One factor that has led to the collapse of many societies throughout history is internal decay brought about by inept and visionless leadership. The pages of history are littered with examples of societies whose final descent into perdition was preceded by unprecedented internal rot. This type of rot is usually sustained by a corps of lackadaisical and moronic leadership that made a vocation of blaming their predecessors for the rot of society without as much seeing in their own lethargy, ineptitude and lack of foresight as significant contributory factors for that collapse. This is the product of the nemesis called “blame game” syndrome in leadership.
Blame game syndrome is as old as the history of creation. It has always been the stock-in-trade for those who fail. Those who fail in their assignments must always find an escape goat for their failures. Their failures must have been caused by someone else, and not necessarily by their own actions. The Bible records the earliest form of this blame game attitude in the Garden of Eden. God, we are told in the Bible, created a man and a woman and put them in the Garden with a very clear instruction never to eat of the tree of life.
The consequences, God had warned them, would be dire and ultimate. But Adam and Eve failed. The serpent deceived them and they ate the forbidden fruit. Adam was the head of God’s mortal creations and therefore was in-charge and ultimately answerable to God. When God, therefore, confronted him to know why he had chosen to flout His orders by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam resorted to the blame game denial. The woman you gave to me, Adam stammered, gave me the fruit and I ate it. Adam’s failure was fatal and in laying the blame on the doorsteps of the woman God gave him, Adam was factually accusing God of making a mistake in giving him the woman. Adam’s failure would ultimately bring to ruination, the fate of man on earth.
Such blame game syndrome has always been the hallmark of inept leaders. Lacking in vision and the initiative to elevate their thinking to glorious levels, and also of what should be done to transform society; a typical scenario of a bad workman quarrelling with his tools, such leaders invariably lead their societies into destruction. The history of some of the world’s worst leaders is replete with this type of blame game. And in their naivety and dearth of focus, such leaders have always hit on the expedience of the most absurd and outlandish policies to superintend the affairs of the state. The product of this type of absurdity and lack of focus has always resulted in mass murder of citizens. Pol Pot of Cambodia, Idi Amin of Uganda, Torquemeda of Spain, Prince Vlad Dracula, the Impaler of the ancient Wallachia Empire and Josef Stalin of Russia are just some of the typical examples of this class of leaders.
And in the 21st century, Nigeria’s version of Pol Pot has reincarnated in Muhammadu Buhari and the APC. And typical of his types in history Buhari, along with his APC has reinvented the blame game and elevated it to a principle of governance. Rather than initiate practical and pragmatic policies to drive their change agenda, Buhari and the APC has resorted to blaming the past government of former President Goodluck Jonathan as the reason for their headaches, bellyaches and heartaches. The Goodluck administration must be blamed for our economic recession, for the full blown process of Islamization of the country, for the plummeting of the naira, for the ethnic and religious cleansing sweeping through Nigeria, for the unprecedented resurgence of corruption; for the government’s inability to bring back the Chibok girls; for the ever scorching activities of Boko Haram and for the total collapse of our public institutions.
But is it true that the Goodluck Jonathan administration should be blamed for what is happening in Nigeria today? I do not think so. What was the state of Nigerian economy when Buhari came to power? What kind of Nigeria did Jonathan handover to Buhari? I think it is in understanding what type of Nigeria Buhari inherited that we would be able to conclude if actually that government should be blamed for our present woes.
I have very often spoken about the guilt of collective amnesia as symptomatic of leadership in Nigeria. We have formed the nauseating habit of passing the buck and blaming others for our failures. Very seldomly do we own up to our mistakes and or take responsibility for our actions and inactions. We blame the elements for our woes; it is always he/she, they/them that caused our problems; and it is never us or we. I have heard many even blame God. This blame trading has been with us. And so it is not surprising that the Buhari administration has resorted to passing the buck and blaming previous administrations for the avalanche of socio-economic problems bedeviling the country; without as much realizing that virtually all the members of the APC were active and critical participants in the Jonathan administration, which it loves to blame for our current economic woes.
Facts abound concerning the truth that former President Goodluck Jonathan handed over a Nigerian State with the largest economy in Africa to Muhammadu Buhari; a Nigerian economy with a GDP, which grew from $270.5 billion in 2009, to $574 billion in 2015 to become the largest economy in Africa and the 24th largest economy in the world. Recall that Jonathan inherited a country where the train system was not working, and handed over to Buhari a Nigeria in which citizens traveled by trains; a Nigeria that was a net importer of cement, and handed over a Nigeria that is a net exporter of cement. Jonathan handed over to Buhari a Nigeria where the US Dollar exchanged for N198 to the dollar, where a litre of fuel was sold for N87; where a bag of rice sold for N8000, where inflation rate was at a single digit and people had access to many life opportunities. These are but just a tip on the iceberg regarding the many transformations which the Jonathan administration brought to bear on the Nigerian economy.
Under Buhari, the GDP growth rate shrunk by 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to 0.36 percent drop in 2015 when Jonathan handed over to him the reins of power. Even worse is the 1.5 percent market decline in 2016, the first market contraction in several years. The result has been a country where the poor cannot dream of eating rice because the price of a bag of rice has gone up to the sky; a country where a litre of fuel now sells for N145 as against N45 which Buhari promised in during his campaigns, a country where a litre of kerosene now sells for N500, and the naira now exchanges for N489 to the dollar.
