Dream Turned Nightmare

By Anthony Chuka Konwea, PhD, PE

Apocryphally it is said that when Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential elections in 2015, the heavy hitters of corruption in Nigeria frantically bought one-way tickets to Dubai, London, or Washington, hurriedly leaving town before he could be sworn in.

While the big-leaguers panicked and wept over the election results, the down-trodden rejoiced that a Moses had at last emerged to lead the masses to the promised land.

The former wept too soon and the latter rejoiced too prematurely.

Five years on, Nigeria’s corrupt cadre are raising toasts to good fortune and clinking their glasses in self-appreciation.

For their part, the poverty ridden masses are aghast with shock and agape with astonishment as Buhari’s purported war against corruption has burst like an over-inflated balloon.

And in all sincerity, that was exactly what it was. An over-inflated, and over-hyped, anti-corruption crusade.

Mark my words, many books and many essays will be written in future, dissecting the remote and immediate causes of the Buhari Administration’s failure.

As someone who has closely followed the sad odyssey of the Buhari Presidency from the word go, his Administration’s failure can ultimately be attributed to two tactical personal deficits and one strategic tribal propensity.

The deficits are implicit bias and crass nepotism. The propensity is Fulani expansionism.

As the Buhari Administration, unravels in slow motion before our eyes, God Willing there will be ample time in future for presidential historians to connect the dots and demonstrate exactly how those three defects derailed the Buhari Dream and turned it into the Buhari Nightmare.

But for now, suffice it to ask, does Nigeria have a President? The answer if we look at it from the angle of public safety is no.

The answer if we look at it from the angle of public welfare, is definitely no.

The answer if we look at it from the angle of social cohesion, is most assuredly no.

The answer if we look at it from the angle of economic growth, is a resolute no.

Finally, the answer if we look at it from the angle of anti-corruption crusade, is a resounding no.

Only when we look at it from the angle of lies and propaganda is the answer an emphatic yes.

In all honesty and if the raw truth be told, what Nigeria has behind its ‘resolute presidential desk’ is a place holder, a seat warmer, and a time-eater, marking time by winding down the national clock.

The good news is that nothing lasts forever. The bad news is that 3 years from now till 2023 in a rudderless ship, adrift in turbulent waves, is an unbearable nightmare.

Maybe after this traumatic experience, Nigerians will think very deeply before casting their votes for unbridled propagandists in future. For as Jamaicans rightly say, a promise is comfort to a fool.

Nigerians have been fooled by President Muhammadu Buhari's empty promises. Yet the unvarnished truth is that he has nothing to deliver, and zero value to add.

He never had and he almost certainly never will. This is not a curse. It is merely a statement of reality. Those praying for a change of heart are wasting their time.

A man incapable of learning can never change his style. The only learning President Buhari has is that implicit bias and crass nepotism pays.

He knows this fully well because he has been an unqualified beneficiary of feudal nepotism all his life. He will remain nepotistic until death or time-elapse do us part.

Until then, Nigeria's one-time dream since turned nightmare, unbearably continues.

Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.

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