On their Sword - Ode to a Failed Presidency
As you read this, keep in mind three cardinal rules of national conduct.
One, nations don’t get richer by printing more money, even though they have the power to do so.
Two, nations don’t become more socially cohesive by discriminating against their own citizens, even though they have the power to do so.
Three, nations don’t become more secure by selectively applying the rule of law, for or against either citizen or foreigner, even though they have the power to do so.
Many Nigerians are hurting. They feel they have been duped by the Muhammadu Buhari Administration. It has maliciously violated the second and third of those iron clad rules and is on the verge of breaching the first. You see I was nearly duped myself. No sooner was he declared winner of the 2015 elections than President Buhari discarded his borrowed robes of gentility and docility. Even as President-elect he immediately revealed his congenital plumage of Fulani ethnic chauvinism, feudal expansionism, clannish nepotism, and traces of treasonable conduct.
I took it upon myself as a patriotic duty to advise him to mend his ways. I tried to alert and warn Nigerians of the grievous danger the incoming Buhari Administration portends to their well-being and safety. This was a full month before he was officially sworn-in as President in 2015. You can imagine the hurt and shame felt by people who have been duped not just once in 2015, but twice in 2019 also, as many of Buhari’s supporters have been. Many are still living in denial to this day.
The giant coalition of supporters that stood behind Buhari in 2015 in a pan-Nigerian show of support for his Presidency has been whittled down dramatically by his incompetence, hypocrisy, and malicious spitefulness to almost zero. All that is left now are the direct or potential beneficiaries of his nepotism, the party faithful and prisoners of ego. The pro-Buhari confederacy of 2015 had many tendencies with disparate agendas.
To understand what is happening to Buhari today, it is interesting to enumerate these tendencies and to highlight how their hopes of realizing their separate agendas were raised and then brutally dashed in a manner befitting of a Ponzi scheme.
First there were irredentist Yoruba ethnic nationalists, alarmed at the sudden rise of their Igbo ethnic competitors into positions of political reckoning, economic dominance and military significance under former President Goodluck Jonathan. By supporting President Buhari they thought they were killing two birds with one stone.
They saw in Buhari an opportunity to cut the rampant Igbo down to size. By supporting Buhari, they also saw an opportunity to provide a Yoruba successor to President Buhari after his tenure. All in the spirit of one good turn, deserving another.
Then there were northerners led by the Fulani establishment. They were smarting from the derivation quota of national income from petroleum sales, reserved for mostly oil producing southern minority states. Again, they were extremely fearful of the resurgence of Ndigbo in the national space. Recall that the Igbo, were once defeated militarily by the rest of Nigeria during the Nigerian-Biafra war. The northerners saw in Buhari an opportunity to rearrange the national space and reestablish northern if not Fulani control of Nigeria’s destiny, using jackboot tactics.
Then there were other minority Southerners as well as a handful of Igbo supporters, many flying with the prevailing wind, who were simply tired of corruption rampant under President Jonathan. They were equally frightened by the rise of an Ijaw political hegemony in the South-South political region, not to mention the seeming rise of their Igbo neighbors. They saw in Buhari, a savior who could stamp out corruption, restore justice and fair-play into the body politic.
The Yoruba in the pro-Buhari political confederacy, were not frightened by the above stated goals of their Fulani-led northern coalition partners. They felt their mutual interests were complementary and not conflicting. Afterall the Yoruba homeland was largely non-oil bearing. Secondly, they felt it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the North needed Yoruba support to secure electoral victory. So, their political marriage with the North was a match made in heaven. Besides the Yoruba controlled corporate Nigeria.
Barring the Fulani, all the pro-Buhari coalition partners did not envisage or failed to take one thing into account. What they missed was that there was a secret Fulani resolve championed by Buhari himself. This exclusively Fulani agenda saw in his rise an opportunity to settle the role of the Fulani at the apex of the Nigerian State once and for all.