All over Nigeria, the verdict is clear and deafening: APC and Buhari have failed. Nigerians are dying of hardship. While many Nigerians may have genuinely fallen for the lie of change as propagated by Buhari and the APC during the elections, I sympathize with them because in their fury to get rid of Jonathan, they could not for one moment stop to ask the critical question: Is Buhari an option to Goodluck Jonathan? Rather than becoming a government of genuine change, the Buhari’s government has become a government of blame game and confusion. But in all honesty, I cannot say that the failure of this government has come to me as a surprise. No! It has not. Apart from the fact that Buhari and APC, even during the elections, exhibited all the signs of buffoonery and inertia, I have always known that, as lethargic and ineffective Jonathan may have been, Buhari was never an option to him. It was like asking a cripple not to lead you and then settling for not just another cripple but also a blind and deaf cripple. A man who sells his dog to buy monkey has not done anything meaningful because a bird that flew from the ground and perched on a molehill cannot say it is not on the ground.
The APC had promised the payment of N5, 000 stipend to over 25 million unemployed Nigerian youths, elderly and disabled; provide free one meal per day for pupils and students in public primary and secondary schools respectively; the empowerment of 740,000 graduates annually across the country, provision of 3million jobs per year; payment of one year post service benefit to corps members who finished their mandatory one year service to the country, and the promise of bringing back the so-called abducted Chibok school girls. The list is virtually endless.
In making these endless promises, the APC took Nigerians for a ride even when they are aware that Buhari lacks the intellectual capacity and ability to activate any of these promises. This was actually why the party effectively shielded Buhari from the various political debates he was invited to; but rather chose to read prepared speeches and hold kangaroo town hall meetings.
I am alarmed that many of those we could easily have numbered among the wise and educated in Nigeria were the first line marketers of Buhari. Yet recently such persons have been seen on national televisions describing Buhari and the APC as fake agents of change. However, it is good that they have just realized this. But I am minded to argue that the greatest problem of this country, more than corruption, is the elite and intelligentsia that propagate evil and rationalize its enthronement into positions of leadership merely for political expediency and pecuniary gains. I am always shocked when I hear certain persons talk about corruption in this country. For me corruption is not limited to financial malfeasance.
Financial corruption is only an aspect of corruption. When those who should know deliberately distort history for their own selfish reasons, I consider that as corruption undiluted. When those who should be society’s philosopher-kings compromise and throw their integrity to the dogs simply because of their contempt for one man and enthrone charlatanism in government, I consider that as unmitigated corruption. When the cream of society rationalize incompetence and ill-baked characters as prerequisite for leadership that society is doomed.
Deficit in any genuine program for Nigeria, Buhari has initiated his own Islamic agenda for Nigeria. The Christians, especially in the north, must be wiped out for Islam to thrive. In the north today, it has become a crime for Christians to carry out evangelism or solicit for funds to rebuild burnt-down churches. Christian leaders who condemn the mass extermination of Christians are daily hounded by the DSS that has now become Buhari’s major profiler of Christians. Yet these things happen and the government of the day does nothing but rather pretends as if all is well.
In the south of this country, the current of Islam has taken on new, complex and dangerous dimensions: Islamic soldiers masquerading as Fulani herdsmen now roam about our farmlands with heavy weapons and attack and decimate our people with careless abandon. Harmless Igbo youths demanding for a thoroughly restructured Nigeria or in the alternative a separate state of Biafra have been murdered in their thousands and buried in mass graves. These are indeed the signs of a country on the highway to hell; a country haunted by its fictitious history and internal contradictions.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is a country established on fraud; a country that has become beleaguered by so many internal contradictions so much so that its ultimate collapse as a state is now only a matter of time. When that collapse occurs, Nigeria will join the graveyard of other unworkable and meaningless evil empires constructed by colonialism in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Nigeria’s reputation as an evil creation could be gleaned from the fact that in its almost 57 years as an independent country, it has been riddled with violence and pogroms. In this pogrom, the blood of over 3 million Igbo men, women and children slaughtered in cold blood cry out against the land. Nigeria will certainly not be missed when it goes the way of the defunct Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia or Sudan.
The failures and foibles of the present Buhari government have only become the requiem for the final disintegration of Nigeria. Only a tree would hear that it would be cut down and still stand there to experience its doom. Not even an animal in the forest dares such experience. A man will always run for shelter when he is threatened. In Nigeria, Ndigbo have been sufficiently threatened with extermination. We cannot sit idly by and wait for our total extermination. Like the wise, we must run for shelter before we are drenched with the torrential rain of hate and annihilation. That shelter is the State of Biafra. We have, for too long, asked for a renegotiated Nigerian State. Time was when we demanded for an Igbo presidency in Nigeria. Unfortunately, none of these things interest us now as much as a separate state of Biafra. Biafra was never defeated because the contradictions that spawned Biafra have become complex and more threatening. It is actually in Biafra that Nigeria’s requiem as a country is writ large. And to that extent, we can say adieu Nigeria; welcome Biafra.
By Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo