See How President Buhari Turned Me Into a Nostradamus and Clairvoyant (Part 1)
Today, Nigeria is in a terrible quagmire; a deadly dilemma; a complete cul-de-sac. There is trouble; real trouble. In all aspects of life, Nigeria is sick. Very sick. Critically ill. To say she is on an uneasy life–support machine, is simply saying the obvious.
Everywhere and everything is toxic. Even the air we breathe is toxic. It reeks of odious and smelly putrefaction from caked blood of innocent Nigerians, split open by afternoon baking sun (apologies, Ayikwei Armah: “The beautiful Ones Are Not yet Born”).
Our farmlands are death mines, laden with deadly booby-traps set up by rampaging Fulani herdsmen. They hug AK-47 riffles that spit fire on a daily basis, against innocent farmers who have offered no provocation. The once-upon-a-time teeth-stained, kolanut-chewing, smiling and friendly herders moved harmlessly across the highways, footpaths and farm-paths. We, as children growing up in the 60s and 70s, usually came out to sing with our near national anthem rendition, to herald them in. What has happened? I don’t know. Or, do you? They have since turned into vicious, blood-sucking monsters that decimate our local population. Our song in those days was, “Malu koga, malu, koga, daba daba koga; ikpisa yeghe the akhia; edunu kpotha mho abo; ne the gbea kpu pku” (translated: “cows with hooves, cows with hooves; they are led by weak elderly men; men who carry sticks, with which they flog the cows kpu kpu”). We would come out of our huts, hailing them, giving them water to conserve in their pitchers made of cow skin and tied to their shoulders. Those were the good beautiful old days. Not anymore.
Today, however, like in Wole Soyinka’s metamorphosis of Brother Jero in “Jero’s Metamorphosis” (1973), which followed “The trials of Brother Jero” (1963), these once innocent herders have metamorphosed into murderous and remorseless savages, killing, maiming, piling and raping farm owners and peaceful indigenous land owners right on their farms and in their homes, with gusto, eclat and a vainglorious sense of triumphalism.
In our homes and on the roads, Nigerians are no longer safe. In the markets, schools, workplaces, air, train, waterways and forests, death stares the average Nigerian on his wrinkled face. Nigeria has become a grizzly killing ground. She has become the poverty capital of the world, snatching the diadem from India. There is searing agony, mass disenchantment and grave disillusionment. Hunger and abject penury, live with us. Melancholy and gnashing of teeth, overwhelm Nigerians. Hopelessness and haplessness sleep with us, on the same wretched beds. Hot tears, sorrow, pains, pangs and blood remain gods and goddesses in whose pulpits Nigerians worship in their homes. Schools are hurriedly and prematurely shut down, not from fixed holidays; not even from unanswered ASUU’s six months’ strike engineered by a clueless Government; but, to prevent students from being abducted and kidnapped by rampaging armed bandits and kidnappers, who operate as a State within a State. The Government watches helplessly, wriggling its hands with shocking resignation to fate. Non-State actors now commonly challenge the sovereignty and suzerainty of Nigeria, planting their flags on Nigerian soil, collecting taxes from, and giving citizens passes and identity cards. Armed bandits kidnap school children and instruct their parents to procure for them, large quantities of atarodo, tatashe, tomatoes, maggi, onions, garri, beans, rice, palm oil, vegetable oil, salt and other condiments. They need the ingredients to feed their children, and keep them alive for ransom to be paid for their release. This is glaring evidence of a failed State.
Fighting corruption, a mantra once hugged by this Government during political campaigns, has since graduated from a kindergarten school to a post graduate institution, strutting about unchallenged, like a proud peacock. Government appointees brazenly steal billions of Dollars, with the EFCC and ICPC still busy pursuing ruling Government’s political opponents. They use the ugly and primitively stolen money to mop up scarce Dollars, leaving to the present horrific artificial shortage of Dollars, a situation of $1 exchanging for about N740; and, still counting. Didn’t this Government meet the Dollar at between N160 – N175 in 2015? Gosh! We are now No.148 out of 180, and the second most corrupt Nation in West Africa (Courtesy, Transparency International’s Anti-corruption Perception Index). Inflation increases geometrically. Debts accumulate daily. We now borrow money to service debts, not payment of the real debt! Next generations have mountainous debts hanging on their necks. The present Government has mortgaged our individual and collective future, with reckless abandon.
Nigeria has never been so polarised and divided along primordial ethnic, religious and linguistic cleavages.
Nigerians from all works of life appear shell-shocked at a country they can no longer recognise, within seven years of Buhari’s disastrous government. Well, I am not one of them. I had seen this ugly situation coming. Like Nostradamus, the man who saw tomorrow; like the Oracle at Ile-Ife that gazes into the future and pronounces a future Ooni, I saw these perilous times coming. I had predicted all this, in the very first 50 days of this government.
Buharists, Buharideens, his bootlickers, ego masseurs and obsequious fawning passengers in the corridors of power mocked me. They abused and bayed, for my innocent and patriotic blood. But, history and current happenings have now completely vindicated me. Oh, thou sweet history. Oh archivist google that never forgets!!! In this piece, I now serve you my predictions, after analysing Buhari’s first 50 days in office, in a piece titled, “Is President Buhari overwhelmed by serious issues of Governance?” (http://thestreetjournal.org).
