Have you watched the video clips of the gruesome execution of Lawan Andimi and Roypvil Dalyep by Boko Haram? Have you ever imagined what it feels like to take one’s loved ones away with hopes of reuniting with them waning with each passing day? Have you for once paused to ponder the pains and the trauma of Nigerians who have become widows, widowers and orphans as well as those whose means of livelihood have been destroyed by some senseless and evil elements in the Nigerian society? At least for once, put yourself in the shoe of Reuben Fasoranti, the 94-year-old Nigerian, and Yoruba leader, whose daughter, Funke, was killed by yet-to-be-identified persons and you will not be too far from the status of Nigeria’s cup and the depth of betrayal and frustration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s expression of “surprise at the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks” in Nigeria.
To be frank, Buhari’s surprise revealed tons of truth that are buried! The president became surprised because the reality on ground checkmated his thoughts and understanding of Nigeria’s cosmos. What this means is that the nitty-gritty of governance in this country is never rooted in intelligence or hard knowledge. Government policies, projections and determinations all over the world, especially, in developed countries, are based on unassailable facts. In the case of Nigeria, we imagine policy contents; and, once we do that, policy outputs will always be false and ineffective.
If, indeed, Buhari was not misquoted, or quoted out of context, then, his pronouncement portrays the government as being bankrupt and inept. It’s like a pilot of an aircraft, shouting, midair, that he is confused! The import of that is that those on board should simply say their last prayers! In saner climes, such a worrisome expression of surprise is enough to pass a vote of no confidence on Mr. President because, based on his election, he has been given all the taxpayers’ money and goodwill. So, the uninspiring, medicine-after-death approach to the parlous state of national security amounts to nothing other than the mismanagement of the resources of the state and its apparatuses. After all, the essence of governance for any functional government is to be ahead of its people in terms of wisdom and intelligence, using judiciously and most efficiently, the resources of the state.
The nation state in Nigeria, as we see her today, is a misnomer. The country is nothing but an investment gone awry; a complete but avoidable tragedy, laced with aborted hopes and promises. Despite her rich socio-cultural convenience, here we are, faced with the gory reality of our time, rivaled only in the Stone Age! The centre is fractured, dangerously, even as the people are already taking positions; and it is as if Nigeria is at war with Nigeria! So, whatever might have been the weakness or otherwise of the opportunities for the public expression of anger, Enyinnaya Abaribe was not, in the real sense of the word, far from reinforcing the people’s call on the government to stop using utopian ideas and plastic rhetoric suggestive of Nixonian tactics to feed Nigerians with excuses as if that’s what Nigerians voted for. He was only asking the government to alter its language and maximize capital with greater efficiency, more so as insurgency not only poses great threats to the economy, available indices, which peaked with the United States of America’s recent visa restrictions on Nigerians, have also shown how criminality could lead to loss of income, loss of jobs and loss of peace.
It even goes beyond that! If governance is not based on tactical truth and impeccable intelligence, politics will suffer because it will be played on false assumptions. The citizens will also suffer the reality because the politics in play will no longer be able to address the reality which, as we’ve argued above, confronts the anomalies of its policies. Take for instance the policy against Boko Haram and the kind of huge resources voted into ensuring the defeat of the insurgence. As things stand, there’s next-to-nothing to show for it! Only this year, the Emir of Potiskum was attacked. That he escaped only by the whiskers, after a long walk in the forest, was not without the murder of some of his aides. So, do Nigerians need any further proof to show that the country is not safe?
In terms of transition of power among the political class, the gladiators are also in trouble; for, once a country is challenged securitywise, opportunity for good governance beats a retreat. And, once corruption takes this endemic route, more than never, everybody will be unto himself or herself! Two, accountability will go to blazes. Of course, corruption renders accountability a non-issue! National planning will also have its share of the oddity, showing in bold relief, the fact that governance has taken flight! Donald Trump has now demonstrated how the call for foreign investments can never yield any fruitful results because nobody comes to invest his money in an unsafe environment.
At the political party level, there is no doubt that political parties will start chasing shadows as every political bigwig will just be for himself. Poverty will be magnified and the usual interventions or fire-brigade economic palliatives will not pacify the angst and negative impact of poverty, no matter the hugeness of the funds invested to tackle it. Employment will also become a product of lip service. For the common man, who gets more frustrated by the day through his punitive ‘take-home’ that can no longer take him home, it is a luring road to anarchy. Even, if there are predictions about rain, to comply with them and ensure food security will become problematic because there is corruption in the land. The sadder side of it is that those at the helm of affairs will have to work with false data and false narratives about the reality of issues in Nigeria. Unfortunately, no country plans with false data and makes a success out of it. Try it and you will be faced with false answers because the policies will also be skewed. And, if governance is skewed, all other things elsewhere will partake of it. Besides, there will be tension in the land and chaos will not be too far because the cost of maintaining the peace and security in the country will also go up, with no guarantees or assurances of success!
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
Komolafe writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (firstname.lastname@example.org)