By Michael Bush
Shortly before the 2015 presidential elections, I got so disenchanted with then President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow PDP south-southerner, that, for the first time, I toyed with the idea of voting against my party or not at all. Schemed in by God for purposes of protecting and furthering the interests of the masses, the man opted instead to gang up with oppressors; only remembering that same God on the eve of seeking a second term. At the very height of power, the academic who had sold the gullible electorate the punch line dummy, ‘I had no shoes’ conveniently ignored the millions of shoeless school children!
I never kick anyone who’s down, but Dr. Jonathan’s lacklustre and uncourageous leadership completely unhinged me. It wasn’t so much of a surprise when his thrashing by APC’s Muhammadu Buhari forced history to asterisk him as Nigeria’s first presidential incumbent to lose re-election. Unfortunately, not so many current actors at the states and centre have imbibed the ad hoc lesson. With 2019 in the wings, posterity is warming up to file ‘some of the Egyptians we see today’ away forever.
President Buhari was brought in or allowed in by God as a replacement to right the wrongs as well as activate the rebirth framework. In matters of power, the difference between being brought in and being allowed in by God lies in whether the beneficiary goes on to succeed in office (which is God’s will) or to teach the people a lesson (God’s permissive will). It’s early to pass a verdict, but even his staunchest supporters agree that after two years this administration is heading downhill, not up. 65 to 35, our president is not meeting what I call the God’s will target!
I don’t say that because of my ‘PDPishness’. I see political parties as mere electoral vehicles, which must not be as magnified as we do the moment elections and the ensuing trademark judicial processes are concluded. Obasanjo, Yar’Adua (may Allah bless his soul) and Jonathan were not presidents of PDP. I saw each of them as President of Nigeria. Ditto Buhari. As he himself captured so succinctly on inauguration day, he belongs to nobody (read APC); he belongs to everybody (APC, PDP, APGA, the apolitical class et al).
Alas, this president’s words and actions frequently betray that vow. He comes across as a leader who doesn’t care a hoot about the feelings of even his genuinest followers. Yes, a strange health challenge greatly chopped some steam off his presidency for a huge while; but no, he has also caused some self-inflicted damage. For instance: his pro-north open nepotism and favouritism and simultaneous audacious anti-southeast hate.
Does the president consider younger Nigerians, like me, who used to idolise him? We witness the unjust politics that he plays with his un-mathematical 95 per cent and 5 per cent imbalance. We stare at his security, NNPC, and sundry strategic appointments. This isn’t the no-nonsense army general that we broke a 55-year-old national record to sign on. His EFCC is choosy: grass-cutting, oil and other scandals allegedly involving people said to be close to him are inconsequential while perpetrations by opposition are being magnified. The president seems to cheer on bloodthirsty herdsmen but descends heavily on IPOB who only want justice.
The indiscretions of Buhari and company hurt me personally. I cannot imagine a man with a largely immaculate record, allowing these many stains on the eve of departing what might be his last major stage. Worst of all, I am disconcerted by what many see as the vindictive nature of this hitherto model Nigerian. Imagine the crass handling of the Dasuki case. Isn’t Federal Government’s vehement refusal to heed ruling after ruling by national and international courts on retired Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki a democratic anathema?
Isn’t government’s craving of a particular judgment an abuse of our laws? Furthermore, is the deafening silence by the press, civil society and human rights community not tantamount to abdicating a bounden responsibility? Is democracy or society not essentially about the law? Is ignoring a court of competent jurisdiction and holding a citizen without proper judicial say-so not an invitation to chaos? Just what future does Buhari want to bequeath?
The Supreme Court should intervene by punishing the former National Security Adviser if found culpable or sending him home in peace. Enough of media trials and misappropriation of power: God bless Nigeria!
The armed robber who strengthened my faith
Continued from October 2, 2017
Then, Mopol ruled again: ‘Boys, drop everything you’ve picked from this room and let’s go’. He added: ‘Sir, whenever your boy gets too ashamed to inconvenience you, this is how he gets help. Please, do everything to get us permanent help. My entire gangs are graduates. Only nine of us came for this operation’. I ‘heard’ tears in his voice.
Holding my right hand, he offered what I consider the closing prayers of that Religious Robbery Outreach: ‘The Boss, please forgive us. We have not taken anything from this room. However, all that we took from the first room, which my two men had taken away, can never be returned. Our law is that we would die if we dared to return such loot. Goodbye, the Boss’.
I lost so much to that attack (brand new Sony laptop, Madam’s gold, etc.) but l loved the experience.
The robbery enraptured me. I hope governments across all strata take job creation seriously and above all, that Mopol get in touch with me. He’s an extremely great guy forced off the highway of decency into the ignoble footpaths of filthy self-help. His conscience has only been deadened by hardship. He can be rescued!