A Conversation of Buharists and Buharideens
I used to be quite active on twitter due to the ready and engaging format which allows for an immediate but robust discourse on topical issues.However for a number of reasons which I won't bore you with,an introspective mood of disillusionment sets in and I opted to engage via Facebook a more languid and matured platform which allows for a measured but in-depth political engagement devoid of juvenile banter and unnecessarily childish verbal barbs.
In keeping with my daily rituals as a way of catching up with the news,i was scrolling down my timeline filtering the available news reportage when I came across one of these bizarre headlines by a faceless blog declaring that the former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison Madueke has just coughed up the princely(in her case the Queenly) sum of $90billion dollars as proceeds of her profligacy while in Government.My knee-jerk initial reaction was dismissive considering anyone with half a brain could already tell this was an outlandish media baiting headline even by the uncharted Nigerian blogger's unregulated standards,however, what gave me pause was the retort by a gentleman which not only intrigued me but opened up a mental vortex invariably serving as inspiration for this commentary.
His cryptic response to the article for want of a better word paraphrasing was "These are the kind of stories my senses won't buy"please pause and reflect on this for a moment as we do a cursory dissection.
Now, what caught my attention and actually intrigued me was not the obviously mundane remark itself but the careful and deliberate coupling of manifold nuance deployed in the conveyance of an opinion.
Please pay close attention, not to the words itself which seem mundane to cursory inquiry but the spirit and intent gleaned from it.
The gentleman asserted that these are the kind of stories "his senses" won't buy,please indulge me a little longer as we delve further,many would have written "These are the kind of stories i wont buy" or "These are the kind of senseless stories i wont buy" but a coupling of both is where the literal ingenuity shines through and why the random comment piqued my interest.
In summary, his comment not only highlight the wild unsubstantiated depth some will go to display red herrings where none exists, but absolutely exhibits the deplorable depth of callous primordial zealotry being deployed to justify and deflect attention from extant reality.
Politics and the general discourse which goes along with it is an emotive subject at the best of times,this is especially so with diverse cleavages who have entrenched ideological beliefs spanning years,some even decades.
In a socio-politically fractured country like Nigeria where religion and ethnic identity has been a convenient succor,a willing anchor when Politics and Politicians have consistently betrayed Nigerians it is quite understandable that many in fierce defense of social factors that stand as the last defence will interpret and approach any issue from a narrow ethnic,religious and Political prism.
And so it becomes the extant situation we have found ourselves where topical issues which have a direct impact on the citizenry,rather than being viewed and judged strictly on its own terms becomes interpreted using these cleavages highlighted above.
Many Nigerians had a great deal of emotions,moral reservoir and the last vestige of their battered hope invested in the President Buhari election and eventual victory encapsulated by the change mantra.Their reasoning or motivation is not important nor relevant to this commentary considering the free and unencumbered freedom of choice which undermines our democratic ideal.
Even back then some of us highlighted how unrealistic the manifesto was, based on an analysis using standard economic indicators but no one paid attention in a country where individuals and not ideology or wordings and tenor of Manifesto is used for campaigns,for a country used to responsive leadership these promises would not have had much of an impact,but for a Nation like Nigeria with decades long deep and bleeding gouges of trust deficit under successive Political leaders it was simply a recipe for disaster,our dire warnings was engulfed by the deafening euphoria of victory.
We are where we are today and toiling in the throes of the complex multifarious challenges the country is grappling with presently,without dwelling upon what led us here,Govt intransigence or actions/inactions, what seems disconcerting for me right now is the deliberate realignment of context and reality regarding what we are confronted with mainly by the President's supporters.Many on constant defensive mien seem not to acknowledge nor appreciate the need for candor and or the immediate sense of urgency which demands full frontal confrontation of our problems,a robust,deliberate engagement with the Presidency.
Instead of this, the overzealous borderline fanatic support reminiscent of a cult,religious order has gotten to such an alarming stage where it is threatening to subsume the inalienable rights of the average Nigerian to ventilate their grouse or dissent of perceived Government inaction.
A cursory critique of President Buhari now attracts inventive pejorative neologism,you are either a "wailing wailer" "a disgruntled Nigeria seeking for the downfall of the President" "Pained Jonathanian" and a host of others too numerous or disturbing to even mention.
As metaphorical shit is being flung all over the place,i have witnessed the advent of some reptilian mindset which sadly exists both within the intellectual class and the less enlightened which seem to have side stepped what should be the nucleus of this conversation to impugn upon the motives,ideological even religious persuasion of any individual who dares to critique or highlight the issues.Sentient individuals with the agency of full independence over their body,intellect and mindset have allowed narrow Political support becloud objective reasoning.
This is not the time to exhibit the mindless zealotry,indubitable support or confidence of President Buhari but a time to allow what seems best for Nigeria as a collective entity teetering on the brink of a precipice to trump all subjective reasoning.
Politicians react to public adulation/condemnation hence as long as they are being egged on,corralled in a gilded cage oblivious to the cries and rantings of their constituents you can be sure that they will revel in the audacity of lawlessness and lack of empathy, while justifying their most outlandish policies as they ascribe divine mandate to build an aura of unquestioning infallibility around themselves.
You voted for change engage,question and most of all make demands of this change premise based on the social contract signed with the President.
Opinion Piece written by Bunmi Olaniyan a Social Comentator and tweets from @Bunmola2010 and his facebook account of the same name.