Driven by the morbid Fulani fear of the dismemberment of Nigeria, their goal was to forestall this eventuality by implanting and establishing permanent Fulani ethnic settlements all over Nigeria. Thereafter, to progressively, and perpetually, subdue and subjugate other Nigerians. To many people including otherwise intelligent Nigerians, this expansionist reasoning sounds ludicrous and rather far-fetched. But it is real nevertheless.
The Fulani to be re-settled in various places were intended to become indigenous co-owners and not simply sojourning residents of their various resettlement localities. They were to gradually seize the political control of their areas of resettlement and make the original indigenes of those areas subservient to Fulani overlord-ship and other interests.
With Fulani in Nigeria, lacking the numbers to man and maintain their proposed ethnic settlements in Southern Nigeria and the Middle-Belt, Buhari eventually openly invited foreigners, essentially armed non-Nigerian ethnic Fulani insurgents from Guinea, Senegal, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to come over to Nigeria and help the Fulani seize and control territory.
Being himself of dual Fulani and Kanuri parentage, he tried to carry along his maternal Kanuri relatives by giving them prominent positions in his administration, sometimes to the chagrin of Fulani. But it must be stressed that although they are at the very least as violent and as brutal as the Fulani, the Kanuri are not expansionist by nature. They have a well-defined homeland. Something the Fulani alone among all the African tribes do not enjoy.
Buhari’s nepotism, a clear violation of the second rule of national conduct mentioned at the beginning of this piece, is totally in furtherance of expansionist Fulani agenda. Indeed, all of Buhari’s actions in office have been perpetrated exclusively in pursuit of expansionist goals.
For instance Nigeria’s military, security and judicial muscle has been treasonably subordinated by Buhari in service of Fulani expansionist agenda. A couple of years ago, registered gun owners barring the nomadic Fulani, were irrationally obliged by the security agencies to turn in their weapons in the face of repeated violent Fulani onslaught. Many of President Buhari’s actions appear capricious and totally lack rationality and coherence until you view them with the lens of Fulani expansionism. Only then do they make sense and appear coherent and carefully thought out.
Nigeria’s security forces have frequently intervened to rescue violent non-Nigerian Fulani terrorists caught in battle while attempting to seize ancestral lands from natives, only for them to be released later. Nigerian military helicopters have been sighted by natives ferrying supplies to Fulani bandit-terrorists embedded in the forests of Southern Nigeria. A retired northern military chieftain in the Federal Ministry of the Interior once revealed that much of the weapons used by non-Nigerian Fulani bandit-terrorists in their operations are traceable to Nigerian military armories.
This shielding and open support of criminal foreign Fulani activity in Nigeria at the expense of indigenous Nigerians is in clear violation of the third rule of national conduct mentioned earlier. Therefore, baring a miracle of ‘Lazarific’ proportions, the Buhari Administration is basically doomed to failure. If you doubt it, take a look at the groupings who have withdrawn their support from the Buhari Presidency.
First of all, the majority Igbo were always hostile to this Administration, being the prime targets of its planned emasculation and annihilation. They are even more so today. Second of all, belatedly realizing Buhari’s expansionist agenda is antithetical to their cultural existence, the majority Yoruba have withdrawn their support all but in name.
Third of all, so too have the Middle Belt and all the Southern Minorities. Fourth of all, so too have the northern minorities, including the majority ethnic Hausa, long held captive under minority Fulani subjugation.
Under pressure and unable to hold down any of the proposed settlements promised them in Southern Nigeria or the Middle Belt, the foreign Fulani bandit-terrorists invited into Nigeria have turned their guns inwards in Northern Nigeria. So fifth of all, faced with a threat to their lives and homestead properties in Northern Nigeria, by their foreign bandit-terrorist cousins, instead of the permanent settlements they were promised in Southern Nigeria, the Fulani establishment is rapidly withdrawing its support for President Buhari.
Failure is indeed an orphan. Even indigenous people (read ethnic Hausas) in Katsina State, Buhari’s home state are organizing themselves to resist the Fulani bandit-terrorists onslaught. Sixth of all Buhari’s political party the APC is in disarray at this moment. Everything Buhari has touched is crumbling right before his eyes. This is hardly surprising because the entire edifice of the Buhari Administration is held together by mere spittle of lies, obfuscation, deceit, and propaganda.
