Buhari and Prospects of Reboot

The Horizon By KAYODE KOMOLAFE, Email: kayode.komolafe@thisdaylive.com. Tel No: 08055001974

THE HORIZON By  Kayode Komolafe        Kayode.Komolafe@thisdaylive.com

With 19 months to the end of the term, those who still nurse some optimism about the Buhari government can only hope that it is not too late for the administration to fulfil the promises made to the people in 2015.

This is not the first time that this reporter would suggest to Buhari to reboot. During the President’s first anniversary in office, the matter was put like this: ”To be sure, Buhari didn’t promise a magic or an El Dorado. But he told the people that he would tackle insecurity, fix the economy and fight corruption.” That statement still remains valid. A year later, the turn of events has proved the axiom that Buhari does not have eternity to reset the button of his administration to govern in the interest of the people.

So what exactly are the prospects of a reboot of the 29-month old government of President Muhammadu Buhari? For the arch political opponents and even some not-so partisan pessimists, of course, the prospects are getting slimmer by the day. And the views of the critics should be taken more seriously than those in power are doing. The mentality that governance could be taken leisurely should be discarded forthwith if the administration wants to reboot. The first thing that those who still expect a measure of performance from the administration should, therefore, tell the President is that time is not on his side anymore. That is the consciousness of the need for a reboot. In serious terms, nothing so far suggests that this consciousness is prevalent in Abuja

Yet, in the last few days, some activities taking place in Abuja would seem to be an attempt to reclaim the momentum lost way back in the first six months of the administration. The President told his party chiefs yesterday that more ministers would come on board and boards of parastatals and agencies would be constituted. You wonder what is the political wisdom in waiting for 29 months to constitute those boards, which have statutory roles to perform in making the agencies function. Meanwhile, party members desirous of being appointed in the boards increasingly get alienated.

In another dimension, the party in power, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is apparently be reawakened from its dormancy to see the need for organisation. The party has played no role in defending its policies (if any) in over two years in power. It is as if the 2015 electoral success got APC stupefied. This may partly explain why party Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is facing protests from some party members.

Now its job is going to be more challenging because if nature abhors a vacuum, politics does not even give room for a vacuum. The other main party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appears to be more serious about organisation. Despite the paralysis of the party due to some strange litigation, the PDP is pulling itself together.

The campaigns of some of its chairmanship candidates are more worthy of attention than those of some presidential candidates in past elections. Now, this is quite healthy for democracy. The several factions of APC are getting the notice that in the game of power, the field is hardly empty of players, strong or weak. The situation will even be democratically enriching if some other parties could be oxygenated to mount serious challenges by presenting alternative paths to development. The divergent organisational efforts would add up to give the electorate meaningful choices in 2019.

However, it should be stressed that the divergence of the parties is certainly not ideological. The parties should be programmatic in outlook; they should be defined by their ideas and programmes. In this respect, what is said about APC could also be said about the other parties.

The prospects of rejuvenation would, of course, depend on some factors. One factor is that of the vision thing. Since Buhari is talking about the possibility of doing something about his team, perhaps it is not too late to repeat the point this reporter once made on this page: beyond the individual competencies of the officers the organising principle of the administration also matters a great deal.

This is where the vision becomes an imperative. If the Buhari administration likes to embark on visioning, it should ask the critical question: why is it that rather being reduced, poverty has exacerbated in the land despite the visions and strategies of the past? The administration should provide a compass for the team to work with by articulating a strategy of development beyond executing random projects and contracts.

The economic team of Buhari should ponder why past efforts at visioning did not work as expected. It is important to look back since the dominant voices in Abuja seem to be echoes of the recent past about “liberalisation, privatisation and foreign investments.” Similar voices have been heard in the last 30 years in the name of the Structural Adjustment Programme of former President Ibrahim Babangida, Vision 2010 under Abacha, the National Empowerment and Economic Development Strategy (NEEDS) of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Transformation Agenda of Jonathan. Some lessons should, therefore, be learnt from our recent economic history.
The Buhari admiration has lost valuable time. The foregoing ought to have been settled in the first six months of administration when it was preparing to the take-off.

Unfortunately, unlike in the game of football, there would be no injury time for the Buhari admiration and APC, which has been lacerating itself as soon as its victory was declared. However, a reminder is apposite in the circumstance. In giving a fresh impetus to the style and substance of his administration Buhari should be mindful of his journey to power and the role of the poor in it. There must be a bias for the poor in policy design and implementation for a number of reasons. First, democratically the poor are in the majority.

If policy is aimed at the “greatest good of the greatest number” it must have discernible anti-poverty thrusts. That is why the administration should be wary of being railroaded into taking some anti-people austerity measures in a country where it amounts to venturing into a state secret to know what lawmakers earn because of what the scandalous figures say about inequality in the system. If there should be cuts, the social spending should be exempted because of its horizontal impact on the people’s daily lives.

Secondly, the poor read economic indices not merely in the graphs of “shrinking growth”, but in their empty stomachs, ignorance, disease and squalor. So the policy focus should also be on tackling the burgeoning poverty and worsening inequality. The tension out there is exacerbated by the scandalous inequality in the land with which members the elite are yet to come to terms as they exercise hegemony in all spheres of life.

Another factor is that of policy articulation. The admnistration is famously incoherent. Buhari would not be the first president that lacking eloquence in marshalling economic arguments. President Ronald Reagan was not good at policy details. But he had a vision and a competent team. He had the capacity to inspire the team. The asset of the immense moral capital of Buhari has been unduly wasted. Besides, Buhari has a passion for the welfare of the poor. The President is on record to have wondered how governors could sleep well when civil servants are not paid.

