Behold, our president’s house is on fire!
By Dr. Dons Eze
Our President’s house is on fire, but he does not seem to know about it. Like Nero who was fiddling while Rome was burning, our President is busy trying to quench the fire raging in another man’s house, but would not attend to the one ravaging his own house. He went to Mali to make peace, while there is no peace in his own country. What an irony!
If President Muhammadu Buhari had the capacity of seeing the future, he probably would not have laboured for four good times seeking to be the President of Nigeria. Perhaps, he would have preferred to remain at the sidelines offering advice on how to better the country, and have his integrity fully intact.
But he entered the fray and had his fingers burnt. He came, he saw, and he has been demystified. President Buhari no longer carries the aura and dignity he had before he entered the political arena. They have all been shattered.
Buhari’s announced coming as President of Nigeria in 2015, evoked a lot of interest and enthusiasm, not only in the country, but the world at large. People looked forward to his coming, with great hope and optimism.
He was then the darling of the people, since they believed him to have possessed the magic wand with which to cure all the ills afflicting Nigeria. So, everybody waited with high hopes for May 29, 2015, when the man would mount the saddle and perform his promised magic of wiping out corruption and insecurity in the country in a jiffy!
May 29 eventually came, passed, and for six months, nothing happened. Trust Nigerians, they became agitated, worried. But they were told not to panic, not to worry, because the President had very big plans, that he was busy assembling a crack team coming from Mars, unassailable and incorruptible people, who were going to perform the magic with him. These were the people who would restore sanity to Nigeria, and lead her to the path of greatness. We agreed.
Later, when our President unveiled his magic team, that is, his Ministers, everybody was disappointed. We saw the same old faces who have been here with us all along, people who put us into our present condition. So, why all the long wait, trying to assemble these old war horses?, we asked.
Not unexpected, because of the drab and incohorent nature of the team, Nigeria could not fly. Corruption was rife as ever before, even in ascendance. Insecurity assumed a larger than life status. People were being killed everyday. Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency, which at first they told us had been “technically defeated and decimated”, there were the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) militants; the armed Fulani herdsmen attacking several towns and villages across the country, burning down houses and farmlands, maiming and killing people at random.
At the same time, there were banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, and cultism all over the country. Nigeria suddenly became a jungle, turned into the Hobbesian state of nature, where life was nasty, short and brutish, the war of all against all.
With all these, our government practically did nothing. They watched or stood akimbo while the house was on fire. When you tried to draw their attention to these ugly situations and the need for those at the helm of affairs to rise to the challenge, they began to trade blame games, accusing the previous administration of being responsible for such state of affair.
But they forgot that they had campaigned and came to power riding on the mantra of change, and therefore, should not have engaged in any blame games, but should frontally face these problems as promised us when they were canvassing for votes.
Then, after more than five years in the helm without making any progress, but with the country fast degenerating, and not seeing who to blame, they turned against themselves, fighting each other. Suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, called it: “dog eat dog”.
First was the turmoil in the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), over who should step into the shoes of its sacked national chairman, Adams Oshiomole. This had resulted to the dissolution of the National Working Committee of the party, and the setting up of a Caretaker Committee to manage its affairs, which perhaps, is postponing the evil day, sweeping the dirt under the carpet.
Almost on daily basis, innocent lives are being wasted, people killed in different parts of the country: in Southern Kaduna, in Katsina State, in Zamfara State, in Borno State, etc., but our President always closes his ears and shuts his eyes to all these calamities. The other day, hundreds of women, completely naked, trooped to the streets, demonstrating against the daily killings of their people by bandits, but which the government cared little about.
Then, came the war among thieves, the throwing of morality overboard, the dogs eating dogs, and the complete silence of our President in the face of the scandalous activities of his appointees.
From Festus Kayemo, Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, versus Members of the National Assembly; to Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, versus James Faleke, a Member of the House of Representatives; to Goodwill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, versus Members of the House of Representatives; to Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, versus Ibrahim Magu, the now suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC); to the drama fainting, at the National Assembly involving the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), etc., Nigeria is completely in a mess.
All these are enough to force any government to resign in a civilized clime.But in our own case, that would be different. Our people will continue to desperately cling to the straw. The worst sickness is being sick, but not knowing to be sick. This has been our fate.