By Kassim Afegbua
I am gradually becoming exposed to the real problems of President Buhari and those who are masterminds of his colourless and tactless presidency that has continued to destroy the very fabric that knit us together. His real problems are his coterie of aides who have become sycophants from the pit of hell, announcing president Buhari’s so-called achievements in the gale of several rivers of blood. They even dared to tell us that president Buhari is a miracle worker. Yes, he is indeed a miracle worker, because we are only existing as Nigeria by sheer miracle in the face of a heavily polarised country with nepotism and selective amnesia reigning supreme. They sing songs of hosanna over the claim that NNPC, the nation’s cash cow posted a profit of N287b, the first in 44 years according to his publicists. This is happening after six years of Buhari presidency and as petroleum minister. They tell us that the villa is very lean in terms of visitors because Buhari does not cut deals. In their fertile imagination, they think we are not aware of their double-edged hypocrisy. Ask them to tell us where President Buhari got his funding for election in 2015 and 2019, you are likely going to get threat calls. Ask them to declare publicly the details of president Buhari’s asset form, you might be denied sleep perpetually.
Ask them to tell us the source of funding for Yussuf Buhari’s ostentatious wedding, you might hear “maigaskia” at the background with punctured tones of murmurs and grumblings. Ask them the source of funding for the iPhone and iPad that were generously shared during the wedding of the president’s unemployed son, you might get a fatwa. Pretenses and hypocrisy flourish well when people are forced by circumstances to live a false lifestyle. During the campaigns in 2015 and 2019, we heard of jets ferrying monies around at late nights and under coded trips. We saw video clips of how underaged children were thumb printing ballots in certain locations to score unmerited votes. We saw the drama in Kano, Yobe, Borno and Kaduna states. We saw the 84% voters attendance in states that were predominantly troubled by insurgents and armed bandits against the supposed low turn-out of voters in otherwise peaceful environment. The beneficiary of such flawed elections is the man they called “maigaskia”, such self-serving hypocritical nomenclature that dribbles through the corridors of power. Why the pretense? All the foreign medical trips by a president who promised to fix our health sector is an insult on our collective psyche. But in a country where leadership weakness is being celebrated as a mark of courage, miracle workers are easy to come by.
Let us recalibrate the Buhari persona before he became president in terms of his utterances, maybe that may give us a scintilla of his belief system. In November 2012, The Nation newspaper reported that Book Haram picked Buhari to moderate talks with the government of Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan. Pointblank news also reported that in June 2013 that Buhari had told the Federal Government to stop killing book haram members. The Nation newspaper also reportedly stated in June 2013 that Buhari had faulted clampdown on Book Haram members. As reported in The Guardian newspaper in November 2018, a South African mercenary had declared how Buhari stopped them from fighting Book Haram. The Cable had reported in February 2020 how soldiers complained about Federal Government setting free killers in the name of Book Haram, as suspects were being released. Sahara Reporters in June 2020, also reported the planned release of 603 repentant Book Haram back to the society. The Nation in July, 2020 reported how 601 ex-Boko Haram combatants graduated in Gombe and to be reintegrated into the society. They were also being reportedly paid N20,000 naira as stipend. The exercise of demobilisation and reintegration is still ongoing while armed banditry and terrorism are still spreading like wild fire across the country.
Kidnapping has assumed the status of an industry that has grown in lips and bounds, with very disturbing “GDP” ratio, that readily exposes the spinelessness of this government. Now, given the above information which spoke to the mindset of the president, is anybody surprised that these crimes and criminalities have continued to flourish in more devastating manner since 2015? So, when you reconcile the so-called achievements with the twin-evil of bloodletting and kidnapping, and subtract the X-factor from the equation, what you get is a leadership subtraction that would render all the integers impotent. The algorithms of these summations tell us that our equation has assumed a quadratic status. And that explains the complexities of a Buhari presidency loaded with incompetence and taciturnity, at a time when we ought to be on the superhighway. It is not just about physical achievements that should worry us or lack of it, it is the mental breakdown and the demolition of our collective psyche that is most disturbing and worrisome. Those who are mourning their loved ones, the mass burials, the growing hardship in the country, the high unemployment rate, the untold suffering in the land, the atmosphere of palpable fear and insecurity, the anxiety, the killings and bloodlettings, the agitations across the land, the ominous silence of the number one citizen, the selective application of anti-corruption laws, the deep-seated hypocrisy and the polarisation of the country, are the real issues that have dominated public discourse since Buhari climbed the leadership rostrum.
It has been a country of broken tongues, broken hearts and wailing consciences. This has also made the presidency to become experts in condolence messages, as well as chief mourner in a country that is heavily troubled and beleaguered. So, when President Buhari’s publicists dare to confront us, they should be reminded of the real issues and not the erection of a building that would end up unoccupied because the would-be occupants have been killed or kidnapped. The forest are oozing with smells of decaying bodies of victims of kidnapping. The farmlands have been abandoned for the fear factor. The new fond slavery that has become our second nature, and series of other dare-devil crises threatening the very foundation of the country. It is a matter of fact that in spite of the claimed achievements mentioned by Buhari’s publicists, Nigeria has never been this pummelled on all fronts. The dislocations are tellingly explosive in our individual lives. The poverty and hunger that stare us in the face is symptomatic of the failures of leadership under a 79-year old retired General, who in all ramifications, should actually be retired and resting.
The real jinx that president Buhari should break are the vexatious incidents of kidnapping and terrorism that have ravaged us for too long. He should break the jinx of growing and unsustainable unemployment rate of 33.8% in a country that is still heavily dependent on imports. He should break the jinx of nepotism that makes some citizens second and third class citizens in their country by the sheer fact of their state of origin. He should break the jinx of disunity that has created fractures in the walls of unity that hitherto bind us. He should break the jinx of selective amnesia that dominates public discourse on anti-corruption fight. He should break the bogey of corruption and financial malfeasance that is still being treated with kid gloves right before the very eyes of the president. He should reach out to all geopolitical zones, feel the pulse of their suffering and bloodletting, seek penitence, and generate dialogue that would help mitigate all the halitosis his weak leadership has brought upon us. He should break the jinx of hunger, poverty, Internally Displace Persons, deprivations, and want occasioned by poor economic policies that are neither here nor there. He should break the jinx of armed banditry and terrorism that has made life most devastating for the average Nigerian. The blood must cease to flow.
The rivers of blood should dry up. Insecurity should be broken. The welfare and security of lives and property which is the primary responsibility of government should be upheld with seriousness of purpose. Cataloguing some projects before us when our people for whom the projects are meant and dying in droves, is an insult upon injury. When people are not united, when there are social, political and economic dislocations across board, when people cannot pursue their daily legitimate endeavours, when the rule of gun has dominated public life, there is little or nothing to appreciate in physical properties or projects. Nigeria is bleeding profusely and the responsibility to stop this stops at the decorated table of the Commander-in-Chief. Telling me food is ready when my family members have been slaughtered is the height of insensitivity and wickedness, which Buhari’s spokesmen are rubbing on our face. Tufiakwa! Tufiakwa!! Tufiakwa!!!.
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