Buhari: Trust and truth betrayed?


You cannot build on lies…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

And let me start from how I ended last week discussing the kidnap of the girls from Chibok, Dapchi, and others. “You get kidnapped and killed because you are being educated.” For a nation that wants to make progress we need to treat our women right, and from the looks, that is still a far way off, but time will tell.

And in less than seven days, the boys on the bloc, the ones we want to give amnesty, the ones that are running Nigeria’s most lucrative post COVID19 economy struck yet again. Making mockery of Mr. Buhari’s promise that Kankara was the last of such. Mr. President’s vows have fallen short, his promissory notes on security barely worth much.

Hence I started with the US, let me ‘kontinu’, President Joe Biden’s first primetime address to the nation showed just how profoundly a presidency should be. He spent a long time acknowledging the enormous loss of life and the pain of those who lost loved ones over the past year. He showed us the card he carries in his pocket every day that contains the number of people who have died of the coronavirus—527,726 as of the speech. “We’ve lost so much over the last year. We’ve lost family and friends.”

If Biden’s empathy set him apart from his predecessor, so did his pledge: “We know what to do… tell the truth.” After a year, under Trump, of false promises that the virus would be over, after a year of encouraging careless behaviour, after a year downplaying the severity of a virus that only got worse, Biden’s pledge to tell the truth and follow the science marked the second dramatic difference from his predecessor.

I am not Democratic or Republican, not APC and not PDP but our president and his horsemen have failed this nation, they have balked under the enormous burden of building a state of united and safe people, they have told many lies and the foundation shakes.

On IBB, Abacha, Obasanjo and through to Jona, I have written that presidential rhetoric, absent presidential results, is not very powerful. Would we remember Buhari’s soaring rhetoric “I am for no one but everyone” had the lull of inactions in his first hundred days, especially the lack of sectoral leadership through ministers and the four-year blame game not stopped the dreadful downward spiral of the economy? The insecurity today in a Covid world is surely making this government one of trust betrayed, lies told; probably not.

So to truth and empathy, we must add results. And for this government it’s simply lacking, years have been spent touting things that never happened. That we would have electricity in a few months, Boko Haram would be a thing of the past, social security would be available, millions of jobs would be created…The fact is that the administration of Buhari never delivered on any of it. Had he delivered, we won’t be here.

Something I know that Buhari didn’t—a president should under-promise and over-deliver. Nigerians have lost faith in whether our government can deliver on really simple things and talk more of hard things. So citizens want to be armed, elder opinion leaders ask the government to engage mercenaries. Look at the young man who spoke into the camera as he begged, the bandits were asking for N500M and ‘feeling fly’ and you wonder where the state is and its ability to protect her people.

My dear Buhari Nigerians are not responding…some of the moves, strides, steps that have been taken positively are paling into insignificance. Approval ratings dropping numbers are not as high as 2015 nor 2019, confidence in the president and his men to lead us out of the economic and insecurity pandemic is dropping.

We are experiencing a very different presidency than the one before. But this is not a partisan statement. Mr. President is the supervisory minister for petroleum and yet has not been able to show empathy; truth has not been told and for a ruling political party with majority, they have failed to work the levers of power.

The Buhari presidency was supposed to return us to normal, to show how much of an aberration the PDP years were…No doubt there was to be ups and downs, but If our president under-promised and over-delivered, he would have built up the kind of political capital that presidents crave and need.

Sadly it is not the case, beyond the ear infections, the cumulative travels, cabals, infighting, the security apparatus of state rather than protect citizens have laid bare the saying that truth does not mind being questioned while lies do not like to be challenged.

Someone somewhere needs to provide leadership, the governors in the not exactly ‘federal’ federal republic or the legislators are lost on good governance. If this government is not thinking of negotiating with bandits, someone is proposing amnesty for BH members. Nigerians are refugees in Benin Republic, we have become the butt of laughs, till date the boys that were killed in Buni Yadi in 2014 no one has been held accountable and this was supposed to be a government of change and one to take us to the next level.

In Nigeria, the world leaves us, imagine that in Kwara state, the real issues are that hijab should be worn or not, when indeed the matter is simply that of a failed state education, alas if the state had provided quality education it would have the right to dictate uniform, but when it neglected her mandate, private proprietors whether mission or otherwise were left to call the shots. This indeed is the story of leadership as provided by Buhari, one that has left all and sundry threatening thunder and hailstones.

I end by saying that Buhari was programmed by the system to fail, until we tackle the system, what we have now is tailored to fall and fail, there is no justice in the system, inequality and equity is absent, so our trusts, and truth will always be betrayed. The current tide will not stem, there will be no peace until we negotiate how we want to be, some marauding bandits will keep threatening the state.

Nigerians are not equal, we have different rights when life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is discussed, our governments are not instituted among us, they do not act as if they derive their just powers from us, the government seems bent on self-destruct, what shall we do, how will we do it, who will do it, will truth be told, and trust restored—Only time will tell.

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