April 29, 2018
Chris Odinaka Nwedo
It is progressively clearer, unfortunate and upsetting that Nigeria’s brands of imprudent politics are comprehensively censorable for the vast chronic obstacles destabilizing, diminishing the value and tearing her to shreds. In the recent times the focal points of national discussions are no longer on swiftness of the pace development, introduction of innovations for facilitating productive governance, predisposition of service delivery institutions for efficiency, inclusive participation in politics and policy making processes but disappointingly on the stabilization of the polity. Nigeria has never been so dissected and trodden as we have seen today. The presumptions that the Nigeria is failing and beyond repair are now more wide-spread. The challenging security situations, the steadily hardening economic prospects for most Nigerians, the perceptions of marginalization, the Jihadists’ mass executions of the ‘infidels’ and the government’s insensitivity to the daily horrendous slaughters of the vulnerable citizens have created profound pessimism in the future of Nigeria. According to the Presidency the most recent bloodbath in Benue state were priests and dozens of their congregation were slaughtered in the morning mass was “… particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.” This government is at the end of raucous condemnations of sundry Nigerians for allowing the nation and the people to be beleaguered and humiliated by murderers who invade communities basically to kill and destroy. This slaughtering of the citizens has continued endlessly, spontaneously and indiscriminately. It is a synchronized violence by assailants the government of Nigeria has refused to hunt down and made to pay for the profanity.
Decades after self-government, Nigeria is still vulnerable to predating socio-economic and political confusions, incapacitated and unable to determine quality direction as a nation. It is contemptible that Nigeria has remained dispossessed of qualitative and quantitative development. For this lack, Nigerians are today entrapped in injurious self-imposed deprivation. It is self-imposition that we do without appropriately functioning democratic politics, defined economic direction, social infrastructures to mention these few. As a people we are deeply fractionalized and subverted by odd and regressive ethno-religious values. And the greatest of the undoing is the concessions given to incompetent and retrogressive leaders to lead. We chose to be lazy, inactive and negligent followers of capricious and blind leaders. Today, the trouble with us is that we have been trapped in the mess of our insensitivity disgustingly and disgracefully. Ironically, we know that the only viable route of escape from the trouble we brought upon ourselves is vigilance so that only the diligent hands will rule over us, but, we are fettered by treacherous ethno-religious ideas that make us go for very wrong leaders.
Since the election in 2015, Nigerians have become more desperate induced by disillusionment and the difficulties in the land and the appetites for violence among the wicked have been enkindled and are now moving from communities to communities taking citizens by surprising and murdering them without compassion. For so long, Nigeria appeared auto-stagnated gratitude to cooperate culture of stupidity. Consequently, it is not illogical to say that this great nation is on downward trend, she is in an urgent need of rapid intervention. Nigeria is in need of comprehensive turn around. Her remedy is totalistic change of structures. The need for ‘soft and hard wares’ compatible with ideas of modern and progressive state is overwhelming. Nigeria is too big and important to be ravaged repetitively by crisis of leadership. The citizens must rise up to the occasions of active nation building and get dedicated to issues and tactics that are virtuously progressive and national.
No doubt, we have all the blue prints for triumph over the predicaments but incurable dispiritedness of the citizens and the imprudence, the hypocrisy or treacherous politics among the ranks and files of elites regularly conspire against anything positive and tactical in genuine interest of the nation. The continuous leadership tussles among Nigeria’s law makers, the hypocritical cooperation between the parliament and the executive for national progress, the biased anti-corruption war, the nepotism, incompetence of the government, the flagrant disloyalty of the key members of the Buhari led APC government to national interest and the lack of effort to stem the pandemic security challenges ruining the nation are agonizingly trust betraying. These narratives accurately display the factual colours of a truly Nigerian politician, imprudent, incompetent and insentient. The sweet and smooth speeches for votes are over, now, it is a reality show, a show of shame. As the politicians are conniving, sabotaging and disloyally dealing with themselves and Nigerians the mace was taken away from them without resistance by armless thugs.
The recurrent political fracas in the present dispensation is an incomparable show of indignity and national embarrassment. The ugly developments apparently make contentious the capacity of the APC government to orchestrate and sustain the quality of change compatible with the needs of the nation. It is easy to concur with a critic who said that the barbaric physical assault on the Senate, the taking away of the mace, the authority of the highest national law-making body “is a direct attack on Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation.’’ By their comportments the politicians made the parliament contemptible. Unfortunately, with the proximity of 2019 general elections any of these disloyal, intensely corrupt, rebellious and ego-centred politicians can become incorruptible, tested and trusted as long as there are willing undertakers to sing the songs for monetary reward.
