When the September 11, 2001 attack on World Trade Centre in the United States took place, despite the obvious communication gaps between George Bush’s government and security agencies, which made the attack possible, every American dropped the blame game. Rather, they concentrated on the common enemies.
In Nigeria, the situation is not the same. Take the issue of security for instance. The current security challenges facing our nation has become, for some, the avenue to milk, sabotage and deride government’s efforts. They spew propaganda and lies to undermine government efforts.
Since 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office we have continued to witness the gradual shift in standard of governance paradigms. Instead of the usual emphasise on rush approach, Buhari has brought some measures of emotional stability into taking sensitive government decisions. This has impacted positively on government deliverables in the last six years.
However, the penchant of political stakeholders and opinion leaders in our clime to politicise every issue has remained a huge challenge to the free flow of government business. Contrary to what it should be or the standard practice in the rest of the world, even issues of national concern are given all sorts of negative interpretations, which most times makes it difficult for the realisation of lofty objectives. In some other climes, when there is national emergency, opinion leaders, politicians and the populace subsume their interests for the overall betterment of their society. After this order many societies have became very great.
Sadly, the opposition whose major role is to offer alternative views or constructive criticisms have been caught in the snare of trivialism. Instead of joining hands with the President Buhari-led government to defeat the menace of insecurity, they bury themselves in fanning the embers of negativity and conspiracy theories against their fatherland, forgetting that they can only aspire for political offices because there is a country. They politicise everything, including the Social Investment Programme (SIP) being driven by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
Nevertheless, President Buhari has mastered the art of neutralising the negative politicisation of government’s pure intentions. He has refused to join them in the mud, preferring instead to concentrate on what’s best for the country. This tactics have paid off many times with the president’s actions or intentions judged faithfully in the end.
Suffice it to buttress this subject with the arrest and detention of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and the campaigner for Yoruba Nation, Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho). Apart from Boko Haram, the activities of these elements have subjected the Nigerian sovereignty to severe test. While President Buhari has demonstrated his resolve and capacity to use these guys as example according to the laws of the land, some opinion leaders and politicians are beginning to politicse it.
No serious nation will toy with its national unity. Hence, any slightest test to the unity and the territorial integrity of the nation should be met with the full weight of the laws of the land to serve as a deterrent to future contemplation.
On the politicisation of Boko Haram and menace of bandits, Buhari has continued to ignore trivialities. He is rather focusing on defeating the criminal elements in our society. There are no better ways to demonstrate capacity than how President Buhari has handled IPOB, Yoruba Nation, Boko Haram and banditry. With the magnitude of fighting tools and motivation made available to our fighting men by President Buhari, it’s only a matter of time for these criminals to fade off our land.
Most unfortunate is the skepticism surrounding the Buhari’s war on corruption. While multi-national institutions like the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) have acknowledged the president’s efforts at fighting corruption to a standstill, our politicians and some opinion leaders are politicising it. This is despite the African Union appointing President Buhari to chair its fight against corruption.
This ostrich mentality will not help our nation to develop. Ideally, where a leader is doing well, stakeholders should rise above politics and pettiness to commend him. That will serve as spring under his feat and a grease to his efforts. But when a leader is being castigated despite given his best, it can be frustrating.
It is only in Buhari’s era that we have seen an anti-corruption crusade that spares nobody, even members of the president’s political parties. Despite the unparallel demonstration of political will to fight corruption, like ostrich, some persons have refused to acknowledge it. Rather, they are advancing theories to justify their claim that the effort is selective and ethnic-based.
What else can be more painful than accusing a man who sacked his own friend, Babachir Lawal, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, when issues of corruption was mentioned in his dealings? What can be more annoying than trivialising an anti-corruption fight that convicted Orji Kalu, an elected Senator on the platform of the president’s party, All Progressives Congress? The president matched words with action when he warned politicians decamping to the APC to receive immunity from corruption-related prosecution to have a rethink because the fight will not spare anyone.
As usual, the president’s threat was politicised and was taken with a pinch of salt. True to his threat, Femi Fani-Kayode, who was believed to have decamped to the APC to secure soft landing in corruption trial, has continued to have his day with justice.
If we want a society we can all be proud of, politicisation of every action of government is not the best way to go! Like the Americans, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, among others, we must resolve to support government policies, especially where a government like that of Buhari has demonstrated clear commitment to changing the Nigerian fortunes. After all, those we elected are not perfect but mere mortals like us!
– Ibrahim is director, communications and strategic planning, of the presidential support committee (PSC).