This piece was written and first published on 19th July, 2015, just after 50 days of Buhari’s tenure! Now, read on:
“Is President Buhari Overwhelmed by Serious Issues of Governance?
“Let me confess that, I am aware of some commentators’ argument that it is too early in the day to assess President Muhammadu Buhari’s thrust and style of governance. After all, they argue that he has only spent about 50 days out of the expected 1,460 days of his four-year tenure. That may very well be so. But, a proverb in my Weppa-Wanno, Etsako language (I disagree with some irredentists who try to label my language a dialect), states that, “oto laza le aghua noa khi ukpuwah” (It is the very day a puppy is littered, that people would decipher if it would develop a curved tail). In other words, the morning tells the day.
“Although he has himself publicly confessed that he cannot be expected to perform optimally at the same pace, and with the same vigour and strength as when he was Governor of old Borno State at the youthful age of 33, and later, Head of State at 40, it would be most uncharitable, even disingenuous to accuse him of senility, or anything near it. Far from it, President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) is still very agile and quick witted. After all, octogenarians (near nonagenarians), such as Chief E.K. Clark, Chief Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, et al, stormed the Nigerian National Conference in 2014. Their intellectual prowess, coupled with their Plenary and Committee contributions to all issues were such as to leave us, the younger generational elements, panting and gasping for breath. Indeed, 85-year-old Alhaji Ahmed Joda, (one of the famous “Super Permanent Secretaries” of the Gowonian era, step out, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Allison Ayida, et al; more on this later), headed PMB’s Transition Committee. Not a few Nigerians believed however, that the slow pace of the Committee’s work was ascribable to its gerontocratic leaning. I have no opinion here!
“The Build Up of Expectations
“The campaign mantra of the APC was “change”. It was APC’s campaign that former President Goodluck Jonathan had performed woefully, below expectations. The party tagged him clueless, lily-livered, and that he ran a very corrupt administration. Many, nay, most Nigerians, bought this heavy propaganda. Social media activists especially, took Jonathan to the cleaners, tearing him to pieces, tarring him with the paintbrush of shame, odium and gross underperformance.
“The build-up was high. The anti-corruption mantra was held aloft like a banner of victory. The taming and extirpation of insecurity, root and branch, was orchestrated like a stuck record (remember PMB’s famous “I will lead from the front”). He was believed, because he is a retired Military General and former Head of State.
“Some Comparable Reminiscences
“The build-up was what was expected of Enugu Rangers vs Mighty Jets Football Club (of Jos), or Raccah Rovers vs NNB, Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin vs IICC Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, football championship final encounters of the seventies and eighties. I was then in Secondary School and University. National Stadium, Lagos, Ogbe Stadium, Benin City, Liberty Stadium, Benin City, Adamansigba Stadium, Ibadan, Kano Stadium, and Jos Stafium, Jos, were a must to watch these matches. Nigeria then stood still and on tenterhooks on weekends. A pin drop could be heard, in any of the stadia where these legendary clubs played. Fans and spectators figuratively stopped breathing. Ace commentators, Ernest Okonkwo, Tolu Fatoyinbo and Folorunsho Ishola blared, their names. “Chairman” Christian Chukwu, “Mathematical” Segun Odegbami, “Chief Justice” Adokie Amiesimeka”, the Atuegbu brothers, Haruna Ilerika of Stationery Stores of Lagos, Emmanuel Okala, Felix Owolabi, Mudashiru Lawal, Bright Omokaro, Friday Elaho, and Joe Erico, amongst others, held sway. Sam Garba Okoye, Ismaila Mabo, Yakubu Mabo, Benedict Akwuegbu, Olayiwola Olagbemiro, Sam Pam, Ifeanyi Onyedika, Ogidi Ibeabuchi, Christian Madu, Jossy Lad, Amusa Adisa, Samuel Ojebode, Joe Appiah, Moses Otolorin, Kunle Awesu, Alabi Aisien, Kadiri Ikhana, Sunday Eboigbe, George Omokaro, Agbonifo, Sylvanus Oriakhi, and Henry Ogboe, reigned supreme.
“Sorry, pardon me, if I digressed too far off, as this write up is not about football. It was to show the passion with which the clubs played, and the high expectations of Nigerians. Football in those days was food. It was life. Nothing else mattered. It was the oxygen Nigerians breathed. Glued to small radio sets and the 4pm black and white television sets, Nigerians watched with bated animation as these clubs slugged it out. Enemies suddenly became friends. All Nigerians were united. No foe.
“That was the same way Nigerians expected PMB to hit the ground running. They expected him to be, not just a magician in the mould of Professor Peller, but also a miracle worker in the mould of Chris Oyakhilome, all rolled into one. The stakes were very high during the campaigns. They are higher today after his unexpected victory. (To be continued).
Serious and Trivial
“Nigeria is a wonderful country. It borrows from China, spends it in Niger Republic, and leaves debt for Nigerian future generations”.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
A self-fulfilling prophecy is an assumption or prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, cause the expected or predicted event to occur and thus, confirms its own ‘accuracy”. (Paul Watzlawick)