The Futility of Change, By Modiu Olaguro

by Modiu Olaguro,

When Nigerians came out en masse to send the government of Goodluck Jonathan back into the trenches of frenetic forgetfulness, little did they know what the change movement had in store for them. The government had barely begun before the people realized that the campaign for change—the rally against continuity—had been an exercise in futility.


With recent developments, it is clear that the 2015 movement for a change in leadership of the central government only exchanged cluelessness for cluelessness, corruption for corruption, and apostasy for apostasy.

With the electorates left with no other choice but the elite consensus, the choice of General Buhari to steer the wheel was taken to heed Achebe’s call of correcting societal ills by electing a good man at the top position in the country; albeit, without doing a thorough x-ray of the extent at which the hitherto unelectable General had been refurbished.

Had the introspection been thorough, countrymen would have known that the voluble, though ideologically deficient Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi’s effort at cladding the acclaimed messiah in suit and bow tie was not enough to make him bow to the yearnings and aspirations of the people in untying the nation from the firm grip of antiquity.

Cut me some slack! For an administration whose tenancy in the villa expires in less than three years considering the fact that it expects to woo the electorates with its achievements when the rigor of campaign and electioneering commence in a matter of months, every conscious citizen—save the individual with a scant knowledge of the ideals of democracy—would be perplexed with the direction the government of Muhammadu Buhari is herding Nigerians. Say its like a lamb to the slaughter and you might not be wrong considering the level of unprecedented hardship in the land.

We knew with decades-long dictatorship and an almost equal bout of democratic rulership stretching seventeen years in the fourth republic, with both competing with each other to cling the Olympic gold in retrogressive governance, General Muhammadu Buhari was coming at a tough, almost unfortunate time.

But in what appears as a reaffirmation of Kwame Ture’s fear that “the new world order is nothing but the old world order,” the man with a reputation of being incorruptible in both moral and financial terms has boomeranged on our faces. The radical SNCC leader wasn’t wrong after all!

It’s an endless list of state treachery in monumental proportions. Where do one begin this arduous task of relaying the abominable betrayal of collective trust: the returning of the nation back to the assemblage of tired hands or the composition of a colorless cabinet? Like Professor Moses Ochonu wrote, the Buhari mythology has been shattered by a combination of missteps in both word and action. It’s as though the presidency is in a one man race, struggling daily to supplant Sunday’s misdemeanor with Monday’s felony.

Or what could possibly warrant having an octogenarian as an appointee—not in charge of the federal government’s National Funeral Centre, but in charge of communication.

Pray what 21st century communication tool an animate relic of the ancient century has to converse with fellas in the age Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum calls that of creative minds?

The cabinet, already, reeks of grey-headed men and bald-bearded women. The least is an obstreperous attorney general who is almost 50—I’m assuming he was not re-born after his mother left the labor room. The youth and sports minister is way past the real life expectancy!

You reflect on all of these and query why death had to snatch the creature whom we offended when we were yet to tender our collective apology as a nation.

Ask yourself: Will a Strive Masiyiwa employ an eighty-three year old politician as chairman of Econet? Or must mediocrity and cronyism be made an exclusive preserve of public governance?

This society of ours stands as a testament to the existence of a highest form of clannish absurdity. A minuscule union laden with foolish sociopaths scattered across every corner of its pathetic border and hinterland with characteristic contempt, nay inter vivos disdain for the younger generation by men who are all bent on transiting to the other world in a bullion van. Transit they will, with the shame they’ve brought on the nation. Any wonder the earth’s rotation has been faster than it used to be? God is after all, a Nigerian.

This time is passing.

A couple of months ago while serving, a fellow youth corps member, having read one of my published work on Sahara Reporters sent me a mail wherein he suggested i join him to begin a new political party as a solution to the myriad of problems plaguing the nation.

Although i thanked him for providing an alternative to the PDPs and APCs we have at present, i did not fail to remind him that the least of our problems were parties—parties only stand on the stem of Nigeria’s tree of contradiction.

Take a look at the decision to sell a dollar at below market prices for intending Muslim pilgrims. Please don’t come here to tell me Buhari did same for the Jerusalem people. Why are these people bent on developing Saudi Arabia and Israel first, before helping the 120 million Nigerians who earn less than N300 a day?

In our usual hypocrisy and crass wickedness as Muslims, we’ve thrown Zakat, the fourth pillar of Islam under the bus to embrace Hajj, the fifth because with that, we have ample opportunities to flash golden teeth, wear golden hubris, have a change of name, and touch a white man for the first time in our lives.

Zakat is what the religion put in place to spread wealth. The rich gives a part of his gain as charity to the poor. A semblance is the tax we pay. How many of these guys going to Hajj pay taxes? You evade tax and say you’re going to Hajj, yet a stupid leadership uses tax payers’ money to pay for you again!

I don’t understand.

To make us poorer, they said petrol subsidy had to go because no sane government subsidizes consumption. Okay! Is going to Hajj and Jerusalem production?

APC, is there a farm in Mecca Buhari is taking Nigerians to? A president who cannot subsidize petrol finds it easy subsidizing Hajj and Israel.

A grassroots re-orientation program needs to be kick-started with the aim of taking this country back from the hands of these charlatans. This is just unfair. People are living from hand to mouth here. 145 women die daily from devils as simple as pile. 2300 under-five die daily from demons as nice as malaria.

Or are we just affixed to hardship in this part of the world?

Modiu Olaguro writes from Badagry

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ModiuOlaguro