General Muhammadu Buhari did not become a president by accident having failed after several attempts in previous elections.  He was very well, though deceitfully, packaged because as it turned out, he had no blueprint.  He appeared vengeful and driven by feudal instinct to project and hoist ethnic agenda on the entire country wearing the veil and facade of integrity.  He rode on the crest hill of popular support of the youths following the spectacular failure of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after 16 years of waste and graft.

At the end of his first tenure, it was obvious that the APC-led government under Buhari was driving the country to a cul-de-sac.  One would have thought that such a party that parades great minds would not have projected Buhari for a second term because doing so typifies reinforcing failure.  As if in trance and under spell, we settled again for candidate Buhari for a second term to our peril.

We therefore deserved what we got when we endorsed him because we are complicit. By electing him, we traded competence for ethnicity and religion and we are today paying a heavy price in terms of insecurity, unemployment, more agitations for self-determination, and surrendering the state to non-state actors. The president does not seem to be aware or conscious of the state of the nation as he lacks the presence of mind to react in a statesman like manner to the dire situation under his regime.

The president may have approached governance through ethnic prism and narrow world view to project bigotry of the extremist variant. He may have been incompetent and unable to run an all-inclusive government because of his provincial proclivity but the National Assembly and his ministers gave fillip to it. The president has done his best, no thanks to his poor health which could have served as exculpatory to his failings but again, you do not give what you do not have.  His faults are our faults and his failures are our failure.

President Buhari does not deserve to be impeached. If President Buhari deserves to be impeached those so-called honourable members are as guilty as he is in their failures, faults and foibles.  They too deserved to be sacked wholesale. These are the same people over-sighting all the ministries and departments that are not functioning. These are people who go about collecting money from heads of ministerial departments through blackmail instead of exposing the rot in the system to rebuild the institutions.

The castles in their villages no longer offer them sanctuary with the retinue of security and now the only heavenly sanctum they have in Abuja is becoming vulnerable and untenable.  Now they want the president impeached.  It is crass opportunism and rascality to deploy legislative power to pursue personal or sectarian project that is bound to fail at the twilight of the regime.  It is going to be a huge distraction and further heating up of the polity and unnecessary hell-raising.    In any case, one is not sure how this equally incompetent and corrupt assembly can navigate the waters of impeachment as required by Section 143 of the 1999 constitution where no act of misconduct properly so-called can be imputed or inferred.

Under this government, our security forces and intelligence agencies have lost their bite.  Sadly, we are at the nadir of our security forces and intelligence community in performance and rating.  They appear weak, vulnerable and lacking the lethal bite to take the battle to the bandits in their hideouts.  Lately, bandits and insurgents have laid sustained siege to Abuja, the capital city and seat of government. Insecurity has virtually eclipsed the country and these criminal elements are more brazen and daring to the point of threatening to kidnap the president and his minimal pair and cousin in Kaduna State.  We have lost global reckoning amongst nations that can defend itself from local and domestic insurgents.

How can bandits be holding citizens in captivity within the geographical boundary of a sovereign state for months and years and the state claims she is unable to access the same place where the bandits and insurgents have established full-fledged authority with internet communication and logistic base?  How do the criminals access the place and replenish their stocks regularly? Today, the bandits and insurgents have tested the waters and see that they are lords of the road, they have captured the rail and in no time they are likely to take over the airspace because the government has allowed them to continue to acquire and upgrade their weaponry; that is if they have not acquired anti-air missiles already to contest for the air space.

The government still want citizens to buy into its propaganda when the reality is suffocating life out of everyone.  The government has not stopped selling the lies that the bandits and insurgents occupy only ungovernable, impregnable groove that the security forces cannot access or reach.  To put a lie to the propaganda, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Trust Television ran a documentary of the bandit kingpin of Zamfara responsible for mass abduction and kidnapping of school children and other criminal activities.  The BBC and Trust Television ordinarily deserve commendation to have exposed the lie of security agencies and probably lack of appetite to confront the bandits. Rather than swallow its pride and failures, the Minister of Information threatened to sanction the two media outfits which they have made good by imposing a fine of N5 million on Trust Television.  This is only a dictatorial act of censorship to muzzle the Press which Nigerians should resist.

Overtime, the government either intentionally or by default had given bandits and insurgents lifeline by its appeasement and rehabilitation policies.  All the theories of difficulties of asymmetrical warfare and avoiding collateral damage or civil rights at the frontline are balderdash.  No serious nation negotiates with terrorists with chocolate and ice cream; training and rehabilitating them when the victims of their mindless assault on the state are living in IDP camps.

Criminals and ideological zealots levying war on the state cede the enjoyment of their own civil right under the law.  The state with all its legitimate coercive apparatuses should have a greater dose of lethal violence over non-state actors.  We expect the government to act and provide security for the citizens and stop hiding under nebulous operational excuses of collateral damage.  Political offices and power come at a prize; sacrifice for the state and if you don’t like the heat leave the kitchen.

The unreasonable pattern of behaviour of this government is becoming worrisome.  The other day, it doled out about a million United States dollars in aids to the Taliban government in Afghanistan in the midst of biting economic reality in our country.  Not too long ago, it embarked on an ambitious railway project linking Niger Republic whereas the communities and states in the country are not connected by rail.  As if that was not enough, the government has just purchased security vehicles worth over a billion naira to the same Niger Republic whereas our own Police lack logistics to respond to emergencies and distress calls to fight criminality in the country.  One need not mention the ridiculous invitation and mockery for the president to come and deliver lecture on insecurity in Liberia when we are almost consumed by insecurity enveloping the entire country.

Under the watch of President Buhari, there is nothing to pick and choose from the executive, legislature and the judiciary; it is unmitigated disaster and the country is tilting on the edges.  However, contemplating impeachment of the president at this time would be a wrong solution coming at the heel of transition towards 2023 general elections.  The president should be allowed to coast to his terminal destination of May 29, 2023 but surely, history will judge him harshly and his exit will indeed be good riddance.

Members of the National Assembly who have served within the same period with him deserve no less opprobrium and odium.  The face of this government is lies and deceit all-the-way, trying to create alternative truth even when the reality speaks eloquently to the contrary.

The National Assembly should stop this histrionics for once and face serious state business and leave President Buhari alone to conclude his tenure and vacate the State House for whatever good may have done.  It is now time for Nigerians to have a break from this ugly past as opportunity beckons.

 

  • Kebonkwu Esq is an Abuja-based attorney.