WEDNESDAY COLUMN BY USSIJU MEDANER
Waking up on the morning of June 12th, I was on the lookout for the expected – politicians and opposition figures igniting protesters on the streets of Nigeria, and I was not disappointed. It is one opportunity the politicians and groups that have become bent on discrediting the present Administration would not miss for anything. Of course, it is a fact that ‘occupying the streets’ on the critical date has become a significant component of the permutations for the 2023 general elections and after the perceived success recorded with the ENDSARS outing, it is only political exigent that more disruptions of the streets be arranged to continue the deal of making the country ungovernable.
It is very unfortunate for the country and for its people, that a day that should be set aside for celebration of democracy and togetherness would be turned into a dilemma for the nation. At worst, June 12, this year, should have been a solemn day to remember the thousands and scattered citizens who were variously victims of unprovoked attacks from bandits, kidnappers, and terrorist insurrections against the country; a day to holistically review the fundamental configurations of the structure of the nation to reinvent its wheel of progress, unity, and development. Rather, it is the most strategic day for PDP and those hell-bent on winning elections on the back of destabilized systems to further broaden the problems confronting the nation.
The time has come to boldly discuss the issues and the personalities who have taken the path of breaking the country if it is what it takes to assume control of its soul. The country burns; hell is let loose on the citizens and the systems of Nigeria; insecurity prevails in every corner and livelihood becomes as difficult as it comes for Nigerians, yet the opposition only sees political opportunities in the travails of the nation. The PDP Chairman, Uche Secondus, enjoying and taking advantage of the mounting insecurity is busy mobilizing noise makers who flood the social media to disparage the sitting government. The Deji Adeyanjus, Reno Omokiris are having a field day, gaining personal popularity and advertising their beloved PDP at the expense of the safety and unity of Nigeria and Nigerians. When suddenly, the Southeast began to boil, these elements saw another opportunity to broaden their enterprise rather than the woes befallen their country. They enjoy castigating the government, treating dissenting voices against the APC-led presidency while at the same time praising the temerity of Nnamdi Kanu and his ground armies for the destruction they are melting on the region. They claim they are worried about the rising insecurity in the region while they eulogize the perpetrators; which is no less hypocrisy of the highest order.
They systematically crafted the myth of vulcanization and Islamisation as a tool to dismantle the growing popularity of President Buhari in the days before the 2015 and 2019 general elections. That myth has today shifted from mere fringe allegation and political rhetoric to an idea embraced by tens of millions of Nigerians and a significant contributor to the engrossed disunity and insecurity along with tribal, sentimental lines in the country today. Today, not excusing the criminals among the Fulanis, every crime and wrongdoings in the country are without investigation and all prejudice the handiwork of the hated tribe. The term “suspected herdsmen’’ has grown to become an integral part of our normative as a people. The PDP and the Obasanjos that spearheaded and christened the myth are now the letter writers and chief complainants of the lies they crafted has caused Nigeria.
The problem of the country is largely traced to the career politicians and power mongers, who survive only on the access to and proceeds of occupying political offices and possessing political power in the country. Those men and women, who have tasted power and would do whatever to return to the seat of authority. How could Deji Adeyanju gallantly lead anti-government protest, pretending to be an activist? The same Deji who is a confirmed active member of the main opposition party, and who was obviously on the forefront of the “Atikulated” train just some three years ago. The same people attempted to orchestrate the student union bodies, the vulnerable civil society groups and others, to rise against the government as usual and as are their manners. While setting the streets against the government, their posters were surfacing in Abuja and other parts of the country. They are simply saying “burn the country down to get us in.”
These were the same people who bankrolled the ENDSARS protest, wreaked havoc on the country and spared nothing to dent the image of the sitting government internationally, without any consideration for the consequences of their actions on the sanctity and sanity of the country. They claim to love Nigeria but chose the side of supporting a privately owned social media platform that humiliated their country because they only saw the humiliation as an opportunity to embarrass a president they already hated and desperately want discredited. The same Twitter that people of India jointly rose against for disrespecting their national law is the one PDP is praising and supporting for being an instrument of free speech; what manner of free speech!
They hated the progress they see; they do everything and anything possible to shadow the unprecedented infrastructural achievements of the Buhari-led Administration. Rather than see the good, impressive works, they tell Nigerians of the debt burden. Instead of recognising and praising the giant strides, they claim they started it and should take glory for them. Instead of allowing Nigerians to celebrate the integrity of a president who is redefining the infrastructural permutation and baseline of the country, they are orchestrating and or public demonizing security and demonizing the man that should be celebrated. And mostly, they succeeded, the foci most discussed in the country has been insecure city; no one is discussing the gains in agriculture, the gains in transportation, the gains the social welfare program, the gain in youth employment, the gains in power devolution policies, and many more, that should be the defining core of this Administration.
And now, as June 12 wrapped up, ex-president Obasanjo dropped another epistle; reminding us of the obvious in a manner that naturally places the blame of the events in the country on a single shoulder. Erroneously and hypocritically, the history of Boko Haram was shortened to the last ten years to excuse him from the breeding of the insurrection that has becomee the singular most worrisome problem to Nigeria. Mr. Obasanjo presented yet and again, solutions that are impracticable in our clime because the same people he wanted on board to proffer the solution are the very people who prefer the problems to persist so they can continue to flourish from the agony of the nation. Naturally, bringing the elders and the stakeholders together is the sure way to resolve deep issues in every society; but how can the elders who openly supported the Nnamdi Kanu crusade; the elders who are praising Twitter’s disrespect of their own country; the elders who did not see the errors and evil in the ENDSARS outing because they wanted it; the very elders who are hurt by the sight of good works in the country and expend their resources to instigate, and advertise lies and destructive propaganda against their own country be the same men that would come to the table to solve the problem?
The solutions are not in the submission of the former president but in the repentance of the elders who have all sold their country for a morsel of porridge. For Nigerians, we were all fellow citizens and humans up till a time when these men instigated religion and ethnicity as well as politics to divide and break us.
GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!