For all of the seven years that President Muhammadu Buhari has so far led this country, the experience has been like a prison sentence with hard labour for Nigerians. We have experienced hardship, difficulty, insecurity, killings, kidnappings etc. We have navigated valleys of general despair to hills of total breakdown of law and order as we daily gravitate towards the disintegration of a badly managed nationhood.
While Nigerians experience the twinge of hunger and excruciating poverty and cry for relief, the ruling class is not on the same page with the masses of people who are daily having sleepless nights and can barely move freely.
Add all of these burdens to the fact that the children of the ordinary masses have been at home for over six months owing to an embarrassing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), you begin to have an image of what it means to live in hell on earth.
Farmers cannot access their farms owing to the activities of men of the underworld, especially from the the president’s ethnic stock, Fulani, and the bare-faced tomfoolery we have endured in the name of hunting bandits who have been more adventurous and bold in seeking rescue of their colleagues from our supposedly fortified prisons, yet the state cannot rescue innocent victims from these felons in their bush hideouts.
While we cried, our legislators laughed off our misery insisting they must remain subservient and subjugated to the whims and caprices of the presidency. But you see, since whatever goes around comes around, there is fire now on the mountain, things have finally fallen apart, and the centre (Abuja) can no longer hold for our runaway legislators, ministers, political office holders and their cronies. Danger is lurking in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and the recent threats by terrorists to abduct President Buhari, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and lawmakers in the country, have jolted the legislators.
This is coming after the July 5 invasion of the Kuje Correctional facility in the FCT by terrorists, during which hundreds of inmates, including high-profile criminals were freed as suburbs surrounding the nation’s seat of power continue to witness serious security breaches.
Also, army officers attached to the Presidential Guards Brigade were killed in an ambush laid by terrorists in Bwari area of the FCT.
Similarly, following an attack by bandits in a neighbouring community, the Federal Government College Kwali, also in the FCT, management of the school advised parents to evacuate their children from school. Few days later, some soldiers were reportedly killed when Boko Haram terrorists raided a military checkpoint around Zuma rock in Niger State, close to the FCT.
Now some senators across political parties, but largely of the opposition, are baying for blood. They wanted the president out so they raised the motion to that effect on the Senate floor but were frustrated by Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
Members of the Red Chamber from opposition parties, led by the Minority Leader, Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) stormed out of plenary chanting “Buhari must go” after Lawan blocked the move to debate the issue.
Aduda, while briefing reporters after the walkout, said it was a collective decision to give the president the six-week ultimatum to act or get an impeachment notice.
“This was our agreement at the executive session but when we came out, the Senate President refused to inform the public of our resolution. Since that didn’t happen, we have come here in protest to let Nigerians know that we are with them, that we are worried,” he said.
The next day, PDP members in the House of Representatives aligned with their colleagues in the Senate.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of the PDP caucus in the National Assembly, which was held behind closed doors, House Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu said if there was no significant improvement in the security situation at the expiration of six weeks, they would move to gather signatures for Buhari’s impeachment. I want to, on behalf of my colleagues, also say that upon the expiration, we will proffer ways of ensuring that we gather all the signatures.
As though to underscore the level of contempt of the presidency for the legislators, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, literally dismissed the legislators as unserious persons when he said, “The truth is that in this kind of scenario, the minority will always have its say while the majority will have its way. You know the configuration of the national assembly. Those who spoke today are the minority of minorities.
“They would have their say as it is needed in a democracy, but it won’t go beyond that. I think it was just bravado and very sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado.
“You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death.
“They know in their heart of hearts that they cannot achieve what they are saying. They are just wasting the country’s time, wasting the time of the upper chamber of the national assembly; they know that they cannot achieve it.”
Now, the legislators are suddenly appreciating the gravity of the mess we are all in. They want to impeach the president and have given him six weeks to address the spate of insecurity in the land or face impeachment. Story!
Firstly, they cannot muster the required statutory number to carry out that threat. It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it would be to prosecute this mission given the short period within which to do this and the exit date of the president from office.
And above all, this mission is impossible given the spineless leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly. At least, they have told us unabashedly that they hold those offices at the behest of the president and that the president’s satisfaction is their primary assignment.
Therefore, the essence of all of this is to jolt the presidency to wake up to the urgent need to address the challenges of insecurity. They are not serious about the impeachment threat and they know we know they cannot dare.
The president’s devil-may-care disposition to governance is the more reason the nation is constantly on edge and the reason daredevil brigands continue to operate unrestrained.
Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser (NSA), after a security council meeting with the president, seemed to have confirmed the worst fears of the people when he said, “Nigerians are tired of the country’s worsening insecurity and are gravitating towards self-help.”
A country that is facing daunting challenges from many fronts can afford to keep millions of Nigerian university students at home owing to several years of neglect of public education while the elite and political class continue to assault the sensibilities of Nigerians with photographs of them and their children enjoying uninterrupted education opportunities abroad.
At a time when the nation is under the weight of crushing scarcity of foreign exchange and debilitating effect of inflation and spiraling cost of living, the president surreptitiously approved the sum of N1.145 billion for the purchase of vehicles for the Niger Republic.
Following the exposure by David Hundeyin on social media, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, shamelessly argued that even though Nigerians have the right to question President Buhari, who approved the purchase, the president also has the prerogative to make his own assessment on situations and act in the interest of the country.
Sorry Madam Ahmed, the president only acted in the interest of the Niger Republic.
This is clearly another in-your-face policy move of this regime that continues to pile pressure on an already exasperated nation and people. How can it be rationalized that the president prefers paying such a humongous sum to a neighbouring country when our children are idling at home?
President Buhari will have to tell us where his sympathy lies. If charity begins at home and Buhari insists he is a Nigerian, he owes Nigerians a lot of explanations for his obsession with Niger Republic.