Revelations from the pulpit


It was in William Shakespeare’s epic novel, Julius Caesar, that the great Caesar was warned of an imminent danger as the priest’s divination could not find the heart of the beast. But because Caesar’s wisdom was consumed in confidence said, “…the gods do in shame of cowardice, Caesar shall go forth from his house today…”. Therefore, I would not be surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari administration which has sufficiently being consumed from inception with credibility and charisma ego, would not be bothered if legion of men of God, human rights activists and indeed millions of Nigerians join forces with the Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical province who, the other day, raised an alarm that Nigeria has lost its soul under the President Buhari administration that is enmeshed in politics with the semblance of divide and rule system. Without a second thought, the Buhari government would, like Caesar, launch a fierce self esteem appraisal and continue unabated irrespective of the critics brutal facts and wave them off as merely inconsequential voices being sponsored by the opposition to discredit the ruling government change train.

No doubt, the revelation is a damming indictment of the Buhari administration as many Nigerians are themselves just as the Catholic Bishops were quite irritated by what the Bishops call the selective administration of the Buhari government. However, if you did not see that coming from inauguration day as regards the body language and lopsided appointment under the Buhari government, then, you were not paying attention. Nigerians cannot fail to be mystified by the lopsided appointment that favours certain region and religion. Rather than try to brighten the political climate and improve the poor governance that has ravaged the country like earthquake, the ruling government chose to adopt ethnic and regional favouratism. It is worrisome that the Catholic Bishops revelation is coming at a time when the agitation for regional autonomy and the quest among the political class to zone the presidency in the upcoming 2023 elections to the South- East is heating up the polity.

It seems reasonable to say that the ruling government complacently enjoys the growing leverage of insecurity and the economic hardship affecting Nigerians. One sad thing about the ugly development of insecurity in the country is that Nigerians are fast becoming experts in detecting and isolating a presided enemy tribe among themselves. Things that were unthinkable about twenty years ago are taking center view in public life, if you conduct an opinion poll about insecurity in Nigeria then, with emphasis on suicide bombing, kidnapping and heartless killing of human beings. The respondents would probably have given you an odd look and a quick response that such cannot happen here, in Nigeria. Regrettably, these days, such incidents are daily headline news, scary stories about killings and displacement of people from their ancestral homes and turning communities into ghost towns. Surprisingly, the ruling government is bristling with accusation on the media as being responsible for the increase in insurgency attacks because of the latter’s coverage and analysis.

In contemplating the frightening scenes insecurity has bestowed on the nation, the clerics noted that the current waves of insecurity in the country is an indication that the President Buhari government has failed woefully to tackle the criminal elements wreaking havoc but rather dissipating energy on silencing lawful citizens.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how the reputation of the Buhari administration could sink any lower as insecurity and economic hardship has overwhelmed the citizenry. Crime and criminality is on the increase and the ruling government seems not quite focused to address it.

The clerics outburst that, “Nigeria, our country, seems to have lost its very soul because it is no longer a healthy entity…armed conflicts, armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, insurgency, banditry, and extrajudicial killings have become the order of the day”, is indeed a peculiar Nigerian situation today. The government and its officials have woven itself in a strong illusion and have characteristically gone up in arms against patriotic and frank critical opinions, such as the recent expression by Bishop Matthew Kakah at the US Congress on religious freedom in Nigeria.

In the past, several pious calls for the Buhari administration to make its military weight felt by the insurgents have turned out to be empty. The government has remained surprisingly indifferent to the obvious danger before Nigerians regarding insurgency, banditry and kidnapping. To a large extent, it seems the ruling government’s continued strong sympathy towards the insurgents and that making excuses for the military inability to crush the insurgents is a signal of its lack of desire to crush the insurgents. No doubt, the ruling government’s priorities are changing by the day.

President Buhari, who was intent during his campaign on pivoting towards insurgency, kidnapping and banditry chose not to punish captured Boko Haram fighters and surprisingly so, allow arrested killer herdsmen to go free. It signaled that the Buhari administration is losing interest in the fight against insurgency and it is hard to overstate the scale of the change the ruling government promised Nigerians. Underlying the gloom and apprehension we now find ourselves in is the government we have foisted ourselves by way of (S)election.

A situation where there seems to be less and more to the case of insecurity than it appears. Less in that the government position on degrading the insurgents are flimsy, more is that insecurity can be seen as a clever way to smuggle an unpopular idea like grazing reserves, cattle colony, cattle route, water bill or RUGA into existence.

There is no use advocating a better future for Nigerians that never came close to reality. The ruling government has continued its slogan to create millions of jobs to alleviate poverty on the pages of newspapers and television screen but the reality remains that Nigerians are poorer by the day. Which demonstrate that the government is simply insensitive to the masses plights. If the government does not wake up to its responsibilities, there is a considerable risk that in the near future, the country may disappear geopolitically or worst still, the government will no longer be in control of the affairs.

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