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NIGERIA: Purported “Clamor” for second Buhari-term is real ‘fake news’ – Tola Adenle

 

 

This is a list of the few of the far too many reasons why President Buhari’s reported statement to his cabinet last week of his quest for a second term being based on “clamour by Nigerians” could not be further from the truth. People from his native Northwest or Northern Nigerian Moslems may want him back because theirs have been his concerns these last three years but that would not translate to millions of Northerners, including people of the Middle Belt and the vast majority of Southerners who would rather the country is restructured for governance first before any election.

Buhari does not need nor deserve a second term.

I had  personally made a giant leap from –

  •  being strongly against Buhari in the 1980s, a fact I referred to when I announced in a Nation essay in March 2012 after resting my Sunday essays for the same paper that “I will vote for Retd. General Buhari in April …” He failed to win the presidency during that election;
  • being a strong supporter of Buhari (2011), four years before Nigerians at last finally accepted him despite his religious extremism; we all agreed on the war of corruption that needed to be fought and won, four years before the [then] progressive Action Congress would accept him;
  • and a supporter that coincided with the party I supported, the AC, accepted him from his own party and made him the its candidate for the presidency, a person whose first three essays on Day One of this blog 7 years ago included “Buhari’s quest for Nigeria’s presidency led to the birth of this new blog”.

It would not be an overnight metamorphosis through the different stages now right back to a position I took when a [sort of] Moral Police threw Downtown Ibadan into panic when news went out women who wore jeans/pants were being arrested during Buhari’s suffocating rule in 1983/84. It was a round-about turn that grew from let’s-wait-and-see to outright incredulity just like millions of Nigerians whose patience about the soldier-turned-politician was long and mostly unwavering.

My gradual realization that Buhari, the army officer/head of state is hardly different from Buhari, a former head of state turned leader of cattle association/civilianand now a civilian head of state now seems total. This blog chronicles a bit of the earlier up till the present, and can be found by keying in words like restructure, lopsided “federalism”, Fulani herdsmen, federal character, the National Question …

  • A clear majority of Nigerians from every part of the country elected him but Buhari chose to become a sectional chieftain – a president for (primarily) his Northwest area of birth, a ruler with Muslim interests as one of his primary concerns and a “leader” who led from apparent hiding as mostly Northerners who surround him wield nepotistic and sectional powers to rubbish an already battered and star-crossed Constitution.

This president reportedly has a “niece”, “nephews”, cousins … in key posts at the Electoral Commission, the presidency …

A restructure of the lopsided “federalism” the country is governed under was one of Candidate Buhari’s campaign promises and as a man Nigeria knew was honorable, everybody went for it. Hardly was he sworn in than he announced that “restructure is not a priority!” His ruling APC went along.

  • Still on Buhari’s colossal failure on constitutional guides: he shredded the “federal” character provision that stipulates equity in appointments, promotions … to positions within the “federalism” that has been operated as a unitary government since the army started ruling Nigeria in 1966.

Right now, all security agencies are headed by Northerners, and mostly all Moslems.

Buhari has also trampled on the supposed secularity of the country, giving priority and supremacy to the Islamic religion, one of the causes of the security challenges in the country.

An inordinate amount of the country’s scarce foreign exchange resources are expended on annual Holy Pilgrimages, although many had believed that he would, on looking at the country’s economic situation, bring his no-nonsense military past to reduce the vast amount of financial burden that the pilgrimages, especially the Hajj, places on the economy.

Of all countries with the exception of perhaps for Saudi, Nigeria sends the most pilgrims to Mecca every year with special rate of sale of foreign exchange granted to Muslims and Christians to Jerusalem but the Islamic pilgrimages are by far the deeper black hole.

 

It’s been suggested for years, and now with the dire economic situation of the country, Nigeria needs a leader who can tell the citizens we must cut such wastes. Whoever wants to fulfill a religious obligation must have to find his/her way to Jerusalem or Mecca. Buhari has shown he does not have the capability to face his fellow Moslem adherents and tell them the gravy train has to stop.

 

  • Buhari came to office on the wings of wide acceptance based on his promise to fight corruption without sparing anyone, okay? As regards all points raised above, he has failed miserably on this main reason.

His PRO, a.k.a Minister of Information – (a post that a one-time premier of Yoruba’s SW, Akintola, derisively described as akéde, town-crier of old and bottom-of-the-barrel post always meant for Yorubas) – recently produced a list of five or six corrupt people the administration has dealt with! Such a number can be arrested, tried and billions in Naira (millions in US$) can be recovered from a single town in Nigeria.

The minister – Alhaji Laí Mohammed whose first name is pronounced the same way as the verb to tell an untruth – lie – has been nicknamed Lie/Lieing Mohammed – shamelessly produced another list of about a dozen names a few days later, describing the first one as a “teaser”. Ondo State (my home state) and Osun State (my adopted state), can each yield more than that figure if the old Singapore formula is used: people who cannot explain how they came about what they own.

That was what Nigerians believed Buhari would do to win the corruption war.

