"Insanity in individuals is rare - but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule" --Friedrich Nietzsche
Nigeria is being stratified into two major poles- they and us. Corrupt elite class and suffering masses, the enemies of change and change agents, the gullible masses and reasoning masses. That is the graphical situation of this polity called Nigeria. It has aways been there, but with this incorruptible Sheriff at the helm of affairs, the delimitation is clear.
It is no longer news that those who benefitted from the ruin of the country yesterday, have bought their way to the highest lawmaking chambers of the country today. Obviously, they are corrupt, but by crook or hook, they are the law givers; they have the powers to make obnoxious laws that are capable of dragging the country back for decades; they could conspire to initiate impeachment articles against President Muhammadu Buhari, even if they would fail in their plot, and true to type they did not disguise about their history and capabilities to create tension in the country.
Not to fall into the pit of ambivalence, I intend to look into the conflict of forces that are competing the soul of Nigeria, and find out where the equilibrium point could be marked. In the first premise, President Muhamnadu Buhari appears to have retooled the working of some institutions. The no-nonsense Military General turned politician believes that corruption would exterminate Nigeria, if Nigeria fails to eliminate corruption on time. So, the slumbering anti-graft agencies woke up rudely, dusted their files and went to work.
Before, I used think that institutions should not be built around personalities, but now, empirical evidences have shown that institutions are nothing unless they are driven by strong personalities. With Magu as the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), the devil himself knows that the fear of Buhari is the beginning of the wisdom.
However, there is a noise out there that the war against corruption is selective; that the target is the main opposition party, the embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and that Buhari was out to decimate the potentialities of the politicians on the platform against 2019 general elections. So, a war must be waged against the President. Amazingly, the narratives work magic as the deprived masses are also divided on the onslaught against corruption, for legions believe that the anti-corruption fight was a mere vendetta.
If the reason must prevail, we shall interrogate issues at stake. For the latest war in the senate, the narrative of the PDP senators was that the President was out to change its leadership they freely elected among themselves. So, the merit of the charge of forgery against the Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekeremadu does not appeal to them. And because the Attorney General of the Federation is pressing charges as recommended by the investigating Police team, Buhari should prepare for war.
The questions are: was the standing order of the senate used to institute leadership of the senate forged or not? Is forgery an internal affair of the senate or a criminal act? Was an investigation conducted by the police and recommendation made to the Attorney General? Must Attorney General press charges if there is prima facie? The answers to those questions are resounding Yes.
I watched it live on television where Senator Kabiru Marafa rose with a point of order to draw the attention of the senate to the forgery, and I am in the know that Senator Hunkuyi and others had approached the court for the same issue, but now that the office of Attorney General has woken up to his duties, some senators are threatening fire and brimstone. In a saner clime, such a senate ought to have gone into history; for people ought to have sacked them from the compromised chambers the very minute they pronounced corruption as their guiding principle.
Our country is in dire strait as a result of economic and social challenges, but must we gloss over a glaring case of corruption because we want to fix economy? I do not think so. I learnt that some section of the APC senators had countered their PDP colleagues on the issue, but it is a pity that the Senate President and his few scoundrels who see themselves as APC senators are working with the opposition underground to ground the country. That is the fall-out of the notion "I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody".
What more, the corruption is fighting back, and the masses who ought to know are divided by fallacy of ignorance. They have forgotten that for every one billion naira stolen, one million able bodied men with low income would not be paid salaries. I am aghast that in this very country, EFCC are apprehending yesterday's men who had stolen and sharing billions of US dollars, and they confessed to the sprawling stealing, yet some people who do not know where the next meal will come but take solace in partisan ludo are buying into the narrative of the thieves that the anti-corruption fight is a persecution of the opposition. What a people!
I am glad that despite this economic topsy-turvy, a strong man has emerged to follow his conscience and adhere to the rule of law irrespective of the deafening noise of corrupt elite class who want to eat their cake and have it. They formed what I called "they" and i am glad that large segment of the masses and some reasonable elite have keyed into the new order, forming what I see as "us". However, vigilance is the watch word for any progress to be made.
Another interesting scenario is that of Governor Ayo Fayose, the boy scout of Ekiti state who treats the nation to tragicomedy on daily basis. He was fingered in the stealing of funds earmarked for arms meant to battle insurgency that has held the nation by the jugular, and instead of denying stealing, he claims immunity. Interestingly, his comrades in crime wanted his matter to be forgone. And that is one of the crimes of the President.
I am of opinion that the rebirth of Nigeria that is being undertaken by Buhari and his Vice Yemi Osinbajo must be encouraged, because we are all victims, the sons of victims and the future fathers of victims-apology to Nuhu Osahion.
Butikakuro is an intercontinental journalist.