changed opinions about the president and turned hearts and minds.

They draw respect.

A Labor Party legislator from Abia State, Hon. Amobi Oga, is one such person who was enthralled by the President’s heartfelt address when he met elected lawmakers ahead of the opening of the National Assembly on June 8.

“Today is my best day.

Today, I am very happy that I am an elected member and see my President talking.

In fact, I never knew that this man is so smart,” Oga told reporters at the end of the closed-door session.

“I never knew this man was so ready to serve this country.

I saw the love, the character and the charisma – the belief that Nigeria can be a better nation.”

Indeed, with President Tinubu’s proven leadership, Nigeria can “get better again,” to borrow Rep Oga’s phrase.

Abdulaziz Abdul Aziz, Presidential Media Assistant, writing from Abuja.


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