The Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has appealed to Nigerians to give President Bola Tinubu administration the benefit of doubt to reshape socio-economic status of the country.
“President Tinubu may turn out to be the nullifier of our economic stagnation and the resorgimento of our Giant of Africa status, given his early signposts.” Okechukwu, foundation member of All Progressives Congress (APC), said while interacting with Journalists in Enugu on Sunday.
The D-G VON’s appeal followed the underrated views held by journalists and many Nigerians on President Tinubu’s controversial antecedents of not so defined schools’ calendar, the US drug case and the contradictory issue of whether he originated from Iragbaji in Osun or Lagos State.
Okechukwu posited that journalists like most Nigerians are adamant and are wittingly or unwittingly underrating President Tinubu; given such controversial antecedents and less than transparent Presidential Poll which declared him winner that “there is little hope that a Daniel has come to judgment”.
This position, he said, may be wrong, though he agreed with them (journalists) that without prejudice that his (Tinubu’s) presidency; had satisfied that power had shifted to Southern part of the country in lieu of the rotation convention which they all hold in high premium.
According to him, history has numerous records of Presidents who came to power with high expectations and ended up poorly in people’s assessment. Okechukwu gave example of the rare courage President Tinubu demonstrated within few days with the exit of fuel subsidy, “a canker-worm; and the suspension of dual foreign exchange rate, a food is ready cesspool of corruption.”
He cited, in the course of the interaction, courtesy of the national interest, the instance of Warren G. Harding, an underrated 29th American President who appreciated at the end of his tenure.
He said that Harding just did not seem to get any respect from historians or citizens and viewed as a kind of political laughingstock; while people roll their eyes at the spectacle of this man carrying on a 15-year affair with his best friend’s wife.
According to him, the Americans scorn at the even more ridiculous spectacle of Harding White House liaison with a starry-eyed young woman named Nan Britton, 31-year his junior. They pursued their sexual trysts in the White House.
“Harding is excoriated for the famous Teapot Dome scandal involving his attorney general, interior secretary and postmaster general, venal characters who brought into the government a collection of freebooters and scoundrels bent on grabbing whatever booty they could.
“Their exploits, once exposed shortly after Harding died in office, cast a pall over the nation and placed a blot upon the reputation of the inattentive executive under whose nose they operated. It doesn’t seem to matter that he was never involved in any scandalous behaviour himself.
“And yet, leaving aside Teapot Dome, nothing bad happened to the country during his stewardship. He didn’t get the nation into any intractable wars. He quickly pulled the country out of the steep recession he inherited from his predecessor, Woodrow Wilson. “He then presided over a robust economy—including real Gross Domestic Product growth in 1922 of nearly 14 per cent, one of the best years of economic expansion in the country’s history. Civic unrest, substantial during Wilson’s time, declined significantly during Harding’s tenure.”