The President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, can only make a headway in reversing Nigeria’s current misfortune if he is able to muster enough courage and boldness in setting up a set of actions targeted at restructuring the country in the immediate term.
This was the viewpoint expressed by frontline journalist and former Executive Director of Tell Magazine, Mr Dare Babarinsa, while speaking as Guest on Boiling Point Arena , a popular monthly online discourse monitored via Google Meet.
Babarinsa said that better future lay ahead for the country under Tinubu’s leadership if he took proper steps to address the imbalance which had been the bane of the ethnic tension and economic downturn in the country.
The frontline journalist spoke on the topic, Post-election Nigeria: Panacea for building tribal cohesion, integration and unity during the sixth edition of Boiling Point Arena, a forum for good governance and national development, convened by a notable media professional and activist, Mr Ayo Arowojolu.
Also speaking, another Guest Speaker, a renowned Management consultant and chartered engineer, Apostle Moses Oludele Idowu to immediately upon assumption office on May 29, 2023, commence deliberate actions aimed at ensuring total healing of Nigerians from the current bitterness and ethnic divisiveness pervading the country.
Babarinsa, who said that the Nigerian federation was not working at present, said that it was a pity that the outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari, spent eight years in office without doing anything in the direction of the country’s structure.
He said, “I hope the incoming president, Tinubu, will be wiser and bolder, because tampering with the current structure requires a lot of boldness for the future of this country, so that we will not continue to waste our future and resources on unworkable things.”
“Nigeria’s leader should have the courage to tamper with this system, this structure that is wasting our resources and not bringing us the best for the country,” he stressed, adding that Tinubu should, as a matter of urgent national interest, also address joblessness, poverty, and infrastructure deficit for the country to forge ahead.
Babarinsa, who expressed confidence that a competent leader would resolve the country’s challenges, said, “Our problem has been that we have not been hiring competent people. As we are now, it is when competence is exhibited that the pressure which is manifesting as ethnic tension will go down”.
He lamented the large population of unemployed youths, saying, “Our country must address the issue of mass unemployment. We need to address all the issues that make young people recruitable for all these violent agitations. So we need competent leaders to tackle this matter, if it is not tackled, nobody will be safe”.
The frontline journalist, who harped on the need to empower people to have competence, said, “We need to make our young people have the ability to work. Poverty in our country has become an epidemic. We should be careful about the impact of a country that is seriously poor”.
He advised that rather than resort to violence or advocating secession, “What we must try is to have a formula to live together so that we can maximize the benefit of the large enterprise called Nigeria. The enterprise is good for all of us,” as he urged parties in the 2023 elections and post election litigations to wait for the verdicts of the courts.
For his part, Apostle Oludele Idowu, advised the incoming administration to unite Nigerians, ensure security of lives and property and as well create opportunities for youths empowerment/employment.
Idowu, who canvassed
righteousness in governance, faulted the call in some quarters for interim government to scuttle the May 29 inauguration of the new government, saying, “Canvassing for interim government when the process of litigation is still going on is a contradiction.
“If you have submitted a case for litigation, you should allow the process go on. You cannot have an interim government when an election has been conducted and when the Independent National Electoral Commission has made a pronouncement. The constitution is very clear about the process that must be taken.
“People are afraid that what happened in June 12,1993 should not be allowed to happen. There is no reason for such fear because in June 12, 1993 election, there was no complete result. But in this case, we have a result, we have a president-elect which nobody can dispute except the court says otherwise,” he said.
He advised, “What Nigeria needs today is total healing and the incoming administration has a lot of role to play in ensuring total healing. There has been a lot of bitterness in the last seven years, those who lost their families in the cash jam and one insecurity or the other and mismanagement of diversity and economy in the last seven years.
“There are lots of challenges for the incoming government and we need to pray and support them to make sure it succeeds so Nigeria can have total healing. The incoming government must bring Nigeria back together again. There is a lot of division, it must unite the people.
“We can still have competence within the ambits of unity. There is no tribe in Nigeria that does not have competent people, he said, adding that competence should not be used to promote disunity among the country’s component units.
Earlier in his key note address, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Prof Saka Matemilola who also doubles as the Chairman, Boiling Point Council of Royals and Elders, commended the forum for utilizing its platform for promoting good governance and national development.