So, what if President Buhari is the epitome of nepotism? He should be proud of his records. Why does he want us to unseen what have seen? We are not deaf and we are not blind!
The president’s Special Adviser on Media recently raised an alarm where he claimed that some online and foreign medium had been procured to smear the president by accusing him of not being in-charge of the country. He also alleged that part of the plot is to accuse the president of nepotism and of marginalizing a particular ethnic group.
Hello, are my missing something? To say the president has lost control of the country is to say the obvious. Even the most blind can see that Nigeria is on auto pilot and spiralling out of control. We are increasingly becoming like Somalia. We risk an imminent and full-blown civil war except we miraculously pull back from where we are.
One of the reasons why Mr. Buhari was elected president was to restore law and order, especially in the Northern region. He was a retired decorated Army Major General. He was reputed to have comparative advantage on security than his predecessor. He said, I will be tough on insecurity and will lead from the front. He said ‘I have given more to my country, than my country has given me’. But for Buhari I never knew of any other person living or dead who feels he owes no debt to his nation and yet got elected to lead that country. Upon his inauguration, his media aide in a widely circulated publication hyped that a new sheriff is in town and crime has taken flight.
In the contrary, the country became one of the un-safest places in the world to live, hosting three of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups. When you add the ill- advised designation of IPOB as a terrorist group, it means that under President Buhari Nigeria is officially home to four terrorist organizations. Arguably, the country is a jungle and a failed state where life is one of the cheapest commodities. Day after day, the news is awash with stories of mass killings, kidnappings and destructions of lives and properties of innocent citizens and no one is ever held accountable.
Most pronounced are the activities of militia herdsmen, baptized as bandits or insurgents by the government to shield their native identity, yet the bandits never hide the fact that they are tribal Fulani. The dangerous group has killed in the most brutal form. They have made the entire country unsafe. Obviously, the country cannot continue like this. Many people are beginning to reason that if the country is too big to manage from the centre then let the country restructure and devolve more power to the regions to preserve its existence.
Again, to accuse President Buhari of nepotism is to say the obvious. A lot of people have been speaking about this. More fair-minded people who love the country and wants her unity preserved have spoken about this without mincing words.
Recall that President Buhari in his inauguration speech in 2015 had said ‘ I belong to everybody ,I belong to no body’. Retired Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar , a thorough bred Fulani and one of the finest officers God gifted this country (May God bless him and preserve him always) in 2020 penned a widely publicized letter to President Buhari. In the letter titled ‘Mr. President belong to all of us’- a sarcastic reference to the 2015 inauguration speech, warned that the president’s lopsided appointments favouring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to the nation.
Col Umar had patriotically written: ‘Mr. President all those that wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarised and risk sliding into crisis on the account of your administration lopsided appointments which continues to give preference to some sections of the country over others. No-where is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.’
Out of the first thirty appointments for key government officials made by president Buhari twenty were Northerners and eight Southerners. Interestingly none from the South East. The president despite criticism remain unmoved. And the trend continued to date. Rather than help grow the North or the country, Buhari’s nepotism has rather pitted the Fulani against the rest of the country.
Governor Ortom of Benue State who had the unenviable honor of supervising the burial of hundreds of his citizens killed by militia herdsmen in a televised broadcast begged the president to ‘belong to all of us and not just to the Fulani’. He lamented that his people are left unprotected by security agencies who do nothing to apprehend the criminals.
In his first visit to the United State, Buhari tried to justify the rationale for his vindictive and flawed policy where he explained it would amount to injustice to treat those who voted for him and those who didn’t vote for him equally. Since the South East did not massively vote for him in 2015 presidential election , the geo-political zone should not expect much from his government. This is how not to be a president but unfortunately the very illogical and primitive policy became the signature policy of his administration. So, no patriotic and responsible citizen need to be commissioned to speak out about Buhari’s nepotism because no one can make us unseen what we have seen or unknown what we have known already.
If Buhari wants to change, there is still room for change. Our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence. President Buhari can purge himself of nepotism and save Nigeria. He had often spoken of his place in history. He hopes history will judge him fairly. I hope history will be kind to him too. As a responsible citizen I wish him well and want him to succeed but first he must repent. He must accept that he owes a debt to the nation which he must repay and not the reverse. Nigeria does not owe him.
If he now rethinks his undesirable past actions because he doesn’t want to go down in history as the president who destroyed the unity of the country or its worst president, he can reset and rebalance the inequality he has created. That way, history will be kind and just to him.
The worst hit ethnic group of Buhari’s insensitivity are the Igbo. Unlike majority of his tribesmen, the old Buhari hate the Igbo. His concept of one Nigeria is the one the Igbo is alienated and possibly incinerated. Unfortunately, his alienation of the Igbo has made Nigeria one of the most polarised and violent country in the world and sadly risk a second civil war.
Seeing the marginalization and unjust treatment of the Igbo by the administration, former President Obasanjo had reasons to counsel the ethnic group that President Buhari will never hand power over to them, especially those Igbo who are congregating in APC. Obasanjo was right for there is no way a man who couldn’t afford to give you a cockerel at your father’s funeral will gift you with a cow upon the demise of your mother.
Buhari may hate and marginalize the Igbo as much as he wants. God blesses those that bless us. His hatred will not take us anywhere as a country. It will rather ruin and destroy the country. One Nigeria is when all sections of the country is accommodated , treated fairly and equally