By Douglas Anele
At the moment, Nigerians are becoming increasing worried and disgusted with the quantum of financial rascality still going on in an administration that claims to be fighting corruption better than its predecessors. The way I see it, given what has transpired since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power, anyone who still believes that his government will win the war against corruption needs the services of a competent psychiatrist or neurologist.
Those who claimed that President Buhari, as a former top military officer, would improve national security must, if they are honest, be scratching their heads in disappointment. To begin with, the obvious favouritism for his fellow Fulani in constituting the top echelons of our security institutions and odious marginalisation of the South-east and South-south in the process has exacerbated centrifugal tendencies and cleavages between northern Nigeria and the south – sometimes it appears as if Buhari is the President of Fulani Republic of Nigeria. On top of that, incidents of armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping, and ritual killings have grown exponentially in the last four years. Now, at the commencement of his presidency, Buhari promised to decimate Boko Haram within a short time: he and his military chiefs engaged in some public relations stunt, notable among which is relocation of the operational headquarters of the counter insurgency military campaign to Maiduguri.
But I have always argued that given Buhari’s criticism of the onslaught against Boko Haram in 2014, his unabashed support for the spread of sharia nationwide and his call on Muslims to support only politicians that will defend their faith – all of which are consonant with the ideology of the murderous sect – deep down he may not really want Boko Haram destroyed completely. Also, his equivocations on the actual identity of the murderous Fulani herdsman, coupled with his outlandish advice on how victims should respond to the terrorists are, to put it in the most charitable terms, irritatingly confusing and duplicitous. Some critics have alleged that what is playing out now is part of a grand plan or project of Islamisation bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, to be executed through the infiltration of southern Nigeria and the middle-belt by the Fulani from across the West African sub-region. Recent media reports about the accelerated increase in the number of the Fulani throughout southern Nigeria and the suspended controversial Ruga policy lend credence to the allegation.
The Fulanisation and Islamisation project, assuming there is anything like that, would be disastrous particularly for southern Nigeria already bugged down since 1966 by the retrogressive unitary structure imposed on the country by soldiers and steadfastly consolidated worsened by Fulani caliphate colonialists and their servile collaborators from the south and middle-belt. Presently, the level of insecurity all over the country is approaching the point of no return. Thus, President Buhari and his cohorts who minimise the threat by claiming that the situation is politically motivated (whatever that means) and that reports about the killings, kidnapping and robberies nationwide are exaggerated seem to be living in cloud cuckoo land alienated from the grim reality of fear Nigerians are experiencing on a daily basis. Because these “pigs” in the Animal Farm called Nigeria are enjoying security protection paid for with public funds, they can afford to live in denial. But no matter how fast and far self-deception and falsehood have travelled, they would be overtaken by the truth eventually. The negative effects of insecurity are already manifesting: shrinking investments by both local and foreign investors, reduced productive activities, noticeable decline in nocturnal economic engagements and general feeling of anxiety among the population. The conclusion is clear and straightforward: the APC administration of President Buhari has failed to protect Nigerians and their belongings. The British philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, could as well be describing the Nigerian situation when he said that life in the state of nature was “poor, solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Objectively considered, the fundamental problem with the current dispensation of APC can be traced to the fact that the party is under the iron grip of agbata ekee politicians with tunnel vision regarding what effective leadership is all about. In other words, beginning from the top to the bottom APC members see political office as a means of enhancing their own narrow personal interests and reward those that helped them capture power. Political office, for APC chieftains, is about satisfaction of bulimic egoistic desires. Take Alhaji Buhari, to start with: what are his credentials that make him believe he can be a good President for all Nigerians, not just only for members of a particular ethnic nationality or religion? In my opinion, judging by what is known publicly about him and juxtaposing it with what is required for good leadership, Buhari is not suitable to lead our disfigured country at this time. His age and questionable health status, no matter the effort he and his lackeys have made to conceal the truth from Nigerians, constitute a big challenge. Moreover, I do not think that he has the requisite knowledge, expansive worldview and emotional intelligence to govern efficiently.
What about his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, who parades the highfalutin titles of “Professor”, “Senior Advocate of Nigeria” and “Pastor?” I concede that he has solid academic background and professional experience. Nevertheless, he lacks the courage to stand up against what is wrong and unjust by the “cabal” Buhari’s wife claimed to have hijacked power from her husband. Osinbajo’s supporters claim his laidback attitude is a demonstration of humility and loyalty to the President. I disagree: the truth is that Osinbajo is too beholden to Buhari, which is why he has not manifested the kind of steely resolve needed to push back against Abba Kyari, Isa Funtua and so on. Is it not infra dignitatem that the Vice President, with the highest titles both in the academia and legal profession has become an errand boy sent by his master to distribute the paltry sum of ten thousand naira to traders in the name of tradermoni? Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC and staunch supporter of the President, has a questionable moral reputation due to bulimic primitive accumulation when he was governor of Lagos State for eight years. APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Orji Uzor Kalu, Danjuma Goje, Nasir El-Rufai, Godswill Obot Akpabio, Rotimi Amaechi, Musiliu Obanikoro, Rochas Okorocha, Abdullahi Ganduje – the list is as long as the River Niger – have weighty allegations of various misconduct hanging on their necks. With such in positions of power and influence, it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than Nigeria to improve in the next four years.
From the arguments presented in this series, it is clear that our country has not made meaningful progress since the APC came to power in 2015. And with the re-election of President Buhari and the ruling party retaining its majority in the two chambers of the National Assembly, it is safe to conjecture that Nigerians will in the next four years drink the same sour old wine from the same cracked old wine bottle. Therefore, I predict that The Next Level slogan of the APC will turn out to be, as William Shakespeare had Macbeth say after hearing about the death of his wife, Lady Macbeth, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”