“I criticize by creation – not by finding fault. ~ Cicero”
In recent times the Nigerian opposition has been vibrant, this is welcome and certainly a good omen for our democracy as without it the essence of all the lofty ideals we are so proud to be associated with would be absent.
This having been said, it is proper to caution that we shouldn’t hide under the cloak of our democratically guaranteed right to freedom of expression to stir up acrimony in a bid to score cheap political points, without consideration for the general interests of this country.
Every other day the social media is inundated with tales of woe and the incompetence of today’s Government and of course Muhammadu Buhari shows up every once in a while with especially hot vituperations which in my opinion are unbecoming of an elder statesman because there are those especially in his region who would take him seriously.
His most recent outburst suggested that the Niger Delta militants where simply given guns by politicians to rig elections after which the weapons where used to carry out criminal activity and asserted vehemently that the Niger Deltans started it first. I am hoping for his sake that these statements where fabricated because this is the most myopic, hideously ignorant thing any right thinking Nigerian can say. I know Adaka Boro wasn’t handed weapons by politicians and everyone acknowledges that the injustices in that part of the country where appalling and glaring; the militants acquired weapons from their involvement in oil bunkering activities not politicians.
This notwithstanding, there is no nexus whatsoever between what the boko haram sect is currently doing and what the militants did. The militants never engaged in the indiscriminate murder of Nigerian citizens and where always open to negotiation. How can anyone in his right mind attempt to draw similarities between the legitimate agitation of people living in abject poverty while the subsistence of this nation where siphoned from underneath their feet and cowardly Islamic extremism?
Its a pity that a former Head Of State has thrown caution to the wind and made such irrational statements that could easily encourage people in the north to get recruited and join the Boko Haram fighters against the overall interest of this country.
It was David Hume who said that a wise man proportions his belief to the evidence and in this regard it would be fair to surmise from several statements credited to Buhari and many others like him that by omission or commission the Boko Haram sect is been supported by political leaders in the north.
In the Niger Delta scenario the elder statesmen, politicians, traditional heads and local chiefs all worked together to make sure a solution for the problem was proffered but what has Nigeria really gotten from northern leaders?
It is common knowledge that Buhari feels he’s in a righteous war against today’s corrupt leadership and would employ whatever means to flush them out of Aso Rock but he should heed Nietzsches’ solemn advice – Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.
The old man must have forgotten that in his time as Head Of State he would have arrested anyone who dared to incite the kind of sentiments he and his cohorts have been stoking up; this is an individual who successfully gagged the media while he was in office. This kind of behaviour is not strange though, human beings tend to do things only when it suits them. To men like Buhari chaos is not a pit but a ladder and woe betide every freedom loving Nigerian if this man finds his way to power again.
The hunger for power has effectively made a lot of northern politicians insensitive to their own people, they’ve resorted to pointing accusing fingers at a man who’s been in office for barely 3 years; how can he be responsible for all the poverty in the north when in Nigeria’s recorded history they’ve had more access to power?
Buhari and other northern leaders before and after him failed while in office to provide education for their people now the almajiri phenomenon provides infantry for the boko haram. Illiteracy coupled with little or no investment in health care is the main reason the wild polio virus ravages their people. Yet in the clamour for power they’ve chosen the high road of shamelessly apportioning blame.
Little wonder Soyinka asked these questions in his poem -“…or have the rigours of survival bred a race of naked predators? Is sharing out of fashion? Community a dirty word, service an obscenity?”
The APC is an encouraging development and I’d certainly vote for them if they are able to set aside ethnic and personal aspirations and bring forward a candidate with the right ideology to take us forward. I just hope they realise by now that Buhari, El rufai, Dino Melaye and co are not helping their cause but simply overloading the party with unnecessary negative energy which would only succeed in attracting the votes of illiterates and people with religious or ethnic bias, and those numbers will not be able to win elctions in this country. Not anymore.