EDITORIAL: New Govt. tenures Amidst Security Chaos

EDITORIAL: New Govt. tenures Amidst Security Chaos

The recent swearing-in of President Muhammadu Buhari and 29 State Governors on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 has come upon most Nigerians with mixed feelings, especially in light of the security chaos that has mesmerized the citizenry of the nation. Whereas the President and his aides have been labouring to defend the performance of the Buhari administration in its first tenure, the reality on ground has been a matter of heartbreaking disappointment for the average Nigerian. Without prejudice to the isolated, sporadic achievements of the Power and Transport Ministries, the indices of failure include worsening unemployment statistics, biting economic hardship, staggering bare faced nepotism and shameless tribalism, corruption, infrastructural decay, and a chaotic security scenario. Even Kadaria Ahmed, veteran journalist who visibly romanticized Buhari’s incompetence during the pre-election interviews was later moved by the Zamfara killings to tell the President that his TraderMoney empower scheme was useless without national security. The security chaos has turned life in Nigeria into a brutal nightmare. In May 2019, it was estimated that 27 Nigerians were kidnapped within 48 hours in four States. Even very close persons to the President have been kidnapped. The security failure has not spared his home State, Katsina. Life in Nigeria has become all round terrific, practically becoming what British philosopher, Thomas Hobbes described life in the state of nature to be: “poor, nasty, brutish and short”. The logical result has been greater flight of Nigerians in search of survival abroad (brain drain). The illogical consequence has been increase in suicide due to frustration. The natural social implication has been national security failure, which has become more frightening in light of what Obasanjo has called a Fulanisation programme. The renewal of government tenures at the Federal and State levels in Nigeria amidst security chaos has made nonsense of politics in the country, and therefore tasks the new administrations to prove themselves responsible. As Cardinal Onaiyekan has observed, the current renewal of Government tenures does not call for any celebration. The challenge is for all levels of government to synergise and redeem Nigeria from imminent collapse, from “chaos, anarchy and doom”. The task is for Buhari’s government to showcase the “next level” of “change” preached during the last election campaign. The challenge is for those who brought in Buhari for a second term to grow up beyond mere politics of self service and offer Nigeria active leadership. The challenge is for the Buhari government to purge itself of the “quirks” that Bishop Kukah has observed to have overwhelmed the last four years. The caveat is the emergence of a new Federal Executive Council and ministerial appointees that is not recruited from what El-Rufai admittedly calls Accidental Public Servants, the dregs of the Nigerian society turned opportunistic politicians. As the new administrations begin amidst unspeakable crisis, Nigerians rightly expect and deserve change from government at all tiers. Nigerians expect a radical shift from the blame politics of the first tenure. Nigerians expect an urgent review of the security chiefs and the entire security architecture. Nigerians expect the appointment of credible and effective persons to key ministries of government. Nigerians expect the president to prove himself innocent of every Islamic or jihadist agenda. Nigerians expect government to put up a welfarist attitude and prioritize economic revitalization alongside security restoration. Nigerians expect more than a lips service to Road Construction, Healthcare Services and Educational Finance. Failure to push in these critical directions by the new governments will amount to pushing the nation further into the belly of the dragon. Those who worked hard to bring in the new administrations across the federation should now exercise the same creativity in saving Nigeria from what have been considered Africa’s historic postcolonial tragedy, state failure.

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