I am impressed by the simplicity and the moving quality of Chief Kayode’s
criticism of this administration. It is suitably rich and profound. A
fierce intellectual, an intrepid scholar, an uncompromising radical, he
has given the Mohammadu Buhari’s administration indigestion on a regular
basis. Chief Kayode is doing stuff many people are afraid to do. He is
risking his freedom and this is a moral example for others to follow.
I must confess that I voted for the ruling party. A card carrying member
of APC and a member of Buhari’s media team during the campaign. I voted
for him with a heavy heart because I knew he didn’t have the mental
capacity and wisdom to govern a complex country like Nigeria. The job
requires a level of punditry which Buhari doesn’t have at all. There was
practically no deeply thought plan on how to govern and achieve his goals.
His speeches were hollow and completely uninspiring. Buhari is a man of
substantive deficiency. Right now, his weakness is on display.
I worked and voted for him because of the one obvious credential that he
has: aversion for corruption. This is the cankerworm that has eaten into
every sector of our national life. We have had a long –run of ill luck in
leadership. Leaders that are only interested in amassing wealth to the
detriment of the general public. Buhari represented for me an incarnation
of hope in that debilitating area of our national life. But he failed to
live up to expectation. From the very beginning, the fight against
corruption became a one-sided affair. The Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) became a tool of vendetta against members of the
People’s Democratic Party.(PDP) The so called strongman failed to handle a
straightforward case like the Halliburton Scandal.
Oluseun Onigbinde has this say about Buhari war on corruption: “However,
beyond the acknowledged good intentions of the president, good intentions
have never been a plan. Corruption needs at least four things to thrive –
the absence of political will, gross secrecy, excessive discretion and
weak institutions. On the four counts, I have not seen enough will to rein
on these demons. Once there is a signal that here is a free for all with
the institutions and countervailing will clearly absent, humans usually
abuse the opportunity. This has nothing to do with race, gender or
environment. Siemens and Halliburton were indicted for giving bribes in
Nigeria. This is not to oversell the place of exemplary leadership but it
is key to set the tone in places where institutions are still evolving. In
the early days of this administration, zealous officers were arresting
those who wanted to flee. The first press release of the government was
that it has not barred anyone from travelling. The signal was there,
buzzing of the arrival of the strongman.”
But Chief Kayode saw it from the very beginning. When it comes to
criticism of Buhari, he has up- shifted from good to great. To him,
Nigeria can never be self sustaining and successful under this present
government. He has always insisted that Buhari’s actions are a blithe
evocation of stupidity and daftness. To tell it like it is, there is
darkness around this government. His unintelligent policies have exposed
his government to extreme political vulnerability. His economic policy
has pushed millions into the destructive cycle of poverty. The chronic
economic slump has led to job losses and massive starvation. To make
things worse, this government is bafflingly distracted due to Buhari’s
illness. In order to stave off disaster and get Nigeria back on its feet,
Buhari has to resign.
I will end this article by quoting Chief Kayode at length: “The first time
Buhari came to power he unleashed terror on the people in the name of
fighting corruption and thousands of innocent and decent men and women
were herded into prisons and detention centres all over the country. None
of them were given fair trials and all were subjected to a level of
humiliation and barbarity that had never been witnessed before in
peacetime in our entire history.”
According to him, Criminal laws were applied retroactively and people were
executed and hanged based on the application of those laws. He went to
state that many people were locked up, prosecuted and jailed simply for
writing and speaking the truth as long as that truth embarrassed or
exposed the wickedness or corruption of members of his federal government.
He disclosed that many politicians, dissidents, writers, journalists,
businessmen and human rights were locked up in inhuman conditions and
underground dungeons and consequently fell chronically ill and most of
them never recovered from the ordeal.
Chief Kayode concluded by saying: “On the economic front a chronic
recession was ushered into the affairs of our nation and people suffered
hunger, poverty, deprivation and starvation.
Thankfully 20 months later it all came crashing, he was removed from power
and sanity was restored.
The second time he came to power he did precisely the same thing as the
first only this time it was worse because he clothed his tyranny in the
seeming legitimacy of civil rule and in a supposedly democratic setting
where the rule of law, at least on paper, was meant to prevail.
Yet the modus operandi, intention, style and objectives were still the
same: the decimation of all opposition forces by waging a bogus, vicious
and selective so-called “anti-corruption war” which was fueled and
propelled by hate, spite, vindictiveness, pettiness, sensational media
trials and the abuse of power and which resulted in the humiliation,
denigration, persecution, demonstration, violation of human rights and
incarceration of most of his critics and political opponents.
Again his actions and policies resulted in the premature death and
destruction of innocent and helpless men and women in some cases and in
the reckless and wholesale killing of defenceless civilians by his
security forces in others.
Once again on the economic front, just as he had done thirty years
earlier, he ushered in a period of unprecedented suffering, hunger,
hardship, economic recession, poverty and starvation.”