The word “Legacy” is a powerful word in my book. It speaks to imprints over time that retain permanence long after the imprinter is gone. It speaks to the indelible marks remembered and told in stories for generations. True power leaves behind clear legacies. In a political system, longevity bestows legacy opportunities whether they are actively or passively sought. I have often made the argument that in a democratic system, the winner of an election must have legacy on the mind from the moment they are declared winner….it must be well defined and pursued from the moment the oath of office is taken. In Nigeria, those with big opportunities to create lasting legacies are typically Governors and the President, with the latter having the biggest opportunity of all given the way Nigeria is structured. A single term Nigerian President can do a lot to be remembered by, a two term Nigerian President can totally remake the country. After 6 years at the helm, one can look at President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency to examine the imprints he is leaving and will leave.

20th October 2020…..20–10–2020…..a Tuesday evening in Lekki, Lagos that will forever live in the annals of Nigerian history. An evening during which members of the Nigerian army opened fire on unarmed peaceful protesters who had congregated at the Lekki Tollgate, draped in Nigerian flags and singing the national anthem. Patriotic Nigerians, mostly youths and therefore the future of the nation, were cut down by a hail of bullets bought with their money…..with taxpayer money. These soldiers didn’t baulk at the order to shoot at their fellow citizens, their fellow brothers and sisters. To them, it was as though these were the Boko Haram terrorists they have been fighting against for almost a decade, terrorists who had slain their brothers/sisters-in-arms and therefore there could be no mercy. This can be the only logical explanation for a group of soldiers sworn to protect their fatherland and fellow citizens, yet had no qualms turning on their own.

Sigh. After 6 months of resignation and disbelief that Nigerians willfully accepted another 4 years in purgatory, the need to capture my observations have again come to the fore. Following Atiku Abubakar’s loss in round one of the battle to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari via the judicial process (having lost out via the electoral process in very questionable circumstances, find details here), it now seems we may as well accept that we are now well and truly in #NextLevel era. It promises to be no different to the Change era between 2015–2019, in which the only change was of the negative kind. To symbolize the continuity between both epochs, the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele got a tenure extension for services well rendered which include overseeing a self inflicted recession, a currency with multiple exchange rates and Nigeria named poverty capital of the world. More damning is the ballooning of the CBN Balance Sheet with the apex bank continuing to underwrite the most profligate and fiscally irresponsible government in Nigeria’s history. What a time to be alive.

The weekend of 23rd — 24th March has come and gone, leaving behind different emotional responses among Nigerians. It was the weekend the 2019 General Elections into the Presidency, the Senate and House of Representatives held, after the 11th hour postponement from original date of February 16th. It is no longer news that Nigeria is split right down the middle. The split started under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency as for the first time citizens began to attack the President directly and others jumped to his defense, with social media bringing these exchanges mainstream. At that time there were still a neutral few who were called “fencists”. By the 2019 Elections, there were almost no more fencists to be found. Muhammadu Buhari’s time at the helm has so divided the country that people had become clearly for or against his re-election bid. It is against this backdrop, that reactions to how the election panned out and the declaration by the not so Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Buhari had won his re-election bid, can be viewed.

My favorite muse (there are quite a few of them, like the sartorial Minister whose swag has no equal and the Super Minister who makes dodgy claims) came into office making 3 promises: restore the economy, fight (some say he said pight) corruption and fix the insecurity issues. If you are a regular reader of these Cattle Rearer Chronicles, you may have surmised that after 3 plus years and facing elections in less than 4 months, he has not done well on any of the 3 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You will also have noticed that a lot of focus in these Chronicles has been on the economy and corruption, not so much on security. This is not by accident as I have always believed that Nigeria’s issues take root in the inability of her leaders to create an economy that liberates the people and brings prosperity for the majority. This has created a situation in which poverty is rife and where there are no safety nets, other issues such as corruption and insecurity, become rampant.

September 22nd and 27th will live forever in Nigeria’s annals of election infamy, following the drama that was the Osun state governorship elections. To be clear though, this was always expected to happen under the Buhari Administration….for those who understand the man’s psyche. For a man who always felt he was cheated at the polls each of the 3 times he lost his bid for the Presidency, it was not out of place to expect that he would champion free and fair elections, push further on electoral reforms that are much needed. Alas, Buhari’s true nature, which dissuaded many from voting for him in the past, has come to the fore. His party, All Progressives Congress (APC), has shown an unwillingness to accept defeat in any election, bringing the full weight of government resources to bear at each instance.

Phoenix Agenda

Nigeria needs a new ruling class; young, dynamic, intelligent and knowledgeable. Nigeria needs a viable new option to enable her rise from ashes like a phoenix.

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