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Buhari and the Nigerian jigsaw puzzle

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Nigeria  has become a breeding ground for despair with the people witnessing a succession of disenchantment. The degree of imbalance among the geopolitical zones in terms of dispersion of opportunities ranging from political appointments, employment in the Federal bureaucracy and promotions, allocation of projects skewed in favour of selected zones have remained a source of worry to those cheated or schemed out. Also, we have deepening cleavages in matters relating to religious wranglings and strife; the increasing level of savagery across the nation; rising incidence of kidnapping; Boko Haram insurgency. All these make the country very unsafe to live in or carry out legitimate businesses. The ailing economy which has famished Nigerians is another big puzzle or a monster to tame.

Indeed, the people of this country have been consumed with discomfort and also shattered by recurring fighting and altercation within. This explains the cry  of marginalisation from various sections of the country, whether real or imagined. Though, the clamour for addressing these problems to allow the country move to the path of growth and development has been on before the All Progressive Congress, APC, administration gained access to Aso Rock, but came to its crescendo under President Mohammadu Buhari’s watch with more Nigerians becoming more frustrated and restive . The sad aspect of these problems is the worsening internal cohesion, making Nigerians think less of Nigeria and  need to move towards consensus building.

The on going call for restructuring which has pitted the North against the South, is a pointer to the fact that the nation is drifting to an unpredictable direction. These problems are like pieces of jigsaw puzzles strewn all over the place with Nigerians waiting for our political leaders to assemble them into shape and enable her confidently take the strides of the Giant of Africa, the leading light of the continent. The unity of Nigeria is being threatened by all these visible lapses highlighted above. Several sections of the country or tribes feel alienated, they have lost confidence in Nigeria. The separatist agitation by IPOB is a case in point. These weighty problems are enough to penetrate the conscience of President Buhari who attempted four times to lead a troubled country, which he confessed some time ago is difficult to rule. His long polished plan to rule the country coupled with his romance with APC, the child of an amalgam of some parties, was to cleanse  the Augean stables and enthrone a new dawn, free from corruption, ethnicity, religious bigotry, insecurity, with people havinga sense of belonging which is clearly lacking. While breaking his  fast in Abuja at the end of 2016 Ramadan month with members of his cabinet, President Buhari, stated with confidence that the period “strengthens our resolve to build our country to make it stronger and to make sure that the incoming generations are sufficiently motivated to be patriotic”. He contended further that, “It is no news that we are the biggest country in Africa, we are the economic engine of Africa, which is true by the way. But we must always be patriotic in our dealings with others”.

Like his Christian counterparts who just ended a month long retreat then, he was full of vigour and aplomb that he would resolve all outstanding issues bedeviling Nigeria and restore the people’s hope. But the President got it wrong. One, his government like that of his predecessors have not created the atmosphere to motivate young Nigerians, whom we refer to as leaders of tomorrow. They are unemployed because there are no jobs for them.  Two, his government has not taken a decisive effort to unify Nigeria nor take a clear step to move us towards National integration. Three, the prevailing atmosphere in the country creates  fear, insecurity, people  are just not comfortable. Four, The APC administration has not serviced the economic engine of Africa to work, the industrial sector is groaning in pains. All these have eroded the spirit of patriotism and oneness among Nigerians. With the decay in all facets of the nation, it is obvious that APC leadership did not study the mood of the nation, particularly President Buhari before embarking on this critical and prestigious mission to salvage a nation afflicted with all sorts of debilitating malaise that are now moving us inexorably into string of political crises that cannot be contained by our political leaders. The critical question one has to ask is – is the APC leadership really out to salvage Nigeria and Nigerians? I doubt, because our president, his cabinet, the National Assembly are still dithering over serious matters that can plunge the country deeper into trouble. It is baffling that politicians including the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai are working assiduously to ensure the president’s victory in 2019 elections. How can the present administration steer us to the path of stability, unity and economic development when the president and his party including the Kaduna State Governor have not come out to accomplish their slogan of Change? A pious wish? From the above account, it is obvious that a thunderstorm is brewing dangerously across the Nigerian State, promising to develop into a catastrophe, God forbid. The task before APC with President Muhammadu Buhari on the driver’s seat, is to commence adroitly assembling the pieces of jigsaw puzzle to pave way for him tosteer the nation on a careful course to greatness. He should evolve policies that will mollify the ruffled feelings of angry and frustrated Nigerians. There is no way he can calm frayed nerves if he does not place Nigeria on the path of unifying the diverse groups of Nigeria, place them on the path of National integration to allow Nigeria achieve stability.

The APC Central government should not fail to resolve all these lingering issues especial now that Nigerians no longer trust politicians nor have confidence in them. To avoid the country sliding further into anarchy, the president should return to the drawing board with his cabinet members and patriotic Nigerians to advise him wisely and not sycophants currently milling around him to cause commotion. Members of his team should have a rethink especially APC leaders who preoccupy themselves with reckless and unpromising statements that tend to cause disharmony among Nigerians. Nigerians expect policies that will restore hope, promote patriotism, encourage people from all parts of the country to live together without fear. If the  president fails to address these problems now, he will be bequeathing a jumbled nation to his successors and he will inevitably join the league of failed leaders who did nothing to lead this country to greatness.

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