These moral assets are lost in the policy disarticulation, incoherence and internecine fights within the Buhari team. The antidote to the incipient mass anxiety and sense of despair is action from those who got the mandate to govern. The best response to the rising expectations of the people is not official impatience. Instead of talking down on the people, members of the administration should, as a matter of accountability, strenuously explain to the people how progress is being made in revamping infrastructure, fighting poverty and tackling insecurity.

Some members of the Buhari team are making efforts in this important job of explaining to the people. There is certainly room for improvement in this regard. More members of the team should cultivate this habit of defending policies.
All told, perhaps it is not too late for the administration to gird its loins to fulfil its promise to the people. The prospects of a reboot may no more be there by this time next year.

  • moribund9ja

    From the writer’s solemn counseling, which is the exact message of this piece, it appears the he wants to package or rather repackage Buhari and APC for second term.

    Well, I wish Kayode good luck in his suicide mission.

  • Mystic mallam

    Thank God for Mr AA. At last, he’s on the road to Damascus and the scales of buharist blindness are coming off his eyes. Hope he gets to the destination soon enough before Buhari announces his 2nd term run. This time AA and other Saint buharistas should join us in demanding that candidate Buhari must present himself for TV debates along with other candidates. Let’s see then how many Nigerians of good conscience would be cheering for a man most of us his countrymen and women can hardly understand let alone foreigners. Don’t they have any shame ever, those encouraging this man to run again.

  • ychukwuka

    Wisdom varies and sometimes eludes those who it will naturally come to by age or education. I am surprised why some intellectuals here are doing U-turn as it concerns Buhari. It beats my imagination how well respected folks in this column based on high education and age couldn’t see through the facade of Buhari! why? Is it that they were tribalistic, mischievous, bribed or what? Must we vote? Some said they voted Buhari to sack Jonathan. Does it make sense to sell a dog of the house to buy a monkey? I never voted for Jonathan or Buhari. The former because of disappointment that he couldn’t impact positively even on his people in the South South and the later because he has always being a wicked, hard-hearted fanatic and tribalist. One will question the effect of my ‘sitting on the fence’ but at least I have the moral courage of praying against the wickedness of the present govt. Another election is in the offing-where are the good men? Now PDP and APC have ceded it to the ‘wise’ men of the North, we all know where it will lead us! Can’t we all clamour for referendum, restructuring before election or galvanise people to boycott this election even if unsuccessful will send a reverberating signal to the globe that all is not well. My opinion though.

    • Jon West

      You are quite right. The Kenyans have just shown that you cannot be compelled to vote in an election, where you cannot, in all conscience, vouch for the credibility of the candidates. We should boycott the 2019 election until a referendum to determine the future of Nigeria is undertaken. The idea of a Northern President in 2019, is a guarantee of the continous slide to the abyss of state failure and the road to perdition. To hell with Nigeria!!

      • power

        If we boycott the elections in Nigeria come 2019, The Military will take over immediately, and it will be a monumental disaster. There should be elections. However, we must continue to hold rallies and peaceful protests to make sure that our leaders heed the call for devolution of powers. I do not want Nigeria to break up. But I want each state to generate its funds and reduce the powers of the “center.”

        • Jon West

          No, if we boycott elections in 2019, Buhari will win with 100% Northern votes and will rule without any credibility, leading to economic collapse and the end of Nigeria as we know it. There will be no military coup, as the Army is no longer an ethnic institution. Kenya is an eye-opener. The country will soon end up like Zimbabwe, thanks to an election that threw up an ethnic President. We need to do something drastic, to save us from the misrule of those that the Greek philosopher, Socrates, described as fools.

          • Country man

            Can a people who dont know any better, come together for an ideological revolution? I seriously doubt that, tho I hope I am wrong.
            If the people actually understood the kind of squalor we all live in, they would either kill themselves or all their leaders; or come out in mass and DEMAND the right thing.
            Most Nigerians are like people born blind. How do you explain color to them?

          • Jon West

            Your last two sentences make me depressed, because they are so true.

  • American Abroad

    Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare
    Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te- Martial (I, 32, 1).

    In one of the apocryphal tales of burnt-brick English colleges, in this case, Christ College at Oxford, the Olde English satirist and poet, Tom Brown was saved from being “sent down” in ignominy, by virtue of his inspired and impromptu translation of the Martial epigram, which goes thus:
    I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
    The reason why I cannot tell
    But this I know, and know full well
    I do not love thee, Dr Fell.

    In like manner, I do not love Mr Buhari, probably for reasons that are somewhat less far-fetched than would apply to the foreboding Dr Fell, ex-Dean of Christ College. Mr Buhari, our President, is not a cuddly, lovable type, and indeed he is, in many respects, an acquired taste. But I always respected him, for his integrity, his proselytizing zeal, his asceticism, and above all, his love for country. All those supposedly innate qualities are now going up in smoke.

    Together, with the plurality of Nigerians, we supported Mr Buhari and all had very high hopes for this administration. He wasn’t our first choice, second choice, perhaps not even our tenth choice, but he was eminently preferable to the bumbling Mr Jonathan. It would be a travesty were history to ultimately reverse that important “selling point”, as now seems increasingly likely. Alas, unbelievably, we have stumbled from an Emperor with no shoes to an Emperor with no clothes. On election, Mr Buhari enunciated the major goals of his administration, which would be the military defeat of Boko Haram, the end of Corruption, the Rebirth of Nigeria as a land of opportunity and hope, and two other objectives, whispered sotto voce, the degradation of PDP and finding oil within the arid Chad Basin. The last objective was never even mentioned: remaking Nigeria in the image of the North.

