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The elections of 2015 could not have sufficiently defined Nigeria’s political future like 2019 may.
The nation has never been so divided like it’s today under President Muhammadu Buhari. One of the reasons being that as a leader, Buhari appears to lack the skills and diplomatic wisdom to administer complex and knotty matters.
He came along with roughly charted leadership objectives, and more, with a personal weakness of insularity. By training and persona, he has a narrow world view.
Would you put blame on him? The military only came into active political participation in Nigeria owing to the woeful performance of the political class. It was due to the abuse of the political system that threw up mediocre elements from all corners to try their hands in Nigeria’s leadership.
Buhari was one of such those candidates who surfaced from the subterranean slug of Nigeria’s leadership failures. He came to power in 2015 as a democratically elected president.
In responding to Nigeria’s challenges, Buhari reached down yet again to his customary military habits of gun-shootings-the command structure approach, which is most likely to impair the character of any democratic society. He succeeds with it, and the aftermath is a nation cut into fragments of regional hostilities, angst, and loss of goodwill in his capacity to lead a united country.
Here we are, at sea, in the middle of a broken society, a thoroughly despondent mass of anguished Nigerians, and a divided political class bereft of creative ideas. The rash of civil agitations across the country is simply the echo of the level of disenchantment within the rank and file of the civil society.
This sums up Buhari’s achievements in the last one year and it’s looking likely that he has already lost the plot, the initiatives to rebound Nigeria.
The country may be moving into a political future that is significantly altered. Many Nigerians are feeling more and more insecure within Nigeria and about Nigeria, even from afar, setting off huge feelings of national and common social distrusts, perhaps an attitude arising from practice and endorsements of nepotism and favouritism by the current administration in many fronts.
Another, a blind and unskilful handling of the economy, and other sundry matters of national priority.
Nigerians are likely to be confronted with feelings of apathy in the coming elections in 2019, and in the coming political dispensation, having had spells of disappointing leadership performance under Buhari and his predecessors. They are likely to come out with fragmented visions of Nigeria, a frightening memory of hardship and sufferings. And mostly, an insecure electoral climate.
Some grave national events that shaped 2016 like the shootings of pro-Biafra protesters in Aba and Onitsha in the South-East by Nigerian soldiers, unlawful detentions, prejudiced handling of the Fulani herdsmen menace, militarisation of the Niger Delta conflicts, could probably set down this administration as one political misadventure.
Come 2019, Nigeria will be up and against a citizenry dogged by cynical visions. The rise in ethno-national agitations is rife.
What should bother Buhari’s administration but sadly doesn’t, is how to steer Nigeria back to course, and salve the wounds of its afflicted people. The lack of creative communications and inspiring, coordinated information management by his appointed mouthpieces further exposes the citizenry to the motif of self-isolation. Nigerians look to an inspiring voice of hope, an effective leader-led synergy built on trust and mutual understanding of a common national vision. But these are apparently not present.
What is left of Nigeria is in the hands of its masses-the prime movers of its destiny. Nigerians have the genetics to redeem Nigeria by their enormous gift of doggedness.
After nearly 20 years of democratic experimentation, Nigerians would have learnt by discernment, to rightly choose leaders with honest intents and right capacities to lead a right.
They need to look ahead, and draw from the present context an enriching political wisdom to vote into power candidates who can represent their best deserving.
Buhari’s administration has ample opportunity to rekindle hope in the hearts of the people by retooling its leadership architecture.
Steve Orji, London, United Kingdom