By Femi Orebe
I have said it over and over; we are not organised and we often act on impulse. The Fulani think 50 years ahead , but we think and romanticise with yesterday.
We celebrate achievements of yesterday as if they are more important than the future. What is going on is an organised sub-regional plan to establish a Nigeria that fits into their own dream.
When are we going to play the flute because every time we rush to the agenda they throw in our midst and we start panting? They dictate the pace of our Politics and power game.
Unfortunately our networking is so weak that we hardly have any meeting point , complete with all the strategic groups across Yorubaland” – Akaraoogun.
For those who may not know, I have more than established my bona fides as a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari.
When he was not even sure he would emerge the APC Presidential candidate in 2015, I had written concerning him, saying: ”Nigeria, in its current dire straits, needs Buhari more than he needs Nigeria”.
But that is not all, as can be confirmed by the following attestations.
“Buhari: The Politics of Age By Professor Tam David-West
October 14, 2014.
“Nigeria, in its current dire straits needs Buhari more than he needs Nigeria.” –
Femi Orebe, “The Nation On Sunday” September 28, 2014 Page 18″.
“Daddy Orebe is the most misunderstood person in recent times because his traducers don’t read their story lines well before reacting to his deeply informed analysis.
He has spoken clearly on restructuring, herdsmen’s menace, insecurity and other issues. People misunderstand him because he will not join the league of naysayers”. – Dr Sikiru Eniola on Ekiti Panupo.
”Thank you so much sir. You have tried your best to give the leaders of today a long opportunity to prove themselves but the failure on their part has become so glaring” – Akaraoogun Adewale Adeoye on Ekiti Panupo.
”Sir. You said I am supporting a Malam Kwankwaso but you failed to mention that Nigerians always read your articles about how a Fulani man is the best leader Nigeria should have. Now the splendid performance is there for Nigerians to see”. –
Tokunbo Omolase on Facebook.
I wrote all the above to show, in unmistakable terms, not just where I stand on the Nigerian political spectrum, but to let President Buhari himself know that in asking what are bound to be thoroughly uncomfortable, if not ‘nauseating’ questions, they are not coming from enemy territory.
Rather, they are coming from the tortured soul of a supporter of his, who has been at the receiving end of almost daily flagellation by those Nigerians who say I was one of those who sold them ‘a pig in a poke’ as well as the most tribalistic, and insular, Nigerian president, ever.
Even though, I will not go as far as to describe the president in those lurid terms, I often, in fairness to the critics, personally wonder as to how the president still manages to sleep, that is, if he is able to sleep, when he takes a hard look at how the North has come to so completely dominate the Nigerian public space under his watch to the extent that one would be right to say Nigeria is under a northern stranglehold.
Worse, really, is the fact that this seeming internal colonialism shows no signs of remission as various stratagems are ongoing, an example being the case of the Federal Commission on Nomadic Education, which has failed miserably in its core function given the number of out-of-school children in that part of the country, but is now coyly trying to embed itself in the contentious grazing reserves matter which many have said is aimed at sexing up Nigeria’s demographics in favour of the Fulani.
Mr President, Sir, I belong to many Whatsapp groups apart from individuals with the result that I have up to 1000 entities I receive chats from.
Many from these sources are daily bombarding me, as one of your arch supporters, with questions I haven’t the capacity to answer.
To these I shall return.
Like Dr Junaid Mohammed, US-based Professor Farooq A. Kperogi has in fact gone to the extent of describing your government as ‘Government of Buhari’s Family, by His Family, and for His Family’.
He writes further: Before he was sworn in as President in May 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, without prompting from anybody, publicly told his immediate and extended family members to stand back from his incoming government.
He even warned that any family member who used his name to peddle influence would face dire consequences”. ”I was so impressed by this declaration that in my May 16, 2015 column titled “6 Reasons Why Incoming Buhari Government Fills Me with Hope,” I isolated it as one of the six reasons I thought Buhari’s administration would “represent a qualitative departure from the legalised banditry that has passed for governance in Nigeria for so long.” Specifically, he continued: “Buhari’s symbolic but nonetheless significant gestures like telling family members to steer clear of his government and telling aides to obey traffic laws inspire me.”
