As the saying goes: “Strike the iron while it’s hot.” Or “Make hay while the sun shines.” Non of the aforementioned saying is not pertinent to the action that should have been taken by northerners during the recently concluded 2019 general elections.
Democracy gives voters a chance to get to know and measure a candidate’s performance and observe his style of leadership as well as his behavior over a meaningful period of time. So if a candidate rules in absentia, lead in abstraction, traffic in prejudice, wallowed in the abyss of mediocrity, and runs a directionless government, election proposes opening up opportunity for the electorates to substitute him at the poll. This opportunity presented itself at the doorstep of the good people of Northern Nigeria but unfortunately, the region missed out this golden opportunity.
A human being without experiences might be best described as “brain dead” rather than as a functional living being. A “brain dead” person could be technically alive, but the lack of consciousness makes the person dead for all intents and purposes. The permanent loss of consciousness is a loss of intristic value. Base on this assertion, I thought sequence of tragic events that have been happening in northern region under the watch Buhari’s administration—a self-acclaimed agent of change will infuse a simple wisdom in most of us to spot the difference between qualification, foresightedness, aptitude, capacity and the absolute lack of them. Regrettably, most of us failed to distinguish themselves from “brain dead” people.
Leading leaders implement social reforms and policy measures that contribute to the general welfare of the populace. They are the concentrated voices of the people that make all efforts to take the state to the next level and improve people’s lives. Anyone who wears the gown of leadership is delight to serve the people and consider himself as servant and people his paymasters. He represents the hopes, aspirations and the interests of every citizen in the country. These are the features of those who bear resemblance to progressive movers and shakers.
I thought when we go to the poll we will prove that one dimensional stereotype with little engaging depth perpetrating against us—northerners wrong; unfortunately reverse is the case. Despite president Buhari proved too incompetent to serve perhaps to give the nation a clear sense of direction but core northerners still retained their irrational faith in the president’s capacity to deliver. They have given him the impression that he is doing them a favour for being in the presidency; they showed him that they are more than comfortable with his gross incompetence and cluelessness, and make him understand that his bad leadership has been a blessing to them. Don’t call me a doom and gloom merchant; but something good can hardly come out of a leader who enjoys inimical support of this sort.
His style of leadership has now created a sprawling numbers of doubters and worriers among his ardent supporters and admires who have been living in ceaseless denial for all this while. Before the 2019 election, they see those who disagree with him as “haters” and dismissed inconvenient fact as “fake news.” They continued to applaud his blunders, denied his errors, spurn every meaningful admonitions, and insulted critical thinkers who had foreseen and pronounced his failures. Today, northern region is inundated with worried noises and cacophony; at home, at work, at market, at school, and in the streets the cacophony never cease. Surprisingly, his unsighted supporters are now asking him to give the nation what we already told them he doesn’t have.
Three essential traits are conspicuously missing in the current administration; namely: Decisiveness, flair for acting and political virtuosity. The president appeared to have no or little understanding of governance. Just like him, his appointees have been exhibiting so much incompetency but he shows so much content with their ordinariness, amateurishness and lack of aspiration.
l held the president in high esteem; I can’t be so disrespectful to him; therefore, I can’t say he is born mediocre but he is certainly behaving like one. He achieved mediocrity and proved beyond reasonable doubt that he has mediocrity thrust upon him. The president’s unhelpful utterances like: “Old age will limit my performance; I’m not in a hurry to do anything; it’s the system that is slow not me” are confirmation of his gross incompetence. More disturbing issue is, Buhari is not acting like commander in chief rather, he is acting like a ceremonial president. This is why critical sectors like security sector and the economic sector realized his incompetency.
Anyone who want to wade across a shallow stream of disappointment—want the ground to open and swallow him, should find out or ask himself how many industries have been set up right from the inception of this government to date, and how many businesses have collapsed from the time president Buhari took the oath of office to date. The answer to this question will definitely explain why northern region is in terrible mess. Northern Nigeria constitutes two third (2/3) of Nigeria’s population with the least number of industries. Many are looking for menial job to take but it’s not very much available. Every sane and well balanced person must acknowledge the fact that survival is a must. Whatsoever, people must survive but the means through which one will survive differs.
Nowhere survival of the fittest is obviously demonstrated than in the north; this is a region where people are in constant struggle for food at present. Those who couldn’t cope with this avoidable difficult situation and think they will eventually perish under the current hardship, have since set up kidnapping and banditry industries in the bush perhaps across the region where recruitment is on daily basis, and the number of dangerous staff is on the high-rise. Currently, they are the biggest employers of labour in the north.
I’m neither a gloom-monger nor a doom-monger but should Nigerian government install US, French and Russian army into this country just to put an end to this current insecurity, nothing will change; the situation will still persists until the needful is done. Peace doesn’t reign anywhere in the world where people are left without basic necessities of life; where unemployment and illiteracy are the order of magnitude. The only things that will guarantee peace are jobs creation and improve standard of education. Acquiring weapons from US or Russia is never the antidote to this lingering insecurity.
In its fullest sense, human security include not only protection against criminal violence but also the promotion of the people’s right to basic social services such as basic education, primary healthcare, water and sanitation, nutrition and reproductive health, as well as the implementation of preventive relief and rehabilitation measures with respect to disasters both natural and human made.
Any regret, noise or raucousness is now useless. It’s too late to cry when the head is cut off!
Halilu writes from Kaduna. And can be reached on Twitter @AmiruHalilu