President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, shared his thoughts on why Nigeria was still standing as one country amidst the turbulent challenges that would have torn her apart.
Buhari’s opinion has since evoked mixed feelings among the citizenry.
This, including two other stories, were among the striking events that unfolded at the Aso Rock Villa, past week.
Living off luck
President Buhari, on July 13, said Nigeria was a lucky country, despite its several challenges.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, noted that he made the remark while speaking in Abuja, when he received a report of the National Security Summit held on May 26, 2021, by the House of Representatives.
Buhari had said: “We are a lucky country and should congratulate ourselves, despite challenges that could have torn us apart.”
Buhari’s perception of luck as the pillar that has held Nigeria together from disintegrating amidst challenges is thought provoking.
Among others, he could be adjudged right given the country’s numerous encounters with political instability, ranging from a civil war to military coups and continuous clamour for secession by some sections of the federating units.
The agitations for Biafra and Yoruba Nation, led by Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho respectively clearly illustrate some of these milestones.
But there is an obvious gap in the president’s disposition. Counting luck as a major sustainer for Nigeria’s unity would, on its own, suggest that the Buhari administration has done little to build structures that can progressively enthrone a just, fair and equitable society.
Therefore, living off luck must be considered the most insecure approach to nation building, as it practically amounts to gambling with the future of the country. Indeed, it portrays the leadership as lacking in vision and ideas.
President Buhari, on July 13, disclosed his administration’s readiness to end insecurity in the country.
Speaking at a dinner with members of the National Assembly in Abuja, he had said: “Insecurity, manifesting as insurgencies, banditry, kidnapping and urban crime of all sorts is the single most difficult challenge we face today.”
He added: “In the circumstances, we must do everything within our power, without consideration of distractions, to put an end to their activities and bring them to book.”
In spite of repeated assurances on combatting challenges of insecurity, it is baffling how the administration has failed to match words with action. This finds basis on the increasing number of Nigerians who are being slaughtered, maimed, kidnapped, and their properties destroyed almost daily.
The July 13 meet, though routine, must be considered insufficient as the discussions over lunch or dinner cannot be seen as far reaching.
It would please Nigerians more to see a hastened move towards reworking the country’s security architecture, and the constitution of a dialogue of ethnic nationalities to resolve grievances that seem to stir resentments, leading to the rise of armed groups and insurrection.
For now, citizens have long grown tired of endless promises.
Fighting instability in African countries
President Buhari, on July 12, declared the need for all African nations to work towards uniting against instability saying, “African countries cannot attain their development goals if every group resorts to violence and destabilisation instead of seeking peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue.”
Buhari’s submission is in order. African countries will continue to experience arrested development when mired in conflicts as seen in Libya, Chad, Mali, South Sudan, Ethiopia, among others.
Buhari’s Nigeria is comfortably seated in this category. So, while playing the big brother role in Africa, preaching peaceful resolution via dialogue, the president must practice what he preaches in his own country.
And, this can only be made manifest if there are clear road maps showing how the government wants to explore and harness the country’s diversity through meaningful dialogues and engagements.
Until then, his persuasions will only amount to grandstanding.
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