So much is wrong with Nigeria that I personally no longer know what to think or believe.Indeed, I no longer know what to write, having severally repeated myself on issues which, not only I, but even well known friends and sympathisers, of President Buhari, the likes of the Emir of Katsina and His Eminence, the Sultan, have had cause to say of recent concerning where the President has landed Nigeria.
Even as every organisation that has the flimsiest link to the North: Coalition of Northern Groups, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, NEF, ACF etc now equates the minutest criticism of the Buhari government to regime change.
So it cannot but be heartwarming that the usually forthright NEF spokesperson-Dr.Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, could still permit hinself to say the following before lunging into his withering criticism of Bishop Kukak:
“There are many grounds to question the competence and sensitivity of President Buhari’s administration.Even his most ardent supporters, if he has any, that is, will wish he has shown greater respect for inclusion and accountability of those he chooses to trust with power. “The nation is paying a heavy price for mediocrity and ineffectiveness in key areas of decision-making under President Buhari”.
With truisms like this, one would not mind putting up with the obsequiousness of Presidential spokespersons, and those other hangers on, who are now so dimwitted they cannot offer the President some honest viewpoints even as Nigeria regresses daily under his watch.
Even some so called honourable members were so unthinking they not only withdrew their invitation to him on a matter as critical as insecurity, but had to do so on bended knees.Where exactly is honour left amongst those Nigerians who feed from the national treasury?
I am presently so completely tanked out having written a whole year too early, on the topic:Annus Horribilis on 29 December, 2019 which would have been most appropriate today, pandemic aside.
Readers will, therefore, please forgive me as I go back all the way to my archives to fetch an article that not only encapsulates the times, but generated as much heat, and trended on social media for well over two weeks, as now does the Bishop Kukah speech, when you take away his deliberately misinterpreted so called call for army take over.
Published, 15 Decenber, 2019, ‘What Is Happening Mr President?, was also deliberately misterpreted by those who either are mischief makers or who simply do not understand the English language, to be lured into thinking that I was on an errand for a particular politician who they say had an axe to grind with the President.
I had no alternative than to urge them to go read my column from inception which, incidentally, went back to COMET, and so debuted long before The Nation itself. That incidentally is the way of busybodies.That article will now be edited for space constraint.Happy reading.
For those who may not know, I have more than established my bona fides as a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari. When he was not even sure he would emerge the APC Presidential candidate for 2015, I had written concerning him, saying: “Nigeria, in its current dire straits, needs Buhari more than he needs Nigeria”.
This was repeated in a book by the late prof Tam David West when he wrote: “Buhari: The Politics of Age October 14, 2014:
“Nigeria, in its current dire straits needs Buhari more than he needs Nigeria.” -Femi Orebe.(The Nation on Sunday” September 28, 2014 Page 18).
I write that to show not just where I stand on the Nigerian political spectrum, but to let President Buhari himself know that in asking what are bound to be thoroughly uncomfortable questions, they are not coming from enemy territory, but from the tortured soul of a supporter of his, who has been at the receiving end of those Nigerians who say I was one of those who sold them ‘a pig in a poke’, and the most tribalistic Nigerian President ever.
In fairness to critics, I have often personally wondered as to how the President still manages to sleep, that is, if he is able to, when he takes a hard look at how the North has come to so completely dominate the Nigerian public space under his watch to the extent that one would be right to say Nigeria is under a Northern stranglehold.
Worse really, is the fact that this seeming internal colonialism shows no signs of remission as various stratagems are still ongoing; examples being the Water Bill as well as the case of the Federal Commission on Nomadic Education, which though has failed, maximally, in its core function, given the number of out-of-school children in the North, but is now trying, coyly, to insinuate itself into the contentious grazing reserves matter which is aimed at sexing up Nigeria’s demographics in favour of the Fulani.
As I said earlier, these views of your government are now being shared by core Northerners like one time House of Reps member-Dr Junaid Mohammed, US-based, Farooq A. Kperogi, has in fact gone to the extent of describing your government as ‘Government Of Buhari’s Family, By His Family, And For His Family’.
He wrote further: Before he was sworn in as President in May 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, without prompting from anybody, publicly told his immediate and extended family members to stand back from his incoming government. He even warned that any family member who used his name to peddle influence would face dire consequences.
I was so impressed by this declaration that in my May 16, 2015 column titled “6 Reasons Why Incoming Buhari Government Fills Me with Hope,” I isolated it as one of the six reasons I thought Buhari’s administration would “represent a qualitative departure from the legalised banditry that has passed for governance in Nigeria for so long.”
Specifically, he continued : “Buhari’s symbolic but none-theless significant gestures like telling family members to steer clear of his government and telling aides to obey traffic laws inspire me.”
I remember the President saying all that and I was beside myself with joy. You would, indeed, have ridden a horse in my belly.But all those soon dramatically changed that the First Lady had to cry out, protesting what she called a hijack of your government. I thought that was impossible
If His Excellency would kindly overlook the impertinence, could you please get the Presidency-no, not you in person Mr President, to provide answers to the following posers from a younger friend of mine, a retired Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He taunted me as follows concerning ‘our government’:
“Finance, Customs, Immigration, FIRS, NPA, NNPC, AMCON, NDIC, Federal Mortgage Bank, are now firmly in the hands of Northerners.
Executive, Legislature, the Judiciary, Police, DSS, Armed Forces, minus the CDS, Oil, Airports and Seaports, are all in the hands of Northerners.
Chief of Army Staff tenure is over. He is still in office. Chief of Air Staff tenure is over. He is still in office.The EFCC acting Chairman is from the North.
The terms of office of both the FIRS Chairman and DG NIMASA, both southerners’, are over and they were both replaced with Northerners”. The rout is complete.
As I indicated above, I know that the First Lady had once observed that you do not know many of those working in your government, but that notwithstanding, I think it is necessary I remind your Excellency, that Nigeria presently has no less than 250 ethnic groups’, divided into 6 geo – political zones .
Under no circumstances should these things happen as they are totally unconscionable, and a matter of great discomfort for those of us still supporting you in this part of the country. It is extremely nauseating that a part can so horribly dominate the rest when those others are no slaves.
No genuine supporter of yours in the South can be happy, or roll out the drums for this state of affairs as they are not only unthinkable, but totally ungodly. It is even worse, given Nigeria’s current realities of mass poverty and unremitting insecurity.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are not hearing a word from APC leaders in other parts of the country who toiled with you in forming the party on which you rode to power, thus heedlessly, and selfishly, disappointing those they led to the party.
Whatever you can do to correct these ungodly acts will be of great help not only to your party, but will molify the people somewhat, and most probably, secure a positive legacy for you.Otherwise all your contributions to Nigeria, at this extremely difficult times, may come to naught, which I pray, God forbid” Concluding, Nigerians are in your hands O Lord