Chris Odinaka Nwedo
The wide-spreading assertions that Nigeria as a nation has not made commensurate progress in appropriating herself are gradually becoming less polemical. The self-inflicted pains of the malfeasance is today more evident and disapproving. The stunted aspiration of Nigeria as a nation is felt everywhere particularly in the disorienting dispositions of the rulers and in many dysfunctional national infrastructures. The pains of these self-injuries are becoming intolerable. The proves of the intolerability of the situations are graphically presented partly by the thousands of Nigerian youths forced by the suffocation into illegal migration. There are horrifying stories of how Sahara desert is littered by countless corpses of Nigerian able-bodied young men and women who were no longer able to successfully complete their escape from plight at home. However, those who survived the desert contented mortally with Mediterranean Sea-sharks and finally into the hands of slave dealers of all sorts. There is the trending dreadful chronicles of how Nigerians are sold, bought and butchered with impunity in Libya.
The effects of the hopeless situation in Nigeria are wide spread. The growing secession threats are the indices of the dissatisfaction with the state of order. More than ever, Nigerians are punching themselves in anger. The disorderly attitudes of many politicians are clearer-pointers to the nature of the degrading circumstances. The APC government by Mohammadu Buhari has demonstrated the historicity of winner takes all, thus the Nigerian society has become invariably divided between the ‘winners’ and the ‘losers’. The political gang-up, the treacherous political contests and the sabotages of collective interest in the race for power are explainable in the context of power for immunity against the sweeping of political witch-hunt in the pretext of war against corruption. Nigeria has capacity not only to appropriate herself but to excel with the infinite benefits of human and material endowments. The capacities for the excellence have become degraded by the protracted period of political indiscretion. The enthronement of deception as weapon for power consolidation ‘slaughtered’ opportunities for meaningful progress in Nigeria.
Deception is the foundation for the national culture of relativism, bias and untruthfulness. These are vices swiftly infecting Nigerian society with malaise of bad ways. The vices seemed to have wholly taken over the national politics and the governance. Unfortunately, Nigerians are today more than ever inundated by propaganda of absolute lies, deliberate distortion of truth and false claims. There seemed to be an overt artificiality in the body languages of those who have assumed authority to rule over the nation. What has appeared as immediate repercussion of the evolving trend is a progressive scepticism of among Nigerians of the government’s actions and pronouncements. We may be approaching a point where believing the truth is difficult when the truth is indubitable truthful.
At the commencement of this political dispensation, it was said that the president, Mohammadu Buhari has great distrust for politicians and that he had less than 10% trust in the systems of national politics and politicians. This alleged declaration from the president’s handlers was applauded and swallowed hook and sinker, uncritically. It was for the gullible the reaffirmation of the virtuousness of the president who was said to have been incorruptible, tested and trusted. By the declaration, the president surely distrusted over 90% of the politicians because they are fraudulent, corrupt, subversive and treacherous, and therefore, unworthy of his association. However, the facts that the president was given electoral victories by the machinations of the political malefactors were hastily rationalised on the thesis that God uses bad people to make the good ones. In support of this off-centre hypothesis, copious citations were made from all scriptures available to validate this defective thinking.
The objectives of the citations were to becloud and diminish the values of the evidence that the president’s campaigns were paid holistically by the Nigeria’s savage looters and with looted funds by wrong and disgruntled politicians who felt the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) umbrella was no longer large enough to accommodate their intensely growing morbid ambitions. More so, these politicians were among the over 90% distrusted or despised by the ‘morally upright’ president. During the earliest stages of the campaigns, there were perfidious plots to shade off the former ruling party with heart-tearing sabotages and decampments. Some of the schemers absconded with campaign funds of the then ruling party, PDP, and conspiratorially turned it in favour of the APC and thus contributing to the electoral successes of the president. Thus the victory was engendered and fed by the faultless game of disgusting political disloyalty.