The artificiality of many of the politicians and the gullibility of the majority of the citizens collaborate to create a condition impossible for those at the corridors of power to operate conscientiously according to the rules of good governance. Without controversy, Nigerians intentionally make their leaders inefficient, senseless and power drunk for lack of supervision. Politically, Nigerians are gullible to the core. We have believed and willfully provided ourselves as sand bags for deceitful and ridiculous political class. We are guilty of thinking that the parties and politicians we support are infallible. We close eyes to their crimes and renew their licenses to continue frolicking to our collective injury by rascality and liable indifference. When oppressed Nigerians are not indifferent to their plight, they are discriminative and idiotically subversive, attacking one another with ethno-religious invectives.
Towards 2015 presidential election, I was ‘unfortunate’ to encounter Ahmed, a mechanic of the lowest sort who confidently discusses how ready he was to ensure there was sorrow, pain and blood if Buhari fails to win the election. Ahmed was sure that the political success of the man he described as Baba will in no way favour him, because he was manifestly poor and too far down the economic and social ladder but he wants the Baba to take over power simple and short. He insisted that his groups have plans to match through the streets of Kaduna to Abuja dealing reprehensibly with anyone they consider ‘collaborators’ and foes. By collaborators and foes Ahmed simply refers to those who did not vote for Baba. He was so proud of this role to shed blood, and considered himself paradise-bound if he ends in fatality. Ahmed was a replicate of so many gullible Nigerians driven to ridiculous stupidity. He was inebriated by blank campaign speeches and deceitful propaganda that attributed to Baba the politician qualities that are exclusively God’s. Ahmed was made to accept that it was inviolable religious duty to fight and sacrifice everything for the political ambition of Buhari, and he is happy and satisfied to do just that.
It is amazing how Nigerians, high and low, rich and poor miserably loose controls as they fall on one another in praise and idolization of each new ruler. It was Goodluck Jonathan yesterday and today it is Mohammadu Buhari. Shockingly, we have learnt nothing from this grave disorder and have always ending-up in incalculable misfortune and vulnerability. Just recently, it was cacophonous applauses for Goodluck Ebere Jonathan. The defunct government at its heydays was praised and venerated beyond counts for bridging Atlantic Ocean, figuratively speaking. Print and electronic media were replete with achievements of the government in every sector of the polity. To bolster the positions, the supporters meticulously presented the achievements in varied forms honestly and dishonestly. One of the aids compared GEJ with Jesus Christ.
According to the praise singers GEJ was virtue personified. The admirers recurrently preached to the rest of Nigerians that GEJ was a visionary, prudent, transparent and diligent, compassionate, self-effacing among other virtues that made him exceptional. Yet this is a government purportedly ravaged by corruption. Under his supervision ministers and aids allegedly expropriated the nation’s resources and impoverished many. However, some discerning Nigerians found preachers blank and fanciful but many do not. For me, however, it is nonsensical to dispute the positions of these sycophants, the hypocrites who lived magnificently on the fortunes of the former president. If in practicality the ex- president was as proficient as presented Nigeria could have been saved from ravages of corruption, devastations of insecurity, complacency of the public servants, recklessness of politicians, dysfunctional public services, derisory infrastructure and growing economic hardship.
It was afterwards clearer that the praise singers caged the president away from the real situation around the nation. And they needed not be told that they deprived the former President the collective sympathy and good will of the greater majority of Nigerians in the last election. The praise singers must be told that they are exclusively censorable for the political vicissitude of GEJ and his party. Astonishingly, hours after GEJ’s political future was deliberately capsized, the rhythm became immediately receded and reappeared again to haunt him without compassion. Today, the former president has become successfully dropped by the plethora of clever singers whose boisterous praises concealed the fact that he was swiftly losing contact with the reality of his re-election project. Nigerians idolize and celebrate people in power in a way devoid of prudence and have always paid dearly for the thoughtlessness.
GEJ faced the worst alone as the calls for his victimization continued the loudening crescendo. About a week to his inglorious exit, some of his ‘business’ friends caused debilitating artificial fuel scarcity to ground the nation. The action gave the out-going president indelible horrible image. I have reason to assume that those who have the fortune to be in the business of fuel importation cannot be enemies of the ex-president but people in the good book of the government. But to please the incoming government, they treacherously conspired to deal ruthlessly with him. The fuel importers halted the nation and caused banks and other big institutions to close down for lack of fuel on which the institutions depended for operation. Due to perennial epileptic supply of electricity businesses, large institutions and banks depend intensely on generator for operation.
