Sieving APC, Buhari From Rochas
All that glitters is not gold; thus the need to discern, ascertain, verify, sieve, purée, separate and distinguish one thing from another, one person from the other, ideologies from personalities, individuals from groups, and personal idiosyncrasies which portend certain degree of deviations from group ideals, and therein employ verification principles of the German Philosopher, Karl Raymond Popper, which takes man away from orthodox credos that may be bundle of falsities and bastions of prejudices. These help to foil accusations, hasty generalisations, prejudices and all forms of unfair dispositions and demeaning judgements in rational sociality.
It is thus an archaic behavioural principle to see distinguished and personalised attitudes as archetypal of group traits or behavioural patterns. Or to equate the subordinate individual shortcomings as notch-marks of the ordinate or the outstanding social in-group, where as a part, the individual identifies with its group. It is also irrational to assume that a part makes a whole or to hold sway the old Igbo adage, which says that “When one finger gets greased by oil, it extends to the public.”
These call for thorough sieving. Before prejudices and hasty generalisations that are in se grand irrational social killings and instigations of disaffection-feelings in the masses are made, one must distinguish persons from groups, and subordinates from their ordinates, since the want of this power of separation causes great ruin in harmonious conviviality and in politics, genuine opposition. To sieve simply implies the separation of solids from liquids, or large particles from small particles, or better put, to purée facts, figures and opinions like foods. It is only when this is done that likes could be collected and blended, making for purity and uniqueness.
This attitude is one of the greatest problems in the concept and reality of political opposition and journalistic watchdog roles in our country Nigeria. When you criticise mal-governance in the administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, little minds and inordinate stereotyped adjudge it as attacks on the person of the Governor. When you criticise the behavioural dispositions of the Governor, which tends to his personality type, the prejudiced and chauvinists see it as a critic and attack on the great national party- APC. When you point out genuine opposition direction to another party, you become a deterring force to the governing motion. When you appraise and applaud the Governor or Mr President (and perhaps) the strides of an opposition party as a social critic, you are termed anti-partyist. These and many more have led to naughty praise-singing and sycophancy in Imo State and the Nigerian national politics.
Let it be emphasized here that President Buhari is different from Gov. Rochas Okorocha in so many ways. APC is just a political party to drive home the dividend of democracy to Nigerians. PDP, APC, UPP, APGA, and other political parties may differ in ideology but ultimately they are the same thing. But Chief Okorocha cannot be said to be the same with President Buhari in view of the fact that President Buhari is not out to loot the treasury of the Federation while Chief Rochas is on a mission to only enrich himself and members of his family thereby impoverishing Imolites. It is not APC that is destroying Imo today but Rochas Okorocha. President Buhari should come to the rescue of Imolites before it is too late.
To this effect, we must sieve in order to know who is who. Before we generalise destructive criticisms on the Buhari’s administration from the 36 States of the Federation and FCT, it is exigent to separate the personal idiosyncrasies and shortcomings of our individual State Governors from the Federal Government. In the same way, before we lampoon and pillory the present ruling Party, APC, we must also differentiate between President Muhammadu Buhari and the political antics in the ruling national party, wherein incessant ethnic strives arise through in-group dominating antics to control central power and pose leverages, and reality of defects from opposition parties whose hidden aims lurk to debase the giant strides of the ruling party and thus undermine its prominence.
Here in Imo State, the grand mal-governance and deceits from Governor Okorocha’s administration date back to when President Buhari was in CPC and President Jonathan’s era, when his State ruling party was in opposition to the ruling national party. It became unbearable and perilous at this epoch when his party is at the central governance in the country, and as Lord Anthon once said, “power corrupts absolute, power corrupts absolutely” and Prof Wole Soyinka (A Play of Giants) added, “power, we suggested, calls to power, and vicarious power- that is, the sort enjoyed by the politically impotent intelligentsia, responds obsequiously to the real thing.” The glory of his second term re-election and the sudden emergence of his party as the national ruling party intoxicated him and thus aggravated the corruption that comes from power; as his joys that know no bounds amounted to lose of self-control and directionless-ness, and thus to absolutism of corruption that has its provenance from power. The Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, righty enthused, “Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.”
It is thus illogical to dispose one man’s inefficiency as general dish of an in-group or a subordinate’s malfunctioning as archetypical of the ordinate and the universal in-group. Rochas started his disgraceful mal-governance as an APGA Governor, then APC. The budget allocations, LGA funds, unending borrowing to execute elephant projects in the State, are all personal attitudes typical of Owelle Rochas and atypical of APC as a party (both at the State and national level). The criticisms levelled thus against his administration are far separate from APC as a party in the State and country, and thus his personal shortcomings are never to be attributed to President Buhari’s or APC in Nigeria. It is on this note that we need to revisit the declaration of the English poet, Samuel Johnson, who urged thus: ““Let us take a patriot, where we can meet him; and, that we may not flatter ourselves by false appearances, distinguish those marks which are certain, from those which may deceive; for a man may have the external appearance of a patriot, without the ...”
Many criticise President Buhari for one thing or the other, especially the Igbos for being uneven and unfair in his share of political slots and appointments. Though what the Igbos are saying may not be far from the truth, as there are several appointments that they were holistically denied of, despite the ministerial slot which is constitutionally provided. Personally, I believe it is not too late for accommodative amendments from that angle and change, which is the operative slogan of APC. This is certainly possible as I believe that his pilloried old-age, is an abode of matured experience of governance than political impulsiveness and masturbation of governance and ideologies that has reigned in the country since Independence. He might be slow as some adjudge, but never erring; meaning that a focused driver speeds carefully across bumpy roads and ends up with a well-maintained vehicle and wastes no resources in wrong direction and maintenance, than speeding to make names within 100 days in office; after which one enters into administrative sabbatical leave and monumental loots.
APC as a party too, may have their own shortcomings like PDP had its innumerable in the past, as a national ruling party. What we need to do is really to wait awhile and see. I believe it is too early to criticise either Buhari or APC as a national ruling party, but Rochas as Governor of Imo State and perhaps your own State Governor, yes, because they have stayed more than four years and are still unyielding and vainglorious. I am convinced that since Nigerian Independence in 1960, Nigeria has not had a so matured President as Buhari, undeterred by internal and in-group agitations and yet focused while considering the divergent opinions of his oppositions and own in-group.
Certainly, he belongs to the two classes of people that the Italian artist, Leonardo da Vinci, indentified: “There are three classes of people: Those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.” And I add that there are also those who refuse to see on their own, or when they are shown, and those who pretend to be great visionaries when in essence the dome of darkness on their eyes blurs their visions even in next three incarnations. These groups of leaders are numerous in Nigeria, and need no mercy. They are the class where Governor Okorocha belongs and perhaps your own State Governor and his allies.
Unfortunately, the group of deceivers have the highest number of followers, and as the Jewish-German philosopher, Martin Buber, once said, “Mondus vult decipi- The world wants deceit.” Mark Twain also noted that“There are basically two types of people: People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” He furthers his admonition on such leaders thus:“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Leadership means getting along with people and not deceiving them or killing those who refuse to ply the old corrupt routes.
It is on this note that I will end this piece by stating that Nigeria is blessed today with the national fatherhood of President Buhari, whose bundle of experience and age, has gathered and arraigned corresponding momentums that will like a trajectory, project Nigeria to the desired height. I foresee a national clamour of consensus return of President Muhammadu Buhari after his tenure. For as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said, “Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.”
Prof. Protus Nathan Uzorma