In the pervading cultures of relativism it is not necessary to make valid judgement or inventory of the processes giving us the opportunity we wanted, because our interest has been wholly served. In the bias, pretence and untruthfulness we always wanted the end to get rid of impurities of the vicious means. After the swearing in of the then new President, it took disquietingly very long time for the government to hit the ground running as the Federal Executive Council took approximately one year to be constituted and there were no Ministers. The criticisms generated by the irregularity were quickly stampeded by a defence that because Buhari was incorruptible he was taking time to personally investigate, select, disinfect and to make incorruptible the ministers, appointees and the associates of the new government, and therefore the delays were necessary. And besides, the iniquities of the defunct government of PDP were so much and therefore plenty time must be needed to clean the mess ahead of the ‘minister-saints’. When the appointments were eventually concluded, they were inclusive of ‘republicans’ and ‘sinners’. Some of the appointees were allegedly common criminals with heavy allegations of corruption and varied forms of criminality. The critics were told that these politicians worked hard for the political victory of the present government of APC because they funded the campaigns and mobilised the support that invariably produced the victory. It will be indiscretion and political suicide to leave out of consideration the enormous contributions of these wrong and powerful people.
Meanwhile, the hypothesis that the disorienting delay in the constitution of the government was to enable Buhari personally investigate, select, disinfect and make incorruptible the ministers, appointees and the associates of the new government was deflated by the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari. In an unprecedented move, Aisha overtly criticized her husband’s cabinet stressing that strangers have hijacked the government alienating those who struggled to build the All Progressives Congress (APC). According to Aisha, Buhari did not know and never met most of the top officials he appointed into the offices. “The President does not know 45 out of 50, for example of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years.”1
It was not surprising that this honest X-ray of fact sparked fierce condemnation in Kano State”.
At Jamaatul Izalatul Bid’ah Mosque in Farm Centre, Kano, Shiek Ismail Illyasu Mangu spoke to the thousands of worshipers immediately after the Jumaat prayer, calling on security agencies to arrest the first lady. According to the Shiek the comment of Aisha was “capable of inciting millions of Nigerians against her husband. We are sad about the interview granted by the wife of the President”.2 The Sheik rationalized that it was the “opposition members in the country that are using her against the government. Her statement was unfair and capable of inciting violence. It was a threat to the peace of the country and we do hope the security agencies will immediately arrest her. We believed that some ungrateful elements in the country are using the wife of the president to tarnish the image of the president and the country.”3 The president instead of owing the truth of the fact disowned the wife saying: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.” 4
In addition, the overtly sectional predisposed appointments were also rationalised on the hypothesis that the president was led by the passion for best. Buhari faced criticism about lack of gender imbalance in his cabinet. Gender right is a hot topic globally. Women rights group have been at the forefront of demanding that the rights of women are respected in a male dominated world.5 It was said that the president’s concentration of almost all the appointments on masculine gender and people very close to him and from a particular section of the federation were inspired by the need for credible, efficient, corrupt free and sincere Nigerians to help him drive his messages of transformative change and corrupt free Nigerian society. There were also calls for the president to go ahead with the governance devoid of the ministers because the ministers could be unwanted distraction and proven waste of resources. The arguments continued that because of the incorruptibility, capability and suitability of Buhari, he was equipped to do better as a sole administrator or absolute dictator of Nigeria. This, according to the proponents creates the atmosphere for proper concentration on the urgent duty of bringing the clamoured positive changes. When the president claimed he wanted the portfolio of petroleum ministry for himself, the irregularity was applauded too. The argument was that PMB knows everything in the petroleum industry because he worked there as a defunct PTF chairman close to thirty-five years ago. And with combination of incorruptibility, he was the best man on earth to handle the technicalities in the industry and stop the leakages in the corruption prone opaque institution. The relativists made efforts to persuade credulous Nigerians that the decrepit old soldier was an expert in petroleum industry and a panacea to every problem in Nigeria.
