“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” President Buhari tweeted.
This was the set induction by the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, sometime last week. The careless statement was his reaction to the crisis situation in his country.
Nigeria since he came to power in 2015 has been embroiled in crises. It was erroneously thought by the international community, especially Washington and London, that he was the proper person to pull the country out of the wood. The government before him was weak and did not do enough to contain insurgency in Nigeria.
Because of his antecedent as a former military head of state, December 1983 – August 1985, it was presumed that he would stop terrorism in Nigeria without delay. He even boasted to destroy and defeat them within two weeks on assumption of power.
Gen. Sani Abacha, the military junta that ruled Nigeria in the mid-90s, said that if a crisis lasted for more than twenty-four hours, the government of the day had a hand in it.
President Buhari seemed to have proven Abacha correct. Those who believed that he was the right person, international community, to quell insurgency in Nigeria did not consult the indigenous people. The decision is now a monumental disaster.
Buhari before his accession to office, had said publicly that any attack against Boko Haram was an attack against Islam and Northern Nigeria. He stepped into power with this mindset and hell was let loose. Instead of his government fighting the insurgents with sincerity, it offered tacit support to them.
Choppers drop supplies including arms and ammunitions for the insurgents in the night in Sambisa Forest and other locations. They were secretly financed by the government and top politicians in the North. They abduct citizens and collect ransom from the government. His government has official negotiators with the insurgents. Because of his government patronage of the insurgents, new terrorist groups were born in the country. Fulani Herdsmen, Fulani Bandits, and ISIS. The latter established a formidable branch in Nigeria called Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP.
Because of his careless approach to leadership exacerbated by his utter ethnic bias, other tribes in the country started to assert themselves and demanded for self-determination.
Instead of approaching the smearing situation intelligently and diplomatically, he chose confrontation. Trying to kill a fly with a sledge hammer. Sorry Mr. President, this is twenty-first century. Things don’t work out this way again. Authoritarianism escalates a poor situation.
In his frustration that things are not immediately working out the way he wanted, he rolled out military and police tanks to confront those peaceful people agitating for self-determination. This method escalated the problem instead of deescalating it. Poor judgement and bad management.
The United States Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), using many macro indices has finally classified Nigeria as a failed state. Some of us after keen observation on Nigerian affairs had made this conclusion about a decade ago. Definitely, the problem is worse than what CFR observed with macro indicators solely.
Just over the weekend, Fulani Herdsmen killed more than 50 people in a community in the South West of the country, razed many buildings, and abducted their monarch. In the North Central, many indigenes were murdered by Fulani Bandits at the same time.
In the South East, the military and Boko Haram members in disguise as military personnel, shot, macheted, and butchered more than 100 indigenous people. The federal government is aware of all this. Instead of fighting the Islamic terrorists, President Buhari threatened to carry out ethnic cleansing in the region as it was done 50 years ago. This is unbecoming of a civilized president. The social media giant, Twitter, deleted his account for contravening its rules.
Social media platforms suspended President Trump’s accounts because of his tweets. He did not shut them down. American comedians used him for their late-night comedies, describing him as a “stable genius”. Nobody was killed nor arrested; instead, he fired back.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, was slapped some hours ago by a citizen. It added to the list of world leaders who have been attacked in public by their citizens. He did not order for the man’s execution. Should similar thing happen in Nigeria, the secret police and soldiers, would descend on the man’s village and turn it to ashes. And nothing will happen; culture of impunity. It shows the difference between a patient with migraine headache and another one with brain dead.
A Nigerian would have been the first African Secretary-General of the United Nations. He even registered to take French language program in Lagos. While he was getting ready, Washington issued instruction, that nobody with military background would be on that seat. His tenure would have been a disaster, if he survived it.
Buhari said that democracy is slow. He prefers military dictatorship to democracy and has made his government a glorified democracy.