President Buhari

Adebayo Obajemu

General Muhammadu Buhari is an interesting character in search of an author.

I believe in the process of times, an impassioned intellectual enquiry into his oeuvre and methodology as one who uses power to enforce parochial idealogy and attempted to subtly use the instrument of state power to whip the majority to accept the idealogy of minority will come to reality, no matter how long.

His administration will engage historians, political scientists and students of power for the next decades in an attempt to scientifically analyse the nexus between bigotry and power , culture and predatory imperialism.

The brilliant Palestinian-American intellectual, professor Edward Said in his influential work, Orientalism (1978) states the danger of single narration in a multicultural environment, when he theorises that ” The power to narrate and to prevent other narration from forming and emerging is central to culture and imperialism and constitutes the main connection between them.
How does this theory of the distinguished scholar fit into this discourse?
Well to begin with, never in the history of this country has an administration ruthlessly pursued a single narration theory to such an extent as to threaten national cohesion as this administration.
And never has an administration shown such ruthless exclusivity as to shut itself from the majority viewpoint no matter how progressive.

This administration came to power on a reformist agenda and openness, yet five years down the line it has not only compounded the country’s challenges through single narration formula and penchant for shooting down alternative narration that has strong merit if considered on how to get the country from it’s miasma.

Any critic of administration with alternative ideas borne out of patriotism is an automatic target of the administration’s attack dogs, to be mauled down, vilified, called unprintable and pejorative names as if we are in a gangland fighting for a turf.

The single narration idealogy of the administration has made it an iron curtain of insularity, thus no matter how genuine and progressive an idea is as long as it does emanate from Aso Rock or its ” friends” it is not worthy of considerations.

The disrespect for meritorious opinions of Nigerians whether on the need to change the service chiefs in order to inject fresh momentum to war against insurgency and the growing insecurity that’s fast turning the country into Hobbesian state of nature or any other issue of national importance is one or the hallmark of this administration, a product ferocious pursuit of single narration.

Most of the problems we have now is precisely because this government has imposed its own narration without allowing for negotiation over other competing narrations from other stakesholders- Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohaeneze, Afenifere and the organised private sector among others.
The resultant outcome is the imposition of internal imperialism on different nationalities without giving them the democratic benefits of negotiations.
To wit, this single narration has imposed the idealogy of the minority, and by extension, the idealogy of a section of the country that holds levers of power and often constitutes the think tank of the regime’s policy formulators.

The intellectual implication of single narration is that it furthers the flowering of discontent by the disempowered groups and in no time it morphs into serious dissent which manifests in various forms, whether as Boko Haram, IPOB, OPC, or as in the recently formed middle belt group that splintered from Northern Elders Forum.

Nothing is more dangerous as the idealogy of the dispossessed, because theirs is borne of anger and venom, and may snowball into calls for a wider revolutionary demands. There is a need for this administration to sheds its combative opposition to suggestions and embrace conciliatory and integrative approach to governance.

The attitude of abusing genuine critics and opinions just because they do not toe the government’s line is in the end counter-productive as it does not change anything.

This administration still adopts the outmoded model of a military fiat in a democracy. The policy content is poor in some cases, in others rich, but the problem of the poverty of some is poor consultation and insularity of the cabal in and outside government giving the advice the administration.

(To be continued