Once content with his long stretch of titles and honorifics, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, addressed variously as Asiwaju, and Jagaban Borgu, had enough titles that being President of Nigeria was meant to be the ultimate diadem in his life’s ambitions.
He was clear that it was his turn to be President, a remark that puzzled those who take these titles too seriously. He became President.
Did many not warn of the dangers of electing a man whose prisms about the presidency was about him, and only him? Tinubu has flaws some of which are super human. Tinubu told us that he was different, rightly so.
His blustering presidency daily attests to a disinterest in how his policies affect Nigerians. His appointments are mainly disappointments. An understanding of Tinubu would not stand for his summersaults point to his hurry to move to other things. Nigeria is a vast estate most of which the new owner has not apportioned.
None of these is more troubling as his stated agenda to follow the footsteps of his predecessor, the strange Muhammadu Buhari whose windy presidency was dedicated to punishing Nigerians in any way that caught Buhari’s fancy. Time ran out on him. Whispers about how passionately he pummelled Nigeria persists.
One thought Tinubu was patronising Buhari to endorse him for the saddle. Nobody could imagine that “continuing where Buhari stopped” would be the agenda of a candidate. Tinubu told us. Is it his fault that he is a man of his words?
He unabashedly told Nigerians other things. Years before the election, and months to it, Tinubu disclosed his winging strategy of grab it, snatch it, and run away with it.
Tinubu won. The Supreme Court said so, “and there is nothing anyone can do about it”, a new phrase about our understanding of elections, laws, and a wooly admission of our survival as a country without meaning.
At the end of the vicious devastations of our innermost essence as individuals and a country, in the admittedly hapless Buhari administration, Nigerians expected that nothing could be worse. We were wrong.
Nobody told Nigerians that presumptions and assumptions that they were at the end of the Buhari tunnel were illusions. Nigerians knew that things were bad.
Ordinary Nigerians felt it, lived with it, wandered in the last eight years in an unlit tunnel that led to a systematic stripping of almost everything they had. Not only was there no light at the end of the tunnel, the debate has shifted to whether Buhari took us through a tunnel or something without a name.
Nigerians who voted for Tinubu, and those who did not, are bearing the full brunt of the consequences of leadership that elevates devastating emptiness to a national project.
Tinubu realises that after snatching the presidency, the strategy he espoused for winning the election, he cannot escape with it. What next? Where would he run to with it?
His image still bears unexpired burdens.
Words cannot address the void the presidency has become. There are challenges – deal with them without complicating them, without worsening them, and without the more annoying excuse that things are bad.
Tinubu, an accomplished and financial management wizard would deploy his wizardry to snatching more loan to maintain an outrageous lifestyle for himself and a few others. What is the President’s wife doing with new official cars, among other frivolities costing billions of Naira?
We are in a vicious circus. We are used to chanting “things can’t continue this way”, “things must be better”. Now, we neither recognise things nor the way they are. We are too busy looking for what to eat. To have a meal consistently these days, not minding the size or shape, is a notable achievement.
The fabrics of aspirations to be something, an entity, a people, with a purpose that would propel the ambitions of the collective for the well-being of the members of Nigeria, are lost on obvious daily race to grab what is left, if any.
No efforts are spared in making the hollowness of Nigeria the most important item in the country’s view of itself. Nigeria is empty. The only thing worse than that is that whatever that has not been taken or is about to be taken is emptied into a void from which it cannot be redeemed. We are blasé about this.
Security and welfare of the people is the primary purpose of government, says the Constitution. Governments at every level lean on the purposeless journey of the federal government in addressing the salient neglect of the people. They are adamant in the pursuit to make things worse.
Perhaps, the understanding of our leaders is that they being Nigerians have the exclusive rights to the outcomes of securing Nigeria. Scarce national resources are applied on making Nigeria safer for the leaders whose decisions sustain the lingering potions of forgetfulness about the existence of Nigerians.
They being eminent Nigerians believe that they are entitled to act as if the Constitution recognised them as the only ones whose “security and welfare” shall be the primary purpose of governments. It is obvious that administrations have a niche for distancing themselves from the people whose challenges they consider inconveniences.
Tinubu’s Nigeria frightens even those on the table whose cups are over-filling while their compatriots are learning new colours of hunger that the politics of palliatives enhance. Buhari, his mentor – if one discounts the menace of Fulani herders – was not this uncaring, concurring, and detached in his first six months.
Once surviving on the marginal fields of international attention, Nigeria in six months of Tinubu has impetuously, imperiously, imperviously, fallen off the radar to a commodious coziness with nothingness.
This should worry you whether you are president or peasant. Tinubu may not be worried as he relishes the achievement of his life-long ambition of being president.
Nigeria defies definition and destination with an aptitude that amputates any ambitions to seek redemption from its declivitous descent to debts and unknown depths.
What is the opposite of hope? Nigeria is heading to paths worse than hopeless. Many would not be civil when discussing this. Civility would desert them, not mind if they are or against my position. Hopefully, something would be done to reverse the trend.
Does anyone know why aircraft keep sliding off our runways? Does the issue only affect domestic flights? Four flights with incidents within one month should get the authorities to work. How nice it would be if they tell us what they found out – and what they did.
Some would reckon policy pull backs like the cancellation of a proposed 40 percent tax on revenues that universities generate, among the great strides of Tinubu’s administration.
Disputations over purchase of expensive automobiles for legislator has held my bemusement for a different reason. Nobody considered yachts for legislators from the riverain areas that are without roads. Irving Janis’s groupthink theory, 1972, explains it.
Where the desire for harmony or conformity in a group are the premium considerations, the outcome could be irrational or dysfunctional decision-making. Cohesiveness may produce a tendency among group members to agree at all costs without critical evaluation.
Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues