What Tinubu should tell Nigerians
Sir: I dedicate this letter-article to those saying on radio that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed in the area of security and fight against corruption, since, as they noted, you cannot talk about security with massive killings by Fulani herdsmen and ongoing war against Boko Haram, with government appealing for international support that has not helped to eradicate Boko Haram, 2009 till date. The fight against corruption is also one-sided and has not yielded any improvement on the economy. Only God can tell whether corruption is not higher under the APC than any previous government, because there is near-total lack of transparency under the presidency of General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) who doubles himself as the Petroleum Minister and is unaccountable to anybody. Nobody knows also what is the secret between the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, who refused to render account of recovered looted funds to Senate and GMB is protecting him.
Why was GMB signing contracts in his sick bed in London after handing over to his deputy, Pastor Professor Yemi Osinbajo? That is part of lack of accountability I am referring to. It was rightly advised, therefore, that Nigeria requires another leader who can procure peace for progress. But, rather than addressing pressing issues of insecurity and dwindling economic fortunes, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is quoted as boasting that there is nobody to defeat GMB in 2019. That is the level of insensitivity of GMB and his supporters. The Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) is composed of some most powerful representatives of Nigeria’s most powerful religions (Christianity and Islam). That means that the Council is made up of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Rather than mourning the dead, the maimed, and about 200 displaced people in Plateau State, the representatives of NIREC decided to do a conference on religious peace in Nigeria.
What is the relevance of NIREC to religious peace in Nigeria? NIREC can hardly be of any relevance, because it is fully funded by government; flight, lodging, and every other need. Christianity and Islam are highly politicised beyond sponsoring of some Christians and Muslims on pilgrimages to “Holy Lands”. In reality, Nigeria does not belong to common Nigerians but to Christian and Muslim imperialists. Hence Umaru Musa Yar’Adua abused his presidential powers to attack Boko Haram that did not attack anybody until attacked, and killed the leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf and some of his followers, extra-judicially in Police custody.
NSCIA saw nothing wrong with attack on the sleepy Boko Haram community of men, women, and children. CAN made itself available for Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, who truncated rotational presidency against the northwest; compounded the Boko Haram crisis, and through refusal to dialogue for peace, radicalised Boko Haram into a fully fledged insurgent group. Thus, Nigeria became listed as a terrorist nation, with full backing of NSCIA and CAN. Government funding NIREC to prop religious imperialism is criminal and counter-productive.
There is need for many Nigerians to have a rethink and rally round the Third Force coalition to reorder Nigeria, starting with resumption of rotational presidency in 2019, towards peace and progress. Otherwise, what will Nigeria ever benefit from GMB in his second half of 70s, promoting terrorism and pretending to be fighting corruption? Is he fighting corruption or recovering looted funds that he is squandering on warfare? When and how will Nigeria ever know peace and progress under a war-monger? Tinubu should answer with sincerity.
• Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin.