When the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, declared on Friday, October 21, 2022, that he would hit the ground running from his first day as president if elected, critics called his bluff because of his perceived ill health.
However, since his inauguration as the 6th democratically elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2023, Tinubu has not missed a chance in shutting up naysayers with his purposeful leadership.
Not only has Tinubu displayed physical and mental alertness, but his problem-solving skills have wowed his supporters and critics. While some of his opponents have openly expressed admiration for his approach to issues, others have chosen to do so secretly.
One of those who could not suppress their feelings about Tinubu is a House of Representatives member-elect on the platform of the Labour Party, Godwin Ogar, who said he never knew that the President was so intelligent, and he felt so proud listening to a man who is prepared to serve Nigerians.
Ogar, who was elected from Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State, stated this during an interview with newsmen on Friday after the National Assembly members-elect met with Tinubu at the State House to resolve the leadership crisis of the lawmakers.
Tinubu hit the ground running during his swearing-in ceremony where he declared the end of the fraudulent subsidy regime. This decision was met with an outcry from the masses following the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS).
However, in an apparent effort to address the fallout of fuel subsidy removal and regain the confidence of Nigerians, on resumption of office on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, Tinubu began consultation with critical stakeholders.
Tinubu started by meeting with the Central Bank Governor (CBN) Godwin Emefiele and the Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari.
On Thursday, June 1, 2023, President Tinubu met with the service chiefs: Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.
At the meeting, the president charged the service chiefs to work together in a coordinated manner to achieve one single purpose of tackling the challenges of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery and piracy among others.
On Monday, June 5, Health workers’ union under the umbrella of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) suspended its 12-day-old strike after meeting with President Tinubu. The unions gave a 21-day timeline for the government to address their requests.
Similarly, the proposed strike of the Labour Union was suspended after the union’s leaders met with the representatives of the federal government, led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, Tinubu met with state Governors and directed the vice president, Kashim Shettima to work with the governors to develop measures to cushion effects of petrol subsidy removal. On their part, the governors pledged their support for the policies of Tinubu-led administration.
Tinubu also met with Petroleum marketers and they pledged their support for subsidy removal, promising to donate 100 CNG-compliant buses for mass transportation.
President Tinubu has also called on the European Union to support Nigeria in tackling insecurity and poverty challenges in the country and Africa.
According to a statement by Abiodun Oladunjoye, State House spokesperson, Tinubu made the plea during a telephone conversation with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, on Wednesday.
Tinubu asked the EU to consider the areas of insecurity, particularly, in the neighbouring country of Lake Chad and other coastal regions.
Furthermore, the proactive president has assented to the 2023 Electricity Act which is a replacement for the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act of 2005. The Act will bring about the de-monopolization of Nigeria’s electricity generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity at the National level and empower states, companies, and individuals to generate, transmit and distribute electricity. The Electricity Act was first passed in July 2022 under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
On Thursday, June 8, Tinubu met with the members elect of the 10th National Assembly (NASS) to resolve the leadership tussle. It will be recalled that the ruling APC nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, and Barau Jibrin, senator representing Kano north, as senate president and deputy respectively. In the lower legislative chamber, Tajudeen Abbas, lawmaker from Kaduna, and Benjamin Kalu, lawmaker from Imo, were nominated as speaker and deputy.
The APC’s choice of NASS leadership did not go down well with some members-elect, especially those who nurtured the ambition of clinching the NASS leadership. Hopefully, the president’s meeting with NASS elected members will have a positive impact on the choice of leadership.
President Tinubu has also signed into law the bill on uniform retirement age for judicial officers. The law extends the retirement age of high court judges and others from 65 to 70 years. The retirement age of justices of the appeal and supreme courts is already pegged at 70.
The legislation also ensured uniformity in the pension rights of judicial officers of “superior courts of record” specified in section 6(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
For President Tinubu, it’s work, work, and more work. Little wonder why he asked not to be pitied because he is doing what he signed up for.
Tinubu’s administration seems to be a clear departure from the immediate past administration where the president is barely seen. President Tinubu is getting it right but all eyes are on him to make the right choice of cabinet members as they could make or mar his administration.