Chaos, confusion, sorrow, tears, blood … but no anarchy yet. Or are we there already?
The bloodletting is so much that if the ground could talk, it would since have raised the alarm over our seeming determination to drown it with blood. Blood of the innocent, mostly.
Those who were not killed by Boko Haram are dispatched by their kindred spirit killer herders, curious cattle rustlers, kidnappers, militants, armed robbers, police stray bullets, hired assassins on our highways whom we erroneously refer to as bus and articulated vehicle drivers, ritualists, political thugs, and, of course, the omnibus ‘unknown gunmen.’
Sometimes, the police, in order to save themselves the trouble of detailed investigations, lump everything together as ‘unknown gunmen.’ Pressed further, they would dismiss the bloodletting as ethnic clashes. And if we persist on getting explanations, we are told, from the highest offices in the land, that it was a reprisal attack – as if it has now become legit for whoever is offended (whether real or imagined) to take the law into his or her hands.
On other instances, when the culprits are identified, instead of arresting them, we either send a delegation to go beg the felons (with monetary gifts) to stop the attacks, or we blindly grant them amnesty – and still reward them for their crimes.
As for the father of all the madness, Boko Haram, more than a year after we claimed to have defeated them, we’re still voting money to fight them. More than a year after we claimed to have reclaimed Sambisa forest from the insurgents, we are still capturing parts of the same Sambisa forest. All that we can decipher on the political horizon is nationwide confusion – sometimes rehearsed, and sometimes spontaneous.
The late prophet and Afrobeat maestro Fela Anikulapo-Kuti saw it all. Said it all. Sang it all. And, I’m sure, would be smiling in his grave now, having truly earned his deserved rest.
It is only a pity that those of us for whom he sang, and preached, and admonished, and warned seem to have our ears unforgivingly clogged up by the wicked witches and wizards of our respective villages. So, we either did not hear a thing or we chose not to listen.
The result is that, more than two decades after Fela took his glorious exit, we have continued to run in circles, making the same unforced errors over and over again.
It is even worse today, as the god of confusion is reined loose on the land. The leaders and their followers are acting like the proverbial man marked for destruction by the gods, whom they first have to make mad. Policies, politics and politicians are not only out of sync with each other, but also with one another. There seems to be no co-ordination. Even with a petroleum minister president, we are ‘enjoying’ one of our longest runs of fuel scarcity. And who can honestly answer this question: have we really scrapped the paying of subsidy?
Like in the Goodluck Jonathan government, presidential powers are being exercised from no fewer than five power centres. Key ‘presidential’ appointments are either made, reversed or revalidated without the President’s knowledge. The same goes for government policies and actions. Sometimes, a mere administrative directive of an MDA over-rides the constitution of the country. Confusion, mixed with malicious obedience!
The party, and the government, in power is at war with itself. Everyone seems to be pulling in different directions. Curiously, they all claim to want to move Nigeria forward. Unfortunately, we don’t even know which direction is the ‘forward’ they want to take us. Is it forward to the past? Forward to a future into which we have neither compass nor guiding map? Or forward along the same circle?
Meanwhile, as the entire land is being soaked in tears and blood (including those of the innocent secondary school children from Misau), our politicians seem to be preoccupied with only one thing: 2019, election timetable, Third Force, decamping, and just about anything that would give them a selfish edge in the next election.
That’s why they headed to Daura (allegedly to commiserate with the President over the death of one of his relations), while some 40 Nigerians, slaughtered by unknown gunmen (since we can neither call them Fulani nor herdsmen), were being buried in Birane, Zamfara State.
It would appear it is because of this desperation to secure their 2019 future that we are now getting positive vibes on otherwise abominable talks about state police, restructuring, etc.
And, of course, they have suddenly realized that the ruling All Progressive Congress is in need of reconciliation. Enter Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu. National leader and the key cornerstone they were, until recently, treating as the rejected stone. Hmmm.
For me, however, the first major task Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has to do for us all is to reconcile Buhari with himself. Put separately, Asiwaju has to reconcile GMB with PMB. For, clearly, there is a disconnect between the Buhari persona and today’s President Buhari – unless, of course, we’d all along been sold lemon all these many years.
How could you be talking of reconciliation yet all your attack dogs are on the loose, hounding the very people you’re supposed to be reconciling with?
DSS has yet to settle with EFCC. Yet, NIA is waiting in the wings. Magu is on the neck of CCT chairman – which seems to actually be a proxy war with Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Of course, one is not saying that the anti-graft war should stop, simply because APC wants to reconcile with itself. No! It’s just that the party (and its government) would appear more purposeful if it could refrain from opening too many battlefronts at the same time and causing itself too many self-inflicted injuries, friendly fires, own goals.
But how can we want to secure second term, yet we are looking away while someone is trying to mess Kwankwaso up. We forget that those mind-boggling two million votes that came in from Kano did not happen without Kwankwaso’s knowledge. Simply put, that seeming block vote of Kano – which, basically, was the difference between Jonathan and Buhari’s total votes, is now threatened because the Kwakwansiyya movement is unhappy. It reminds me of what happened in Abia State during the last presidential election. Jonathan was misled into working with the T.A. Orji group, instead of the Orji Kalu group. The result was that the state that regularly returned over a million votes suddenly came up with just over 300,000 votes.
You sent Tinubu to reconcile the party, yet the persecution of Saraki continues. And Saraki has Kwara and a large chunk of the National Assembly. And the PDP has clearly shown it is not averse to working with him again.
You’re calling for reconciliation on one hand while, on the other hand, you’ve continued to alienate Samuel Ortom and his Benue people. Or has PMB decided to cut his losses and let Benue go? Or would he rather capture them than reconcile with them?
So, what are they really asking Tinubu to do? Or is someone simply setting up the Jagaban to fail?
Are we now going to judge him with this job that seems doomed? Is this the proverbial case of sending a little kid on an errand with salt and then sending the rain after him? Is it to demystify the Jagaban?
How come APC is just waking up? So what had Buhari and APC been doing all these past three years? Sleep-walking? Or, as better captured by Prof. Wole Soyinka, has someone been in a trance?
You suddenly start talking about restructuring, yet your governors are busy frustrating local government autonomy through their lapdog houses of assembly. Now, isn’t local government autonomy a major plank of restructuring?
You talk of restructuring, yet the Presidency does not want Benue State House of Assembly to make laws for the good governance of the state. The Presidency is insisting on a rather pre-historic grazing corridor regime. And colonies too. Confusion has no better definition!
But I still see some order in this seeming confusion: Those who appropriated PMB and held him hostage ever since he stepped into Aso Rock have suddenly realised the lie in all that talk about how the masses still love Buhari and would still vote for him. They have suddenly realised that, although the masses “loved Buhari in ANPP and in CPC,” they could not make him president until certain people from ACN, PDP and APGA backed him.
What I now see is that proverbial Yoruba saying of calling malu (cow) boda (big brother), in other to be allowed to eat cow meat.
That is why I foresee a situation whereby many people would demand to be settled upfront before they can agree to be reconciled to Buhari and the APC.
*Follow me on twitter @steve_nwosu