By Rasheed Mabayoje
After reflecting over unfolding political developments, particularly as they relate to Muhammadu Buhari and his co-participants in the 2019 power contests, I am worried by the particular stance that comes in common with what lot of people have said about the Nigerian president- ‘presence of mind’.
With zero objective of delegitimisation of Mr President’s character, or his regime, I would appreciate such assistance that could avail me an option of thoughts that our PMB was not the designer of the unnecessary troubles he now contends with.
I conclude that the particular and popular expression- “I am for everybody, and for nobody”- was the sole instrument of construction of current mess. Some people argue that the expression was coined for him, but I differ because by the fact that he uttered the statement was a commitment to knowledge regarding intentions. However, I don’t think he well understood the implications and repercussions, at least, by the time he was addressing the nation. He must have realised it by now.
Would the thought that our PMB lacked equanimity not be justified, going by such aloof statement? I come to this position thinking deep over what could have informed such stance so portrayed!!!
A leader gathers and coordinates colours of fantastic brains and ideas around himself. He deploys them purposively and purposefully as and when necessary. He must know when and how to orient characters around him to a course strategically.
Within the context of his role in the Nigerian polity, leadership, expectedly, relates PMB’s perceived abilities, skills, and expertise to take quick, strategic actions in such crucial developments, such as when current regime set about. By military background, especially as deep as the record of a military general, our PMB qualifies to be credited with foretasted leadership capacities.
However, a good wheel is bound to malfunction at the instance of a clog. The clogs, today, are many, and they keep increasing, even as the previous ones fester the more. This situation is caused by the actor’s intentions in the then newly sworn in Nigerian President. The intention behind the aloof statement, I think, has become Buhari’s seeming undoing.
Power is the ability to influence social interests and actions. It starts from the moment God, according to The Scriptures, created man via language. He said “be” and Adam came to existence. Hence, language is the key instrument of power, particularly political power, which relates divides.
Originally, mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and the exploited, into leaders and followers, into allies and adversaries, and into man and woman. Hence, an individual, including our PMB naturally belongs to a side of each of these divides at a point in time in his life. So how could our PMB have belonged to “Everybody and to Nobody”? An aloof statement!
To abstract himself from this fundamental division and from the antagonism of US versus THEM, means Buhari’s imagination of abstracting himself from fundamental facts of nature.
I am drawn to reaffirming our PMB’s actor’s intentions as being behind the aloof statement that has caused the emergence of current quality of the leadership of our national assembly which constitute themselves as chief opposition entity to policies of government and initiatives.
Coming from the background of the public talks – Asiwaju-and-presidency discourse- that was hot at the beginning of the Buhari government, particularly just after our PMB took the oath, some renegades were alleged to have oriented Mr President to keep the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at arm’s length. “I am for nobody” ideology worked effectively, and the pregnancy of that hypocrisy was the evil child- “The Cabal” in the Presidency- conceived and given birth to. Nigerians will never forget the havoc it caused in a hurry. Also, the story was virile- how Tinubu tried to warn our PMB regarding the Saraki shenanigans. “I am for everybody” ideology blocked reasoning, and Saraki’s Senate, today, would summon and query any character, and government initiatives that do not go in tandem with his fancy.
The time is now. Our PMB must belong to someone and not to everyone, more so now that the power game is upped.
Politics and power are always about emphasising OUR positives and THEIR negatives. It is about belonging to somebody, and not to everybody.
Our PMB must assume some mind of presence in this regards. He must assume the ability to make quick and dare decisions, and act quickly, calmly and legitimately in current political situations.
He must be sincere in his request of individuals’, like Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s advice and assistance. His aloof stances will rubbish him beyond repairs, just as any sense of hypocrisy is worse off.
- Mabayoje writes from Osogbo, State of Osun.