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BuhariWatch: ‘A period of consequences’ – Part 2

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Martins Oloja

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.”

– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The word of life above captures all that I was saying last week on “BuhariWatch: a period of consequences”.I was saying that all of our actions have consequences, after all.  According to Bryan Golden, ‘this relationship is as dependable as the ripples created by throwing a pebble into a lake.  Consequences can be either good or bad….’

However, problems arise when we don’t recognise the consequences of our actions. There is no doubt that most of our leaders at all levels in Nigeria do not think about the consequences of their actions. Whereas, most leaders where democracy works in global context are always afraid of the people who decide their continued stay in office. Sadly, leaders in the most populous black nation on earth are not afraid of the people even at election time.

Nigerian leaders do what they like to return to power. They rig election and selection processes. They now buy votes from the very poor people. They do not think about consequences of their actions. They are not afraid of the regulators or referees – who are vulnerable and corruptible anyway, in what seems like an entrenched culture of impunity and low expectations.

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But when you are not aware of the consequences of your behaviour, two things may happen. In the case where the consequences are negative, you run the risk of repeating the same mistake. When you are pleased with the consequences, you may also fail to duplicate the behaviour that gave you the desired results. In either case, you will be frustrated.

Which is why Bryan Golden asks:‘How far could you get driving a car if you didn’t comprehend the consequences of the various controls?  Without an understanding of the operation of the steering wheel, gas pedal, and brakes, you wouldn’t remain on the road for very long’.

Our life works the same way. Whether we recognise it, like it or not, it is important to understand the consequences of our actions. Many of the consequences we experience are predictable. However, there may be some we didn’t anticipate. They are part of our unending education. And so if we ignore this education as a parent or teacher or politician, consequences await us anyway. For Christians who are careless or hypocritical, they can’t say they do not know that the god fathers may be mocked (as we can see in our political affairs) but God the father can’t be mocked as He has revealed to us that, ‘whatever a man sows, he will reap’. It is inescapable.

There are consequences for our actions. Thus, if you are a father and you decide to ignore this natural law and eat sour grapes, you may not remember immediately that even your children’s teeth may be set on edge later in life!

That is why I don’t know why members of the ruling class here most times don’t realise that not every decision they make will be perfect. They hardly know that their objective is to take the most appropriate action based on the information they have available. They haven’t read those who counsel that if their actual consequences are not what they wanted, they must then take different action and keep going without wasting any time lamenting what they should have done differently.

This is what Nigeria’s governing party and indeed the president and his team have failed to realise for the past three years and almost five months. They have been struggling to explain their actions and inactions because they have ignored or denied the link between their action and the corresponding consequences, which will often make things worse. That is also why they won’t be able to take control of their political destiny unless they see themselves as being responsible for the outcomes they are experiencing at the moment.

They didn’t and still don’t know that when faced with undesirable consequences, they should first identify the cause. And next, determine the action they need to take to mitigate, change, or eliminate them. They need to get in gear and do whatever is necessary to correct the prevailing situation. They need to understand that only action, not complaining about their predecessor’s failings and strategy can bring results, after all.

What is worse, those in power now, unlike theIssacharites, do not understand the times, and so don’t know what they ought to do for the country they run. They have failed to realise in time that if they fail to take personal responsibility for their actions, they will exacerbate their situation.  They have failed to realise that those who blame others for their circumstances develop a victim mentality. The consequence is a belief that they have no power over the direction of their destiny. There has been no one to tell them that this type of thinking leads managers and leaders to accept poor public opinion poll as normal and unavoidable. They don’t remember there will be a period of consequences!

They will always blame journalists and the Gaddafis for their poor ratings. They don’t have significant experts to tell them that the only way to effect different consequences, is to alter their actions. It is unfortunate that our reckless leaders are time wasters. They hardly read what the people are saying through the news media. Instead of reading, they call journalists fake news and hate speech peddlers and so they seek to bury the truth always without realising that you can put truth in a grave but it won’t stay there, as I have often quoted on this platform.

If they had kept a good portfolio, they would have read a good article from one of the grand masters of organic journalism in the country, Mr.Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, who wrote seven series titled, PMB and the role in search of an actor’(1-7) in The Guardian beginning from January 29, 2016. The remarkable article, barely six months after the ‘New Sheriff in Town’ then was sworn in was a master class that would have also complemented what others had written as a blueprint on how to rebuild Nigeria’s broken walls. The opening paragraph of the article is instructive:

‘After General Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the corrupt government of King Farouk of Egypt in 1952, the General who laid the foundation of modern Egypt declared that, before he struck, he realised that there was a role in Egypt waiting for an actor and all he did was just simply to fulfill that role.Any discerning observer would know that for a long time, there has been and still exists a role in Nigeria and in Africa in search of an actor…”

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But again, it is unfortunate that the then ‘New Sheriff in Town’ Mr Femi Adesina, the chief reputation manager of the New Sheriff, introduced to us at the time the oracle, Mr.Ogunsanwo wrote his masterpiece, has since disappeared (from town) and there is still a role in search of an actor in Nigeria. Behold, that disappearance has consequence again because of the following updates on some of the factors listed here last week:

Poor Human Resource Management Record& Shielding of Suspected President’s Men:
Last week, I pinpointed a weak presidential bureaucracy as part of the reasons the Buhari administration has been wobbly. I also noted the consequences of the president’s aloofness nurtured by nepotism and parochialism in appointments – in this complex federation. In fact, different readers updated a list of parochial presidential appointments as a response to last week’s data, which dwelt on only security and intelligence agencies appointments.

Now, some concerned readers who sent some data to me have insisted that no matter the administration’s modest achievements on the economy, war on corruption, and security management, the negative consequences of insensitive, parochial (presidential) appointments of chief executives of most high-spending government agencies have taken the steam out of such achievements. See an updated list that will have grave consequences on national unity and next elections.



Let’s examine this update a citizen sent to Inside Stuff at the weekend.


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