Buhari Has Lost The Buharists

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Buhari Has Lost The Buharists, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

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The voices are loud and unmistakable. From the market stalls to social media, the lamentations of regret comes in angry sound bites. The faces of men and women on whose back Buhari rode to power tells the story of frustration and restlessness. An expanding number of Nigerians are alienated, angry and increasingly apathetic. Every where you turn, no single index favours the politician. Fifty percent of the Nigeran electorate is between age 18 and 35. This huge young demographic is disgusted, disillusioned and disenchanted with Nigeria’s politics and politicians. They are frustrated by years of neglect and a general lack of prospect and social mobility.

This piece was written by Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Many Buharists have grown wary and dismissive of the optimism that greeted Buhari’s nomination as the All Progressives Congress’ flag bearer and eventual election as Nigeria’s president. Instead, they have developed a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism. Despite initial optimism, Buhari has become more of the same. He’s turned into another clannish vote scrounger whose idea of governance is based on loyalty, religion and ethnicity. Largely, the burgeoning youth demographic, whom he energised to get elected and in whom they invested their hopes and aspirations, remains unidentified, untargeted and unaddressed.

In a world where cable news giants like CNN and Al Jazeera control what we see, images of young world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron are constantly fed to young Nigerians, thus contributing to the pressure young people feel at taking charge of their destinies. It is not only the ageing politicians that put them off, but also the so-called youthful politicians like the gilded Yahaya Bello of Kogi, who lives in his own constructed cocoon of lavish indifference. While he splurges on luxuries, Kogi workers are starving, their children are dying because he refuses to pay salaries under the pretext of his never ending verification programme to weed out ghost workers.

Voters are lost in the incredible hopelessness that pervades the homeland. Their trust has been assaulted and they have been let down ever so often. The APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) remain two sides of the same coin. Between both parties are incurable kleptomaniacs, the political prostitutes who can be bought for cheap and made to switch parties, not for any ideological differences but for patronage. Our brand of democracy is not value-based. Idealism ended with our founding fathers before the civil war. Who we have representing and deciding for us are thieves, ethnic chauvinists, religious bigots and sponsors of terror who will steal, plunder and murder innocents as long as it furthers their political ambition.

It has become a cliché in corporate, political and development circles that the best resource a nation can have is its people. How come the Buhari administration, which we installed after driving out the profligate and prodigal Jonathan out, does not get it? When will they be done with stupidity? While education, health and infrastructure is begging for attention, a Sani Danlami representing Katsina Federal Constituency, used his constituency project funds to circumcise 130 boys, in an uncommon display of intellect and ingenuity! Before his circumcision jamboree, his governor, Aminu Masari of Katsina State purchased 3,000 Coffins with state funds. This crazier wazzock with a curious fascination with death, distributed the coffins to Mosques in his state, while his government owed workers months of acummulated salaries. He was the same guy who falsified his state’s needs to get more bailout funds. It is instructive that Katsina underperforms in all the indices defined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Are these the people we want to rely on to solve the country’s problems like education, poverty and hunger? This waste of premium time on stupid things that have no effect on the peoples’ quality of life contributes largely to the indifference that the Nigerian feels towards politics. It is this lack of direction and purposefulness that fuels the dangerous attachment to personal success because there is no hope for collective good. Since politics and politicians are not contributing anything to public good, the struggle for the good of the individual is prime. After the individual, comes the public issues which could affect the individual. Issues like health, education, environment, infrastructure and so on. The country is despondent and in a hopeless state, in which the majority believes our problems are intractable. This no solution mode has created a platform for abdicating responsibility in all of us, from the home to the community and the nation at large.

Upon serious reflection, it is shameful and equally sad on our part that people like Professor Wole Soyinka who spoke for us 50 years ago are still the ones in the forefront, championing our fights. We have no revolutionary fire in our bellies. No desire to challenge the status quo and certainly not a fiery desire to change the system. But can we truly blame anyone? Can we blame a traumatised and dehumanised people for being self-centred and confused? The government, by its inaction, is fanning the embers of disillusionment. Thanks to our corrupt polity, the little gains of democracy are being squandered. It is all about coalition politics. What we have are feckless political buccaneers seeking power for its own sake, without any breathtaking ideal that could inspire. Politics is no longer a charming spectacle but having political experience without a political base.

Buhari has lost the plot and his supporters by squandering a great opportunity. The last two years were a waste. He may pick the pieces and attempt some realpolitik for the next one year. He can only do that if he rediscovers himself and listen to the angry voices on the street. He must rejig his cabinet and fire Abba Kyari if he is to take his presidency back. I wish him luck because he needs more than luck to get us back.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú a farmer, youth advocate and political analyst writes this weekly column, “Bamidele Upfront” for PREMIUM TIMES. Follow me on Twitter @olufunmilayo

This piece was written by Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.



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