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Nabena’s narcissism

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Sir: Those who brand black as white must take abundant care and be sufficiently prepared for the inevitable day when black will be forced upon as white-backed by the raucous insistence that black is white. Verbal diarrhoea seems to be a particular affliction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

With President Muhammadu Buhari surrounding himself with staff who are more than willing to talk before they think, and providing notable examples himself, critics of the administration have found themselves repeatedly speared by verbal and epistolary missiles. When in a hard-hitting sermon to his large congregation, Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel International irked by the so-called social media bill currently lying before the National Assembly tore into the Buhari administration, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Yekini Nabena, took it upon himself to announce that the Bishop should have his head examined as he was yet to contribute anything to the development of Nigeria.

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Nabena`s affliction did not take the discerning by surprise. Since the All Progressives Congress took possession of Nigerians` mandate to govern the country, the party and those it has in different positions of authority have shown nothing but contempt and condescension towards all those who have dared to criticise them. For a party that rode to power on an unstoppable wave of opposition politics and media frenzy, the flagrant hypocrisy is absolutely shocking.

The signs were there from the beginning. Immediately after the election of 2015, the harsh reality of Nigeria`s rot rammed home, sweeping away the last vestiges of euphoria that accompanied the historic victory. The APC immediately resorted to the diversionary tactic of calling out Buhari`s predecessor on all issues in what was always a bare-faced attempt to mask the fact that it had no cogent plans to move the country going forward. Critics of the administration have been disparaged and have faced harassment from state agencies. Those who surround the President bristle at even the most brittle of criticisms, believing the President the whistle-clean, long-awaited Nigerian messiah who can do absolutely no wrong. But that is not the case. The APC since winning elections first in 2015 and then in 2019 has largely disappointed and so deserve the boot from frustrated Nigerians who bear the brunt of the party`s underperformance.

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All over the world, it is in the character of all governments that are people-driven to seek the expression of those they govern in order to incorporate their views into the process of governance. The reverse is always the case where the government is driven by parochial interests. Yekini Nabena and others like him who are obviously putting the party`s interests above the interests of Nigerians think only of themselves and nothing else. They harbour an arrogance that is inimical to the progress of Nigeria.

The All Progressives Congress if it truly is what it professes to be must shed itself of such characters or risk the plentiful opprobrium of the Nigerian people. Nigeria lurches about in a lot of darkness at the moment. The darkness is showing no signs of receding. It is why those who have words which are capable of throwing much-needed light into the situation must speak up. Their voices are needed not just to silence the Nabenas of the current administration but to lift the country out of its current darkness.
Kene Obiezu wrote from Abuja.

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