In spite of this lengthy excursions, my concern here is on the packaging of Muhammadu Buhari as ‘incorruptible’, ‘tested and trusted’, a ‘perfect messiah’. To the more discerning, the very recent clothing of Buhari with vestibules of incorruptibility on pages of newspapers and public speeches is ill-fated, deceptive and incoherent. This is because Buhari is not incorruptible and he is not a perfect messiah. It is boundlessly mendacious to attribute this quality to any politician, and humorously to a Nigerian politician. Evidence has shown that the phrase ‘tested’ and ‘trusted’ attributed to Buhari was not done in positive sense, because he failed all tests for a competent leader and he is only trusted by the relatives and religious affiliates he is sacrificing Nigeria for. Therefore ‘tested’ and ‘trusted’ are not in objective sense. The ‘tested’ and ‘trusted’ are relative statements, therefore, subject to the judgment of those who tested him in their own way and now trusted him. Most Nigerians have exhausted their patience praying and waiting for him to hit the ground running but without futility. The ultimate and the objective tests are the fulfillment of myriad of his campaign promises which he substantially failed to do. Today Buhari presented himself as a gargantuan saddle wasting to drag and an absolutely retrogressive element in the history of governance. There is no evidence to substantiate that the senile is not a mole for the demise of Nigeria, for some avid critics. He has done thing and unwilling to do anything to contradict this proposition.
The people behind the assertions that Buhari is ‘incorruptible’ and the places where these assertions were made further complicated the situation. Because he is unable meet the pace of expectations and has collapsed far below the mark. It is not in vane that they are urging him for re-election, but his re-election has predictable the ruining of the man or the nation. However, in consonance with facts on ground it cannot be accepted as true that a Nigerian politician is sufficiently clean and fit for purpose considering the sinful conspiracies, criminally liable falsehoods, election results falsifications, economic subversions, violence and bloodbath with which they have always stolen the mandate.
It is objectively true that Nigeria has never had free, fair and credible election. Nigerian elections are described free, fair and credible only in relative terms. These elections are routinely accepted to avoid greater disaster and 2015 elections that propped Buhari and the other elections are never the exceptions. Nigerian elections are tilted to favour the highest bidder under an atmosphere of treachery, falsehood, threat, intimidation and bloodbath, overtly and covertly. Therefore, no one that is product of this morally subversive and untidiness arrangement is correctly hygienic. In sane a clime, a politician with the kinds of history Buhari has is buried alive in heap of refuse. Such a politician is seen as a curse to the nation.
It is hypocritical and denigrating to compare Muhammadu Buhari with a respected American politician, Abraham Lincoln. An appropriate premise for such comparison is non-existent. I remember that Obasanjo was once compared with Nelson Mandela and GEJ with Barak Obama. Truth saves, it does not kill and certainly misrepresentations of facts and falsehood cannot make anyone more nationalistic, conversely they disparage and make one deceitful and repugnant. Comparing GMB and Lincoln is one of those false evidences on which the exaggerated claim of incorruptibility, tested and trusted were drawn and defiantly propagated by those who feel they have something to gain from Buhari’s political fortune. The pretenders saw a rare spirit of perseverance and resilience in Buhari but they forgot that after several attempts to get to the presidency he swore never to contest again until he was conscripted by Tinubu. It is free, fair and credible to compare Buhari with President Alpha Conde of Guinea. Coincidentally Alpha Conde implored Nigerians to trust Buhari because he was going to fight corruption the way (he) Conde is doing in Guinea.
The victory of APC in 2015 presidential election is largely a product of vehement campaigns of disinformation, misrepresentation and outright lies to hoodwink Nigerians. The campaigns turned out all kinds of provocations for the purposes of grabbing the power. It is preposterous to claim that Buhari who is a part and a major beneficiary of the campaign is unsoiled. Buhari cannot be exculpated from the subversions of his party. He was supported, and he benefited from illicit campaign funds from intensely corruption, treacherous and dishonesty political stalwarts who wrecked their states and worked without scruple to impose him on the nation. It is disputable that Buhari will ever have courage and necessary determination to war against corruption because the structures that generated him were founded in corruption and perversity. He is surrounded by and lives and plans with corrupt aids and he depended on some of these aids to hit the ground running. Buhari is not incorruptible before and his election and he will never be except if incorruptibility has other secret meanings. He is a power-grabbing sectional loyalist and insensitive to collective will as a Nigerian president.
It is only on the foundation of end justifying the means do we accept the hypothesis of incorruptibility of Buhari. To be incorruptible means he is objectively uncontaminated by the transgressions of his rebellious party and supporters. If Buhari is incorruptible, it means he is incapable of being corrupted, incapable of being immoral, cannot be prejudiced, bribed or motivated by selfish or base interest and above suspicion. Ironically, Buhari has proved to most Nigerians that he is exact opposite of what his misinformation vehicles say of him.