MUCH ADO ABOUT PRESIDENT BUHARI’S NORTHERN AGENDA
The current news on our print, electronic and new media in Nigeria, although it is already an entrenched opinion that the Buhari presidency is nursing a “northern agenda”, which he now finds the privilege to vacate with his presidency. President Buhari’s recent and continuous seeming “unbalanced political appointments” is seen to point to this fact. Although I know that, in any human relationship, there is something deeper than “facts” about it; it is called “faith”. While facts are based on evidences observed, faith is built upon the knowledge acquired.
I exchanged Facebook comments with a contact who I believe is still “hanging-over” from the Goodluck Jonathan’s electoral loss at the last Presidential elections, at which period he openly based his arguments on the south south sentiments that surrounding the “Jonathan argument”. Like I have said before now, I am persuaded that the twelve million Nigerians who saw and experienced the impunity and abuses we suffered in the hands of the last administration and still stuck out their necks to vote for the reelection of Jonathan may NEVER see anything good in the Buhari presidency, I can bet on that because to some of them, “business has turned sour”. It is no longer “business as usual”.
President Buhari has not yet made any serious administrative move, yet his presidential gyration has already swung many redundant issues into processed-acts. It is better for me to have these goings-on than to stare helplessly at the statesman-less actions of an unprepared ruler.
Expressing his persuasion in President Buhari’s inability to help Nigeria out of the present socio-economic trench into which she has fallen; my contact believes that until all former political and economic leaders are pushed out of continued political relevance and importance, Nigeria would not get her governance right. I am aware that when these “former men” were of our age, as he puts it, they never had competent and numerous competitors, of varying ages, for political power as it is in present day Nigeria.
The British imperialists practically trained most of them on overseas scholarship, but now we pay dearly to go to school. If we, the youths, accept that the “future is ours”, and we must create a turnaround, we ought therefore not to become self-wishing, but to actively wrest power from the older men who we must now see as our competitors.
This is better than to pretend that we have “some divine rights” which should push them over the wall for us. I would have left my friend to his opinion but he pushed the issue further by accusing me of been politically naive and short slighted, and I decided to respond to his erroneous allusion to my political persuasions on good governance, as many may seem to also agree with.
Below is my response to his comment, citing an example of why we cannot and should not continue to count more on the things that divides us as Nigerians, but to build on those that unites us. For the prosperity of Nigeria as a system, and Nigerians, as the people who galvanise the system, we must, like the Americans, Iranians, Jews, and Chinese, loose the shackles of our stale parochialism and bury our sentiments on tribes, religions, geography and general interests in forgotten graves when relating to one another in cases relating to our “federation”.
There must be order in any political system for things to go well. This is our country and no one should be seen to have everything in the face of the lacks in all things of many others if we must see ourselves as one people. Unless we, as youths, break the jinx of our separatists-thinking, we would not unite as “one youth” focussed on wresting leadership from the over-recycled men and women we keep complaining about. Our “unity” must become an entrenched “national belief” before we can live it in reality. Everything we do should be about the good of Nigeria and Nigerians, we must develop positive values to show the world who we truly are:
“‘Well said my friend and I wish you all the best in your aspiration of becoming the President of Nigeria. It is the longing of every politically-aware Nigerian to aim at leadership in the highest office in the land. I believe that when ‘death’ shall sit on the Nigerian ‘throne’ and dare any Nigerian to ‘come and take’ leadership, then would I seize my opportunity to be President of Nigeria, and I am also looking forward to that too. You see?'”
I made it clear to him that until a Nigerian is ready to die for Nigeria, whether young or old, Nigeria would never attain good governance. In my view, President Buhari is showing cause for me to believe that the war he has committed himself to “fight and win” has made him an “endangered specie” in Nigeria. “Corruption” must be “killed” in Nigeria, even when it is clearly seen to be deviously fighting back.
I agree that action speaks louder that words, but words are commitments in themselves: they bring and nurse our hopes; and it is hope that generates the cause for us to live on. So Femi Falana should take panadol for his headache with President Buhari’s talkativeness. President Buhari has, by his acts so far, not been “good news” to some classes of people, who expect that action for them should commence in relation to “sharing the money”. We know lawyers for milking the cow when it is in contest; it is their tradition in Nigeria. That could likely be Chief Falana’s grouse for comparing how Buhari is planning to fight his anti corruption war to how Jonathan fought his. Jonathan was on the speed lane, while Buhari is, let us say, upon the pedestrian pavement: the two are incomparable.
Now to what I have chosen to believe: I like speaking what I believe.
Anytime I opine on Nigeria’s politics, it is essentially not about what I ‘think’ than upon what I have believed: that in “the times of old”, at the very height of Jewish nationalism, the governing system at that time included the Kings, the Priests and the Prophets. While the Kings administered the executive arm of government, the Priests handled the legislative and judicial arms, especially creating for themselves the class of “the Sanhedrin”, the highest lawmaking and judicial body of the Jews. The prophets, though were not part of government, but they acted as messengers of a God that constituted Israel as a country, they were noted as voices that addressed the Jewish administrations to the purposes of the God who constituted them.
I have therefore believed that for any nation to enjoy political justice and economic stewardship, there must be a godfearing relationship between God, the people and their leaders. Let me quickly trace my roadmap for good governance.
Letters left for us in the christian “scriptures of old” were written on accounts of the Kings’ reigns; and the warnings and admonitions of the Prophets. No Priest, who administered in the legislative and judicial arms in the government of Israel had a jot nor dot to write about their own administrative persuasions though they ordered the religious system upon which the entire Jewish economy rested. Only the Prophets left an ordered-syllabus for God’s lesson notes on good governance, and these are my own examples today. I would now usually cry out for political justice and economic stewardship for Nigeria in the templates of the prophets of old.
