President Muhammadu Buhari

It was not the beginning. And there is nothing immediately suggestive that that was the end. Understandably, the global concern that framed and gave inter-continental collaboration and impetus to the meet in Marrakech, Morocco, was geography-centred and climate-specific. The agenda was thus strait-jacket; and to that extent not pliable to miscellany or matters arising generally. But President Buhari knew well enough that no matter how inelastic the climate of the meet and conference agenda were, such atmospheric pressure and inelasticity could receive critical ventilation, and be effectively ventilated, along the conference corridor. Thus, it was simply prompt that President Buhari adequately appropriated the opportunity to corner a frustrated and grieving John Kerry, who is exasperating in the drench of slurs of electoral defeat and humiliation, to render lamentations of his executive failures and presidential predicaments back home in respect of the ‘anti-corruption’ struggle. What Buhari did not tell John Kerry – and will not tell any ‘investor’ either – is the truth that he entered the Nigerian presidency with more fatigue than zeal, zest, and bonhomie. For six months, he proceeded sluggishly, spending quality time to massage and savour an over-bloated moral physique and carriage, while public and popular pre-election appreciation and literal mystification of him dissipated, grated away, and percolated into growing disgust and angst. For the same period, he ran a winner-takes-all government, with amorphous claim that he was searching for the best to appoint into the federal cabinet. While he humoured himself and those in his cocoon, an incendiary cabal sprang up strongly to cast a cyst around him that effectively crystallized a membrane that will separate him from the reality of his circumstance for a long time to come. Symptoms of the days ahead came in tandem with who-and-who made his cabinet. He impressed a few and disappointed many as the ministerial list was dominated by familiar local superstars, some of who are standing trial, or have been condemned for moral impotence in the court of public opinion. The quality of the cabinet, his assignment of portfolios, the quality of governance and its lack of congruence with popular yearnings and public expectations, and his over-flogging of the ‘failures’ of his predecessors before a disappearing and disgusted gallery already bored and in disarray, all combined to expose his inability to disambiguate his challenges using a clinical diagnosis, and thus move to terminate the infection or ailment. Inevitably, this was the misleading trap and trapping of his lamentation to a hapless and fuming John Kerry still carrying around with the mire and miasma of electoral malice and rejection. The problem with Buhari’s ‘anti-corruption’ crusade is not so much a malicious and malignant colony of those who have helped themselves to illicit wealth, and now boast of an invaluable war arsenal which they have deployed to frustrate ‘anti-corruption’ drive. This amounts to blackmailing a ‘thief’ based on preconceived emotions. A major frustration of Buhari’s ‘anti-corruption’ crusade is the originating foundations and coalescing sentiments that gave birth and shape to Buhari’s All Progressive Congress, APC. The APC was founded neither upon doctrine nor ideology with socialist or proletarian precepts. A make-shift partisan tent, the party came on essentially as a quick patch to offer platform to begrudged and grudging renegades scampering from varied directions of the national political space to ventilate their frustrations and predicaments. It was thus from its origin a coalition of desperate elements rather than a collection of ideological soul mates in search of a home and new capital. This was part of the ambience of desires that animated the build up to the historic 2015 general elections. Simply put, ‘anti-corruption’ as orchestrated by Buhari is not a shared ideal or modus operandi of the All Progressives Congress as a party. By the time Buhari collapsed his constrained Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), into the APC coalition, he was inadvertently signing away a crest and paragon, and dropping the proletarian slippers of the CPC to take on the primitive capitalist and bourgeois designer shoe honed by the same night shift designers who arranged the birth of the APC. Frustrating Buhari’s ánti-corruption’ efforts is coming more from the inner and internal workings of his own administration than any imagined or imaginary Force Majeure lurking and looming, deploying immense armoury and intense power to undo the administration’s moral and social resurgence formations. Buhari even has more reasons to cry now than ever before. Rather than wasting such tears and nagging an insightful analyst who correctly alerted him that he will be alone in 2019, Buhari should worry and fret over the gubernatorial election ‘success’ of the APC last month. The APC ‘success’ in Ondo is a confluence; and turbulent new begin heralding a stormy weather that may be awaiting the APC in 2019 as new alliances issue forth. The atmosphere is charged with a system of alliances that boast of a labyrinthine spread, all towards 2019. As the APC will negotiate its survival in the web and its precipitous cast, something must give way; and Buhari will cry again or be standing alone.

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