Something wonderful has begun in the Nigerian political ecosphere. Ability and competence are starting to count in the support for public office. Up until this point in time, mostly no-good hustlers succeeded in the process that was dirty and hazardous. Today, good candidates are beginning to step forward to serve.
Newly elected President Tinubu in forming his cabinet, hands over a patchwork of the technically skilled and the politically savvy. The president has satisfied popular yearning in including a number of youthful newcomers as well as ladies in a display of a work of the first rank at the level of the political genius of Abraham Lincoln.
It is a paradigm shift. This tweak is showing some sign of life and telling clearly to all that Nigeria is turning a corner and will be making progress.
Acting behind the scenes is the towering gallant and classy chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila. Seen widely as the President’s protégé, he is himself quite a name in the thicket of national politics. Before his appointment as chief of staff to the president, he had had an expansive career in law- making culminating in the speakership of the 9th National Assembly House of Representatives. As a speaker, he was behind vast adaptations of laws and institutions to the present time. Some prime bills passed under him include the Physically-Challenged (Empowerment) Bill, of 2019, and the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education), Bill, of the same year. Partly educated and qualified as a lawyer in the US, Gbaja, as he is more fondly known by his friends, represents a rich future of promise and resourcefulness for the Nigerian political enterprise.
The president, though, has put a dark horse in charge of steel development. That steel project has for a long time been a thorn and a constant headache for the country. Not to mention that it has guzzled a pretty penny over the years. More than $ 8 billion spent over the years.
People of goodwill, for the most part, see this choice of Hon Shuaibu Audu as a masterstroke. Being an investment banker of repute with an Ivy League education, his acquired skills are affording him the workaround to the complexity of Nigeria’s steel problem. Moreover, he has skin in the game. He is from the home of Ajaokuta, the largest steel mill built on over 59,000 acres in Kogi. In fact, he had sought the ruling party All Progressive Congress ticket for a run to be governor of Kogi State. It leaves no doubt that he is wholeheartedly committed. That puts him on all fours with the vision of the political economy of President Bola Tinubu.
The President’s cabinet is looking more like Lincoln’s famed ‘team of rivals’. Included in the team are outspoken members of rival and opposition parties. A case in point is Nyesom Wike, a lawyer and an impassioned former Governor of Rivers State. He has vowed to bulldoze illegal structures and return Nigeria’s beautiful and planned capital with its wide roads to its original master plan that was partially drawn by the famed Japanese planner Kenzo Tange Not one to threaten and bluster, Wike who is a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party has already set timelines to complete longstanding projects as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja and is already out with bulldozers.
To steer and rein in the massive bureaucracy, President Tinubu has turned to a rather steady and capable hand. George Akume, a highly respected, popular, and urbane former governor of Benue State with a background in the previous cabinet of former president Buhari, is in charge as Secretary to the Government of the Federation
By also involving the young of both genders such as the promising Minister of steel, barely forty- three years old, or Gbajabiamila the sensible middle-aged chief of staff, Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s globally likable President is doing something remarkable. He is undertaking to set Nigeria’s rise to greatness and proffering at the same time, a pool of leadership for the nation’s future.
From his electoral slogan of ‘renewed hope’, President Tinubu is with all the bold and insightful steps
thus far, not to mention strides made in drawing confidence and investments in the economy, fast becoming a shining beacon of hope.