The Lamentations of a Buharist

The Nigerian journey into the unknown is very scary. The solutions to her mundane problems seem to be not in sight. I am absolutely terrified any time I have a flashback on the situation in Nigeria. It has always been the nauseating reflections of our ugly past, unremarkable present, and scary and uncertain future. We have so many unsung heroes and heroines who had selflessly labored in vain in every attempt to see Nigeria of their dreams. The dreams of these nationalists had always been dashed, botched and eclipsed, not because the system lacks the dynamic individuals (catalysts) that can bring the much expected change and national development, but because the system is (unfortunately full of more dream killers than developers and innovators) plagued with negative nuances, and the complexity and contradiction of its inhabitants.

It is sad to reflect on our complexity and contradiction that have been the bane of national integration and development. At times, we are moved to tears when we juxtapose the current state of socioeconomic inertia in Nigeria with other advanced countries. We are potentially a great nation, but the truism of our annoying contradictions is our inability to identify what we actually want, or our deliberate indifference or ignorance/inability to do the right things that will advance the nation’s interests. While Nigeria is wrangling in a state of lifelessness, its citizens are in search of their true and available but lost identities. All struggles had been to survive and keep afloat in spite of the national economic ordeals.

The manner with which we waste and squander our human and material resources beats rational mind and imagination. Nigerian leaders are likened to narcissistic heads of households who are denying members of their households’ unfettered access to the goodies in the house food bank. Nigerians are currently going through short, brutish and nasty lives. There’s general despondency, needless anger and hunger, hopelessness and discontentment among the citizenry.

Lately, I think my reflections and thoughts are gradually evolving over the issues of Nigerian state. As hinted before, we have so many contradictions that are impeding our progress in Nigeria. We pine on needless issues, leaving germane issues with seriousness they deserve.

Some of these contradictions are: the “born to rule” syndrome of the Hausas, the hypocrisy and “friendenemy” of the Yorubas, and the cunning and ephemeral attitude of the Ibos. These negative nuances which are common to Nigerian geopolitical entities are catalysts enhancing corruption, ethnic and religious bigotry, resentment, and our unmanned road to secession and and/or disintegration.

Candidly, I feel so discouraged about where we are going in Nigeria. Repeatedly, our people seem not to understand or don’t know what they want. The youths naughtily lack every sense of history and direction. The religious and political elites are consumed in wealth accumulation, prosperity and instant gratification; they prey mightily on the emotional lows, innocence and ignorance of their followers. Nigerian system is adrift by the plaque of greed, selfishness, pull-him-down syndrome, corruption, religious hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement.

The much touted restructuring of Nigeria without a sustained and genuine patriotism will lead nowhere. Historically, Nigeria is used to ignoring the causes of a known ailment with an unending futile search for cure. We are a nation, notoriously famous for ugly and repetitious history. The fragmentation of Nigeria on another hand will lead to unmitigated disaster. Greed, selfishness and struggle for leadership will be the bane of a disintegrated or restructured Nigeria. Somalia and the ugly past of Rwanda will be a child play in Nigeria if it completes her journey on this famished road to sporadic or disastrous end.

If Nigeria break up now, or get restructured, there will be no common ground or consensus at the end of the hyped struggles. What we currently have is a defective and shaky tripods, consist of the major tribal groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo).

No substantive integration and structural development can be achieved under the present mere geographical expression or unsustainable structure. Nigerians continue to postpone the evil days; the citizens nauseatingly relish and wanton in self-induced problems. I share some people’s honest opinion about the defective system and the deplorable conditions people are going through in Nigeria. I had similar experiences which most people had or are having when I was in Nigeria. Most honest individuals would have cut corners to be rich but they couldn’t sell their conscience for mundane lifestyles in the country. But providence has always been kind to some of us who have always refused to rob Peter to pay Paul. These concerned citizens and conscientized Nigerians have resolved to fight for the deprived members of the Nigerian society. Our ability to build and maintain balance between our mixed resilience is our greatest asset (suffering and smiling, talking and writing). It has sustained some of us to stay morally afloat, principled and patriotic in our sacred pronouncements on behalf of the deprived and innocent people of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, as a Buharist, part of my concerns with Buhari in spite of his anti-corruption stance is his selective loyalty to some selected people from the northern part of the country. What a contradiction of the popular quote “I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody.”

