In the run-up to the last general elections, Nigeria’s former ‘first lady,’ Patience Faka Jonathan, described her husband, Goodluck Jonathan’s arch rival, Muhammadu Buhari, as ‘brain dead.’ She undoubtedly perverted truth in manic, uncouth rage at Buhari’s candidacy via the All Progressives Congress (APC). Buhari was not and has never been brain dead. He is simply incapable of genius. This is surely interesting given the APC’s shrill marketing and presentation of Buhari as the best thing that would be happening to Nigeria in a long while.
Yeah, Buhari happened to Nigeria. He defied the odds and emerged president in a keenly contested election. At his emergence, a great segment of the citizenry, this writer inclusive, heaved rhythmic sighs of relief. Everybody waited devotedly to experience Buhari and the APC’s gospel of ‘change.’ Having sacked Goodluck Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP), not a few Nigerians believed the country would eventually be rid of corruption, mismanagement and a legion of deviously orchestrated misdemeanours characteristic of Jonathan’s PDP. But like a recalcitrant bug that will not go away, mismanagement, corruption and a legion of more carefully orchestrated misdemeanours have resurfaced in the nation’s corridors of power, on Buhari’s watch.
However, this writer would be committing duplicity similar to that which Buhari and his APC inflicts on Nigerians even as you read, if he fails to acknowledge the flashes of competence betrayed by Buhari and his bumbling government. Buhari’s initiative at establishing one purse for the Nigerian government is worthy of commendation. Mr. President’s military campaign against the dreaded Boko Haram is barely commendable too. Although, he has failed woefully at keeping his promise to rescue Chibok girls and exterminate the terrorist sect within his professed timeline, the military has succeeded considerably, at containing the terrorists’ activities. This does not excuse the fact that the Nigerian military still suffers the affliction of saboteurs, inadequate funding, lack of essential weaponry, among other ills.
Buhari also promised to rescue Nigerians from the moral failings of his predecessor’s leadership. He hasn’t. And it is impossible for him to do that while his cabinet reeks as a cesspit of individuals with damaged character. It is no doubt heartrending to see the president discard his cloak of sanctimoniousness to wine, dine and sing the praises of men he earlier identified as corrupt and unworthy of public office.
Sycophants and Buhari groupies would deem his radical mutation as a happenstance borne of political expediency. They will tell Buhari that “In politics, there are certain compromises that you have to make…Occasionally, you to wine and dine and hawk your soul to the devil (s).” And Buhari, has undoubtedly, mastered the art of such political expediencies.
Governing Nigeria is vastly more complicated than Buhari thought. All kinds of things can go wrong. A lot of things have gone wrong. If Buhari understood his limitations, he has done too little to cushion the consequences on the citizenry. Besides peopling his government with ‘milk men,’ characters whose chief expertise subsists in milking the proverbial cow even as they are grossly ignorant and inept at nurturing the cow and preserving it, he has failed in several spheres of governance.
Despite taking several months to seek out his ‘winning, extraordinary team,’ Buhari ended up afflicting Nigerians with ‘over-recycled characters’ many of whom came with hideous baggage around their necks.
The real test of his Presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices and the fall in the value of the naira. Buhari’s reaction was predictable: he sought to defend the naira by keeping its official exchange rate relatively low even as the currency fell irretrievably in the black market.
Inflation sky-rocketed across the country causing hardship that permeated class boundaries. Businesses collapsed, banks executed mass retrenchment of staff, sole proprietorships floundered and suffered gruesome, excruciating death. At the backdrop, PDP and Buhari’s APC governors owed salaries even as they threw extravagant parties across the seas.
Buhari and his ministers enjoyed the luxuries and entitlements of office while they preached cold, bitter truth to Nigerians screeching: “You need to suffer now to make amendments for the wastage of the past; Jonathan and the PDP destroyed everything; PDP is the cause of your hardship; Things will get better in 2017 only if you persevere.”
Buhari also failed to deliver on his lifeboat palliative; that is, the ridiculous N5, 000 pittance promised to the unemployed and impoverished at election time. He has also gone back on his promise to employ 500, 000 unemployed graduates as teachers. His government recently announced that these teachers would be trained under its social welfare scheme to serve as voluntary teachers.
His brazen offensive against institutionalised corruption has yielded to his targets’ immoderate lust for riches and priapism of want. Even his ‘change’ agents are currently tarred with these perversions widely regarded as the fault of dupes and satyrs. As you read, President Buhari’s much professed anti-corruption campaign is being interpreted in several quarters as arrant posturing. Till date, Buhari and his anti-graft missioners are unable to see to a fruitful end, the prosecution of established looters of public fund among other perpetrators of corruption.
His inability to address the degeneracy within his political party and cabinet has become counterproductive to his efficiency as president and anti-corruption crusader. The APC has become a cesspool of Nigeria’s dreaded elements. Like this writer intoned in an earlier piece, of Buhari’s ministers and ‘compatriots’ in the APC, too many are vectors, mortal agents of the worst kind of viruses. They have made his government food for worms.
From the moment of their acceptance into the fold, the infestation of Buhari’s administration commenced but Buhari and his political groupies naively maintained that if the head – that is, Buhari – be moral, the body (his cabinet and underlings) too will have no choice but get with his program.
He is either naive or duplicitous to dream of transcendental reforms and recourse from the country’s plummet down the ravine of corruption while he hobnobs with vectors of corruption.
Is Buhari like his ministers, a dubious change agent feigning a moral growth crusade? Unlike certain APC and PDP governors and senators, Buhari and his ministers were expected to epitomise a moral, philosophical rampart that will continually uphold the strife of contraries by which true, positive ‘change’ evolves.
Sadly, they aren’t. Thus the incumbent APC government manifests as yet another disease of governance and civilisation. Yet Buhari started out as a man devoted to wiping out corruption. He sought to do that while conveniently turning a blind eye to his inadequacies and self-imposed handicaps, or compromises, if you like. He forgets that nature and history only cares to identify individuals as intrinsic part of species and never as a lone genus.
Buhari’s mantra of chastity and change is diametrically opposed to the realities of his politics and mutating ethics. Our president has diluted his moralist communion with toxic liquor. Thus he evolves as a revolutionary of the comedies. He won’t eliminate besmirched society by redeeming morals with the amoral. Our Buhari has eventually lost himself shying from the pathway of moralist dystopia.
Let’s hope he rediscovers his groove in 2017. Our Buhari, the presumed ‘change’ agent, may yet pamper us with ‘change’ we can believe in and prosper by. (Punchng.com)