Conducting The Much Needed Autopsy Of The Buhari Administration With Truthful Solutions For The Future Of Nigeria
Most Nigerians from the various nationalities and religions have generalized aversions to hearing and acknowledging the truth though they are ever ready to place circumstances and events in the hands of their Gods. But the current reality is that the Buhari administration which many supported howbeit due to nostalgia and denial began their governance on life support, and half-truths, which were paved with ruthless propaganda.
Truth be told Nigeria has been run aground for decades and President Buhari is presently incapable of steering us to the water. We need to reckon that our pledge is to Nigeria not to an individual, especially one that has ruled in every capacity of government but doesn’t appear to have concise solutions.
Interestingly, Mr. Buhari has been at the upper echelon of running Nigeria aground. I state this fact despite the realization that even well-meaning Nigerian progressives at home and abroad have been deceived by the mass appeal of the second resurrection of Buhari. Indeed many friends and folks who protested side by side with us to protect the yearnings of regular Nigerians decided to whitewash the comprehensive pedigree of Buhari, and some went as far as rewriting his negative impact on the Nigerian expedition. They hurriedly brandished him as the change agent in spite of the preponderance of the evidences that reveal otherwise.
Conversely, the reality remains that Nigerians especially those within the ruling class, their benefactors, and stooges are impervious to the adage of “telling it like it is” and are generally scornful of the truth despite the mass proliferation of churches (pastors), mosques (imams), and traditional rulers (high chiefs). Thus we are unwilling to acknowledge that Mr. Buhari was solely responsible for bequeathing Nigerians with two of the most egregious military regimes in our history. General Buhari brought about the twin governments of General Babangida and General Abacha into reality by having both men in his Supreme Military Council (SMC). Then these dictators gave us most of the African billionaires listed on Forbes magazine that some of us heap praises on and/or admire.
Sadly, Mr. Buhari’s current handlers and inner caucus are making the situation in Nigeria go from bad to worse each day in their various attempts to perpetrate more fraud on gullible Nigerians. These include officials like the Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Youth and Sports Development Minister Mr. Solomon Dalung. Mrs. Adeosun had the effrontery to accuse Nigerians of complaining about the economy without proffering solutions, instead of confessing the reality of the government’s incompetence and refusal to listen to the masses. But her British accent gave her a pass with some Nigerians. After globally shaming Nigeria with the manmade Olympics debacle Mr. Dalung remains in charge of stealing from the Youth and Sports Development Ministry.
Any wonder why athletes with Nigerian origins can be found representing various nations around the world in international competitions while government officials continue to f—king rape the country. But the lack of truth telling in Nigeria can also be found in other spheres and discourse of society. For example, we have the elites in northern Nigeria that cry out for One Nigeria in the midst of enforcing a segregated northern Nigeria. In fact one of the first atrocities of the Buhari born-again regime was the audacious massacre of Shia Muslims instead of improving the half-hearted fight that the Jonathan administration instituted against the Sunni inspired Boko Haram because of the elections.
Some of our northern brothers and sisters have insisted on taking the lead positions in ruling and looting Nigeria while the north have remained improvised and amidst scourges due to systematic neglect. Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar pointed out the issue of the north’s fixation with power and the detrimental results without taking the conversation to the truth threshold. Mr. Abubakar’s calls for restructuring Nigeria cannot be done effectively if other Nigerians and he that have stolen relentlessly from our coffers do not make the needed restitutions by reinvesting in our improvised communities. I agree with Mr. Buhari on the idea that the primary solution to our problem is not foreign investment but disagree with him that he has the competency to affect desirable solutions.
Another example, of our misguided refusal to confront the truth is the fallacy of capitalism as the prime economic vehicle for our development which is mostly propagated by some of our folks from western Nigeria. Even the late activist Gani Fawehinmi’s son recently espoused the nonsense about Mr. Buhari’s administration resistance to unabashed capitalism as his reason to abandon the Buhari bandwagon. I guess he is a rebel against the socialist teachings of his father. The irony of many folks from western Nigeria celebrating capitalism when 90% of the people and goods that get into the country come through Lagos in what can be best described as a highly monopolistic capitalist preferential treatment system.
At least, the somewhat true practice of written capitalism would entail opening up the seaports in Port-Harcourt, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom to compete with the seaport at Lagos, where Mr. Atiku Abubakar (Former Vice-President) stole most of our national tariff/tax monies in his position as the Nigerian Chief of Customs and Excise. Why do we have Lagos as the only international hub in a country the size of Nigeria with close to 300,000,000 million people, hundreds of thousands of visitors, and millions of travelers? The seemingly uncomplicated answer is that our economic problem in Nigeria is baked in Capitalism and Corruption, which go hand in hand. Our governments (Buhari’s included) strive on allowing mind-blowing wealth appropriation for the few at the expense of the masses.
Indeed if our people from the west who have benefitted from these lopsided economic arrangements are so concerned about free market capitalism they should be primary advocates for the true decentralization of the Naija economy. Thus other regions would justly and adequately compete with Lagos and overcrowding would be nonexistent in the Lagos metropolis. The Bright of Biafra could be revamped into an Atlantic tourism nucleus with passenger ships exploring the riverine cultures, mangrove swamps, and creeks instead of the wave of Nigerians traveling to go dump our capital in Dubai. Nigeria needs to immediately diversify her economy and stop her reliance on petroleum from the Niger Delta which has ensued corruption and environmental terrorism.
Similarly, the so-called folks spearheading the Niger Delta resistance lack moral and ethical leverage when they turn around to support rogue politicians who are guilty of the same crimes of f--king over the country and by extension the Niger Delta. There is no way of abrogating the crimes of the opportunistic few because they either happen to be born within the southern region of Nigeria or stole national funds during the Jonathan administration. Likewise, those agitating for the recreation of Biafra need to address corruption within the states that constituted the Biafran nation. The southeast needs to go back to the drawing board in order to stop the habit of putting thieves and scoundrels in positions of authority. That is the only prudent revival that is needed not those offered by religious charlatans.
How can the folks in Imo, Rivers, and Abia states agitate for Biafra when their governors since 1999 have been prolific at stealing and/or incompetent at governance? Nigeria is more corrupt than Sudan and Biafra would be more corrupt than South Sudan. Our goal should be to reeducate our society about equality and justice. We need to fight corruption and tell the truths regardless of who takes issues with our boldness and integrity. Mr. Buhari has fulfilled his lifelong ambition of ruling the country again. Our collective mission should be to insist that he graciously resigns so that we can have selfless leadership to secure the masses instead of allowing greed to continue to ruin us. We need to decide if our children will have either more guns for wars or more garri for peace. Our Gods, religions, and tribes do not have the answers, we do. But time will tell if this is too much truth for us to handle.
Nnamdi F. Akwada, LGSW is a Social Justice Activist