On March 4, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office at the depths of a savage depression. He immediately launched the “bold executive action” he promised.
President Roosevelt said: “This nation asks for action, and action now!” Roosevelt’s inaugural address is memorable for the phrase “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Within a hundred days, 15 major pieces of legislation addressing priorities such as banking stability, employment, and welfare programs had been passed. President Roosevelt underscored the importance of an administration’s early days, coining the phrase “first 100 days.” A benchmark for all future presidents was set.
In addition, President Roosevelt summoned the United States Congress to a three-month special session and by the end of his 100 days, had passed 76 new laws, mostly aimed at easing the effects of the depression. President Roosevelt faced the unique circumstances of entering office during the Great Depression like other presidents had not encountered.
The first 100 days of a president often give an indication of a president’s management style, priorities, and speed in implementing campaign promises. Time is against Tinubu. He must prove to Nigerians that he’s more than capable and prepared to face the problems head-on by acting with dispatch and discipline. This is no time for foolery. No time for the legion of uninvited guests such as state governors, Obas, Obis, Emirs, Chiefs, Pastors, Daddy GOs, and other familiar suspects that keep him busy during the day and keep him awake at night.
Tinubu took over a country that is the world’s poverty capital, the world’s corruption capital, and the world’s terrorism capital. Tinubu must realize that when you go into public service, your time is limited. You’re on a sprint, not a jog. Tinubu must address the country on national television and speak directly to Nigerians and explain in simple terms the problems he inherited, and how he plans to solve the problems.
His agenda must centre on reversing policies and positions taken by Buhari. There must be a sharp departure from Buhari’s administration. He must set out to make significant and quick changes in economic and social policy through legislative and regulatory actions. He should roll out the names of his cabinet without further delay and let the confirmation process begin in earnest.
Immediately, all Buhari appointees must be relieved of their posts and replaced with his (Tinubu’s) team: Service Chiefs (Army, Navy, and Air Force), IGP, Director DSS, Chairman EFCC, ICPC, Central Bank Governor, heads of federal agencies and corporations – NNPC, Immigration, Aviation, Prisons, Railways, Ports Authority, and other ones with alphabetical soup names. Nigerians have oversize expectations of Tinubu. Adding to these expectations is the soaring rhetoric of Tinubu’s election campaign. Nigerians will like him to use the same magic they said he used to “turn Lagos into a mega city” for Nigeria in dealing with the problems of the economy, unemployment, housing, healthcare, safety and security of life and properties.
What is Tinubu’s 100-day plan? Presidential powers and prerogatives offer opportunities for Tinubu to change Nigeria for the better. Nigerians ask for action, and action now! Nigerians want to see a high-octane president and not a decaffeinated president.