“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us” – Hal Borland
The only real good take home one can find around President Muhammadu Buhari and his government in the outgoing year 2017 is his miraculous ability to surmount the sickness that came heavily for him. By that he saved this country from a potential crisis and draw back anything untoward would have caused the nation.
To that we give God all the glory. Outside that reviewing the year, what you get is a rancid smell of the activities of a Presidency not in total control of its affairs. In 2017 Nigerians saw an obviously tired President who could mean well but lacked the wherewithal to push it through. A President who was unable to take control of its immediate affairs talk less the larger Nigeria space.
In a normal clime, where democratic principles are allowed to hold sway and where room is never allocated to tribal and religious bigotry, Presidency like this would have been under immense pressure to resign or be removed for the country to move forward.
Where such things happen there would be a parliament technically equipped for their job and not one like ours evidently driven by ethnic and religious interests. Where such things happen there would exist an active civil society group not consumed by corruption and sycophancy.
Where such things happen, there would be a robust press not bugged down by poor economy. Where such things happen, there would certainly be a vibrant and active opposition party waiting in the wings as an alternative and keeping the ruling party on their toes.
Therefore, if President Buhari is displaying some traits of incompetence as it now appears, the reason must be lack of necessary support from catalyzing agents that should put him on his toes. They are either bugged down by ethnic and religious inclination or are themselves incompetent and corrupt or possibly guilty of both variables.
When it is long said that a society gets the kind of leaders it deserves it’s a country like Nigeria that they have in mind. Why not if we say that Buhari and his APC government are confused are we overlooking the fact that we the led are also confused and most times gullible?
If we the led are not as confused as the people leading us, what else can explain that a society that vehemently resisted the slight increase in fuel prize by Jonathan’s government, mobilised the whole country then to frustrate it have had a huge increase in fact one of the highest in the history of fuel hike in the country and remain dump amidst the most senseless fuel shortage in our history. Inside this government all the critical players know as a fact that the current avoidable fuel hike that messed up this year’s Yuletide is a clear fallout of incompetence and corruption.
If we are not as confused, why have we remained docile as the odour of corruption around Buhari government is everywhere and we just grumble and move on? Are we not equally liable when gullibly we accept what is dished out to us from the propaganda room of the APC when they said over a year now that Boko Haram has been technically defeated and are just winding down in their last struggle but now are seeking $1 billion about N365 billion to tackle the Boko Haram in the North-East.
Some political watchers chose to say that Buhari government is so lucky doing double wrongs to some of the things ex-President Jonathan is being maligned and the people kept mute. But I would rather say with little fear of being contradicted that what seemed like luck is a consequence of government that is anchored on religious and ethnic sentiments instead of on delivery of services to the people.
Obviously, the people are blindly neck deep in the sentiment because to them it’s about their religion and tribe interests not about Buhari and the delivery of any dividend expected of him of which he promised the people.
Perhaps the only thing that can prompt us to action against crass misrule as has been witnessed in the last 31 months of Buhari administration is when the stomach revolts. Nigerians would be shocked to discover that the blind loyalty on Buhari still exists in the face of all the flaws. Why?
Because hunger and suffering that knows no tribe, religion or geo-political interests are yet to be activated in our lives. When the suffering of Nigerians reaches the tilt, the action would be spontaneous and unanimous and when what follows comes, everybody would know that the common denominator variable has arrived. Its language would be one among all, the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa Fulani, Tivs, Ijaws and Jukuns etc.
The biggest obstacle to development and good governance in this country today are religion and tribalism not even corruption. In truth these two are oiling corruption. When you hear about sentiment playing a huge influence in our polity especially the voting pattern, it all derives from these twin evils of tribe and religion. When you hear the President in his lopsided appointments arguing that he is picking those he can trust, it has nothing whatsoever to do with competence or merit, it’s about religion and tribe.
It’s perhaps against this backdrop of knowing the influencing factor in our politics that some of those who know this like Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasiri el Rufai and his ilk are selfishly routing for Buhari’s second term in office.
Such moves have absolutely nothing to do with love of country or love for the President but rather driven purely by selfish interest of riding on the back of a horse insensitive whether the horse is matching on the people or the horse is unhealthy for the mission. Buhari’s second term bid is a tragedy waiting to happen to our polity and it does appear that nothing really can save the country from it because we are all slaves to our tribe and religion.
But has our suffering been enough to activate action, the answer is unfortunately No. There are still some variables sticking us to our tribe and religion and until the glue is removed 2018 may still be like 2017 if not worse. The fuel scarcity crisis is a terrible way to end a year that has been bedevilled by all kinds of problems induced by the obvious inability of a government not in grip of the situation. Even in our poor memory as a people there are some striking issues we cannot easily forget in this outgoing year.
These are the sour side of Buhari administration in 2017. How can we forget that the unity of this country was driven to an arroyo because of government’s insensitivity to complaints on exclusive governance? How can we forget that in the outgoing year that there was an organisation called IPOB with its ubiquitous leader called Nnamdi Kanu whose activities were provoked by the apparent sideline of Ndigbo by Buhari administration? We cannot also forget IPOB’s attendant fallout, the quit notice handed out to Ndigbo in the North by northern youths propelled by their elders.
Even if we want to forget, we can’t ignore the menace of Fulani herdsmen with its attendant carnage across the country. How can we even forget the activities of whistle blowers that had to cease abruptly after it started blowing on members of the ruling party and their friends. Also unforgettable in the outgoing year is the show of shame in streets of Abuja by two security agencies that report to one Presidency.
Even if we want to forget, the shameful drama around the recall and promotion of pension fugitive rogue Abdulrasheed Maina continues to prompt up in our faces. The mess at the NNPC in the outgoing year would have been forgotten if the sidelined Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had not made public his frustrations.
The ongoing biting fuel crisis in the land is clearly a consequence of what Kachikwu was trying to avoid. So as we bid 2017 farewell in four days’ time, it’s necessary for us not to forget these sour sides with a view to preventing a repeat. Compliments to all.
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