“Our legacy is how we spend our time and who we spend it with.” – Jim Stengel, professor, and businessman.
A brute nation, sometimes, is a true reflection of the followership with a rudderless leadership. If every citizen has the poignant mindset of the concerned citizen’s lamentation below, their leaders won’t take them for granted; unfortunately, every hapless citizen in Nigeria is complicit to its precarious circumstances:
“SOS: I NEED CASH! “I don’t even have N200. And God knows there’s no way on earth I’ll collect N10,000 and part with N4,000. I CANNOT.”
The above statement is a needless lamentation from a concerned citizen of a wealthy nation–Nigeria with impoverished people. President Muhammadu Buhari has squandered an excellent opportunity to make contentious history without being sanctimonious or rudely spiritual. After all, history will not be contentious to see Buhari’s legacy as Arigisegi in Yoruba axiom, self-ruination. President Buhari is the number one enemy of his administration. Buhari’s disposition has exposed Buhari’s mummified ethnocentric antics. Despite the attempts of Buhari’s administration at the national infrastructural revival and the selective war on corruption, Buhari has nonchalantly allowed himself and his selfish handlers to botch his much-touted legacy.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is a sine qua non of failure of a leader’s legacy to make great history. The remnants of power of the impoverished people have also enabled the dystopian state of the nation under Buhari. It traumatizes one’s psyche to hear about a wealthy country with a leadership crisis and how its citizens criminally exchange their hard-earned naira (income) with naira to survive daily. Who does that in a sane society? Nigeria is in a hobbessian state where life is short, brutish, and nasty. It is upsetting to see President Buhari sending Nigeria to a medieval period where we had trade by barter.
Meanwhile, Thomas Hobbes has succinctly described the state of nature as an existence where each man lives for himself. The old world order or modernization never knew Nigeria would be a destination characterized by brutal and extreme existential competition. No one would ever predict that Nigeria would be a nation where no one would be looking out for one another. The great philosopher Thomas Hobbes also believed that when people have limited or unlimited freedom, with flagrant disregard for the rule of law, it leads to chaos and a war-like scenario. Nigeria is a lawless, confused, and leaderless state where every collective freedom individual leader possesses has destroyed the fabric of Nigerian society. The pedestrian followership in Nigeria is as bad as its corrupt leadership. Every follower complains of bad leaders; the avaricious personality of the followers enables the evil leaders in Nigeria. You cannot trust anyone in Nigeria unless proven otherwise cautiously.
With unquestionable lamentation, how does one explain the self-induced punishment being facilitated by the President of the banana republic, oh, sorry! Federal republic? Why would a leader his people have envisioned and had reposed their trust squander an existential legacy for harsh posterity? Isn’t it criminal behavior for a leader to deliberately or indeliberately engineer the suffering of his people at the twilight of his administration? What are President Muhammadu Buhari’s motives for seemingly playing political hanky panky, i.e., questionable and underhanded activities to thwart his own legacy? These are pertinent questions that require answers. But with Nigeria’s repetitious history, Nigerians may not get answers to these not-too-tenuous questions.
Ruefully, I wrote an Op-ed in The Guardian Newspaper on 28 April 2015, titled: The “Mandate of the plebeians.” In the article, I warned the then President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to guide jealously the Mandate reposed to him by the impoverished and dehumanized Nigerian voters. I advised Buhari patriotically on how to rewrite ugly Nigerian history. We, the then Buharists, made real and imagined political enemies from our frenemies–friends and the friends of friends of our friends. Some Nigerians even made enemies of themselves because of their moral zeal and motivation to see a new Nigeria. Unfortunately, the rebirth and renunciation of the doctrine called buharism are coincidental at the twilight of Buhari’s administration, which is now ebbing into the dustbin of Nigerian history.
With posterity and our good intention for a raped nation–Nigeria, we mobilized ourselves for the success of the candidate Muhammadu Buhari. We believed Buhari was the only candidate with excellent and moral antecedents to reorder the lost glory of Nigeria. But, admittedly, and with an unreserved apology, we were historically wrong. A nation beset with corrupt begotten leadership and lost identity followership seemed to be destined for more years ahead to replay its poor lyrics and generic sins in the polity.
Buhari’s sociopolitical, religious, and ethnic adversaries seemed to have seen what we did not see at the time-the impending failure of a leader who would eventually refuse to make history and leave a good legacy usually bequeathed to a visionary leader. We thought Buhari had the moral and political wherewithal to reorder our nation’s wealth. Still, ruefully, the man we dearly loved has put us in a patriotic embarrassment. President Buhari has had numerous opportunities in his tumultuous eight years in government to rewrite the history of Nigeria in more positive ways and build collective confidence in responsible Nigerians. Still, Buhari has repeatedly jettisoned the beauty inherent in history-making.