The bandit-terrorists wreaking havoc in Northern Nigeria are ethnic Fulani, period. Many of them are members of the terrorist group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). From Senegal to La Republique du Guinee, to Mali, to Burkina Faso to Niger, they are active. And they are moving southwards.
Buhari openly invited them to Nigeria when he declared that Nigeria is open to Foreigners.
These bandit-terrorists have no learning, other than violence, and no assets, other than weapons. They are the same people Buhari intended to patrol and defend the RUGA settlements he proposed for ethnic Fulani in Southern Nigeria. This is why they are in Nigeria. With no RUGA in sight, these nomadic, expansionist, Fulani foot-soldiers have vented their frustrations and impatience on indigenous Hausa farmers as well as town Fulani in Northern Nigeria.
Nigerians should ask themselves this question. Why does the Buhari Administration demur to label these thugs as terrorists? Other than blood being thicker than water, what does he stand to gain by shielding them even at the cost of his presidency and legacy? The rational answer can only be that this Administration are their sponsors and instigators, and they believe they could still be useful in future. This is not rocket science. It is logical deduction.
In the interim, do not be deceived by Buhari's charge to the military to eliminate the bandit-terrorists. It is an empty boast, a balloon of hot air and a gimmick designed to buy time. The military and police have been conditioned to regard Nigerian or non- Nigerian Fulani as untouchable. They will not risk their lives in an unprofitable military venture against bandit-terrorists whose success is likely to draw the ire of the President rather than commendation.
The sole card left in Buhari’s hands now is to secretly blackmail Southern Governors to cede their lands for RUGA settlements in their domains. That pressure is currently being applied by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Not too long ago they reminded State Governors that they are still under probe. But eternal woe betide any governor in Southern Nigeria or the Middle Belt who cedes land in his state for the resettlement of Nigerian Fulani and their protectors, the foreign Fulani bandit-terrorists.
Yet the greatest losers in all of these developments are the Fulani establishment in Nigeria. They stood idly by and quietly nudged Buhari forwards as he embarked on his malicious journey to dominate Southern Nigeria on their behalf. Now they realize they have unwittingly released a nest of rattlesnakes in their homestead. As the Psalmist observed, wily people are entrapped in the devilish snares they intended for the innocent. It was true in biblical times, it is still true to this day. We wait and watch as Buhari’s expansionist plot unravels with unintended consequences for the plotters.
This is easily the worst Presidency, Nigeria has ever known. They represent everything reprehensible and repugnant in multi-ethnic state Administration. They will retire at the end of their tenure in total disgrace and ignominy. And History shall judge this Presidency as a total waste of time, space, and scarce resources. To round things up we penned this ode.
Ode to a Failed Presidency.
“What a disgraceful end yet awaits.”
Chorus: “Yet awaits! Yet awaits!!”
“A Presidency with no benefits.”
Chorus: “Zero benefits, we daresay!”
“On Security it scores zero.”
Chorus: “Nothing but zero! Everything zero!!”
“On the Economy it scores zero.”
Chorus: “Negative it is, on each count!”
“Plunged Nigeria into irreparable debt.”
Chorus: “Yes they have! Yes they have!!”
“On corruption, all bark, seldom bite.”
Chorus: “Jail the enemy! Slaughter the innocent!!”
“Squander mania everywhere.”
Chorus: “Under their noses! Right under their noses!!”
“Rule of law, they score zero,”
Chorus: “Tyrant here! Dictator there!!”
“Selective application of justice.”
Chorus: Justice lost! Justice misplaced!!”
“Nation building, they score zero.”
Chorus: “Nepotism here! Tribalism there!!”
“Propaganda, the only excellence.”
Chorus: “Born liars all! Sworn deceivers!!”
“Administrative illiterates, what they are.”
Chorus: “Born to rule! Lives to misrule!!”
“Let them go rule themselves first.”
Chorus: “No they can’t! Sure they won’t!!
“God Willing, we shall see how it will end.”
Chorus: “So shall we! So shall we!!
Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.