Buhari’s Two Days Ministerial Retreat In Hindsight

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Iyoha John Darlington

image20151106111428There are so many concerned Nigerians that have written countless columns that start with cogent analyses and end with logical and sometimes with illogical conclusions. On which side does one place this writer? Either on the former or the latter; this depends wholly on individual perception.

Doubtless, our recycled men of the moment lack the quality of detachment. No sane mind would dispute this. They in all honesty lack the ability to let the difficult facts of reality work resulting from cloudy and senseless affiliations. We see them at various times striving for the boastful whose work have led our potentially great nation nowhere.

However, it stands to reason and is logical that political affiliations have been allowed to override national interest under the existing circumstances. Buhari’s legion of angels we patiently and anxiously waited for to help in the day-to-day running of a supposedly new Nigeria have been ultimately unveiled but only to discover the same crop of men who have been so naive, so brutally cynical and hardened, so willfully ignorant in using levers of power to produce some tangible incremental good. The protests that trailed the ministerial nominees were cast overboard, a pointer to the fact that Nigerians have no say who decides their future. So disheartening, if you ask me!

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Genuinely eagle-eyed Nigerians would not only see Buhari’s legion of angels as masters at destruction but also incompetent at construction. This inference had to be inevitably drawn in one’s capacity as a participant-observer in the unfolding democratic scenario since Nigeria returned to civil democratic rule some 16 years ago. We had hoped for a ‘platoon’ of competent technocrats to bring about effective governance and not rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions, and philosophical betrayals.

There is no denying the fact that intellectual humility which the ruling progressives adopted in their campaign prior to the general elections has been abandoned for right-wing radicalism and more worrisome is the fact that some of the rulers of our land have suddenly metamorphosed into insurgents and revolutionaries and this tends towards anarchy. Is all well in a country battling jihadist insurgents, reactionaries and secessionists in the northeast, southwest and southeast respectively?

President Buhari must take into account the views expressed by everyone in Nigeria not only his partisans and apologists because as the president of Nigeria the needful must be done by accommodating all shades of opinion in the interest of national reconciliation. Also to be constantly borne in mind in the course of ruling over 170 million Nigerians is the incontrovertible fact that politics is the process of making decisions amid diverse opinions and this involves calm deliberations, self-discipline, the capacity to listen to other points of view and balance valid but competing ideas and interests. All of this as one can see today has been overturned as voices of reason have become prisoners in their own prose styles.

In a bid to regenerate Nigeria, what we genuinely stand in need of is a departure from parochial attitudes and interests, incompetence, lies, bullying, and cynicism. In a complex landscape like Nigeria, a sense of proportion with a warm passion is deemed absolutely necessary to impel action at this material time.

Noteworthy is the naked truth that to move that great country forward south of the Sahara, the country must be seen as one organic whole, the stage must be set for incremental change and the cast of actors must rehearse properly for lasting reforms, recite familiar lines by employing precedence, balance, order with a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible. It is not uncommon for Nigerians to fall into different classes and political factions, common sense demands that we be treated equally in such a way that commands ultimate loyalty and love. Anything short of this, I dare say, is a recipe for disaster.

Frankly, what ignites my contempt for Abuja in this era of transformational political change is the crop of men who made the most lavish spendings imaginable that resulted in shutdowns in the not too distant and immediate pasts called upon again as custodians of our common patrimony. There is no restating the obvious here: Inconvenient facts have been ignored, voices of reason are being treated as aliens, anti-political political ethos has produced stewards of jaw-dropping incompetence.

Could this be part of what Steven Bilakovics saw when he wrote his book titled ”Democracy Without Politics” or put differently ”Politics Without Democracy”? This agitates me extremely.

Iyoha John Darlington, an opinion leader and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.

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