Eddy And National Discourse By Eddy Aina

The anecdote of the tortoise is indicative of the power trappings of President Muhammadu Buhari, his perception and understanding of power dynamics and application within the Nigerian geo-political corpus, which ab initio, speaks to managing a multi-faceted, multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation albeit delicately on tenther hooks.
There is a simile of sorts between PMB and the proverbial tortoise. PMB like the tortoise is crafty, wise but sly. Like PMB the tortoise is politically savvy, calculated and guided. Like the tortoise, PMB has his eyes on the ball, knows what he wants and knows how to get it as an astitute student of Nicolo Machiavelli–the end justfies the means.
Now to the seeming link between the duo. The tortoise is the father of the family. Each time he went out, the household members would ask to know the destination and return time.
On this historic day, the family members asked the tortoise the usual question” Dad, when are you coming back from your journey? The tortoise retorted sharply. ” I will come back when iam disgraced”
Our president contested elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and lost. Before becoming president, he has demonstrated frugality, moderation and care for the common man, the down trodden, the hoipoloi, the talakawas coupled with his anti-corrption mien. He eventually won in 2015.
However, to any discerning Nigerian, like the question late Ronald Regan asked Jimmy Carter in their last Presidential debate and I quote”Fellow Americans, I ask you, is your life better in the last four years of Jimmy Carter? That question resonated among Americans and Carter lost.
But for the unpredictable nature of politics in Nigeria, if that question were subjected to plebiscite in today, the answer is glaring.
Our nation is buffeted on all sides by benumbling problems, some natural like the COVID 19 PANDEMIC, while majorly some are self-imposed like excessive dependence on oil, over centralization and concentration of power at the center contrary to federalism ethos in America, Germany, Australia, Canada and India.
The result is arrant and rampant banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, bank robbery, assassination and instability writ large to the extent that Nigeria is the most unsafe country in Africa and second in the world and the poverty capital of the world according to surveys.
The call for restructuring, state police, financial autonomy and economic restructuring to free the state from bondage and federal appendages syndrome as panacea has become lately strident and insistent, yet our president seems not willing to toe this line as the ” be all and end all solution especially now that the second recession has enveloped the country, the second in five years.
I hope it’s not going to be the hard lesson of the tortoise “when are you coming back home baba? ” I will come back when iam disgraced” God forbid since as a reminder to PMB, LEGACY matters. It is not too late to listen to cacophony of voices across a broad spectrum of Nigerians.

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