Another kind of change -By Dominik Umosen

Filed under: National Issues |
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


The resolution of the leadership crisis in the National Assembly, though belated, has reassured Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government is settling down to the serious business of governance. Femi Gbajabiamila has been mollified with the plum of majority leadership in the House of Representatives. Peace in the lower chamber has, predicatbly, resonated in the Senate where unnecessary energy was spent bellyaching over the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as president and deputy President respectively.

The development is significant because most citizens, including this writer, became sick and tired of a heritage that continually reminds of an enduring free fall with prospects without possibilities. With the stage set, as it were for Mr President to commence his selfappointed but grossly-overdue task of re-positioning the country, he should accept with open mind valuable suggestions by critics, with or without heckles from the rowdy assembly of sychophants who will always plot to manipulate an unwary leader. Descending into the trenches is the pastime of professional politicians.

That is why the opposition party, for instance, is kicking, among other things, that government policies are becoming warped by partisanship, citing the alleged membership of the Director- General of the Director of State Security (DSS), Lawal Daura, of the ruling party, as example.I am aware that Mr President is more than competent to defend or validate hostile charges against his government. For the simple reason that it has become almost banal, we may not bother with details of what American official splashed what official with muck.
But it is definitely necessary to remind that if we must take instructions from Uncle Sam, details of such instructions must be applied with due consideration for our sovereignty and national interest. The first issue critics have converged on is the S21- 1billion naira debt that the president secured from the Word Bank, allegedly to be deployed in reconstructing the insurgency-ravaged North-East.

I am certain that the argument is not whether the Federal Government owes citizens in the zone the constitutional obligation of protection or whether it is necessary for government, itself, to re-assert its authority which has been hijacked by ordinary criminals. The bone of contention, however, has been the sheer hilarity of waging a serious war against insurgents since 2009 without the benefit of arrest of a significant Boko Haram sympathizer. Even though I am not a security professional, I am aware that it is not possible for any community to feign ignorance of the activities of an individual residing in it- unless there is sympathy or collaboration.

Or both! How could Nigeria, with a full retinue of serving and retired generals, be stumbling in the battle against Boko Haram, when our soldiers have stabilized a legacy of excellence in various international campaigns? Ocassionally running into Cameroun, for example, might be tactical but something about the failure to nab a significant sponsor or sympathizer, after these years, just does not seem right! For the avoidance of doubt, I refuse to believe that the security apparati is decrepit enough to sustain this shocking incapacity! With my rudimentary security sense, I know that we do not have to go to America to realize the fact that barring deliberate sabotage, the surest guarantee of victory in the war against insurgency is stepping up on intelligence; the missing link in the puzzle.

But before professional politicians seize the initiative, I demand explanation why it was easy for the FG to secure that much to re-build the North-East and resettle Internally Displaced Persons but impossible to comply with the United Nations recommendations for the environmental reclamation of Ogoniland. Despite the vindication of late Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders who were executed in 1993, the battle for which they were killed has also been vindicated by the United Nations report which the FG has refused to implement, against every reason and common sense.

This failure reinforces the allegation of an evil conspiracy between oil companies and the FG against ordinary folks, especially when it is considered that America (which is setting the rules), wasted no time in penalizing BP for the mega-spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

And perhaps to step up the disdain and duplicity, the FG went ahead to secure a loan to rebuild the North-East, while pretending that compliance with the UN Report on Ogoniland does not matter. It is impossible to juxtapose the World Bank facility to re-build the North-East with the refusal to implement the U.N. Report without being confronted with duplicity by the FG. This unsettling fact might be change but it is not the type we bargained for!

Written by Dominik Umosen