President Muhammadu Buhari turned 74 on Saturday, December 17, for an African his age, one can only say he is aging gracefully. The ex-general who has come to be loved by Nigerians, was born on December 17, 1942, in Daura.
As with most birthday celebrations, gifts are likely to come rolling in from all quarters. However, of all the
felicitations and gifts which the president is likely to receive today, nothing will please his heart more than these five gifts.
1. Destruction of Boko Haram
Earlier in his tenure, President Buhari gave a deadline of December 2015, for the ousting of the dreaded sect which has been plaguing the northeastern region of the country. However, another December is here and though the Nigerian army has made progress clearing the camps of the insurgents, still the jihadists are not giving-up.
The Islamists have continued to carry out guerrilla attacks, wrecking havoc from time to time, causing the nation so much agony.
Only recently, the sect used some young girls as suicide bombers to blow up a market arena, leaving many dead.
The truth remains that Boko Haram is Buhari's and Nigeria's biggest dilemma at the moment, and nothing will please the president more, than seeing an end to the bloodshed that has characterized the insurgency within the northeast of Nigeria.
He would do anything to see that the people stop living in terror.
2. Biafra bury the hatchet
There is no doubt that President Buhari would not have no part in a divided Nigeria. The president has often made clear his love for the nation and believes that the country in unity can be great.
The agitation by pro-Biafra groups in the southeast has for a while troubled the nation.
The Igbos are an integral part of the nation, they played a great role in the attainment of the country's independence, and rather than have them go, the president would rather strive to make them understand that they are of great value to Nigeria and that the country would be more formidable with all its ethnic groups focused on one goal.
For quite a while, Buhari seemed silent over the brewing agitation across states in the southeastern region, however, when he finally spoke on the issue, one could see the passion of a leader determined to keep the country united.
In his speech on Monday, November 16, 2015, during the launching of the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund, the president noted that Nigerians have since independence remained united, therefore, the people’s resolve to remain united is ever strong.
3. The death of corruption
If there is one great task President Buhari believes he has been assigned, then it will be the death of corruption. In all his prominent speeches, the president has always hammered on corruption and how he yearns to oust it from the Nigerian system.
It is no news that corruption has eaten deep into the fibre of the Nigerian system, a factor which experts say is responsible for the nation's poor growth over the years.
With so many scandals and corrupt officers on all the levels, the president's heart is broken, and once he lamented saying the nation's trust has been betrayed.
President Buhari has said that his administration will fight corruption and bring corrupt officials to justice. Like the request of John's head on a platter, by the daughter of Herod on her birthday, a great gift for Buhari on this day will be the head of corruption which for too long has deprived Nigeria of its true glory.
4. Fuel woes and economic healing
For a nation that is blessed with an abundance of oil, fuel and other petroleum products should not be an issue, but that this not the story of Nigeria.
Nigeria's fuel scarcity issues keeps getting worse by the day, with numerous issues plaguing the oil and gas industry.
The issue of subsidy payments thrives on, as arguments for and against subsidy removal are raised. Nigeria's oil production has dwindled and that has cost the giant of Africa its place as the top oil producer in Africa.
It would be recalled that prior to his election as the president of Nigeria, Buhari had in an interview with Channels TV, said that he will stabilize the global oil price.
Solely dependent on petroleum for the running of the economy, the country tends to be taking a nose dive, as there seem no growth in sight, a problem that is well told by the daily depreciation in the value of naira.
A great gift for President Buhari will be strategies that can efficiently see Nigeria through its economic difficulties, as some stakeholders would have loved the president to resign if he cannot solve the economic hardship in the country.
The nation needs a miracle to make its economy grow and stand firm, generating revenue from other sources is a very viable option.
The mantra for the APC-led administration is "Change", a message which saw them unseat the Peoples Democratic Party that has ruled the Nigerian people over the last sixteen years.
President Buhari promised the Nigerian people change in diverse sectors, but while the people patiently await the fulfillment of all that has been promised, there is a change that the president would love to see as a gift for his birthday, and that is the change that begins with the people.
Like the saying goes, in a democratic society the people constitute the government, hence any change desired must begin with the people.
The president would definitely love to see that Nigerians work with the mentality of change, a change of mindset and character.
It would be beautiful that as the year runs to an end, the Nigerian people make resolutions to change certain things that do not aid in the development of the nation.
In one of his famous speeches, President Buhari said: "This generation of Nigerians, and, indeed the future generation, have no country other than Nigeria; we shall stay and salvage it together". The statement emphasizes the fact the president is counting on everyone to make the promised "change" feasible.
We, at Naij.com, wish President Buhari good health, wisdom and more power to his elbow, even as he strives to meet up with the demands of the covenant which he made to the great people of Nigeria.
Happy birthday, Mr President!