What is President Muhammadu Buhari doing right that former president Goodluck Jonathan did not do regarding rescuing the abducted Chibok girls?
It is no longer a new that a group of secondary school students, all females were captured by Boko Haram terrorists at least two years ago in Chibok town, Borno state in Northeast Nigeria.
It should be recalled that when the news first broke, it was reported that it took the former president, Dr Jonathan more than seven days before he could believe the girls were actually kidnapped. How on earth could a sitting president do this?
1. Political will
There is a popular saying that when there is a will, there will surely be a way. This is what Nigeria’s current president has demonstrated ever since he was sworn in on Friday, May 29, 2015. President Buhari has always been showing his unending zeal to see to the release of the Chibok girls.
Some critics of the president, like Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state was also lampooned by some groups of Nigerians regarding his statements on the rescue of the Chibok girls. One of such is the Northern youth under the aegis of North East Youth Peace Development and Empowerment Initiative (NEYPDEI) which called on Ayodele Fayose, the governor of Ekiti state, to apologise for his previous comments that no Chibok girl was missing.
Likewise, some keen observers of the whole Chibok episode could still argue that just one or two girls have been rescued. Either only a girl or more than one girl, there should be no prejudice or sentiment as far as applauding the president for his passion at saving the girls alive is concerned.
2. Audience with the BBOG
A president should know he is like a servant, but not a boss to his people, no matter what. One of the unique qualities which makes a leader stand out, is having an ear for his people. If the people complain about something they are not okay about, the leader should be ready to go the whole hog, in finding solution to those issues.
As of last year, when the former minister of education under the presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the main arrow head of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) Group, Oby Ezekwesili met with President Buhari, she and members of the BBOG got words of assurance from the president then. Although, it seems it took a bit long before the president acted on their request in rescuing the girls, what people should know is that the journey of a thousand miles start with a step.
The opportunity the BBOG group was given by the current president was not available during the immediate past government.
3. Public opinion, a priority
The saying that, “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” is still subjective.
The remnants of the hues and cries generated by the captured Chibok girls were passed over to President Buhari. He had to carry on from where his predecessor, Dr Jonathan left.
Since the public has never relented in adding their voice to the rescue of the Chibok girls, and Buhari who is always ready to listen to the people’s concerns, thus making him to act as swift as he could.
4. Rescuing of girls, topmost in government’s plan
President Buhari mentioned rescuing of the Chibok girls almost all the times he talked about his plans for Nigeria. It was one of the things he spoke about during the electioneering campaign as well as after he won the presidential election.
5. The president is fully in charge
It is highly important for a leader of a nation to be a tough person. Nigeria is a complex country with diverse interest and different views about how the country should be administered.
There are always some cabals lingering around the corridors of power, waiting to negatively influence the decisions of the federal government. The danger here is that these sets of mafias will always have ulterior motives, regarding how vital decisions are taken. The more a president allows them to thrive and decide for him, the more the president is likely not to achieve anything.
President Buhari being a man of tough character and uprightness did not allow the cabals to take over the ship of his government from him, therefore his unwavering determination to rescue the girls is paying off.