By Senator Gbenga Ashafa
The 11th of November 2015, will go down in history as the day President Muhammadu Buhari Government was officially formed. I must congratulate the select 36 courageous men and women, who made the grade and have been saddled with the responsibility of delivering the Change the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised in its campaigns.
For months, Nigerians waited with baited breath to see the team President Buhari was going to work with. Given the deplorable state of the economy we inherited from the last administration, the anxiety displayed by the people who voted for us has been palpable but understandable. The time to roll up the sleeves and wrestle our country to prosperity is NOW!
My challenge to the newly-appointed ministers is that they see themselves as Crusaders of Change. They have been given an opportunity of a lifetime to do the incredible; making Nigeria the greatest nation on earth! They must remain disciplined and focused. Selfless service, focus, integrity and patriotism must guide every assignment. Wherever they may go and whomever they may meet, they must leave people with the best impressions of Nigeria.
Dear Ministers, your job is to market Nigeria the best way possible. All eyes are on you. Our youth will watch you via social media and expect you to get it right all the time. Experts will criticise and praise you – sometimes fairly, other times harshly. Your boss will make strenuous demands on your time and your abilities. When all looks bleak, remember you are doing it for the disadvantaged children of the war-ravaged North East; recall that there are thousands of innocent Nigerians in various jailhouses crying out for justice; reminisce on the pregnant women who require delicate but unavailable healthcare; think of the fathers who faithfully till the ground for little harvest; consider that young entrepreneur with life-changing ideas but has no funds to give them wings; ponder the struggles of our soldiers as they lay down their lives to defend the nation. These thoughts should spur you on and evoke a sense of total commitment to your jobs. Nigeria needs you to give your best.
I must also make special mention of our respected national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. With the appointments of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Babatunde Fashola (SAN), he has shown once again that he is an awesome judge of talent. That Mr. President found these three men, who owe their political careers to the Great Maestro of Boudillion, worthy of manning very critical ministries is testament to Asiwaju’s gift for raising and mentoring leaders. You, sir, are the Leader of Leaders!
To all the ministers appointed, as President Buhari once said, you will be judged by the number of Nigerians you bring out of poverty, not the number of contracts you sign or meetings you have. Every decision you take must first pass this test: “How many jobs will this choice create?” remember, that is was will save this nation – jobs.
May the Almighty guide your hands and keep you from harm. May He surround you with the people and resources you need to deliver on your mandate.
Best of luck and God bless Nigeria!
*Ashafa is senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District