Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Can Nigeria Survive? By Benedict Oladipo KOLEDOYE
The General is on the news again! General Muhammadu Buhari, has been a man whose name ordinarily excites controversy. The controversy is always doubled by his utterances, which many of his political detractors exploit so easily. The man has been so vilified and denounced as an incurable pessimist, extremist, and religious bigot. Despite the attacks from his sworn political enemies, based on his comments, and principally his antecedents as the military Head of State, when the man stepped on so many toes, the General remains undaunted as he continues to fire more salvoes. Lately, he reiterated his earlier warning that Nigeria is at the precipice of collapse. He particularly warned that Nigeria may not survive after 2015 elections.
As usual, the Federal Government asked us to ignore the General. However, I am compelled to think that there is need to separate the message from the messenger, to this extent, the Federal Government can afford to ignore the General, if they can, but Nigerians should not ignore his message. For whatever misgivings that they have about the General, if one truly put aside those prejudices that have laced our thinking, one cannot but accept that the man is making sense after all. However, without sounding immodest, many Nigerians, at least based on the comments made on social networks and online dailies, suggest clear political naivety or complete lack of logic. Not just about the comments on General Buhari’s comments or his positions on national issues, but on sundry matters as it relates to Nigeria. Some of these comments are sickening and quite outlandish.
Few months ago, many were alarmed when the General said that “if what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’ The man was commenting on the purported rigging of the 2011 general elections. The response from the Federal Government, led by the PDP was quite vicious. There were also comments made by so many important stakeholders who roundly condemned the comments of the General as too fatal, and least expected from an elder statesman. The three words harped were: dog; baboon; and blood. I can imagine that the following weekend, after the comments of the General, many Alfas on Friday in different Mosques, Pastors and Priests in different Churches on Sunday prayed against the dog, baboon and blood! One could of course imagine, the very loud, ‘we reject it in Jesus name’ slogans. My take on that is quite simple, if you are not planning to rig elections why must you bother yourself about dog, baboon and blood?
In as much as one does not want to dwell on the dog, baboon and blood theory of Buhari, the realities on the ground suggests that we should be brave enough to accept some realities, not to be dependent on the expediency of political correctness of General Buhari’s comments. The leadership must wake up from their slumber and delusion. There is too much lies and denial going on. Perhaps we should go on a memory lane. Before the January 1966 coup, there was a reported encounter between the then, Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and some journalists. The journalist asked the Prime Minister what he was doing about the political situation in the Western Region, that the West was burning, Balewa looked in the direction of the west, and said to them, he could not see fire burning in the West. He denied the very obvious then, unfortunately he was consumed in a very unfortunate situation shortly after that encounter.
We should be honest enough to accept that indeed the nation is sliding very fast. It is expedient to be decisive in dealing with the issues in a profound philosophical manner, and with high sense of patriotism. Although General Buhari based his anxiety on the flawed process of democratic engagement, however, there are many issues that made one to wonder if this country can truly survive. It is simply overwhelming.
I am just wondering again if a nation can ever survive, when it has security agencies that cannot truly secure the main source of its income. I am yet to understand how a nation can survive when it is paying millions to ex militant to secure oil pipeline and yet, the system cannot sufficiently fund the police. It may be interesting to know how much goes to Nigeria Police or Civil Defence and how much goes to pipeline security contract. Can a nation survive on this type of arrangement?
I am just wondering, if a nation can survive when a man stole N23b from Police Pension Fund was jailed 2 years with option of fine of paltry N750, he paid immediately and went home! Just like that! Can a nation survive such an onslaught?
Oby Ezekweselie, accused the Federal Government of misappropriating N67billion Naira, Minister of Information has rather resorted to fallacy of what about you! Is that the issue? Truly can a nation survive with this kind of arrangement?
Can a nation that has lost its values ever survive?
Benedict Oladipo KOLEDOYE
Swansea University United Kingdom
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters