By Mansir Lawal Kaware
Nigeria is a country of multi ethnics, multi lingual, regional, tribal, religious and cultural differences that has been in existence as an entity for about 104 years and as an independent country for about 58 years now. The actual problems of the country started from the 1966 Chukwuma Nzeogwu led Coup de ta’t and subsequent counter coups that threw the country’s democratic system into a limping stage.
It was that action that precipitated the Nigerian Civil War which has had devastating effect on the economic and social lives of the citizenry. It has equally affected the relationship between Nigerians as individuals’ tribal and ethnic groups, thereby placing more emphasis on regional, religious and cultural interests above the entity of the country. As a result of that Nigerians become suspicious of one another on anything that has to do with political or economic gains either under military regimes or civilian rules. It equally create jealousy among the parts of the country leading to the formation of geo-political zones dissecting the country into six other than relying on the former regional and the present States and Local Government arrangements, in that each of the six geo-political zones are viewed to have shared many things in common that can be said to represent the interests of those who lived in the zones.
The Southern part of the country is blessed with Atlantic Ocean and Petroleum Resources that put them at advantage especially in the area of business and other economic activities, coupled with the fact that the white men came into the country through the waterways thus putting them ahead in terms of securing early Western Education, Consequent upon which, those from the South comprising the three Geo-political Zones, of South-West, South-East and South-South are these days in continuous demand for devolution of powers, restructuring, power sharing, scrapping of Local Government etc. On the other hand, the North which comprises the three Geo-political Zones of North-West, North-East and North-Central in the hinterland argued that they have a land mass area and Population which enabled them to ensure food security via Agricultural Production, domestic animals and the Nation’s Security via their population which intimidates other countries from contemplating serious aggression against the country either directly or indirectly. Those from the Southern part of this country are either not aware of this advantage or they decide to ignore it for selfish reasons. If not because of the population of the country particularly from the North, the South with its little population and so much wealth would have been invaded by some other countries or the communities would have been at war with each other over ownership of the wealth. If that happens, their lives would have been in misery ether as individuals or as a group.
For Nigerians to understand this and work in accordance with it the country will be a better place for all, if they fail to see that and decide to antagonize one another the end of the road would hardly be reached. The lesson of 1999, has replicated that of 1993. In 1999 Obasanjo from South was elected largely by the North, South-East and South-South just as Abiola was elected by majority votes in the elections of 1993 irrespective of religious, ethnic and tribal differences. The failed attempt by Obasanjo to contest for third term in 2007 and the way Jonathan tried to win 2015 elections against the denied mutual agreement he had with the North, had truncated any attempt at actualizing rotational political arrangement between the North and the South in Presidential election contest. The scenario made the formation of APC which gave Buhari the ticket not based on geo-political location or any visible, direct or indirect arrangement, but as a popular candidate capable of winning the Presidential election for it and he did. Many thanks to the Electoral system introduced under Attahiru Jega’s led INEC that made the votes to count and his ability to withstands the pressure that accompanied the turbulent elections.
Muhammadu Buhari though known to Nigerians as a corruption fighter since his military days remains one with little democratic modifications, an action that had now put him at logger head with numerous bodies involving groups and individual interests. Many of his political associates, party members, former military colleagues let alone political opponents are now at his throat. Each and everyone fighting Buhari and his Government if x-rayed carefully would be found to have personal interest to protect. Hardly does one shout to protect the public because that is what Buhari is doing. The 70% to 80% of Nigerians who support Buhari are at the lower end of the ladder such that they could hardly voice their views except on election days. This is because they do not have money to own media outfits, they cannot go to London, America or other foreign countries to present their case for Buhari hardly do they have access to embassies or Donor organizations to showcase the achievements of Buhari in any area of concern. It is the 15 – 20% of the advantaged class that talk and black-paint the President in the eyes of international community and the opinion molders.
One cannot rule out the possibility of the fact that the violence, killings and the creation of instabilities are being deliberately sponsored by some influential individuals in the country to put the present administration at disadvantage in 2019. Everything President Buhari did and anything he said is turned upside down by the powerful and the mighty political clouts who do not want to be stopped from throwing the people in continuous hardship. They view his second coming as the end of the stupendous increase of their richness, even as they have already amassed wealth beyond their need. The masses have witnessed the sacrificial part of their contribution and are with the high hope of experiencing ease of life which must not be allowed to be punctured by the few classical elites. Some religious and traditional leaders among both Christians and Muslims are busy attacking the President all in an effort to discredit him against the 2019 contest as if they are also involved.
The way people are attacking the President has clearly shown that there could be some people that are sponsoring them to give the impression that the people are against him because what one reads or hears through the mass media would be the yardstick of his judgment.
It is more or less what is being copied in other states like Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and many more where those opposed to the administration attack those in government either justifiably or otherwise just to give bad name to a dog in order to hang it.
One may reflect the action of the opposition in Katsina State and some members of the ruling party that are yet to accept their fate three years into the administration of Governor Aminu Bello Masari. They kept employing different tactics of defamation, character assassination and open blackmail against the administration. However, it is good that the Katsina Governor has ignored the distraction and continued to serve the people of the State to the best of his ability.
As for President Buhari, like Aminu Masari in Katsina let him forge ahead with his mission of serving the country. He should defy those Nigerians no matter how highly placed who see nothing good in others. No matter what he does, they will never appreciate and should not waste time and energy on them, but move to clear the mess created by corruption through maintaining the pace at which he is going. Before his coming into office in 2015, Nigerians were in palpable fear, nobody wants to move from his place of abode because he or she cannot predict what will happen the next minute despite the array of security personal in towns and cities as well as on our roads that made free movement impossible. Now that people can relatively move freely, there are still complaints as if nothing has been done. Mr. President Sir, brush them and their criticisms by the way side and act in accordance with the wishes of the majority!
Mansir Lawal Kaware writes from Katsina State.