The camaraderie surrounding the national election has come and gone. Nigeria’s new President Buhari was sworn in on 29th of May and Nigerians are gradually settling down to learn the modalities and approach of the new governments. Many expect President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB) to exact his supposedly magical wand to turn Nigeria into a model nation where everyone would live in plenty and come to enjoy life again within shortest possible time.
PMB is a case of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. He’s the man with full access to the wealth of the nation, he has the key to making the needed changes in the fortune of the country and its people, however his undoing may turn out to be the ravenous and weapon wielding thieves he is surrounded with. These thieves are expert in plundering the economic wealth, they have done this repeatedly and the same sets of gangs are still hanging around him like vulture ready to attack.
Nigerians have reposed their trust on PMB and they believe that he has the solution to the many problems that have bedeviled the nation for so long.
Nigeria is a system already designed to accommodate the forty thieves and it will take a true revolutionary to turn the tide. Can PMB play the role of the needed revolutionary in the midst of the evil gangs? This I doubt wholeheartedly.
I am without a doubt that PMB’s government would not survive the public acceptance it is enjoying now for too long, except he’s wise enough to inject young innovative minds into his cabinet and enact a new government system that openly challenges corruption even before it is started. This would involve stepping on toes. Although President Buhari appears to mean business this time, regrettably he’s a product of the same team of robbers whose interest is to continue in their selfish aggrandizement. How PMB would survive in the midst of the many wolves in sheep skin all around him remains a mystery to me.
He has the pleasure of several moles in his team who have vested interest and until he is able to fish out those moles and either meet their demands or get rid of them; his survival as President of Nigeria would be greatly threatened. What this means is that he would be stressed out and trampled upon within a short time, he would give-in to their demands, just as President Jonathan did; putting his hope in the hands of the forty thieves.
President Jonathan without a doubt meant well when he took over as President of Nigeria and all Nigerians supported him with their heart, but his case is that of another Ali Baba and the forty thieves, he surrounded himself with wolves and robbers. They clearly can see President Jonathan’s naiveté and lack of understanding for the rules of engagements in their under-world. His obvious lack of clue was used against him and the rest is now history.
President Jonathan was well used by the moles in his team and they had a good time sharing the loot they garnered at the expense of the rest of Nigerians, while they gave him report of everything is good until his downfall was pronounced after the election.
President Jonathan was deceived by almost every member of his team ranging from party members, advisers, party allies and his dependable think-tanks, worse off is his reputable pastors who repeatedly told him that God said he would get another 4 years. The ‘gullible’ President Jonathan fell for the baits and his dissimulators had the last laugh with their fat bank accounts.
They squandered what is left of the depleting reserve of the nation by promising him a return to power, they named their price and President Jonathan doled out the money they requested. They gave rice, pure water and cash to buy up the conscience of many Nigerians. The consequence is that the economy was left at a breaking point before President Jonathan and the ‘Peoples Destruction Party’ (PDP) left the government. Nigeria was almost grounded, not many realised how serious the scale of ineptitude that was left by the last government.
They squandered civil servant salary on holding to power at all cost and their greed is not about to stop. This is part of the reason many states owe their civil servants between 3 to 10 months salary. These greedy lots have found their way into the current government again and are already lobbying for yet important positions. This is not the first time this is happening, but I hope it would be the last. The agencies whose responsibility is to query the mandates have been bought over and cannot talk ranging from the Labour groups, the religious leaders, the monarchs, some arms of the judiciary; they’ve had their palms gracefully greased by Nigerians political forty thieves. Their consciences have been sold, what a shame.
Each one of us needs to take part in the fight if we want Nigeria to change. The change can only start from the grass-root through the ranks of every elected public holder. We tend to put so much responsibility on the office of the president and blame the president even when our drainage needs cleaning. It is time For Nigerians to free the president from our daily environmental issues; it is not the president’s role to clean our gutters.
Elected officials starting from the local government Councillors and Chairmen must be made to play their roles and not just gallivant around the country in the name of attending make-believe workshops and seminars while surrounding themselves with area boys in the name of man of the people.
Call your local Councillors and Chairmen to account and made them play their roles, rather than leave them to feed fat on their councils allocations and revenue. Some of us don’t even know our local Councillors and chairmen; we tend to leave all to the president. Until we started owing all our public office holders accountable, Nigeria still has a long way to its recovery.
Elections into the office of the local Councillors and Chairmen deserve more attention than that of the president, because these are the people everyone needs to engage with and hold accountable for day to day living. But to my dismay, reverse is the case in Nigeria. Everyone make noise about the President, but pay less attention to our local governments. We need to understand that the president is one man and has more important national and international issues to attend to. Our Councillors should be our first point of call and economic process starts from them.
It is our life and our responsibility to live it. We need not encourage our leaders to be despondent by ignoring their inaction. Hold them accountable and participate in the governing process, let’s all shun corruption and put our foot down to encourage openness, Nigerians have repeatedly sold their lives to the forty thieves, it’s time to take it back. We have repeated the same mistake over and again since 1960 and we have not yet shown any sign of same retrogressive attitude abating.
It is also not worth leaving our survival to Sai Baba alone; doing that means we are only positioning him for another horrible crash like his predecessors. Let every Nigerian begin to play their roles in every little way to cause the change we desire in Nigeria. I rest my case for now.
Abiola Olaifa writes from UK