While the retired army General/second time ruler of Nigeria is widely described as not corrupt, the cancer he claimed he would fight with no favoritism has gotten worse since he ascended the throne of Nigeria’s fake democracy.

His close aides are reported as among those who can be slapped with the “corruption” scarlet letter, including a service chief to whom was reportedly traced multiple Dubai choice real estate. No, Nigerians were told, his wife/wives, whose line(s) of business(es) Nigerians were not told, bought the properties. C’est fine!

Another close aide (with more than a li’l help from Nigeria’s “lawmakers”) has pursued with single-mindedness how to fire the officer in charge of anti-corruption EFCC. Nigerians do not really know the reasons for the apparent deep-seated enmity between Buhari’s aide(s), “lawmakers” and the EFCC guy but newspaper reports are unsavory.

Most of the under a dozen-and-one-half “corrupt” officials listed by Alhaji Lie are, not surprisingly to Nigerians, from the opposition former ruling party, the PDP. Obasanjo used the same template to “fight corruption” during his presidency.

  • The country’s security apparatus has shown incapacity to cope with the many security challenges facing the country: kidnapping, Boko Haram Islamic extremism, et cetera. One day Nigerians are told a story of hope only to be found untrue the next day. Buhari has proved incapable of showing leadership in securing the country from internal and external threats with the likes of BH and Fulani herdsmen terrorism even though he’s a leading member of cattle owners. His non-action has made the ccattle rearers more audacious in raping, killing and rampaging over farms from the Middle Belt to the South.
  • On the campaign trail, Buhari condemned [former President Jonathan] for the  presidential fleet of nine jets – yes, nine airplanes that can be commandeered by a definitely Imperial President and his family, et cetera for quick trips to London, Dubai, Jo’burg or wherever.

Buhari had a lofty and very impressive goal in mind: I—will-keep-one-plane-and-resuscitate-the-looted-to- death-Nigerian-Airways-with-the-others!

Not only did Muhammadu Buhari fail to fulfill what would have been an example-setting promise, but he saw nothing wrong, ironic or shameful in keeping a jet on stand-by in England, a country that gives aids, loans and grants to Nigeria.

AND this brings me to the last of the few leading reasons why Buhari must not be allowed to get away with his utter failure during his current first term: his age and health.

  • I’m no spring chicken myself as Buhari’s 75/76 years is a mere couple of years older than me, a category that marks me as an old person with perhaps many similar or close ailments. Either we like it or not, this president is not a healthy septuagenarian, and the cost of taking care of him at an overseas location these last couple of years must have been enormous. And while we know that God often spares the old & weak and takes the young & strong, a man who spent a substantial part of his first term thousands of miles from site shows he should not be saddled with the many problems of a country as vast as Nigeria.

Apart from his health costs to a country where millions cannot afford to treat simple headaches or high blood pressure that requires less than N500 ($1.50) a month, it is unconscionable for a single citizen – head of state or not – to require millions of dollars in care and ancillary costs: transportation costs, so-called estacodes for visiting cabinent members, senators, House of Reps members, stand-by staff, attendants, parking fees for presidential jet, et cetera

Even the conservative press of the Western world that supported him overwhelmingly for the same reasons Nigerians supported him four years ago, have found him very short of, and far from expectations.

I have no idea where or who conducted the opinion poll from which the president came to the conclusion of a “clamour” for a return to the failure of these last three years but I hope it’s not the Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI) Polls that had a working-to-an-already-known-answer conducted for Dr. Jonathan earlier.

No, President Buhari, your reading of the mood of the country is very wrong or you are getting wrong input. MOST Nigerians think you should not think of ruling Nigeria beyond your first term because you have failed in your self-assigned tasks of unifying the country, restructuring the polity and above all, win the war over corruption.

 

Nigeria needs a leader that would be able to lead it to nationhood because the country remains an amalgamation of different nationalities with differing values and priorities. It needs a leader that would harness the potentials of these various nationalities encouraged towards healthy competition – to achieve her great potentials.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018. 1:09 P.M. [GMT]

 

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2 Comments on “NIGERIA: Purported “Clamor” for second Buhari-term is real ‘fake news’ – Tola Adenle”

  1. Adegoke Falade Says:

    Dear ”auntie”,
    Good essay.
    But, who is going to save Nigeria?
    Our Almighty God is always in control.
    When the time is ripe, his Mighty Hands will
    tear asunder those terrorizing us. However,
    we the voters must first change for good!

    Best wishes

    A. G. Falade

    Like

    Reply

    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Prof.,

      How are you, first of all, and how’s work?

      Thanks for this, and for the feedback. It is true that we cannot wait for God to do what he has given us the brains to think out and the physical well-being to tackle.

      Of course The Vote remains our only weapon, but since in these parts our political reps play crucial roles in who each nationality chooses, a way to get out words to the grassroots so that we do not follow-follow – in the immortal words of Fela – and perish.

      People are utilizing the App, WhatsApp extensively these days, and ways must be found to include this in the mass mobilization of our people before we get sold a dummy, AGAIN.

      Greetings, and my regards, as always,
      TOLA.

      Like

      Reply

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