    It is that last goal, above all else, that presently threatens the existence of Nigeria.

    A presidential tenure realistically lasts 3 years, as the last 12 months is subsumed by frantic politicking, and all governance subsumed by the decibels of partisanship. Knowing all that, Mr Buhari selected to waste his first 6 months of leadership, searching frantically for the Incorruptible Man to help his government. Even then, I warned him on these same BackPages of the curse of Diogenes Syndrome, a politically deadly cult of perfection named after Diogenes the Cynic (412-323 BC), who achieved lasting Grecian notoriety for scouring the alleys and backwaters of Ancient Athens in broad daylight, torchlight in hand, peering into empty caskets and garbage, searching for an “Honest Man”. Diogenes, like Mr Buhari, never found that Honest Man, but in the process, became destitute and unkempt as his never-ending forage progressed, which rightly earned him the derision of his peers and the mocking sobriquet from Plato, who named him “Socrates Gone Mad”. Diogenes was, in effect, the very first almajiri, having been reduced to a life of begging for alms for his very subsistence. Cue in a litany of errors, miscues, mistakes and outright WTF moments in this Presidency, and you begin to wonder why Mr Buhari sought this singular job in the first place. His unprecedented parochialism, completely unleavened by either intellect, charisma or affability, and untethered to any organizing principle, threatens to make a mockery of the constitution and the concept of federalism. Even when he tries to make much-needed amends, he still contrives to shoot himself in the foot: he fires Babachir, his erstwhile Secretary to Government, then turns around to appoint Mr Babachir’s cousin as replacement! Worse, a senior government apparatchik, the errant Mr Babachir, is fired almost in the dark, without a White Paper laying out the Whys and Wherefores, except for a vague Flat Earth Report from the office of the Vice-President, which absolves everybody, sanctifies all things, minimizes all crimes, perfumes most wrongs. How can we fight corruption without Due Process? Does our President understand that firing Babachir is not nearly as important as institutionalizing ethics in government? Not to be outdone, the APC bigwigs recently meeting in Abuja, have allegedly passed a “vote of full confidence” -their words, not mine- on Mr Buhari. Does our President appreciate that a vote of confidence is the first sign of distrust? Now, the President is threatening to enlarge his cabinet to bring in “fresh blood and new ideas”. Sir, how about sending the entire witless pack home?

    Amazingly, even the long-suffering Colonel Hammed Ali, a straightforward patriotic element, is at pains to distance himself from the Sai Babarian crowd. Like most, he has begun to question the cognitive fitness of Mr Buhari for high office. This is not the Buhari of old, not the Buhari of my childhood memory. Or maybe it really was, perhaps this is Buhari as he truly was, without the restraint of restless fellow coup-mongers, without the agility of spartan youth, without proximity to new knowledge, without the backbone of an Idiagbon, without the bitterness of repeated political failures, without having learnt all the wrong lessons from the dark events of 1984. In 2017, Mr Buhari has clearly lost his sheen; he has lately acquired the gift of the sorcerer’s apprentice, being able to turn even rare wine into water. He has squandered the enthusiasm of his people, debunked his own mythology, and reversed decades of a painstaking journey into true nationhood for my ill-served country of birth.

    This country is in slow-motion crisis, imploding from within, visibly dissolving into its component allegiances: tribe over nation, religion over morality, state over country, money over substance, cant over intellect. The Critics have long left Mr Buhari’s side, most can still be found on these BackPages; they were promptly followed by the Conscientious Objectors, doughty folks aligned to a Phoenix-like vision of Biafra or Oduduwa or Arewa; they, in turn, were followed by the Prisoners of Conscience, those Young & Irate crowd, impatient for a new and improved Nigeria, and tired of waiting; then, the Middle-Roaders, folks like me, are now departing in droves; next will come the Reluctant Rebels, the last of the Sai Barbarians, and finally, at long last, the Opportunists will also go home. In case you wonder, those will be the Sarakis, the Barus, the Amaechis, the Ministerial cortege, and of course, the elegantly solipsistic Mr Oyegun.

    I hope they remember to turn off the lights on their way out.

    • Fidelis A.

      “Does our President appreciate the common cliche that a vote of confidence is the first sign of MISTRUST”? This sums up what just took place yesterday at their NEC meeting. That they could not endorse the EMPEROR for a second term was a pointer that the EMPEROR is not only stack naked but also walking headlessly with no one to tell him that he is naked. What a band of TREACHEROUS party men! Dem really ‘love’ their President.

      • FrNinja

        Not treachery but political calculation. They are awaiting to see what 2018 portends for Nigeria.

    • power

      I, at this moment, Sign an executive order mandating American Abroad to contest the 2019 Presidential elections. This is a masterpiece from you. The questions I keep asking myself every day are; why is it hard for us to elect competent leaders? Why do we continuously recycle Old hags? Why are most Nigerians so docile in the face of adversities, pains, constant cries and loss of hope for decades? Why can’t we get it right when we have one of the best resources on earth? What is wrong with the black race?

      • Fowad

        Nigeria is a black state. It means those characteristics displayed by blacks everywhere is present in Nigeria. Lack of respect for the constitution. No respect for rules. Lack of respect for fellow blacks. People refusing to do what is right in their little corner but thinking it has no effect on the overall political culture and the health of nation. No interest in implementing policy so the poor should not benefit and enjoy what your children are enjoying. Think of what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you. This message is for the president as it is for YOU

        • power

          You are smart. But the black race can look up to the “White race” to emulate them. We do not. I shake my head

      • Chym

        Cos Nigeria from foundation is not built to be great. The only solution is division

        • power

          Our leaders/Government officials that do come from each region/State What have they done to uplift lives with the trillions of Naira they have gotten so far? Is division our solution? No way. We need Good governance.

