The category of Nigerians who withstood all the oddities for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari and were immediately recognized and rewarded is few. The reward I mean is not the monetary but the call to serve the nation in a capacity, though it is premature to conclude that some appointees are often bereft of the required technical knowhow, thus learn on the job.
The people in this connection are basically four: those who are known in Nigerian political landscape with socio-political and economic influences, those who are unknown but they contributed financially through scratch cards and donations to the funds raised for the presidential campaigns, and those who – known or unknown – fasted and prayed fervently for President Buhari’s victory. Some had extraordinary worship experiences for the almighty victory.
The fourth group is made up of the noisemakers, the journalists who in the actual sense are supposed to be the most powerful players in making the leadership a deserving, resounding but objective entity. The fairness which the profession demands in reporting events has often been put to test. However, the profession does not forbid the journalist from having interest in the peace, unity and progress of the nation, thus the inclination towards a citizen who can guarantee those abstractions for the country people.
Yes, this category is the noisemakers because every noise has its significance and import. There is hardly any meaningless sound in the world of the human. Nowadays in churches, pastors command their followers to make some noise for their lord. Therefore, the gentlemen of the pen make the greatest noise by being the ones who shape public opinions of personalities, dictate how the public should think and act. They are the real mobilizers of the masses.
The journalists make the most reasonable noise for politicians. Even the writings against the politicians are very useful in making them sit up. Though in many cases such writings are termed allegations, most eventually turn out to be true but let to be for peace. The politicians know it and that is why many of them have established media organizations to pursue their goals. In just few cases, the journalists are favoured with appointments. Unlike the learned men of the law, journalists are more versatile and exposed to governance.
However, all of these four groups voted for the victory, though additionally the media gave wide publicity to the influential who may not have actually taken the pains to queue and follow the boxes till the results were finally announced at the polling units. Most of the influential sit in their houses and give orders through phone calls. They do their parts by buying up the electorate and the electoral system: the voters or their cards, the election officers and the mechanism. Nonetheless, the general belief remains that President Buhari was elected through free and fair electoral processes. Professor Attahiru Jega is a living testimony.
However, the four categories of men who made the victory for Mr. President are all important, even as many of them can only feel the impact of their efforts through the slow but steady positive changes in the Nigerian society. But let us examine the three and how they can still be of immense help to the government. Frankly, some patriots voted for change, having been exhausted by the failures of the past governments. Some voted purely for the love they had for President Buhari as a distinct patriotic individual. The third group was made up of either the old political foes or allies who voted essentially for predetermined returns. However, every voter wanted something for the personal, for the general or for both. Who have been favoured and who have been excluded?
It is well known in Nigerian that politics is all about interest. Human beings, philosophers postulate, are political animals. The import is that there are no perpetual political friends or fiends. This also means that in the time of reward for loyalty and fraternity, the past should be forgotten for peace to reign. That, unfortunately, has been difficult in Nigeria. Politics favours only the influential. Those who have been in the corridor of power have been recycling. These are ex-political office holders and their people who may be friends or relatives to the elected politicians. This government is yet no exception; though hope is high the trend may change.
Look at the formation of different organs of the government. The appointments into offices have been stereotyped in a unique manner. To be eligible to be in the executive or the judiciary or head/member of government agency, commission and parastatal, one must be ex-this or ex-that. Ex-governors, ex-ministers, ex-servicemen, ex-aspirant/candidate, or ex-top political party loyalists are components of government year in year out. In short, some politicians, due to this trend, go into hiding after every unfavourable political dispensation to reappear and bulldoze their ways into the ruling party when another electioneering permutations approach.
One cannot just be appointed without being recommended by these ‘ex ex’ in the power blocs. This makes me think if there should open practical examinations for every position in Nigeria so that merit can have meaning in the nation’s political scheme. When will the sons and daughters of nobody be somebody basically on merit in Nigeria? Those who are unknown but contributed to President Buhari’s victory are yet to be carried along. Men of the pen also have better understanding of governance.
By: Muhammad Ajah