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Tunde Leye: Execute, Executive President Sir




Adjective: Relating to or having the power to put plans or actions into effect.

Noun: The branch of government responsible for putting decisions or laws into effect.

Root words – Execute plus the ive suffix.

When one looks at the definitions of the word executive whether as an adjective or a noun, the key words tell the story. First, executives have power. In fact, they usually have enormous power within the systems they are designated as executives. Second, they have responsibility. They do not point fingers, pass the buck or expect another person to get things done. They do not blame others for being the reason why they do not get things done. They recognize that with their enormous power comes responsibility. Third, both in the noun or adjectival form, the final word the definitions contain is a vital one. Effect. The power the executive has, and the responsibility thrust on him or her is to have effect. Where an executive does not have the required effect, their competence for the role is called into question.

Our president will do well to therefore know that when he was elected, he became the executive president of Nigeria. There are various types of presidencies the world over, but the one we run in Nigeria is EXECUTIVE. Writing an opinion piece about the Chibok girls who have been missing for almost three months is ineffectual. There, you have a derivative of that word, EFFECT. The girls are still missing, billions are being pumped into the military and they are still out there.

The president failed to be executive when it took 18 days to react to the kidnapping. He failed to be executive when the Chibok parents had to organize a vigilante force to go into Sambisa in the days after the kidnap when the army failed to turn up. He failed to be executive when it took the #BringBackOurGirls campaign drawing international scrutiny to the rescue efforts before the presidency finally moved to take action. He failed to be executive when its reaction was to set up a committee, basically saying that the intelligence services to which billions of taxpayer Naira goes to running do not have structure and systems of gathering the necessary intelligence required to paint a clear picture of what happened in Chibok to aid decision making and execution of a rescue plan. It required setting up an adhoc committee to go on a “fact finding” mission, something the intelligence services should ordinarily provide. And when the same committee submitted its report, agents of the presidency and “security experts” thrashed the report, essentially because it didn’t sync with predetermined narrative they wanted for the Chibok events. One wonders where these agents and security experts were when their jobs were being done by an adhoc committee. He failed to be executive when once the international attention shifted to the World Cup from the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, the government seemed to become less interested in appearing to bring them back.

So I will remind the presidency that whilst it launders its image on international media based on the advice of a PR Firm and its retinue of aides, there are 276 Nigerian girls still missing from Chibok and another 80 reportedly taken two weeks ago. Apart from that, Boko Haram promised to run rampage again in the Chibok area, and a few days ago, they did just this unabated and without confrontation. We demand that he be executive. The president should not tell us what should be done to Bring Back Our Girls, curb Boko Haram, fish out their sponsors and bring them to book. He should do it. Execute, executive president sir.

Tunde Leye @tundeleye is a fiction writer. He believes that the stories written form a priceless resource that is the basis of society, all the other arts (film, music, theatre, visual arts) and hence he is committed to telling stories out of Africa that show it as it was, is, and is going to be.


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