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Buhari’s executive order ‘101’

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President Muhammadu Buhari


It is an established principle that the status to belong to a particular nation either by birth or by a legal relationship between an individual and a state is termed nationality. However, in recent time, this standing order seems to have gone with the wind. This is because individuals seeking a better life outside their impoverished countries no longer term it necessary to follow protocol filling in papers and waiting for only God knows when. Therefore, they choose to take laws into their hands and in desperation foist themselves arbitrarily as citizens on developed countries. A case in point is the time-bomb waiting to explode as a large caravan of people are trekking thousands of miles from Asian countries and headed to United States of America. To make matters worse, Mexico seems to be in support of the invasion and self-imposed identity as they provide some essential amenities as the caravan progresses through the country.

President Donald Trump has threatened fire and brimstone on the intruders at the American border. But if one may ask: Is that the best solution to curb migration? It is high time the developed countries and international bodies like the United Nations and European Union sat up and came with a template on how to stabilise the economies of Third World countries. Of course, this can be achieved if the international community demands good and transparent leadership in Third World countries especially Africa instead of colluding with corrupt African leaders to hide stolen funds in foreign countries.

Back here at home, it is sad and shameful to note that the Buhari’s administration chose to be the first in modern history to publicly ask Nigerians who are willing to abandon Nigeria and relocate to another country they can call their own to freely do so. According to media reports the other day, President Muhammadu Buhari through his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, got the captivating headlines he wanted and was quoted thus: “…others who feel they have another country may choose to go.” In no small measure, the comment was not only shocking but absolutely undeserving. It therefore, seems that Buhari is encouraging the nation’s youth or anybody as the case may be to hang their destiny on Europe and continue on the perilous voyage across the desert and Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pasture and citizenship.

It is so surprising that logic usually remains very elusive whenever government officials comment on issues bordering on the masses wellbeing. Really, no one can accuse President Buhari of not speaking frankly because he has related in detail how far the ocean of misadministration has drifted him away from the people. This is one excuse used by this government to cover up or divert attention from its chicanery and incompetence. Over the past three years of this administration, attention has been focused on corruption fight with lots of recorded success as looted funds were returned to the country. However, the smashing achievements of stolen fund return have refused to reflect or improve the standard of living among Nigerians as the masses remain poorer by the day. It is hard to find any laudable project funded with such money except the selective distribution of money among market people called “trader moni.”

Of course, many young people will gladly receive the president’s proposal. They will not only see it as a miracle but a step closer to obtaining a visa to check out. Some who are already mapping out plans to escape the harsh economic situation in the country will use the president’s statement as a peg. Whoever advised Buhari to issue such a statement obviously got it very wrong. And for trying to justify or compare the current predicament to that of 1984 is to say the least misleading. This is because several generations have passed since then.

The current generations of young people lack perseverance and are so much in haste to nowhere. Therefore, they wouldn’t listen like Andrew did in 1984 on a popular government sponsored television advertisement about a young man called Andrew, who, at the airport told a friend on enquiry, that he is checking out from the country because of hardship. After listening to candid advise. Andrew chose to stay back and salvage the country together with all.

What Mr. President did not understand about his ‘careless’ statement is that it may trigger an exodus of people from the country with the simple excuse that the president gave them the green light to check out. Already, lots of young people begrudge the Buhari administration for not honouring his 2015 elections promises as well as taking youth welfare into serious consideration. By the way, what prompted Buhari to make such a statement? Was he signaling willingness for people to change their nationality? Or is he telling Nigerians that his administration has tried all economic logics and principles like Ibrahim Babaginda said, during his reign, without solution to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians?

Indeed such an unguarded comment could haunt in the near future because it carries some political risk. Instead of giving Nigerians hope that government’s new approach in dealing with the issues will in no time ameliorate the predicaments people are going through, the president chose to put the youth’s mind on a voyage to nowhere. The pace at which the present administration neglects the people has quickened. Consequently, it suggests that the Buhari’s government is not in a hurry to re-trace its steps and take closer look at the needs of Nigerians. In fact, there seems to be no sign of the government preparing to change course for good. This is because the full panoply of neglect continues to expand at the slightly faster rate.

Despite the fact that so many of Nigeria’s problems are intimidating, the current political nightmare will come to an end one day soon. Nevertheless, Buhari should buckle up so as not to allow opposition politicians to define and deflate his position of thought about Nigerians as negative. Besides, politicians are known to redefine words to avoid embarrassment because words matter a lot and we need to take care and watch what we utter.This column will be on break for three weeks.


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