Every day I bow my head to say my five times prayer as a Muslim, I often ask the Almighty Allah for forgiveness, for being part of those who supported President Buhari in 2015 to victory.
It is not that the Jonathan’s administration was any better, but this particular one has been a monumental disaster, an albatross that has taken Nigeria to the Golgotha of economic miasma, socio-political debilitation, and national catastrophe. I have continued to ask the question; where did we offend the Almighty Allah to have blighted our sights in 2015, and thrust upon us, a presidency that is directionless, spineless, clueless and rudderless to say the least, in pursuing our collective aspirations.
It is actually not about the APC as a party, but the nature and character of the president, has been the bane of leadership breakdown in the country. Each time I say my prayers, I weep inside my heart, tears that have become succour in my inner recesses.
I agonise each day, from performing ablution, to reciting the verses of the Holy Quran, I keep asking same question, “O Allah, where have we offended thee?” Nigerians are suffering so wondrously, so devastatingly and so palpably, as they are busy stealing our collective patrimony.
Corruption has become gargantuan like elephantiasis disease, dragging us down, but the man in the Villa is usually unaware. From the North to the South, it is a nation of distraught and default; a nation that has no direction, a country that is detained by incompetence, incapacity, and oblovomism.
They told us General Buhari was a man of integrity. They said he was incorruptible. They said he possessed military skills that were suitable for combating the insurgency. He admittedly told an ecstatic audience in Chatham House, London, about the embarrasment that the insurgency was causing Nigeria, and how he would tackle the menace.
He said from day one, he would hit the ground running to recover the country back to reckoning. He portrayed the picture of a no-nonsense army General who was prepared for governance.
But as soon as the victory songs were sounded and President Buhari mounted the rostrum, the opposite of all that he promised began to manifest.
He hit the ground sleeping, instead of running. He slowed the process of choosing his cabinet and the economy plummeted.
The radiance of power slipped off his grip. Gradually, nepotism set in. Delegated responsibility took the grip of a government that became colourless and uninspiring. Corruption started growing from strength to strength. He kept a man who was accused of corruption by a report of the DSS.
The Senate refused to pass Ibrahim Magu, but President Buhari passed him and he stayed for five solid years. He has appointed another one who was not qualified, but had to be promoted miraculously to give him an edge; using corruption to fight corruption. I feel a deep sense of loss every day, when I am confronted with the grim reality of what stares us in the face. Nigeria has become an abattoir where blood flows ceaselessly.
I get more confused when I realise that the man who should lead us is idling away in the villa, unable to connect with us, the citizenry. The rate of abduction smells with disgusting symptoms of a failed country, a failed nation, with a failed president whose mandate was renewed in 2019 in very lethargic sense -bullets for ballot kind of.
The activities of the bandits are becoming more daring, threatening peace and stability. Honesty is sacrificed, truth is murdered in cold blood, and dishonesty reigns supreme, as the nation wakes up every day to grapple with all the negative indices that have continued to dominate the Buhari presidency.
The National Security Adviser, General Munguno, spoke to BBC Hausa Service, where he accused the outgone Service Chiefs of impropriety in the expenditure for arms purchase. Within few hours, he made a 360 degree about turn, accusing the media of misinterpretation and misrepresentation. Who does not know the NSA was speaking the truth?
Why was he afraid of speaking the truth, if he knew he wouldn’t be able to defend the truth? Does General Buratai want to claim he was a saint in uniform in those years of service? Why do these Army Generals think the rest of us are fools and they are the wise one? Where are the arms procured with the $1b that was released to the Army?
Where is the accountability? Was General Buratai not accused in the course of his tenure of owning choice houses in choice locations in Dubai and elsewhere? What was his defence when the news broke out? Did he not say it was product of family business? The fact is that corruption reigns supreme in all our security agencies; Navy, Airforce, Army, NIA, DSS, Police, Civil Defence, and other paramilitary platforms. That we are not seeing them does not mean they do not exist.
The hidden ill-gotten treasure will, one day, be exposed. It won’t last forever. Nigeria has become a citadel for corruption right under the nose of a man, a president whose adherents often want us to believe, has a large dose of morality and integrity. But integrity that is not grounded in leadership productivity, is just a nickname that amounts to nothing.
When you reconcile the flourishing nepotism in the system, with the appellation of integrity that is hung on Mr. President’s neck, what you get is hypocrisy of the highest order. If you add hypocrisy and nepotism, you get myopism, which germinates all the illogical ingredients for ethnic chauvinism and clannish sentiments.
The skewed arrangement of our federation pollutes the air more benumbingly. A man is called to serve his country, he organises an ostentatious dinner event to herald his arrival. An anti-corruption chairman was selected; deluge of congratulatory messages floods the news platforms.
His home becomes a Mecca of some sort, a tourist home for the same people he was appointed to checkmate. Who is fooling who?
My greatest disappointment is the man who presides over the country, President Muhammadu Buhari. He has shown manifest traits of a very weak, non-creative, non-proactive, slow, sluggish and inactive president. He sleeps when he is supposed to be on the field awake, responding to the challenges confronting us.
Nigeria is better governed at night, when all seem asleep; the leader ought to be awake to think through initiatives and recommendations. President Buhari is old. No doubt about that. His old age is further compounded by his ill-health.
Even at a much younger age when he was Head of State, he plunged the country into avoidable economic crisis. He locked up some politicians without trial as a way to show his readiness to clean the Augean Stable. It never worked. It created bad blood, especially as they applied selective amnesia in handling the issue. Now at old age, the reality would assume a double jeopardy.
I carry the burden with me everywhere I go, of being part of those who campaigned vigorously for this monstrous leadership. It hurts my inner self every day. I feel an urge to hourly ask Allah for forgiveness for being part of a process that has become our Achilles heel as a nation in transit.
This government is a disaster. If the president is not intelligently savvy, his members of cabinet should at least show some depth in intellect and sagacity. His cabinet doesn’t look like a cutting-edge team that can dissect the problems and provide the solutions.
They murmur around that it is pretty difficult to meet the president at the slightest prompting to discuss issues of state. Covid-19 pandemic has further provided easy excuse why the President must be kept away. Whatever be the scorecard of this administration, the president must be ready to take the lion share. Nigeria is not working.
President Buhari is not working. After the #EndSars protests, the presidency promised to look into the grievances.
Till date, those who participated have become victims of oppression and suppression, their savings frozen, as the Police are yet to come to terms with the people’s expectations. Where is SWAT or whatever name it was called?
These are surely unusual times in the life of Nigeria; a time when all hope seem lost, a time when we are battling to secure our nation, instead of charting a roadmap of how our future will be, a time when we now salute kidnappers and armed bandits with patriotic obeisance. A time of tears and blood. A time of ransom payment, et al. What a time!