By Rotimi Fasan
A GOVERNMENT or leadership that continually ignores the heartfelt yearnings, not of its subjects but citizens of a free state, does not deserve their support or trust. Such a government, to the extent that it was elected at some point by a majority of the people it sorely disappoints exists on borrowed time. It has lost the legitimacy to govern although it may still cling to the notion that it came about the mandate it now abuses through the support of the people. It may hold on to the consolation that it has the authority to rule but it has overdrawn its trust with the people who would at the appropriate time determine its existence.
This is especially so where the so-called government has not lived up to the constitutional requirement to ensure the security of life, property and welfare of the people. Where, as is the case with the Buhari administration, the government looks on as scores and hundreds of citizens it pledged to protect are slain in cold blood by their fellow citizens or, worse still, foreigners as the murderous Fulani herders are sometimes described -such a do-nothing government that sits on its hand while heinous crimes are being committed is not only irresponsible. It has become an undertaker regime that is criminally liable for the death of those it should be protecting.
We are at a point where the Buhari regime is fast losing the legitimacy to govern or expect the Nigerian people to keep their side of the constitutional mandate, by way of a social contract, to be law abiding citizens in return for the protection of life and their overall security. The president and his handlers are inviting chaos by their despicable silence in the face of injustice. They are leading Nigerians down the road of lawlessness where the machinery of civil protection are privatised and left to the devices of criminal bands or indeed law abiding citizens who have no one to protect them except they act in self-preservation. A situation where Nigerians are left at the mercy of terrorists masquerading as cattle herders is no longer acceptable. It is the right of the people to withdraw support to a regime that will not protect them or one which is increasingly disconnected from the citizenry except for a special breed whose interests it has set itself the singular goal to safeguard.
It is unimaginable that scores of Nigerians would be cold-bloodedly murdered while many more are chased away from their ancestral homes by groups of marauders that are not unknown to the authorities. It beggars belief that such criminality will be committed within the bounds of a sovereign state that is ostensibly under the rule of law without the president even doing the least expected- voicing his outrage. That Buhari after recently marking his own birthday could sleep in peace even if in accordance with his doctors’ advice while hundreds of human beings like him are being murdered in their sleep all across the country is beyond what words can describe. To say that only a short while back Nigerians were offering prayers for the speedy recovery of the president whom they had voted for under the belief that he was in the best of health- that Nigerians were praying for the safe return of a president that had all but transformed into a ruler in exile- to say Nigerians were praying for this same Buhari that has now turned a deaf ear to their cries says something about the darkness in the heart of man.
Buhari has no right to remain silent in the face of all that Nigerians have been passing through especially in the last couple of months with herdsmen terrorism replacing the Boko Haram variety while the energy crisis caused by fuel scarcity worsens by the day. The killings in Benue, Taraba and other places tell us that Nigerians could die wherever they are and this government would not be bothered. Yet before anything happens in Europe or America, before a lone wolf terrorist is done plunging a knife into a passerby, our president is already sending his condolences to countries that couldn’t be bothered if they heard from him. The president may want to take things easy in line with his health demands but Nigerians did not elect him to live in semi-retirement as president while his unelected surrogates and male relatives govern.
But not only has the president remained silent, his government is virtually deaf in both ears. It can no longer hear a word of what the people are saying. The issues this regime has been plagued with from the start have either remained with it or been aggravated. Who would have believed that a president that was accused of insensitivity in his engagement of the south-east people and generally lopsided appointments would continue to fill all available space in government with northerners?
The federal character principle that was all but inserted into governmental practice to provide a level playing ground for northerners in their dealings with other Nigerians from the south, that principle no longer works where appointments into government positions are concerned. And this is happening even when the whole world knows that the north lags far behind the south in educational achievements. Suddenly the most competent Nigerians are from the educationally less developed north. The latest NECO result tells us only 24 candidates from one of the endowed states of the north, Zamfara, passed. It’s from places such as this that Buhari finds his competent Nigerians with which he fills all available government positions as he recently did with the appointment of another northerner to replace Ayo Oke as DG of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency.
Contrary to what those who gave him a second chance thought Buhari has remained fixed in his ways. He has refused to change for good in nearly four decades since he was booted out of government as head of state. Yet the support that came his way in 2015 was not because he was the best but simply that there was no better choice. Even if only as a gesture of gratitude for voting him into office the people of Benue, Taraba and Nigerians as a whole deserve better than what this government has given us. After talks of creating safe corridors for cow-breeding wouldn’t fly, that this government that is so hard of hearing will come up with the idea of ‘colonies’ for breeding cows is just an unnecessary insult. It goes to show that some people will never learn and like a repeating clock they will continue in their dead ways. No, Nigerians deserve better and in spite of the effusions of those calling for a second term for Buhari, one term is more than enough.