The APC hoopla and promises of change in the course of the campaign was always going to be a scam. Yet, while I always knew the change stuff was a scam and always held that Muhammadu Buhari given his antecedents of sectionalism was unfit to rule a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society like Nigeria, I never expected to be vindicated so soon in the life of the administration. But as the days go by, Buhari has increasingly demonstrated that he didn’t come to power with a broad based Nigerian agenda but with a narrow primordial Northern agenda which is increasingly self evident in his appointments. In the latest tally, Buhari has made a total of seventeen appointments with fourteen for the North, two for the Southwest, one for the South South and none for the Southeast. In all, the North has got fourteen appointments while the South has only three. Buhari has evidently come to power with a very vindictive and bigoted worldview that is focused on returning Nigeria to the dark days of the “born to rule” agenda that was for decades the hallmark of northern misrule.
The fact that Buhari who came to power on a platform of change can abandon the simple dictates of natural justice, the constitutional requirement for federal character and the urgent necessity of nation building to appoint a cabinet that not only severely limits the South but totally excludes the Southeast that constitutes one of the three largest ethnic groups indicate a dangerous slide to the dark days of northern domination and injustice. The dominant discourse in recent days is Buhari’s bigotry and disregard for Nigeria’s delicate diversity, which in itself is a severe indictment of Buhari’s administration, having come to power on promises of change. It does seem that for Buhari, change means not nation building, bridge building or the pursuit of national integration but a return to the erstwhile injustices, marginalisation and domination that birthed the strident campaign for a sovereign national conference. As I observed in a previous article, even in states, including the homogenous ones, care is taken to balance appointments across all parts of the state. If states and even homogenous ones for that matter can painstakingly balance appointments across every part of the state, why should Buhari violate such a fundamental and sensitive issue in a diverse and already fractious nation to the extent that it has become a national discourse?
In all honesty, I am not surprised about Buhari’s primitive tribalism. In an earlier article prior to the presidential elections I had said that “much of the present Muhammadu Buhari amalgam of hypocrites is not because anything has changed in the essential attributes of Muhamadu Buhari that caused his earlier electoral rejections but because some opportunistic politicians are once again seeking a platform to serve their individual interests with the deceptive slogan of change. Muhamadu Buhari’s character and persona has and remains a problem for very good reasons. It is not for nothing that his handlers have been in overdrive trying to humanise him. Buhari as an individual constitutes one of the greatest fault lines that has crippled Nigeria. Not only does he come from a military constituency that has not acquitted itself in its management of Nigeria leading to a ruinous pogrom, civil war and the subsequent tyranny, tribalism, looting and misrule of Nigeria, he also comes from the North that has practically held the rest of the nation hostage, instituted all forms of internal colonialism, marginalisation, social injustice, corruption, domination (born to rule), ethno-religious conflicts and ultimately wrecked the nation.
Buhari has all his life played the politics of tribalism, religious fundamentalism and sectionalism. It’s no surprise given his antecedents, actions and pronouncements that he overtime acquired the image of an ogre which has necessitated the current efforts to humanise him. Nigerians recognise in Buhari a rabid tribalist and religious fundamentalist who has no respect or regards for the nations diversity. He represents the core North and all the negative innuendos and bad experience that goes with the born to rule system, the oppression, the marginalisation, the injustices and the misrule of Northern leadership that has crippled the nation and widened her ethnic and religious divisions. I concluded by saying that for many the fear is justifiable that a Buhari presidency will herald a return to the nightmare of Northern rule with all it represents. It is one thing to physically humanise a man with photo ops and slogans, but to what extent has the man’s mind been humanised? Buhari’s handlers have tried to humanise him with photo ops but I and so many others are not convinced that his mind which is more in need of such has been humanised.”
How I have been vindicated. Every fear, suspicion and antecedents of Buhari that I raised in the previous article have played out in less than two months of his presidency. It is noteworthy that Buhari himself has not bothered about contradicting the idea of change with which his campaign was marketed. Change was simply a scam and since Buhari has achieved his ultimate aim of winning power, he has gone ahead to disregard the change brouhaha and unfold his real agenda which all along was a northern agenda as I and many others warned. The only problem is that Buhari’s sins of tribalism will fuel nationalism and secessionist movements as is already happening with Radio Biafra and the Lower Niger Congress self determination movements with likely unintended consequences that might finally lead to the increasingly inevitable balkanisation of this hopeless country.
As for the APC crisis that has turned the national assembly into a boxing ring, that too was predictable except for the gullible Nigerians that allowed themselves to be deceived. When non-ideological, corrupt and opportunist politicians many from the same ruling PDP who in pursuit of their personal interests decamped to the APC, joining up with equally non-ideological, corrupt and self serving APC politicians that have become world famous for mismanagement/owing workers salaries in excess of eleven months, you get the chaos, infighting and power struggle that is now the name of the game. Nigerian politicians are essentially the same and the APC was just an amalgam of opportunist criminals and bigots from different parties who converged for the purposes of actualising their personal interests. The change campaign was thus just a scam that was used to deceive the gullible while the real agenda was always about the self interests of individual politicians. The prevailing political crisis from Buhari’s sectionalism to the power struggle in the national assembly is what you get when self interest and Buhari’s northern agenda masquerades as change. Good morning Nigeria!
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Tuesday, 4 August 2015