Today, Nigerian nation is bedraggled by uncritical apologies to Buhari in which the truths of facts are turned upside down. This character has always given the Nigerians of questionable scruples opportunities to score cheap and hypocritical political points. It is as embarrassing as irreverent that the National Chairman of APC, John Oyegun told Nigerians that in spite of the poor performance profile of Buhari, the chastising conducts of his ministers, top government appointees, scandalous rivalries and trending open fight among security agencies under the president’s supervision, the Buhari’s integrity is very, very intact. In fact, Buhari is not even capable of being dishonest. Even if he tries to be dishonest he cannot.6 With the Oyegun’s position, it is no long doubtful that there are those who have deified Buhari exculpating him from common imperfections. Oyegun may have become childish and evidently out of his mind due to obsession for ephemeral political gains. By making Buhari infallible he may have effectively courted the favours to remain a permanent national chairman of APC. He may not be as dumb and old as that, for he is conscious of his needs for power but unconscious that his was becoming irrational and disparaging himself. For Sam Etujoel, Oyegun, the dumb old man from Edo, was ridiculing himself even in his old age, much like Sagay and just like a diminutive Oshiomole; Edo politicians seems to be biting the dust in droves. Like the almajiris, their mouth goes wild in the direction of their stomach, shame!7 It has to be noted that this blunder by Oyegun like every other blunders of the diehard proponents of Buhari’s incorruptibility are the inputs for incapacitating Nigeria for worthless gains. For decades Nigerian nation has not made significant advancement appropriate to her due to the brands of deficient politicians that are depleting her hypocritically like fatal cancer.
It is a constitutional requirement for every Nigerian to present academic records for pre-qualification assessment for elective and/or appointive positions. But “Buhari failed to meet up with the basic requirement in filling CF001 form submitted to the INEC which required a candidate to attach his or her credential to the form. But he was not disqualified to contest the Presidential election due to the bad systems of the country. Buhari violated section 131 of the Constitution, which prescribes a minimum qualification for nomination to participate in presidential election and section 31 of the Electoral Act that stipulates all presidential candidates to depose an affidavit in proof of compliance with constitutional requirement to be President of Nigeria.8 Nevertheless many Nigerian ‘intellectuals’ and ‘masters of the law’ sophistically argued that Buhari should not be subjected to the basic scrutiny of certificate verification because he was a well known general in the army. These intellectual fraudsters who would corruptly approve anything in favour of Buhari insisted: “let Buhari come and rule over us even if he has no any skill in reading and writing he was better than President Jonathan, a PhD holder”. Those crooks slanting truth to favour Buhari have been ‘forced’ to accept that PhD holder as a president is progress. It is indeed blessing. President Buhari “has performed woefully by not justifying the mandate given to him by Nigeria masses during the 2015 Presidential election. All the Buhari’s policies are anti-masses and undemocratic these are against his electoral promises. Buhari has no clue for resolving the mirage of problems facing the country as the situation is getting worst since present administration came on board…9 At present, many Nigerians believe that President Buhari lacked educational requirement to become the President of this country. For these Nigerians this error has shown clearly in his style of governance of this nation in the last two years, for not being able to proffer a single solution to any of the problems facing the country, rather, he aggravated them… President Buhari has become a disaster to the masses of this country as all the Buhari’s government policies have brought pains and pangs to the lives of the Nigeria people as Nigerians experienced in 1985 when Buhari was Head of Military junta.10
It was same Nigerians that do not need certificate from Buhari to rule Nigeria that are vilifying Dino Melaye on allegation that he was a university drop-out and therefore, lacks capacity to seat in the senate. Buhari was encouraged to move on even without the basics, expensive lawyers were contracted to argue away his deficiencies. It was reported that the revisit of the certificate saga by the court “threw the presidency into unprecedented panic, and rather than go to court with a prove as simple as just showing his certificate in order to erase any doubts whatsoever in the minds of everyone, it was said that Buhari instead chose the expensive and cumbersome option of hiring 13 high profile Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and ten other lawyers.11 For Ndukwe J, “rather than argue the substance of the case, Buhari was playing to the gallery by allegedly employing the services of a retinue of highly expensive lawyers just to frustrate a simple case through unnecessary delay tactics, the same luxury for which he and his acolytes continuously condemn their “anti-corruption” victims and political opponents, harass lawyers for choosing to accept to defend those victims, intimidating and blackmailing the judiciary for entertaining ‘frivolous’ suits brought against the government, flagrantly disobeying court orders and destroying the judiciary in the process just to get at their hapless victims.12 The Department of State Security (DSS) was praised to high heavens for indicting high profile judges but was despised for commenting negatively and realistically of Ibrahim Magu the acting EFCC chairman. There are so many other self-refuting propositions and contradictions that disparaged standards or justice system in Nigeria. In synopsis, these politically motivated misrepresentation of facts collaborate denigrations of truth and progressive cultures of relativism and falsehood. As Nigerians, we have lived too long in deceit to the injury of all. The most challenging national predicament is this mind-set, the distortion of value and detrimental disorientation.