So, what if President Buhari is the father of nepotism? Why does he want us to pretend not to see all we have seen? He should be proud of his legacy and own up to nepotism that all can see under his administration. 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? Certainly, the president has lost control of the country . Even the most blind can see that Nigeria is like a plane on auto pilot. We are increasingly becoming like Somalia. We are having many skirmishes and risk an imminent and full-blown civil war. One of the reasons why Mr. Buhari was elected president was to restore law and order. He was a retired decorated Army Major General. He was reputed to have comparative advantage on security than his predecessor. He said, ‘I will fight insecurity and will lead from the front’. He never the less added ‘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 as president. What right do we then have to demand good governance or to be treated equally and fairly from him?
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 his ill- advised designation of IPOB as a terrorist group, it means that under his watch Nigeria is officially home to four terrorist groups.
Arguably, the country has become a jungle and a failed state, held by the jugular by terrorist groups. Most pronounced are the activities of Fulani militias, baptised as herdsmen, bandits or insurgents to shield their real identity and motive, yet they never hid the fact that they are Fulani militias. They have made the entire country unsafe and taken possession of most forests and forcefully dispossessing natives of their ancestral land. The violent criminals have killed and destroyed in the most brutal form pitting innocent Fulani herders against the rest of the country. Obviously, Nigeria cannot continue like this.
Many people are beginning to think that living together without dignity as one Nigeria is worthless, that if the country is too big to be managed from the centre, then let the country restructure. But the president is unmoved. In his mindset, he owes no debt to Nigeria. His loyalty is to the Fulani. Again, to accuse President Buhari of nepotism is simply saying the obvious. A lot of people have been speaking about it and against it too. More fair-minded people who love the country and want her unity preserved have spoken against the president’s nepotism in no mistaken terms. In his inauguration speech in 2015, he had said ‘ I belong to everybody ,I belong to nobody’. Retired Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, a thorough bred Fulani and one of the finest officers God gifted this country 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 his 2015 inauguration speech, he warned that the president’s lopsided appointments favouring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to the nation.
Retired Col Umar patriotically wrote: ‘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 remains unmoved. His lopsided appointments rather than grow the North or the country, have pitted the Fulani against the rest of the country.
Governor Ortom of Benue State who had the unenviable honour of supervising the burial of hundreds of his citizens killed by Fulani militias had in a televised broadcast begged the president to ‘belong to all of us’. He lamented that his people are left unprotected against criminals bent on violence and destruction. He urged the president to arrest the Miyetti Allah leaders who owned responsibility for the incessant attacks. He asked the president to stop protecting those criminals because they are from the favoured tribe. Gov. Ortom perhaps is asking for too much. What do you expect from a president who has the misguided notion that he owes no debt to the nation, and his only contribution to our political lexicon is ‘they are killing my people’?
In his first visit to the United States, Buhari tried to justify the rationale for his vindictive and flawed nepotism 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 corrosive politics isn’t how to be a president, but unfortunately this very illogical and misguided notion became the signature of his administration. No one can make us not to see what we have seen.
If Buhari wants to change, there is still room and time. The longer he remains unmoved, and continues to express his raw power, the worse for the country. 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 can stop trampling on the constitution. He had often spoken of his place in history. He hopes history will be kind to him. I hope so, too. As a responsible citizen, I wish him well and want him to succeed, but he must repent from his old ways. He must accept that he owes a debt to the nation which must be repaid and not the reverse. If he does not want to go down in history as the Nero that was fiddling while Rome was burning, he should reset and rebalance the inequality, injustice and bad precedents he created. He should put the constitution and the interest of the country over and above his selfish interest. That way, history will be kind to him. Worst hit by Buhari’s corrosive politics are the Igbo. Unlike people of his tribe, the old Buhari harbours deep hatred for 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. Seeing the marginalization and unjust treatment of the Igbo by the administration, former President Obasanjo had counselled the Igbo, warning 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 a cow upon the demise of your mother. Buhari may hate and marginalize the Igbo as much as he wants, he must not forget we have a pact with God and He blesses those that bless us. Wickedness and 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 fairly accommodated, and treated equally. A good president must be one that is a president for all. Buhari isn’t just for all of us.