The notion that there is a saviour in politics is a long stretch, especially in Nigeria. Recently, a friend reminded me that it took the African National Congress (ANC) 82 years before they got what they were fighting for, Madiba became President after 27 years in prison for what he knew to be right. 82 years since the founding of the ANC. Revolution is a long haul. And it comes with sacrifices and bloodshed. Nigeria is still very much far out.
The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration was considered the worse administration of the fourth republic, little did we know that it would be a worthy administration compared to that which followed.
“Jonathan is weak. He doesn’t have what it entails to be President.” So, Nigerians rooted him out, thinking, they found a Messiah in Muhammadu Buhari. At least, President Jonathan was a president who made appearances for the people. An emotional president, who shared in the plight of those he governed. During the kidnap of the Chibok girls, the president’s concern was felt by Nigerians even though the incident would later be one of the determining factors that would make him lose the presidency to President Buhari.
Nigerians were assured of an ever-present president who shared in their plights, struggles and burdens. Compared to President Buhari, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was an excellent president. President Muhammadu Buhari had just one job to do- fix insecurity. The populace voted him in based on his promise to tackle the problem of insecurity. It is sad to see that in his tenure as president, we’ve had over 1000 students kidnapped, we are negotiating with terrorists and considering granting amnesty to an insurgency. Our Messiah indeed. Nigerians deserve better.
What’s worse is this administration’s infringement on the fundamental human rights of people to their freedom of speech, freedom to move and freedom to live. The Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) shut down radio stations and Television stations such as Ray Power and AIT for airing “inflammatory and media propaganda against the government.” The Department of State services also ransacked the Daily Trust newspaper and detained members of the staff for a short while. It is sad to see a tyrant rule us as a nation. What’s this government if not tyranny?
Today, it is the story of journalists like Dawisu wrongly detained and without trial for doing their job. A democracy where the people are not free to air their opinions and grievances against the government is no democracy. It is tyranny. Nigerians have to understand, we have no saviour in the government. The bad eggs are a rot to the system. We owe ourselves to watch after ourselves as a people and as a country at large. The Buhari-led administration is a disgrace to what democracy stands for.
Hashtags are not enough to win a revolution. They might incite one, but they are not enough. Nigerians have to be ready to keep marching. It is going to be a long march. It is going to be a long fight. Earlier this year, in an interview, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka was asked to speak about the Buhari-led administration and he said that it is best for the sanity of one to neglect the existence of the administration. I couldn’t agree more.
Nigeria deserves better than this administration. It is a shame that His “Aloofness” President Muhammadu Buhari contested for the office of President for 12 years only to win and bring us to this point. Buhari is no Messiah. I hope Nigerians have learned a lesson from him. 2023 is around the corner. We must do better as a people.