Nigeria, you will all agree with me , has eventually degenerated into regimentation and dictatorship as Buhari’s secret agents like the late Idi Amin of Uganda are visibly on the prowl. A lot of things have happened in Nigeria in the past one year which is an affront to all democratic norms. We never had it this bad under former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
The leopard, they often say, could never change its spots. Events unfolding marvelously today are pointers to the fact that President Buhari is playing God and thereby creating Frankenstein’s monster as we hear again an endless stream of anguished cries from the pauperized body politic. The Daura-born emperor has proven himself not only incompetent but also incapable of leading the country as he fights wars on every front in a bid to crush dissenting voices.
Perceived opposition figures are dangerously made after by his secret agents thus casting every inquiring mind to the dark days of Idia Amin in Uganda. Buhari’s administration has never brought peace to Nigeria. He has no charisma to lead, he experimented with Nigeria back in 1983 which collapsed like a pack of cards on August 27, 1985.
A similar scenario is dangerously unfolding as he assumes unlimited and absolute powers which he unleashes on the citizenry. Serving APC governors have become party stooges while their counterparts in the former ruling party have been marked out for annihilation.
Buhari has no clue to the myriad of problems confronting the country, Jonathan left Aso Rock handing over Africa’s largest economy which he has succeeded in destroying resulting from sheer incompetence.
By the way, what does one expect of a man who has no certificates? Even his so-called economic team does not know what its job entails as its major economic policies are failing at every turn multiplying the problems which were never there before he forcefully took over power via threats and doctored results from the north. The nation is doubtless in trouble reminding everyone of the dark days of military rule.
Buhari has resorted to protecting himself with his kinsmen in order to consolidate his hold on power which is typical of tyrants. There are no viable and formidable opposition voices in the country today. Speak and get crushed has become the order of the day as every dissenting voice is being brutally crushed thus promoting a sectional agenda.
That Buhari is for the north and Muslims is not in dispute; he has shown and displayed that in so many ways. I pity those who are rather naive to understand his body language. That country has never been so polarized along ethnic and religious lines as it is today. His government reeks of nepotism , a government which is supposedly fighting corruption. One funny thing is that his cowardice is in the full glare of public attention, in fact, it has gotten the better of him by moving against men of peace but dreading those who are capable of setting the country on fire.
One of such is the ongoing covert operation to completely sink and annihilate his immediate predecessor via trumped up charges – the last straw that will break the camel’s back and precipitate a political crisis in Nigeria. We all know the ignominious path in history on which tyrants like him have trodden which doubtless led them to a disastrous end. Buhari met the biggest economy on assumption of office, instead of building on what has been handed over to him his incompetence tore the economy to shreds which he often blames on treasury looting as if he did not loot himself when he served under the most corrupt regime in Nigeria’s political history.
Looted money by late Gen. Sani Abacha under whom he headed the Petroleum Trust Fund, is still being returned to Nigeria to this day who he stoutly defended . How does he feel now with the billions of dollars being intermittently returned to the Nigerian government some of which he has taken delivery of himself? Does that not make an accessory after the fact of money laundering? Can President Buhari extricate himself? He can by no stretch of the imagination do so. People are only afraid to speak against the evil of the day under his visionless leadership for fear of being hacked down by his secret agents. What do you expect of someone who has the Army, Police and other security agents at his beck and call?
Peoples’ fear and silence in the face of every agonizing oppression should not be mistaken for support of his reign of terror. His apologists from the north are only blinded by ethnic jingoism and do not know what it is like to construct a pathway to nationhood through a rugged terrain. What they fallaciously believe in is that political power must remain in the region no matter whose ox is gored, whether the person is qualified to hold political power or not.
That is the sad situation the country is marvelously entangled in today resulting from grand deception and heinous lies on whose back that government in Nigeria rode to power. Obasanjo met a virtually empty treasury and crude oil sold for less than $30 per barrel at the time, but he delved into work and turned the economy around which his successors Yar’Adua and Jonathan improved upon to become the largest economy on the continent, but only about a week ago we again lost that prestigious status and position to South Africa under his visionless and directionless leadership.
The price of crude oil today is well above the price in Obasanjo days! Buhari’s apologists have been taken in by his deafening complaints and like zombies refused to heed the voice of reason to withdraw while he leads them and the country dangerously to an abysmal depths. It is very obvious that he can not lead because employing competent economic technocrats is not the same thing as soldiering. I think it is about time he threw in the towel.
The hunger and frustration in that country have adversely affected their way of reasoning. How can they still be campaigning and canvassing for support of their candidates when their Chief Representative who was elected under the platform of All Progressives Congress is not only clueless but directionless and visionless thereby imposing untold hardship on one and all?
None of his promises has ever seen the light of the day under the existing circumstances. What he appears good at is the blame game a ploy he often employs to cover up his inability to deliver on his campaign promises. He dwells so much on looted funds as if he did not nor the past governments did not loot. They all did at different points in time yet Nigerians were able to feed themselves. The whole thing is very annoying.
I happened to run into some Nigerians the other day in Europe who recounted their ordeals while crossing the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of north Africa from where they often risk their lives crossing the vast Mediterranean in rickety boats to Europe. One of them did expressly tell me how one of the rickety boats capsized and killed no fewer than 219 Nigerians who he knew personally while in Libya, a majority of the ill-fated Nigerians, he said , came from Edo State. Yet you see the LLilliputianOshiomhole campaigning vigorously to foist his anointed godson on Edo people!
There is hunger and starvation everywhere in Nigeria, a dramatic replay and reenactment of the 1984 and 85 scenarios when Nigerians queued for food in metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria after overthrowing the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Under Shagari there was food aplenty but soon after he deposed him in coup, Nigerians started queuing up for food; that is what is happening again today.
Are Nigerians so naive not to see things objectively? Do they need reminding that Buhari is not the Messiah of which Nigeria urgently stands in need? Why have people chosen to be blinded by primordial sentiments and refuse to call a spade a spade? They have lost grip on realities that the ruling party has only succeeded in creating more problems for Nigerians and Nigeria.
Iyoha John Darlington, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.