It must be frustrating for President Buhari these days. In other words, this is not what the first few weeks of ‘change’ were supposed to look like. He wasn’t supposed to be finding it difficult to appoint ministers and heads of parastatals or boxing himself in on the issue of National Assembly leadership. After all, didn’t he promise to “hit the ground running”? On Boko Haram, some belligerent media houses gushed over the fact that the military has “finally bowed” to the order of the Commander-in-Chief by moving the military command headquarters to Maiduguri from Abuja. No kidding! But they didn’t tell us how much of an impact this would have on the war against the notorious sect, especially since the department is populated by non-combatant military strategists. No matter.
It won’t be easy, but the president has to make a decision. Continuing in this state of inertia won’t augur well for the nation. He should name his cabinet or, at least, appoint key staff like the Secretary to the Federal Government and/or Chief of Staff. Yes, he has the excuses of many of his supporters who say he’s trying to take his time. They argue that this is not out of place because his predecessors also failed to submit their ministerial nominees for several weeks. That may be correct, but Buhari promised to be different. He also risks losing the support of more Nigerians who will begin expecting changes soonest. It is rumoured that Buhari couldn’t make it to the venue of the meeting he was supposed to have with APC lawmakers because he didn’t have anyone to get him prepared. He also didn’t have anyone to negotiate with power players within the party, leaving power brokers to go haywire. The result is what happened on Tuesday. Nigerians will react positively to President Buhari’s announcement of key cabinet positions because it’ll send a signal coherent with his rhetoric of hitting the ground running. Mr. Buhari’s chief problem these days is that he looks like a man avoiding decisions at a time when a decision has to be made.