Going by happenings around us these days, Nigeria, it would appear, has become some kind of theatre of the absurd. Most people now anxiously stay glued to their electronic devices watching out for the latest episode of the tragicomedy that’s now our daily story lines.
Happenings could come in single doses on a very good day, or as a combo of many incidents, often times giving impression that either government may have lost its sense of direction, or is deliberately steering the ship of nation to confusion and anarchy.
Take away the drama, all of which serve as some form of entertainment to a people in recession, and nothing else seems to work. Is it the power sector, which ought to be a major driving force of the economy, or the poor state of our roads, none payment of salaries, job losses, insecurity resulting in loss of lives and properties, among numerous other painful circumstances amidst chronic poverty and hunger?
For a government that rode on the back of fight against corruption, the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, in less than three years, has clearly squandered much of the good will it enjoyed based on perceived integrity. Same government now stinks of some corrupt dealings, especially by members of its inner caucus, otherwise known as the cabal, which the president is constantly accused of turning a blind eye to.
Starting from the grass cutting scandal involving the SGF, to the Ikoyi money warehouse scandal, to allegation of fraud by the DSS against acting chairman of the EFCC, to the Chief of Army Staff, LT. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Dubai mansions’ saga, down to the bribery allegations around the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, to the latest— $25bn illegal NNPC deal among others, the Buhari administration, like others before it, appears to be soiling its fingers deep in corrupt practices.
Indeed, many argue that the major difference between the much hyped corruption fighting government and past administrations is, perhaps, the expertise with which it demonizes and blames every of its inadequacies and bad policies on past governments, especially that of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan.
And of course, there is the issue of nepotism, which even those that couldn’t see clearly at the beginning, now worry over what seems to be government policy of favouring one section of the country over the others.
Just recently, President of the World Bank Group, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, had to voice out how President Buhari, in his first meeting with him, had requested that the bank concentrates its intervention programmes in the north, something he said they have been doing but which has been difficult.
It is this obvious lopsided distribution of commonwealth and leadership style of President Buhari that led to his quick proscription of the separatist, but non-violent and unarmed group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), tagging it a terrorist organization, while Fulani herdsmen that have been killing, maiming and raping Nigerians are treated with kid glove, for instance.
Many have indeed argued that in the present dispensation, the life of cows seem to be more important than that of some Nigerians. Something that goes to explain why Minister of Internal Affairs, retired Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, way back in 2016, blamed social media users for exacerbating attacks by Fulani herdsmen rather than seek ways to check their menace.
Almost every member of the Buhari government expresses similar sentiment on the issue of Fulani herdsmen, which unfortunately, emboldens them in their killing spree. And why not, when cattle rustling is taken more serious than attacks by Fulani herdsmen by this government!
Incidentally, over 40 innocent Christians, including women and children, in what has become a recurring decimal, were few days ago, butchered on their homelands by same Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Plateau state. And many would swear by anything dear to them that nothing will happen to perpetrators at the end of the day because they are Fulani herdsmen.
Unfortunately, either for political ambition or fear of persecution, the generality of Nigerian people keeps silent in the face of oppression.
Which is why not many are asking questions about the condition under which arrested Boko Haram members, an internationally acclaimed terrorist group members, are being released and handed over to their state government for rehabilitation at the same time no one can tell the whereabouts of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader, who though deployed a crude approach to his agitation, could not however be said to be responsible for shedding of any blood.
Lawyers to Kanu had alleged in court during the week that since the September 14 invasion of his home by some kind of troop of the Nigerian Army, where life and mortar bullets were fired on unarmed and defenseless populace, an incident they also said claimed 28 lives, they have not seen nor heard from their client.
Any wonder therefore that even a 4-year-old toddler will run as fast as his/her tiny feet could carry him/her on hearing that some soldiers are coming with some medicine/vaccines to their school (real or fake)?
What a national embarrassment that monkey pox-rumoured-soldier vaccine panic was. But isn’t that the lot of any government that segregates among the people it took an oath to protect equally?