In my honest and candid opinion and admonition to the president, my article titled: “Mandate of the Plebeians” published in The Guardian Newspaper on April 28, 2015, a few days after his inauguration. I warned the president about the danger of a non-all-inclusive government. I reminded him of the practical impatience of Nigerians if they do not see the dividends of their votes. Relentless pursuit of good governance and corruption-free environment are our goals for Nigeria. Are we there yet, even after two solid years?

We want the President to be all-inclusive instead playing into the hands of ethnic bigots in the country. People are beginning to realize that the president is seemingly more an Hausa man before he is a Nigerian. There’s abundant evidence to justify my stand on this. It is a popular belief now that Buhari takes care of his people before he takes care of others who aren’t from his side. If president Buhari is incapacitated, he should resign or comply with the constitutional provisions. He should relinquish power if he’s incapacitated as president order to attend to his ailing health. God forbids, if a ‘necessary end’ for everyone comes to him today, life will/must continue anyway!

I have been advocating for true restructuring or amicable dissolution in some of my publications of our togetherness as a nation. Buhari has been perceived in some quarters not to be a true nationalist but as an enabler of “born to rule.” This is very obvious in the nomenclature of his key cabinet appointments. Despite his “ethnocentricism and tribal tendencies,” I am a Buharist, I believe in my courage of convictions that Buhari means well for Nigeria. I still believe very strongly in his unblemished war on corruption.

Historically, late Awolowo was an unblemished Nigerian, though he loved his origin and the Oodua’s proclivity but he never hid his pan-africanism and his unfettered nationalism for Nigeria. Awo’s pan-africanism and nationalistic tendencies are what is lacking in Buhari’s persona. Obasanjo would have been a good material like Awo for Nigeria but he’s a man who relishes in conspiratorial behavior and grandstanding. His fiendish friendship and fraternity with the northern oligarchy made him a dirty and doubted material for the course of the Yorubas and Nigeria in general. For Obasanjo, he is too parochial, egoistic and vindictive. He never forgives you if by commission or omission you fell into his dragnet. His fudging of national interests is not nationalistic but it is borne out of arrogance, selfishness and narcissism.

Moreover, Niger Delta has been cannon fodder in the hands of Nigeria. The region has every right to be aggrieved with Nigeria. In all honesty, Nigerian successive governments have been in open robbery of their use of Peters (Niger Deltans) to pay the Nigeria’s Pauls (the Hausas). There’s an unending great injustice in Nigeria. Life is too nasty and cheap. I was miffed when I discovered that some northerners and their political saboteurs are surreptitiously making some moves to impede Acting President Osinbajo from exercising his constitutional rights and duties in case Buhari is incapacitated. Ummm! A repetitious history? Nigeria is sitting on kegs of gunpowder. It is grossly wrong to create an atmosphere of injustice and expect peace and tranquility. Those who make peaceful mean impossible make violent mean inevitable. The current status quo portends a bleak future for Nigeria, if care is not taking.

We may never get a man like Awo in the current system or in this generation. Nigeria is a country in utter confusion; we need to reorder our political and moral values in order to move forward to meet the 21st century ordeals and challenges. The long rule of military regimes and the corrupt politicians have done incalculable damage to the psychology of all Nigerians. It is a national disaster. This is the time to sit together or maybe through referendum, come out with workable solutions to our myriad of self-inflicted problems. The current situation is worrisome and unsustainable. Unless these anomalies are corrected, we will collectively continue to ensconce ourselves in our subconscious libraries, to open and reopen to read from our imagined book of Lamentations.


Written by
Yahaya Balogun
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