Opinion

A Dirge For Nigeria

Nigeria now ranks in the league of nations of Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Were this not true; one would think it a blighted joke! Look what has become of Nigeria!! To whom do we now shout? To whom do we address our supplications? To whom and where do we turn? How well Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor’s verse in his evergreen poem, Songs of Sorrow now aptly describes our once proud nation? 
Nigeria now has Venezuela and Zimbabwe for the company – two widely acknowledged failed states – according to the latest index of Chandler Good Governance Report. It is therefore galling that some hailers still have the reckless and seemingly insane audacity to ascribe any modicum of success to the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). Not even Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen nor Somalia is worse governed than Nigeria. Woe has betide the Giant of Africa and by implication the entire African continent.  


There is nothing more ironical than seeing those who support the retired General, now scorching Nigeria, being strongly antagonistic of the former American President, Donald Trump, and his supporters because their similarities are enormous. Whilst Trump supporters, as much damage as he did to America’s reputation – internationally, believe he is very nationalistic and was on the verge of “Making America Great Again”, Buhari supporters, even though with the present level of unprecedented nepotism, cronyism, chauvinism, and tribalism believe he is the best thing that ever happened to Nigeria. They talk of the “Next Level” like filling mortuaries, expanding cemeteries and rotten sepulchers are what a nation should aspire to.  


As much as I would have loved to be reticent about Nigeria’s issues, my love for my nation will not permit me. It is very sad that any reasonable person can still expend an iota of commendation to this administration. This alone is enough for me to maintain a look and laugh stance, especially when I see people that I have some level of respect for falling into this error of judgment. One would think their perfidious error of electing the unrepentant General was enough burden for them. Whatever bug has bitten them is certainly not one that will bring glad tidings to them and the nation. 
Buhari’s administration has destroyed Nigeria. The country is disintegrating. Nigeria is in a state of war and has degenerated into the Hobessian state of nature where life is brutish, nasty, and short. Never in the history of our nation has it been this fragmented. The blood that has been shed, the lives that have been lost, and the homes that have been saddened and made desolate under Buhari’s watch are too many to recount. Buhari is the asphyxiation of the Nigerian state. 


Lawlessness has become the order of the day, banditry is trending, kidnapping is now a very lucrative enterprise and terrorism now has a place in the executive chambers of our nation. How sad and incomprehensible! 
The violent agitations we witness across the country now are an offshoot of the crass nepotism, callousness, and gross insensitivity of Buhari. His feudalist agenda is too conspicuous for it to be mistaken for anything other than what it is. His arrogance and that of his cronies with power is cringe-worthy and will embarrass any true democracy and democratic traditions. 
Buhari has continually made it obvious that his agenda is to develop the Niger Republic and her citizens at the expense of Nigeria and Nigerians. He has rigidly stuck with 95% good governance-  that is if there is any, for those that gave him 95% votes and made life unbearable for those that gave him 5% votes in a free exercise of their franchise and will as he threatened as soon as he was elected President. Nothing can be more damning of a democratically elected President.  


There is just one glimmer of hope. Many of the despot’s ardent supporters have now realised the huge mistake they made in voting for him or supporting him in any way but they are now unfortunately sentimental about the appalling poor judgment they made in electing him. They now argue that his old age somehow excuses him and the present predicament of Nigeria can be partially blamed on that. But guess what, Buhari might not be as lucid as you want a leader of a diverse nation like Nigeria to be, but truth is that even if Buhari was agile and in his prime of life, his fundamentalism would not have allowed him serve us any better palate of governance. Buhari who was a senior prefect of the Northern feudalist school of thought is now the Principal of that School that has continually held Nigeria down. What then do you expect?  


Finally I decry the collective amnesia for which we are famed! It is responsible for saddling us with a Buhari Presidency that is now threatening to consume all of us. We have shown that we are very forgetful and easily vulnerable to propaganda. If not, how could we easily forget Buhari and his antecedents? Take this little examples for safe keep: Buhari was  Chairman of General Sanni Abacha’s Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). How well did he perform in that role? In the 30 years Buhari was out of government what did he contribute to national development? Who is the Grand Patron of Miyeti ALLAH? Who was the sore loser in successive Presidential elections who threatened the corporate existence of Nigeria on account of losing elections? He threatened to set the nation ablaze, remember? 
The fruits of our forgetfulness have come to haunt us manifold! I will just make an example of one that is critical to our national existence at this time: No reasonable leader of a mutli tribal and secular state like Nigeria will have a man like Abubakar Ali Pantami in his government. With all that has now been revealed about the terrorist and irredentist religious fundamentalist, it is really the most irresponsible and spiteful government against its own citizens that will defend and become the mouthpiece of a Communications Minister that should be long gone even in a “Banana” republic.  


I end this in forlorn hope that Buhari will heed the warnings of reasonable Nigerians and at least live up to his sworn oath to save Nigeria. It is his responsibility to hand over the semblance of a nation to the next elected President in 2023 so we can then start the hard task of salvaging whatever is left of Nigeria. 
Omo’oba Abiodun OdukoyaLondon.

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