There appears to be an interesting dimension to the shaky political firmament of Nigeria as the cloud gets thicker at the moment most especially in the journey towards 2019.
Those old, informed and astute enough to know the antecedents of the club of Octogenarians suddenly re-inventing themselves and launching back to reckoning in recent times would not ignore the antics of Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, Theophilus Danjuma and Ibrahim Babangida.
Their gathering of the storm plus the personality of the current President, Muhammad Buhari readily explain and remind of the place of the military and its ex-men in the affairs of Nigeria.
There is no doubt about this! All is not well with Nigeria as a country. It would seem that the hopes raised by the emergence of Buhari as the President of Nigeria after Goodluck Jonathan peaked the 16 years of misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party have vanished into the air just like that. The bulk of the issues that defined and shaped political debates, angered Nigerians and placed the country at the precipice pre-2015, giving Buhari an easy ride, have assumed perhaps more frightening dimensions.
The Jonathan administration became helpless in the hands of insurgents to the extent American opinion leaders concluded there was no government in existence here. Boko Haram simply lorded it over us as a people; hoisted flags everywhere; imposed taxes; ran parallel governments while the bulk of the resources meant for tackling terrorism went into private bank accounts through the conduit of PDP’s campaign offices and gladiators.
Everywhere, it was a known story that Nigeria’s main source of revenue was more under the control of hijackers who also went ahead to ‘kill’ the price of crude at the international market. The result was that a product that sold for $114 by 2014 came crashing to $38 throwing Nigeria’s economy into a storm never witnessed before.
And since “stealing was not corruption” as we were made to believe by Jonathan and his men, Nigeria slipped into an era of moral decadence where robbery was becoming a state-permitted act. We simply had no answer to when Nigeria became a “fantastically corrupt nation.” Nigeria had been messed up.
The Ikoyi-Luxury Tower cash depot, the Kaduna cash warehouse owned by former Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu; the Dasuki-gate and many others have gone down to explain why Nigeria is crippled. But didn’t the NNPC boss then, Andrew Yakubu tell Nigerians no money was missing under him even while the then Minister of Finance, Prof Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her Petroleum counterpart, Diezzani Alison-Madueke, fell over one another battling to shut the then Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi Lamido up over the sleaze that amounted to stealing too much for the owner not to see even when blind?
Well, let’s be contented with the belief that not much of sleaze would be heard under the Buhari administration until perhaps another regime comes to open the rump of the chicken should the opposition be strong enough to sweep the incumbent away.
Back to the wisemen. As earlier stated in this piece, even if all appears to be hazy, and the political class appears to be in a state of flux, Nigerians who recall military tactics the type the trio of Obasanjo, Danjuma and Babangida were stewed in would not go to sleep hoping all is quiet for nothing. The constituency from which Buhari emerged appears to be cooking up a coup which only Buhari should guide the way to preventing. Obasanjo’s biting letter of January, followed by the birth of the coalition which is now fusing into the African Democratic Congress looks like a segment of the entire plot by the retired wing of the Nigerian military establishment to pull the carpet off the feet of the Daura-born General.
The open allegation that the Buhari administration tacitly backs the marauding herdsmen killing on the Plateau, the Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and other farmlands made by Danjuma represents another segment of the plot to water the grounds for the coming ‘coup.’ Apart from the civil war, I doubt if any part of Nigeria had witnessed the killing fields to which these parts of Nigeria were converted before the military stepped in to arrest the tide. Even at that, the killings have not stopped in its entirety and that further brings down the rating of this government in the estimation of the people especially in that axis of the country.
The same goes for Babangida who has listed reasons for which Buhari cannot seek re-election. And that gives further fillip to the fact that the hands of the military establishment is tenaciously still holding on to Nigeria and won’t want to be relegated to the background over who gets what anytime soon.
Thinking about it deeply, there is a sad commentary here. None of the bigwigs who are out today with cudgels aimed at the jugular of the Buhari administration could be exonerated from the unenviable position Nigeria finds herself.
It is equally sad that while millions of Nigerian youths spend money to vote for their choices on Big Brother Naija shows; spend millions for tickets at concerts and comedy shows, the farce that daily defines the real tragedies of their lives hardly get any mention beyond the feeble interests of a few who are comically seeking to replace Buhari.
The point being made is this: If Buhari does not deserve another four years, if his avowed battle against corruption won’t count for anything, if the fact that free money has dried up at the nation’s capital, the war to end Buhari’s regime should not be mongered by the ilk of Obasanjo, Babangida, Danjuma and those who belong to their generation. Nigeria needs a fresh breath.