BUHARI IS CAPABLE IF HE IS FOCUSED – SIMON KOLAWOLE
BUHARI IS CAPABLE IF HE IS FOCUSED – SIMON KOLAWOLE
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“Criticisms are in two categories: constructive and destructive. Constructive criticism is often done with concern. It could be harsh. But it is more like: “You’re not getting it right. Try something else. Do it another way.” Implicit in constructive criticism is a desire to see things done in a different and better way, even if outright suggestions are not always offered. Ultimately, there is goodwill. Ultimately, the motive is never selfish. Agreed, nobody likes to be criticised. It is only human. But when people criticise me, no matter how uncomfortable I am and how bruised my ego feels, I try to examine my ways. And it has helped me tremendously in my life journey.
There is, of course, destructive criticism. We don’t need to google that. Destructive criticism can hide under altruism and fair comment, but the motive is difficult to disguise. Clearly, some people are out to destroy Buhari for political reasons. It is certainly legitimate — after all, APC came to power by destroying Jonathan and refusing to recognise any achievements recorded by him.
It would seem then that the PDP is serving APC some tablets from their own medicine by trying to cast Buhari as a failure less than two years in office. Some are also criticising Buhari because they have lost out or are completely uncomfortable under the new dispensation. It is all normal.
Unfortunately, the contents of public criticism are virtually the same. Both the constructive and destructive are saying the same thing.
So when both camps say, with different motives, that the power situation is getting worse, is it a lie? When they say there is still corruption, is that not true? Is the economy not contracting — even if Buhari inherited a mess? Is the DSS not detaining people without any legal basis? Has there been any legal justification for the continued detention of Ibraheem El Zakzaky, Nnamdi Kanu and Sambo Dasuki? Are state agencies not disobeying court orders? But does it mean anyone who says these things is automatically a “wailing wailer”?
I am so eager to see Buhari succeed as president. Aside the fact that I genuinely believe in him and trust his integrity, I am insanely desperate to see Nigeria move up the ladder of development. The world has left Nigeria behind. We are still discussing Introduction to Physics when the world is already doing laser brain surgery.
My theory all along, dating back to the military era, is that Nigeria was not developing because of corruption. I’ve always believed that if a patriotic leader puts together a competent team, there would be no stopping our progress. We’ve had brilliant leaders whose brains got poisoned by the lust for filthy lucre.
Some of Nigeria’s problems are so basic yet they look insurmountable.
What does it take to have constant power? Even if there was no single cable anywhere in Nigeria in 1999, we could have done it in 17 years with all the petrodollars that flooded this economy. Even if there was no road anywhere in 1999, we could have paved 50,000 kilometres by now. Even if there was no single refinery in 1999, we could have built 20 by now! There has been a lack of seriousness and sincerity for ages, and in Buhari I believe we have someone who can still offer true leadership despite a very slow start. But of what use is a competent team if they don’t have access to him?
I would love Buhari to pay closer attention to criticism — both the constructive and the destructive. Everything has its value. Criticism represents a strand of opinion, no matter how acidic. You may say my shirt is dirty because you want to ridicule me, but what if it is true? I would have to ignore your motive and change the shirt. That is the point.
If Buhari makes positive use of criticism, he will only become a better leader. I know every leader has his or her strategy in dealing with critics. Some believe in fire-for-fire. It may work. It may not work. Jonathan did fire-for-fire, arrow-for-arrow, and bullet-for-bullet. Whatever it is, people must be free to voice their opinion in a democracy.
In Rebel Music, Bob Marley sang: “Why can’t we be what we want to be/We want to be free.” Those values are at the core of constitutional democracy. Once these freedoms are curtailed, it takes away the “demo” from democracy and replaces it with “auto”.
And can we deny the fact that many Buhari supporters are losing their patience and singing “I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love” along with Marley? The Wailers famously sang: “Get up stand up/stand up for your rights.” If you legitimately demand for your rights and you are classified as a “wailing wailer”, that should be taken as a compliment. Buhari’s team members must consciously deal with the pathologies of “groupthink”.
Simon Kolawole is a journalist with TheCable
Author: Dare Gbadebo is the publisher with the trademark darebaba.net is a versatile writer who had his media training based on photography at PEFTI film institute and has written for many top media houses in Nigeria. Stay tuned for your favorite celebrity news political updates and paparazzi. Darebaba on social media Facebook | Instagram | Google+
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