I heard this truth from a Caribbean comedian about the joke of democracy. A nine-year-old boy asked his father:
“Daddy what is politics”?
Father responded: “Let me put it this simple way to you. I have to provide for you. So, I am the CAPITALIST. You are the PEOPLE. Your mother who keeps the family money is the GOVERNMENT. The babysitter who watches you and your brother is the WORKING CLASS; and your baby brother is the FUTURE.”
The boy was confused and went to sleep. While he dozed off, he heard the baby brother crying and he peeped in his room and saw his baby brother’s diaper in a mess. He tried to wake up the mother to inform her about it, but she was fast asleep and he left her alone.
He went to the baby-sitter’s room and spotted his father having an affair with the baby-sitter. He decided not to disturb them. In the morning around breakfast table, boy said: “Daddy, I now know what is politics. It is something like this: While the government (MOTHER) is asleep, the capitalist (FATHER) screwed the working class (BABYSITTER), the people (SON) are ignored, while the future (BABY BROTHER) is in deep mess”.
It is not untrue that these times in Nigeria are trying and tiring. Everywhere you go, there are sighs, which signal that all may not be too well for many Nigerians digging wells without finding water of comfort. At present, there is a quiet but palpable tension hitting the four walls of Aso Rock where men in charge of the nation’s business do their confusing business daily.
The word around town is that Mr. President seems to have either conceded presidential rulership to a few cronies and relatives or that presidential powers have been hijacked by some men flying on the Nigerian jet with Buhari.
Nigerians believe their president is deeply asleep. And wild, unelected men, who he selected to run the government with him, are tormenting the country with their own repugnant back-door policies inundated by shady deals. This smooching and eviscerating control of presidential authority by unelected men and women, who wield so much draconian authority more than the President himself, is troubling. We all must be concerned.
The extant hubbub in the presidency has the fingerprints of one man all over it. He is Abba Kyari, the President’s Chief-of-Staff. Kyari, we heard, was singlehandedly brought up by Mamman Daura, the President’s powerful nephew and the most influential person in the Presidency today.
The following story is one among many making their rounds in the present administration. Babagana Monguno is the National Security adviser. There is no love lost between him and Kyari. In a memo written last year December; Monguno dubbed the Chief-Of-Staff as “one of the major impediments to Nigeria’s national security interest”. Kyari has been accused of meddling in areas of government that are above his pay grade. He is accused also of overriding the decisions of even the President and sidestepping the Commander-In-Chief’s directives to impose his own.
The brawl between the two presidential top brasses is already affecting the morale of men working on behalf of Nigerians. The intrigue in the whole melodrama is that Mr President remains mute on these issues. What is in his heart and head is not easily decipherable. The alleged meddling of Kyari in security matters should bother us. With about the whopping sum of N3 trillion thrown into fighting insurgency in the last decade, there is no evidence to show that Nigeria is winning the war against terrorism.
If Monguno’s allegations are true, I ask what does Kyari, a lawyer and businessman, know about military reconnaissance operations and war strategies? Who gave him the authority to command men appointed to be commanders of men who have chosen to lay down their lives for Nigeria?
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Nigeria is listed among the “worst African states” alongside South Sudan, South Africa, Kenya, and Libya. She is adjudged the deadliest country in Africa recording over 32 per cent of all organised, armed conflict-related fatalities in Africa, with an average of 6,383-10,015 deaths over the last seven years largely caused by the insurgency in the North-East. This is almost twice the number of deaths reported in South Sudan, which recorded 16 per cent of all organised and armed conflict-related deaths.
Do you wonder why we are not in the good books of the world regarding security? In a free-for-all manner, terrorists continue to throw infants into bonfires, smash babies’ heads against iron pillars and rip open young mothers’ bellies with mordant machetes. And under this President, greater mercies have been shown these maddened killers than the families of brutally murdered Nigerians.
Killers are now rehabilitated heroes and this government believes they deserve to live with no strand of comeuppance. This gesture, we heard, was the brainchild of Kyari, the president’s Chief-Of-Staff. Kyari, we also heard, was one figure the President’s wife, Aisha Buhari, complained about a few years ago. Who ever imagined a time like this would come in Nigeria?
Where is the Buhari who once spoke these words before his first election in 2015: “I have led this country and I have a record. We were not perfect, but we were effective. We solved problems, there was Maitatsine ravaging the North-East and we dealt with it. We also overran the Chadian rebels. We rebuilt industries, Nigerians queued up and treated each other with respect. Nigerians took pride in our reputation for discipline. The world admired us. We were proud to be Nigerians”.
Has the poise of the retired General in Mr. President plummeted? Has the bite of an Army Officer in him blown off like a blighted ovum? Nigerians are in search of the Buhari who once matched on the necks of enemy-terrorists as he pursued them into the Chadian territory. Buhari’s unofficial concession to Kyari and co. now makes him appear as the most feckless and pussyfooting leader ever of the Giant of Africa.
Will Buhari wake up? I was in my mid-20s when we read that Buhari as a Military Head-Of-State was intelligently warned that IBB was on a roll and match to take him out of power in 1985. But what did Buhari do? He figuratively slept off until enemies, with ease strapped and straddled him in shackles.
This is daytime, Mr President. Our Commander-In-Chief has to wake up for the sake of millions of Nigerians who believed in him. Mr. President should please wake up for the sake of an estimated 26,039 babies that were reportedly born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day who don’t have a future.