          • “Korede

            Tell them my brother

          • remm ieet

            We need to deconstruct our political parties and make them relevant at the grassroots level. Our elitist party system is not working. We need strong party system at the local government level where a flurry of political activities go on to get people involved in a participatory fashion.The current political parties will be paying lip service to restructuring if this is not reflected in their structure now.

          • Darcy

            LOUD IT!!!!

          • power

            But do you think that the “political parties” are our problems? Or the people who run the political parties? If we do not change our systemic values to create better lives for ourselves. There is no way on earth we can move forward even if Nigeria is restructured today. What have we done with the enormous funds that were budgeted to better our lives in each State/Local government since democracy was birthed in Nigeria? NADA!

          • Chym

            What people that reason like you fails to understand about life is that you can’t build on nothing. No matter how you tries to correct a building with a faulty foundation it will still be faulty unless it is brought down and the foundation start up again you will never get your desires building, this is the case with Nigeria. Now if some children are from a family where their father abuse (there mother) his wife there’s 90% possibility that the children especially the boys must act like there father in future, this is also the case with Nigeria.

            We need a good governance according to you. Everyone likes good governance me inclusive but we have been asking for a good governance for 54+ yrs since our independence still we’re in a fail state and you forgot that these people who you want to bring good governance to the center is coming from a rotten backgrounds(states). This was same mistake Nigerians made by electing Buhari whom they claimed would fight corruption cos according to them Nigeria problem is “corruption ” and the “only” person to do that is Buhari. Remember that when former President Obama visited Africa he told Africans to stop looking for strong leaders but they should rather look for strong institutions. Now I understand what Obama meant cos strong institutions are there to direct incompetent visionless leaders like Buhari but strong men only last for a while. I laugh when I heard people saying corruption is the problem of Nigeria, let me tell you…. Nigeria major problem is ethnicity and foundation not corruption.

            Let’s run our system of government like it’s done elsewhere eg Europe, America etc where government works. Division or Devolve power to the regions where people will hold their own leaders accountable not as its now where everyone want to eat the national cake.

        • “Korede

          And the states too are not build to be great . divide them further !!!

    • Jon West

      If a fool were to continue in his folly, he would become wise, so sai the Wise One. Its also never too late to o the right thing. On the basis of the foregoing, I therefore welcome my dear friend and brother AA ,to reality. However, I always wondered while an obviously talented intellectual, could not see through Mohammadu (or is it Mohamed ?) Buhari’s congenital incompetence for the job of President or even local Government councilor. Yes, Jonathan was incompetent, but you do not counter incompetence with crass stupidity.

      • power

        Shots fired from Jon West to the ever Intellectual American Abroad. Now the battle begins between “Messi and Ronaldo.” I blame Nigerians for voting an old brain dead, retired man to power in 2015. It beats my imagination why we cannot elect the right leaders. Why do we always fail in leadership? Why my dear people.

        • Gary

          We can never have competent and qualified leadership if we insist on letting knaves, uneducated autocrats who give short shrift to due process (yes that infernal term) dominate the political space based largely ethno-sectarian allegiance.
          In short, you need democrats (body and soul) to practice democracy. That we have never had and the closest we came to it I will argue was on June 12, 1993. Alas, the baby was deliberately strangled by the midwife with its own birth cord.
          Nigeria’s Fourth Republic was designed (constitutionally and birthed (political arrangement and recruitment) in fraud.

          The caricature we created was never intended to have popular democratic participation from the grassroots up like the Americans we copied. So it’s easy to bribe a largely illiterate and hungry community at the ward or local level with money and a bag of rice to let the local party potentate or moneybag sidestep the nomination process for elective office. That’s rigging from the source and it’s domino effect cascades all the way up to the grand bazaar of the party convention where those lucky to be selected as voting delegates make more money in one day than they would legitimately earn in two years.
          Pray tell, how will such a bastardized process allow the Talented Tenth to rise for service to God and country? Without getting compromised ab initio if they do?
          How many instances have seen party bigwigs magisterially submit lists of so-called “consensus candidates” to run unopposed for office ahead of party primaries and where as in the precincts of Oshodi in the Lagos State Local Government primaries, the only recourse is violence by those so brazenly cheated of their democratic right to choose their nominees. And that happened in educated, cosmopolitan Lagos State and de facto one party structure. And it is a lot worse in the rest of the country.

          So dear compatriot, we cannot draw water from stone nor shine brass into gold no matter how we try. It is will always come down to a choice between Dumb and Dumber or Jonathan and Buhari.

          Kayode Komolafe & Co are again setting the stage to have Nigerians choose between a rebooted Buhari and maybe Abubakar Atiku as the only available options to the Nigerian electorate in 2019.
          And they will again abuse their access to the media megaphone to call it democracy to a hapless populace.

          • power

            But don’t think that we can change our mindsets? Don’t you think that we can revolt against the system one day? We cannot be docile forever. Most advanced countries had monumental challenges more than ours, but they were determined and resolute to push them aside. Honestly bro. I believe we can change the status quo. It might not be so soon, but it will inevitably happen. People are getting frustrated every day. NEVER SAY NEVER

      • Olisa

        I always wondered why such an obviously talented intellectual, could not see through Mohammadu..
        You also have proven to be an intellectual in your own right, yet at some point you endorsed Okorocha for governor – perhaps you did not see through him too. What I’ve learnt from all this is that even the best of us are susceptible to strange things. Moving forward, we’ve have learnt our lessons with the hope of making better choices next time.

        • Fidelis A.

          Well said Olisa. I also remembered Jon West stating on this same backpages, how he was misled by this great “philanthropist” into thinking he would be doing something quite different from ‘Ikiri’. We are all fallible when it comes to JUDGMENT application sometimes. And that is WHY the Judiciary also created room for REVIEW of JUDGEMENTS already delivered.

          • Jon West

            Yes, Jon West was wrong for supporting Rochas Okoroawusa, but the intention was a support for APGA and its candidate ,Martin Agbaso, who turned out to be a political contractor and would perhaps have been worse than Okoroawusa.

        • Jon West

          Yes, I should be whipped for not seeing through Rochas okoroawusa, but Ohakim was about to totally devastate Imo State. For that I also aplogise. However, I actually worked for APGA and Martins Agbaso, the Party’s candidate, but Agbaso has also turned out to be a mere political contractor, so on both choices I was totally wrong. To all Imolites, and Black peoples , I prostrate in regret for my mistake.

      • obinnna77

        Talent and judgment are two different competencies. Talent is ability to achieve within defined parameters; hitting a set target. Judgment is ability to discern the thing-in-itself; in its irreducible minimum. You know where the pavers of our current road to perdition, and their ex umu-otimkpu belong.

      • FrNinja

        Your dear friend saw in Buhari a kindred spirit of false hood.

    • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

      Top draw presentation as usual.

      “I hope they remember to turn off the lights on their way out”

      There are no lights sir – we live in darkness!

      For me it is not about the personnel. Analysing their characters and performance will always be interesting sport. At the end of the day, you cannot ride a bike on water. Until we design a system that is suitable and specific to our needs – representative of the desires of the people, we will continue to produce the Buharis, Jonathans and indeed Obasanjos of this world.

      I do not understand how we are practising an American style democracy in a country where adult literacy is 57% – in some parts, like Borno, it is only 14%. America, the proponents of this democracy have a literacy rate of nearly 90%. You simply need a mass of educated people who understand the issues. Education and exposure also protects the voter from populist ideology and stomach infrastructure. If you seek comedy hour, listen to our House of Representatives. Illiterates populate the state houses and for some inexplicable reasons we expect development and progress.

      For me, restructure means a new system of government – calculated to farm progress and development. The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are monarchies. China is run by a politburo. These are all countries with superior quality of life to us, more development, higher literacy rates and life expectancy.

      The blue-print of governance is in our past. Present day Nigeria is made up of nation states that were successful empires. The average Bini man pays more allegiance and has more trust of his Oba than any so called elected Governor. Perhaps our future governance could be a system that married the pillars of our past greatness with the needs of future development and progress.

      I prefer this dream to the recurrent nightmare that is our today’s sleep.

      • Chym

        I agreed with you

      • Fowad

        Michael, the politicians and the civil servants have a few brilliant minds like you and they know these statistics. Will they deploy their knowledge to redress the imbalance? Time will tell

        • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

          The problem my broda, is that we do not have time.
          We do not have the several decades for the experiment to come good like happened in the old democracies of Britain and the US.
          All I am suggesting is that we consider another way because I am not convinced this ‘cut-and-paste’ democracy will or is working for us

      • Darcy

        No, no, no. This is dangerous thinking, and one that Nigeria’s aspirational class often falls prey to.

        In the beginnings of American, British, Japanese democracies, their literacy rates were akin to ours too.

        That shortfall was mitigated by the organisational abilities of its middle-class, its churches, and most especially its Unions who were able to enunciate a policy that saw their interests acceded to. It should also be noted that their time was different, no “dual citizenship” for one.

        The problem with Nigeria, I think, is the absence, rather perversion of these information networks. We have Political parties that only organise during the electoral season, churches increasingly divorcing themselves from the world of man and unions who care only about being a reactionary break on progress.

        Of course the roots to this problem of ours is long, perhaps we shouldn’t have copied a system we barely understand. That has happened, we can’t unwish it, just make it work.

        Let’s try not to fetishize the past of those countries. The Southern statesmen who built the early US did so on the backs of slavery, the Northern Yankees who took the baton were scions of fortunes made in the Gilded Age. Rather than give in to despair or encourage dictatorship, again, remember our democracy is 18. Depending on our actions in the now, they might be remembered as just teething pains.

      • Jon West

        Our past greatness? Now Michael, you’ve lost me. We were never great, never great, that’s why we were enslaved and colonised by really great people and are currently overwhelmed by the technological products of the current great peoples.

        We need a paradigm shift to enable us begin the journey to relevance, which is the first step to greatness, whatever that means. However a recourse to traditional institutions like the Oba of Benin and the Emirs, is the very wrong step. These people can never help us on this journey, because they seem to enjoy the perks that accrue to them from this current morass. Perhaps in the past , they may have been useful for a journey to greatness, like their peers in medieval Europe, China, India and Arabia, but even then, they did not do any great deeds or build any great empires. That’s it for your traditional institutions.

        Bottom line, we need to move away from our sad past in order to make any progress, but the prognosis is not good.

        • Michael Kadiri SocioPolitical

          The Benin, Kanem Borno and Oyo were Empires – no?

          I do not want us to go back. But in order to go forward, we have to admit that what we currently practice is not a democracy and just because we say it is does not make it so.

          And this is why we are not experiencing any real development. Yes, we get some movement, but it is a race against the continuing chaos and complete disintegration of Nigeria. There is an urgency that this so called democracy is not offering us.

          Democracy means a government by the people for the people and we do not have that. Should we not consider other options?

