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Buhari, Danjuma and looming anarchy

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President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

Like medieval potentates who fiddled around while their empires were in the grip of mortal perils, President Muhammadu Buhari has since lost the capacity to resolve for us the question of whether our nation is on the brink of anarchy.

This is because Buhari and his officials are stuck in a reality that does not reflect the pains of the people.

In other words, if the country staves off a post-Gaddafi Libya-like anarchy and it remains one after the tenure of Buhari, the credit should go to the forbearance and prescience of those who are outside his government.

During the recession that the government claims to have overcome through its deft economic management, it amounted to blackmail of the Buhari administration to draw its attention to the reality of the suffering of the masses.

Not even the job losses and the regular reports of suicide because of economic hardship could convince the government of the terrible impact of the recession.

There were officials who wondered why some citizens dared complain about recession when local and international flights were heavily booked.

Again, there was this riposte that by confronting the government with such a reality, the agents of the corruption of the past era were only fighting back.

It is thus by no means atypical of the Buhari administration not to appreciate that anarchy looms in the nation. Now, it feels affronted that it is Gen. Theophilus Danjuma that would alert it to this peril.

At a convocation lecture at Taraba State University, Danjuma warned his people that they would all die as victims of armed banditry if they failed to defend themselves.

He warned them to purge themselves of the illusion of state protection since the military was colluding with the armed bandits to kill them.

Since then, the reactions have been diverse. The government and the military are shocked that Danjuma could take such a position. This is a position that negated their expectations. They expected him to have behaved like an elder statesman who would not stoke tension.

After all, as a retired military general and a former minister of defence, he has a direct access to the top military hierarchy. They expected him to have used this access to express his concerns.

There has also been the question of the role that Danjuma has played in bringing this nation to its economic and political ruination.

And then this poser: Why should he complain when Buhari is clearing the mess he and others have left behind? Or has he become restive because he has not been given his own slice of the cake under this government?

While a case for Danjuma to face his due sanctions if he contributed to the pains of the citizens is valid, it does not vitiate the warning he has given to the nation.

If the Buhari government were not so inattentive to advice, it should be grateful to Danjuma for his position . But the Buhari’s government’s reaction to Danjuma is typical of how it has been treating suggestions on how to ensure the stability and progress of the nation.

What has the Buhari government done to all the good advice it has been given by other national leaders? It is apparently because Danjuma thought that his advice would be thrashed like that of others that made him to express his concerns publicly.

Danjuma is obviously aware that the government that is supposed to maintain order has become its enemy.

Essentially, nations make laws for themselves to ensure cohesion and avoid anarchy. Such laws spell out the standard of behaviour that is tolerable by a state and its people.

Except in monarchies and dictatorships where the laws equal the whims and caprices of those in power, they do not permit some people to be above them. They seek to apply to everyone equally.

In democracies where the laws are supposed to be supreme, an attempt by those in power to manipulate them to suit their prejudice is a direct invitation to anarchy . In this regard, it is easy to identify Buhari as the originator of incipient anarchy in the country .

Has Buhari not courted anarchy when he refused to release a former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the Shiites Ibraheem El-zakzaky when judges after due consideration of the laws of the land granted them bail?

But on the rare occasions that Buhari’s associates are charged with corruption, they are quickly granted bail to allow them to go abroad for medical treatment.

While the former spokesman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, who has been accused of stealing some tens of millions of naira is still being denied bail in order for him to go for medical treatment, Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been granted bail to go abroad for his medical treatment.

Yet, it is Yakubu whose case involves billions of naira who ought to be stopped from going abroad.

If the president had intervened in the killings by Fulani herdsmen, it would not have been necessary for Danjuma to speak the way he did. By watching as Fulani herdsmen prowl about and kill, Buhari has engendered anarchy.

From Southern Kaduna to the Middle Belt, the South- West, South-East and South-South, Fulani herdsmen’s paths marked by blood and sorrow are visible. Buoyed by the apparent official complicity, the Fulani herdsmen have become more daring.

For instance, in some Delta State communities, the Fulani herdsmen no longer stop at taking their cows to destroy farms, rape, kill and run away. They have turned themselves into the lords of those communities. They now exact a toll for the residents to access their farms.

Yet, the Buhari government thinks it is more urgent to stop resistance to the murderous Fulani herdsmen by asking that those who own guns should surrender them.

There are patriots who have warned against the numerous dangers facing the country. To avert them, they have suggested the need for a dialogue of all the citizens.

They have also proposed restructuring under which such ills threatening the nation could be dealt with. But Buhari has dismissed the idea of restructuring .As far he is concerned, nothing is wrong that warrants restructuring.

Worse still, Buhari cannot muster the good governance that would have made such calls for restructuring unnecessary.

Thus, there is already anarchy in a country where Boko Haram can abduct hundreds of our girls and they would not be punished. They would rather be pleaded with to return them with a promise to release their colleagues from jail and the payment of a huge ransom for them to continue in their impunity and barbarity.

Yet, Buhari does not think that other citizens who have been impoverished by his administration would take to kidnapping and make quick money. Or has the Buhari government not fostered an environment of anarchy when it cannot provide jobs for its huge population of youths?

Instead of excoriating people like Danjuma for warning us of the dangers ahead, we should be grateful to them. It is these people who are the ones trying to ward off anarchy from the nation.

The best response of the Buhari government in this regard should be to thoroughly investigate the allegations by Danjuma.

This should go beyond the hasty one that has been done by the military that exonerated itself of wrongdoing. Besides, it should arrest and prosecute the armed bandits, who are mostly Fulani herdsmen inflicting death with ease on citizens.

Or else, when the cataclysmic predictions about our country come to pass, it is not those who tried to save us the ordeal that should be condemned. Rather, we should identify and blame the anarchist-in-chief who refused to take necessary precautions despite all the ominous auguries.



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