I remember the president saying that and I was beside myself with joy. You could have ridden a horse in my belly. But all those soon dramatically changed that the First Lady had to cry out, protesting what she called a hijack of your government. I thought that was impossible.
Back then to my Whatsapp groups and friends where all that the First Lady complained of, important as they are, pales into almost nothing as the questions these ones raise, are so telling and Pan –
Nigerian; far beyond family.
If His Excellency would kindly overlook the impertinence, could you please get the Presidency – no, not you in person Mr President, to provide answers to the following posers from a younger friend of mine, an Ekiti like me and retired Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – a Ph.D holder to boot – who has seen something of the world, but never ceases to taunt me with questions pertaining to ‘our’ administration.
The latest, which came via a Whatsapp chat, goes as follows:
“Oga (Ekiti salutation for elders), these are your latest achievements at the NEXT LEVEL. Any comment?
He didn’t have to repeat the ‘any comment’, as he always, unerringly, got a defence from me whenever he sends me these inquisitorial chats, which is almost daily.
This time around, Your Excellency, I am in a complete fix, and so do need help. Indeed, to taunt me maximally, he wrote that this one is only an observation.
Here they go:
“Finance, Customs, Immigration, FIRS, NPA, NNPC, AMCON, NDIC, Federal Mortgage Bank, are now firmly in the hands of northerners!
Executive, Legislature, the Judiciary, Police, DSS, Armed Forces, minus the CDS, Oil, Airports and Seaports, are all in the hands of northerners.
The rout is complete.
Chief of Army Staff tenure is over. He is still in office
Chief of Naval Staff tenure is over. He is still in office.
EFCC acting Chairman’s tenure is over. He is still in office.
But FIRS boss, Tunde Fowler’s tenure expired today and he is already replaced”.
As I indicated above, I know that the First Lady had once observed that you do not know many of those working in your government, but that notwithstanding, I think it is necessary I remind your Excellency, that Nigeria presently has no less than 250 ethnic groups divided into six geo – political zones .
Under no circumstances should all these happen as they are totally unconscionable, and a matter of great discomfort for us your supporters in this part of the country. It is extremely nauseating that a part can so torridly dominate the rest when those others are no slaves.
No genuine supporter of yours can be happy, or roll out the drums, for this state of affairs as they are not only unthinkable, but ungodly.
It is even worse, given Nigeria’s current realities of mass poverty, unremitting insecurity, all on top of a seeming northernisation policy, as if the other ethnic groups are non- Nigerians.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are not hearing a word from non northern APC leaders as to what negative consequences all these may have on the party come 2023, and one begins to wonder as to how they explain all these to their people.
This failure on their part can serve as a mitigating factor for the President, but even then, it would be pointless and unhelpful,
Whatever the president can do to correct these incredible anomalies will be of great help to the party, will mollify the people, and most probably, secure a positive legacy for you.
Otherwise all your positive contributions to Nigeria, at these extremely difficult times, may come to naught, which I pray, God forbid.
RE: THE RULING ON EX-GOVERNORS’ PENSION LAW
“Long time. I don’t miss Nation on Sunday because of your column. God bless SERAP people for the judge’s ruling on ex-governors’ bogus pension package.
I believe that all the ex-governors must have met Mr Malami “ in chamber” before he wrote that law- student piece. Mark it, he may not last Pres Buhari’s 4 years.
Whatever a man sows he shall reap. By the way, is it not Mr Malami who should have gone to court to challenge NASS N14m & N12m monthly pay? All he will ask is for the court to declare whether NASS pay is reasonable or not in the light of the level of unemployment in Nigeria today and workers’ minimum wage of only N30,000 a month..
A verdict of “unreasonable” is all Nigerians need to march on NASS. May God bless our country..
Pa G.O Okoobo, FCA (91 year old dedicated reader of this column and one of Nigeria’s earliest Chattered Accountants. God bless, Sir).?
*This article was first published in The Nation