      • American Abroad

        Thanks, Michael.
        Whilst the American template of public governance may have universal applicability particularly for multi-ethnic nations, commonsense dictates that we should make appropriate modifications for our historical experience, mores, aspirations, cultural bias, and above all, our level of communal insight and literacy. It is not so much the system as much as its operators.
        We still have some ways to go.

        • Country man

          Dear American Abroad,
          Did you just write that “it is not so much the system as much as its operators”. So this means YOU BELIEVE we can develop with the present system we operate? Coming from someone living in America, this is shocking to say the least. All western nations have an underlying principle in the system of govt they practice based on the magna Carta and its this:-
          That govt usurped lands and resources of people and as a result, there is GOVERNMENT MONEY which is nobody’s money, is the reason why we see all the idiocy as well as all the idiots in government.

          If you have not seen or understood that then maybe you are missing the point.
          Empower the people with their God given resources and this nation will make progress warts and all.
          ANY OPERATOR of the present system no matter how sincere, will only make negligible progress

    • obinnna77

      This, A*2. This. Much more engaging than this tiptoeing waffle of an article. The crux of our situation is the unstated goal, in paragraph three in your exposition: The intent to reduce us all to serfdom. To hoist that other ontology on us, willy nilly.
      Per your being taken in by pseudo asceticism, pseudo proselytism, etcetera, one begins to appreciate that it was in good faith, and out of patriotism, no matter how blinkered. You’ve made your point about your awakening. The commentariat should also cease to remind A*2 of it at every turn. That is tedious.

      • William Norris

        I will continue to remind everyone that IDIOTS like American Abroad, Romla, John Paul on these pages and Feyi Fawehinmi, Omo Omojuwa, Tam David West and Wole Soyinka in other places, were praise singers for the foreseeable disaster called Buhari.

        Are you some kind of Communist reeducator that will send us all to the Gulag for writing our opinion?

        The same reborn American Abroad that couldn’t learn from the Buhari disaster of 1984 wrote above today that Buhari was and is still a better choice than Jonathan. I’ve given detailed POLICY reasons why this is NOT the case.

        You agree that the aim of Buhari is to reduce Nigeria to the serfdom of the North. Did Jonathan and his advisers like Ngozi Iweala, Diezani and Adesina give any such signs that he wants to be your feudal Lord, catering to all your needs? Why then was the PDP deregulati mg and privatizing all those sectors?

        The other part of the truth is that Nigerians have imbibed and adjusted comfortably to the Colonial Condition. They want to be TAKEN CARE OF like house servants, they await the same God that made the Whites & Arabs rich to do the same for them and based on the Divine Riches provided in the Niger Delta, it seems the miracle is in progress. Not all serfs want to be free and unlike your Communist self, I will not attempt to force them to rethink beyond writing my own truth.

        American Abroad remains an IDIOT based on his record promoting Buhari on these pages. Now come and arrest me.

        • obinnna77

          Touche, William Wilberforce. I appear to have positioned myself to absorb strikes aimed at A*2. But seriously, ‘ne crede polyanna’. The self inflicted scales have fallen off his eyes. Give the man a break.

          • Gary

            I concur. Mr. Biko, there’s strength in numbers and we need to welcome back as many of the prodigals as are willing to come help us take our country back from misery and misrule.
            Please I appeal to you let go of the deep hurt and disappointment of the costly mistake by those who hitched their wagons to Buhari.
            Most them know even if they will not publicly acknowledge that their votes led to the mass murder of the Shiites and other citizens killed since Buhari was given yet another chance to visit sorrow, tears and blood upon Nigeria. Fela warned us enough about Buhari and his fellow-travelers.

        • Dayo Akom

          William Norris, I understand your pains and frustrations concerning the misadventures of people like AA for their support for this disaster called Buhari. But, I want to plead with you to forgive and forget so that we can all focus on how we can forge a common front to bring a new lease of life to our nation.
          I always enjoy AA contributions on this back page and fear that your hot criticism of him can discourage him from contributing to this page which be a great disservice to many.
          I have since forgiven those who abused and insulted me over this issue of Buhari presidency. We should know that anybody can make mistake, even King Solomon in the bible ended up making mistake after all knowledge and wisdom bestowed on him by Almighty God. Please let it go.

          • Fowad

            American Abroad can defend himself. He won’t chicken out. He is an intellectual like William Norris

          • American Abroad

            Thanks, friend.
            See my response to Obinnna above. I make no apologies for supporting Mr Buhari.
            The delusional (and under-employed) Mr Norris has been up quite early this morning, responding to a political debate that is demonstrably beyond his comprehension, hence his reflexive resort to coprophilia. As my village folk would say, “If you must rise early, make sure you are a bird, not a worm”.
            No prizes for guessing who is bird or worm.

          • Sony

            I do not wish at this point to descend into the arena but your choice and preference for Buhari over Jonathan is truly lamentable and for that I understand the legitimate rage of Mr. Norris.

            Only persons without an education in history would support an ex military despot lacking in ideas such as Buhari. Sad for you bro. No amount of flowery writing can erase this.

        • LagLon

          succinct. direct. devoid of abuse.
          A+ sir.

        • Jon West

          William Norris, with all due respect, we have to forgive AA and admire his mea culpa. He seems to have paid his intellectual dues, so we can work together to destroy Nigeria as we know it. To hell with Nigeria(as we know it)!!

          • William Norris

            This is what your American Abroad wrote TODAY, above –


            Together, with the plurality of Nigerians, we supported Mr Buhari and all had very high hopes for this administration. He wasn’t our first choice, second choice, perhaps not even our tenth choice, but he was eminently preferable to the bumbling Mr Jonathan. It would be a travesty were history to ultimately reverse that important “selling point” and concede preference to Mr Jonathan, as now seems increasingly likely.


