Buhari and Nigeria’s Future: The President Is In Trouble

“This is the one reason that I am afraid for , the who may be powerless without the might of the barrel of a gun: The Buhari Nigerians knew ruled with decrees, but the Buhari Nigerians will now know shall be guided by ’s Constitution and all the universal tenets of democracy. Will this new Buhari become a conflicted soul in this new environment?” -Ohwovoriole

Muhammadu Buhari is in trouble. However, I am not cringing in sympathy for him: he asked for it, and he must bear his cross alone like a messiah. Nonetheless, I must confess that I am not treating his plight lightly because I know he is a human being who is devoid of any tripartite personality.

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In spite of this knowledge, I vow to urge him on with joyous ululation that is indicative of my unbridled trepidation for a man whose countrymen have bequeathed with a magic wand. Not just that, Buhari has been placed on a supernatural pedestal by mere mortals seeking salvation in a wasteland.

Of course, I am sure that many Nigerians may abhor my apprehension, but it is their unguarded optimistic outlook on Nigeria’s future with Buhari that gives me the jitters. Unfortunately for me, has aggravated my discomfort with his great expectation, which he generously unleashed with his “Buhari: The Nation Waits in Patient Expectation of a New Era”. In other words, I am really afraid for Muhammadu Buhari now because this lanky ex-general may not be prepared for the burden that may become his greatest enemy.

But it seems Oparah and his ilk may think otherwise since, according to him, in his Sahara Reporters’ op-ed, “Buhari is coming prepared to cleanse the badly desecrated Augean stable. He is kitted for a very drastic mission to rescue a well endowed but viscerally crumbled country from the deepest pit of rot where a purblind outgoing government has plunged it. Buhari is fully clothed for war against the deliberate vicissitudes that were employed to reduce Nigeria to a region in hell …

He is preparing no excuse and he will give none to anybody.” Above all, Oparah declared: “Buhari is primed to meet the eager expectations of his genuine followers and supporters.” But, didn’t the new president say that change cannot happen overnight? If he did, then I may have missed the memo issued by Buhari to the contrary.

Besides that, hasn’t Buhari signalled on many occasions since his election that the reality at hand overwhelms the fantasy that galvanized and motivated his campaign for the highest office in the land? Perhaps, a quick perusal of ’s “Does Our President-Elect Intend to Keep His Word?”, as published by Premium Times, will serve as a reminder of the litany of Buhari’s plausible apologies.

In my view, Oparah’s statements as repeated above are fallacious since his claims are not backed with any evidence that shows, empirically, Buhari’s level of preparedness for the huge task before him. However, to the naïve, Buhari will… hit the ground running with a pouch, hidden in his babariga or suit, full of solutions to the myriad problems facing Nigeria today. “Kitted” like an agile athlete, Nigeria’s freshly minted president, according to Oparah, possesses the stamina and the strength that a total overhaul of a failing nation demands of its leader. In this season of anomy in Nigeria, it is the belief of most citizens that this General going to battle has no Achilles heel, and he has no chink in his armour.

Buhari’s previous public service record may have informed this crazed adulation of his invincibility. However, such a sentiment, which strongly appeals to those who believe that the making of a new Nigeria that every Nigerian must love and embrace is the function of Buhari, is an anomaly because I am of the view that the general optimism expressed in Nigeria today is not backed with any measurable substance; in essence, emotions are running amok while a people are agog because of a blinded and urgent quest for a revalidation of a nation by a single individual.

Here is the sad truth, though: the making of a new Nigeria is not Buhari’s prerogative because it should be the responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian! Therefore, it is unfair to make it the sole liability of the President: he must not be weighed down by a contrived moral obligation towards an unreformed populace. For Nigeria to become great, every hand must be on deck – not just Buhari’s!

By the way, what is the guarantee that it will not be business as usual since all the President’s men are members of the old brigade? My crystal ball tells me that Buhari may be poised as a catalyst for change but, with ambitious personages like Bola Tinubu possessing ubiquitous powers in the flank as king makers, there is a dark cloud that must hang over Buhari’s head while there is an albatross around his neck.

This is the one reason that I am afraid for Buhari, the President who may be powerless without the might of the barrel of a gun: The Buhari Nigerians knew ruled with decrees, but the Buhari Nigerians will now know shall be guided by Nigeria’s Constitution and all the universal tenets of democracy. Will this new Buhari become a conflicted soul in this new environment? Wait.

It is good to dream. However, dreams may become nightmare.

is a professor of Communication Studies in the US.



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