Those who bear and sustain sectional biases would usually look up to their brothers, who are from their villages, tribes, religions, cultures, cults, societies, clubs or one divisive thing, to create class separation, and every Nigerian is guilty of this, but some endeavour to change this entrenched inertia and create our sense of “one Nigeria”. This is the only way we would appreciate that President Buhari is tasked with developing a governance template that is very different from the ones used in the past 16 years and how our problem is biological – it is called adaptation, it is a comfort zone. We can choose to see all the appointees of President Buhari as Nigerians and no one will raised an eyebrow. This should be our pressing craving, it is our choice to make.
The executives, legislators and judges in Israel had no persuasions whatsoever than to rule the people without objectives. The records are there for us to see. It was the Prophets that called the Kings to accountability while the Priests collaborated with the Kings to a point that in the administration of King Manasseh, both the King and Priest collaborated and sawed Prophet Isaiah in two upon the altar in the Temple, just to shut him up.
The Priests, who represented God to the people left no template for us today.
Our present leaders especially Heads of Churches, have followed this trend unfortunately; leaving nothing except their names and how they abusively acted in consonance with Heads of Governments because they are not persuaded about anything godly. The Priests concentrated in ensuring that the Jewish religious philosophy, an export to today’s Churches, is entrenched in liturgical observations and ecumenical rituals, than in justice, service and fair play, especially in the redistribution of wealth. They have become the privileged, correlating with the highest in the political and economic strata, and forgetting that the offerings they started with came from the very poor people who helped build schools that their children cannot attend. As President of Nigeria, I would ensure “wealth redistribution in every 5 years is made an unbendable law.
The Prophets cried out that religion before God is about political justice, Sacred relationship and the economics of stewardship. It is upon this background that I am coming from: upon the background that the Church in Nigeria has failed. As a Nigerian with an aspiration, I put my points together usually in a positive herald based on my understanding of the letters of the Prophets. I am persuaded about the Buhari presidency, and I see with the eyes of a Nigerian who means well for Nigeria.
For me, it does not matter where you come from, at least I have learnt that from the kind of exclusions others nations suffered by the hands of the Jews in the height of their divine providences: those to whom the promise of the communality of all men under their experience was made, they were the bases upon which the divine equality of all men before God was appropriated; and for whom Abraham was generated as the “father of many nations” and for whom Christ came as the “saviour of all”.
I would rather look out to see how Buhari’s team can improve my life-expectance and that of my family, if this is done, believe me, it is to hell with where they come from. I read some days ago how the people of Otuoke were crying for the lack of potable water in the area, yet Goodluck Jonathan was Deputy Governor and Governor of Bayelsa State for 8 years.
He was also Vice President and Chairman, National Economic Council, Acting President; and President and Commander in Chief for another 8years, 6 of which he held the most powerful office in Nigeria; yet he could not give his people potable water but accepted a huge church from Gitto Construction Company, in anticipation of his burial ceremony when he dies and Niger Delta Development Commission gave him an helipad for Nigeria’s VIP to visit conveniently. What would have happened if Jonathan had constructed a coastal highway and rail line between Nigeria and the Atlantic Ocean…what would have happened? So it is not a matter of where an appointee is from, it is about whether he is prepared to serve selflessly.
It was very possible for the former president to instruct the Ministry of Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission, and the Presidential Amnesty office to provide each house in Otueke with borehole, and the whole town with a small power generating turbine serviced and powered by the Federal University and companies around the area as their Corporate Social Responsibilities, backed by a law by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. Today, Otueke people would have had water to drink and power for their economic development. How did the “brotherhood” of Jonathan and his presidency helped the Otueke people? Was it about putting Nigeria’s money in their pocket? Today “Boyloaf” calls him a “wicked man”. Abeg make we grow up jooo!
All I know is that those President Buhari has appointed are all Nigerians, and most are those he is empowered by law to appoint without confirmations, especially his close body staff. I would not quickly rule out the fact that his party, the APC, and the leaders do make their own inputs to these appointments, it cannot be a unilateral decision. His Vice President would not say he was not aware of the appointments before they were announced. The game plan is only unfolding.
With the war he has chosen to fight, I think the security of the life of Mr President is more important to me than the areas of his “yet to be seen” failures. I therefore would rather wish he lives, encircles himself with people he can trust and bring us to our El Dorado, than to contribute to morally torpedo him with baseless allegations. Yes! he can fail, but it would not be strange if he does; we never had it better. The fact that he came with a good hope and loves talking about it does not mean I should rule out his chances to succeed because of the men and women he chooses to work with. There is no where close body staff MUST have the bias of zonal spread.
The logical political robbery that has remained open and clear was the Speakership of the House of Reps that should have come to the South. President Buhari watched while this robbery lasted and I hold him responsible for the present struggles in the National Assembly. The Constitution provides for offices that should be zoned, and when it comes to those, the President will not have any option than to tow the commandment of our laws. Then we can talk against him and even take him to court for redress.
We want good governance and economic growth, to hell if those who can make this happen to Nigerians are all Northerners! Part of the change we Nigerians yearn for is attitudinal, let us stop expecting fast and quick changes, they do not last. President Buhari’s short term plan is to “get set…” and he has the political rights to use the mandate he won to the best of his administrative judgment, as the one who is accountable to Nigerians. Let us give him.some benefits.
The Seat of Mr President