            On just SUBSIDY policies alone, this is FALSE, based on KNOWN facts.

            The IDIOT ABROAD projects unreconstructed hubris. He’s told you right now, in no uncertain terms, that he STILL prefers Buhari. His flowery prose might confuse you, I’m immune to such sophistry.

          • Country man

            Dear Norris
            At least he is beginning to see that history will judge Jonathan better than Buhari. He may yet come full circle and completely see the light.
            If all those who are educated stop arguing against the obvious and face reality, that will be a step in the right direction.

          • power

            American Abroad has owned up to his mistakes. Please, let us forgive him. His comments here are always educative. “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” We cannot learn from each other when we use words that are despicable in prints. Thanks, bro.

          • American Abroad

            Dear Power:
            Kindly see my response to Obinnna above.
            American Abroad

          • arubaindiaspora

            Nobody will arrest you because you have not said anything out of the ordinary, but I will punch you in the face for being this stupid. Who is this ‘thing’, how dare you call a gentleman an idiot because of difference of opinion? If that was the case, you and rabble rousers like Dr. Iheanyi Nwa Ohiaeri (Lucifer Jon west) of this world should be hanged by now for all your diatribe/hate speech. As a matter of fact, Dr. Jona, should be blamed for the mess we found ourselves, if it wasn’t because of his incompetence, nobody would have dreamed of voting for someone like Buhari.

            Instead of you to come up with a solution, you and your folks are making trouble and causing distraction that is of nothing but a puff of smoke. Get your acts together fella, and come down from your high horse, because you are nothing but an engine without steam/gas, a big mouthed buffon with no class.

          • MASKVILLA

            You seem to have committed the same sin that you are castigating him for. Let us all move beyond this unnecessary thing and focus on the main issue of discussion.

          • arubaindiaspora

            It took you about 15 minutes to repond to my post, but WN started throwing his idiocies around about 8 hrs ago but you did not reprimand him for his foolishness, so you just found your eyes, are you kidding me? You guys are the same, that’s why you are in this pitiable situation.

          • William Norris

            A major solution for Nigerian dysfunction to abolish all forms of subsidy and price regulation. Jonathan in particular and the Southern wing of PDP in particular, tried very hard to do just that.

            Below is a quote I’ve happily reproduced MANY TIMES for those who claim not to know that there WAS once a morning in Nigeria. President Jonathan PREDICTED that Nigeria would enter recession IF THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE INSISTED ON CONTINUING WITH FUEL SUBSIDY.
            Subsidy Removal: I’m Ready For Mass Revolt -Jonathan
            -Find alternative – Agbakoba, Falana, others tell President
            From IHEANACHO NWOSU, Abuja
            Sunday, December 11, 2011

            President Goodluck Jonathan, at the weekend, vowed to take the option of social revolt from Nigerians than back down on his plan to withdraw the subsidy on fuel.
            He said his insistence was informed by his knowledge that Nigeria’s economy will collapse in two years if the subsidy is sustained.
            Sunday Sun learnt President Jonathan stated this at a meeting with the leadership of some civil society organizations at the President Villa in Abuja, which was also attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economic Team, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and her Petroleum Resources counterpart, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
            From Jan 2012 to the time Buhari supposedly “abolished” subsidy in 2016, Nigeria spent at least $25 billion buying fuel that never reached the people. Yet this APC government has been running around trying to borrow $30 billion. Today the government still spends at least $2 billion per year on fuel subsidies, IN ADDITION TO LOSSES THAT CONTINUOUSLY ACCUMMULATE IN THE NNPC.

            The above was the genesis of the current economic crisis. Nigerians had ample warning. That’s all the EVIDENCE needed to reach a rational conclusion.

            Thanks and have a good day.

          • arubaindiaspora

            President Jona should have stood his ground and face the consequence, that’s what leaders do! The worst that would have happened is for him to lose the election which he eventually did, but posterity would have judged him right.

          • William Norris

            Oh yeah, Jonathan should have massacred the Occupy Nigeria protesters like Buhari did to the Shia.

            Yeah Jonathan should have put opposition politicians in prison in defiance of court orders like Buhari.

            Oh yeah, you Nigerians just LOVE strong leaders. That’s the innate Slave Mentality of the Black African.

            Enjoy the CHANGE.

          • American Abroad

            Dear Aruba:
            You cannot reform the irredeemable.
            As the incomparable Nikola Tesla reminds us, “One must be sane to think clearly, but one does not need sanity to think deeply”. Unfortunately, we are deluged with deep thinkers completely bereft of clarity of thought in my country of birth. Mr Norris is only emblematic of that near-universal malaise, one of the earliest signs of cognitive deficit.
            Also see my response to Obinnna above.
            American Abroad

        • MDG2020

          A proverb in Igboland say’s “What a Wise Elder Can See while SITTING, an unwise elder and child, will never see, even if they STAND on the peak of a MOUNTAIN”.
          My Dear Brov MN, I feel your pain, but unlike you, I have stopped worrying my head over that our brother lost Abroad!
          If it took our lost brother abroad almost 3yrs of carnage on Nigeria by buhari, and as of today 1096 words to describe his understanding of buhari, then there is course for concern for our lost brother abroad.
          I am not old neither am I young, I don’t lay claim to the type of KNOWLEDGE our lost brother often try to exude! but it took me just ONE WORD (MISFIT) as far back 1984 (33yrs ago) to describe buhari!
          To think that our lost brother abroad, who to the best of my understanding, is schooled, and has spent a better part of his life abroad and, THIRTY THREE YEARS after, he is yet to come to terms with buhari and everything buhari represent, is highly disappointing!
          My brother BIKO, “kam down” like my ex will always tell me anytime I get agitated over any issue.

