"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

19 March 2015

The Search for the Nigerian Messiah continues…

According to Bob Marley, “most people think Great God will come from the sky; Take away everything and make everybody feel high”.

Obviously, God is not going to physically come down from heaven and save anybody. And perhaps, that was why He promised to send to the Israelites a messiah that will restore things for them.

Unfortunately, the promise of a messiah was only made to the people that the bible described as the children of God (Jews). And so, other countries (Gentiles) have learnt how to restore things by themselves without waiting for any messiah – by following the rule of law.

Unlike the rest of the world, Nigerians are still expecting a messiah who will ‘take away everything and make everybody feel high’. And as the 2015 presidential election is approaching, they expect to elect a messiah.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Nigerians are expecting to elect a messiah. In 2011, they massively voted for Pres. Jonathan believing that they were electing a messiah. With his educational background as a PhD holder, the people thought that Jonathan will turn around Nigeria’s woes.

Moreover, as a man from a poor background whose parents couldn’t afford a pair of shoes for him to wear to school, they believe that Jonathan will, as a minimum requirement, look after the poor.

Nigerians and their expectation: it is surreal expecting somebody who hasn’t worn shoes before to know where the shoe pinches.

Anyway, going by some people’s reactions, it appears that Jonathan is not the messiah after all. Well, some people still insist that he is by showcasing his ‘achievements’ in office to support their claim.

And hence, the search for the Nigerian messiah continues.

As usual, some Nigerians have identified another messiah that they will vote for in the rescheduled 2015 presidential election. That supposed messiah is General Muhammadu Buhari. They believe this 73 year old retired Army General is adequately equipped to restore the country for them and make everybody feel high.

His supporters argued that during his first messianic mission in 1983 when he became Nigeria’s head of state through a military coup, Buhari was tough on corruption. And so, if he becomes the Nigerian President, he will fight corruption like he did before.

And so, if Buhari wins the presidential election, it will be his second coming as the Nigerian messiah, assuming the election holds as expected.

By the way, those Nigerian Pharisees who cut short Buhari’s first messianic coming because they didn’t trust his mission are still there. And I don’t know if they will allow him to come back the second time.

Anyway, how did Buhari fight corruption during his first mission? First of all, he jailed those politicians that he judged ‘corrupt’. Thereafter, as a ‘disciplined man’, he realised that Nigerians were and are still highly indiscipline. And it is indiscipline that leads to corruption.

Buhari, therefore, created an outfit he called ‘War Against Indiscipline’ (WAI). He deployed soldiers with horsewhips to flog Nigerians who didn’t conform. At least it worked because people stopped urinating and defecating in public places.

But, do Nigerians require somebody to flog them before they become disciplined? I don’t think so unless they are a bunch of 'animals in human skin' apologise to Fela Kuti. I believe every Nigerian including Buhari’s supporters can be the messiah they see in Buhari by just being disciplined and following the rule of law.

For instance, if a taxi/bus driver is disciplined enough to ensure that his vehicle documents are up to date and at the same time observe every traffic rule; he won’t have the need to bribe the police and the police won’t have a reason to take bribe from him.

If magistrates/judges are indiscipline and accept bribe to set suspects free, corruption will continue in the country. But Nigerians will follow the rule of law knowing that anybody can be jailed because a judge will not compromise the justice system.

More so, a disciplined university teacher who doesn’t demand to sleep with his female students before they pass his subject will help to restore quality education in the country. At the same time, if the lecturer insists that his students must buy his written tutorials before they pass his subject; that is corruption.

The above instances are just for illustration purposes; the indiscipline and corruption examples that exist in Nigeria are inexhaustible.

However, the point that I want to make is that government officials are corrupt because the general population is equally corrupt. If the people demand their leaders to be incorruptible, themselves must be clean because those that go to equity go with clean hands.

Thus, those Nigerians that want Gen Buhari to change Nigeria for them should be that change they want to see in Nigeria. They shouldn’t wait for Buhari to come and flog them in order to become the change that he wants to see in Nigeria. Everybody should do the right and corruption will disappear in Nigeria.

And for those Nigerians who think that Buhari is coming back to introduce another WAI to flog them before they change, unfortunately for you, the man says it is not going to be so in his second coming.

In fact, Buhari has pledged that if he wins the presidential election; he will rule in line with the Nigerian constitution and in accordance with the rule of law. Hopefully, Buhari understands the meaning of the rule of law. If he doesn’t know; it means one law for all and nobody is above the law.

I asked because the Nigerian constitution says that a presidential candidate must have a minimum educational qualification up to secondary school certificate. And the electoral act says that whatever qualification that a candidate claims to have must be attached to the presidential form.

It is pertinent to know that up till now, Buhari has not attached any qualification to his presidential form. Moreover, his claim on oath that his educational documents are with the military board, which has been refuted by the military, is a clear case of perjury. He has not been arrested or questioned. This is a case of one law for the elites another for the masses.

Meanwhile, Buhari and his political party (APC) have left it to the courts to interpret the constitutional meaning of minimum educational qualification. As it is, Buhari shouldn’t be under any illusion that the PDP will not go to court to challenge his eligibility if he wins the presidential election.

A country’s constitution should be a simple legal document that even a layman should understand in order to follow it. But a situation where the courts are left to continue interpreting the constitution is a sign that the Nigerian constitution is defective and in my opinion, it is the change that Nigerians want.

Finally, as Buhari and APC have set the precedent of allowing the courts to interpret a basic constitutional requirement, then, they should be rest assured that if they win the presidential election, the courts will also be asked to interpret the constitutionality of every law that they will enact.

By so doing, nothing will be achieved in the country; and the search for the Nigerian Messiah continues...

1 comment:

  1. What makes you think you aren't of the chosen people mentioned in the bible. The Hebrews fled Judea at the blood-thirsty hands of the Romans. They literally settled in every direction including in west Africa.

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