If there was any doubt that the Buhari-led administration is only marking time in the government house without a care for the electorate that brought it into power, it was laid to rest last Saturday. What was a day of national mourning occasioned by the tragic death of the senior army officials and crew of the doomed military flight to Kaduna wouldn’t have resulted in angst and regret if the first citizen had made an appearance at the burial ceremony conducted for the fallen heroes.
But there was no such luck. Not even the demise of the man who was in charge of maintaining the territorial integrity of Nigeria could draw Mr President out of his perpetual state of hibernation.
I have since learnt not to expect anything impressive from the current government, and it’s not because I am an incurable pessimist. Save for the initial body language that had many of us fooled, the prognosis has never looked good. One only needs to monitor the trend of events to come to terms with reality, but even I was shocked that the death of the very top dog of the Nigerian army, and in such heart-rending circumstances, wasn’t enough to extract a personal showing from his employer.
I gave up last Saturday.
I find it incomprehensible, and for me, it was the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back.
I have caught myself musing on it in the last couple of days; the hopelessness that continues to stare the Nigerian in the face is all too daunting. Depressing even.
I mean, if a whole Army Chief can be ignored under the most poignant circumstances, what then is the hope of the common man?
I have come across folks who were abandoned by a parent and I can confirm that the wound runs deep. Decades down the line, after starting a family of their own and countless achievements, they still nurse the injury that is the absence of the one person that should have been there for them.
Many times, the Nigerian feels like an abandoned child: lost, unwanted, lacking care, only that in his case, it’s much worse because he has parents, yet he is no different from a vagabond. The absence of parental care is an albatross he has to carry as he attempts to navigate life on his own.
It is what makes him a laughing stock wherever he goes, and anytime he reaches out or tries to speak to the conscience of those who appealed to let them have the honour of leading him, he deceived with empty promises. Either that, or he is scoffed at and threatened.
He has to contend with inanities like herdsmen storming his farm to feed their cattle and risk death if he as much as dares to protest against the intrusion. Again, he is ignored or enjoined to be more tolerant when he complains to the authorities.
His life is no worth more than a routine statement of condemnation when he loses his life to bandits who come to kill and steal and destroy. If he is lucky to survive, the comatose health sector is a factor he has to contend with. But his guardian, the one who swore to an oath to protect him jets off to the United Kingdom for routine medical checks the minute he develops a headache.
The nonchalance exhibited at the zenith of this administration is jarring. These days, it’s impossible to even find succour in body language like we did in the past.
Bandits and rebels hold sway while our security forces struggle to keep up with the emerging armaggedon. The president’s spokespersons are even worse—a duo who are painfully lacking in emotional intelligence—one is forced to wonder if their pay is dependent on how much they can rile Nigerians up with vexatious statements.
Nigeria could be engulfed in an inferno and the Commander-in-Chief would send his condolences to the bereaved. He would shun all entreaties and criticisms to address the nation and proceed to even attend a political rally in another part of the country.
We have a vacuum in the land; in the most terrifying place to have a vacuum. That’s our story. It hurts…