      • American Abroad

        Thanks, Obinna.
        Tedium, even bad manners, is part of the price of public engagement through political dialogue. I am up to it, I promise.
        However, I will not deign to waste my time- or talent- on trolls, such as the noisome Mr Norris, who follows my Commentary like Achebe’s ill-advised fly perched on the corpse until interment in the grave. Mr Norris has proven, over and over again, with no assistance from me or anyone else, to be intellectually destitute, offering daft, dimwitted recipes for Nigeria’s governance based on tribe, presumably with 248-plus self-governing states representing all identifiable linguistic groups! As was said of Henry Kissinger in another context, “Henry does not lie because it is in his self-interest, but Henry lies because it is in his nature”. Ditto for Mr Norris.
        Furthermore, if Mr Norris’ ministrations were past muster, why does he not advocate that same blueprint amongst the Hindu of India, his own ethnicity? If he thought Nigeria was that irredeemable, why is he still hustling in those same badlands for his daily bread? If he thought he had something, anything, useful to contribute to this discourse, why must it be liberally sprinkled with coprolalia?
        Therefore, I would ask you not to exercise yourself unduly on my behalf, just as I had cause to implore the untiring Don Franco (who, by the way, we often find ourselves stranded on opposite sides of many an argument). The vast majority of the sentient public actually gets it.
        My role is to lay out the facts as clearly and persuasively as possible, and allow my fellow countrymen to arrive at their own conclusions. To give oxygen to the inanities of a Norris would be unseemly- and gratuitous. Otherwise, this otherwise meaningful dialogue on the state of Nigeria might very easily degenerate into prissy, petty, petulant, parochial, pettifogging, piddling palaver. That, my friend, would be unforgivable.
        May your insight continue to multiply, as I also ask for myself, for the greater benefit of Nigeria.

        • Don Franco

          Dear American Abroad,

          You may be sureprised at how much you and I agree on the ways and means to address the issues that divide Nigerian’s as a people. My point of departure and disagreement with you is that you support the anti-Igbo reactionary narrative and also invalidate the Biafran grievance responsible for our never ending agitation for a referendum leading to our own republic.

          Secondly you have a pathological bad habit of digging in and doubling down about your error in judgment in supporting Buhari in 2015; especially your despicable praise of his politically selective anticorruption war; while the president is evidently riddled with corruption from head to toe.

          We’re gonna find each other on the opposite sides of any argument on these two issues relevant to my belief in the justice of the Biafran cause; including my opposition to Buhari and everything that he stands for.
          I respect your nationalist political opinion, but I don’t share it, as I believe that it’s misguided, given how Nigeria is presently structured, and the fact that there’s sign that the north will ever support devolution of power.

          • American Abroad

            Dear Don:
            Same side, different perspectives. I totally get it.
            All I ask is that Nigeria may prosper.

          • Jon West

            All I ask is that Nigeria may finally prosper? Really? Prosperity is made of sterner stuff than the inflicting of a certified Dullard at the head of a tottering organization ,by those who pretend to wish the organization well. Nigeria is really the hypocrisy capital of the world. Welcome home, American Abroad.

        • obinnna77

          Amen, in the main. However, William Wilberforce is no more Hindu, than I am from the Kalahari. Although you may not be given to it, you have only to sound out the semiotics of his commentary; in particular, his obsession with the Igbo cosmology and the role of Anambra elite in the Igbo political arena, to know where he is from . Certain specifities of knowledge give one away.

    • E.Udah

      Buhari, an “acquared taste” for many! I was never deceived. We warned that the image given to him was false and misleading but our minority voice was drawn by the shout of sai baba.
      The worst is yet to come. It’s foolish for anyone to think that Buhari or APC can be voted out of Aso Rock come 2019. Except if the forces of nature choose to intervene.
      Nigerians should buckle up for a very long rough ride

    • moribund9ja

      I thought this supposed to be a comment and not the piece itself.

  • Gary

    Buhari to “reboot” and his “caring for the poor” are part of his “moral assets”? Did I miss something here and are we talking of the same Muhammadu Buhari, the Islamo-fascist Kayode Komolafe and media collaborators successfully foisted on Nigeria in 2015? Please someone wake me up from this nightmare!
    After the killings of hundreds of fellow citizens out of nothing but sheer religious bigotry, Komolafe now spits on the mass grave of the victims of the genocide by describing its perpetrator as a man with “moral assets”? Are you kidding me? Oh, the murdered Shiites were poor people too and certainly did not enjoy Buhari’s advertised caring that Komolafe shamelessly ascribes to him.
    Mr. Komolafe as someone who once knew you, pray what happened to your conscience on the road from The Guardian to ThisDay? When did you become an agent of ethno-sectarian fascists to clothe a murderous regime in borrowed robes? Kayode who reached you and for how much for you to strangle your own conscience in defense of a retrograde regime?
    So we will watch in sorrow as the usual suspects gather again to sell a man with blood on his hands and misery in the land as the the country’s only choice for the Nigerian people in 2019.
    Kayode Komolafe has apparently chosen to be the drum major for the sordid parade.
    We shall meet at Phillippi, bet on it.

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      whats your defence of the shiite all about…a band of people who doestn respect the laws of the land but the teaching and directives given by their leader and iran. since the 2015 invasion they hav become more sensible and respectful of other peoples right..unlike before…whatever humen right things you may claim they needed that schok therapy to shapeup


    There is absolutely nothing to reboot. You can not give what you don’t have. This present regime is the true and absolute reflection of Cluelessness.