The agony of patriotism


By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

Patriotism is speedily becoming an extinct ideal, while patriots have truly become endangered species; as a new world order of crypto-phenomena guaranty the formulation and propagation of lies and fabrications, as basis for the execution of– you name it; wars, genocide, pandemics and whatnot. This global trend, wheeling on the efficacy and potency of Information Technology, IT, has the 21st Century, perpetually on the precipice of wars and violent clashes. Fake news and social media are the most demonic of instruments, used to manipulate not only public opinion, but also the thrust and drives of super-power countries around the world; and how they interact or in the least, perceive other countries and the happenings in and around their nationhood. 

We have witnessed how the #endsars protests spiralled out of proportion, and how separatists and other extremists, including man-eaters; momentarily took control of our streets and burnt cities down, destroying businesses and livelihoods of individuals and corporations. Government properties both ‘human’ and structural were razed down. Demands were met but the protesters sustained the flame and one simply wished the government had acted the way the US government treated the marauders at Capitol Hill. It became clearer that #Endsars meant #EndPMB and that left one in two minds; as to whether we were living in a democracy or in a demoncrazy country! We were severely warned that #Endsars had a second wave coming this year, 2021; just like the Covid-19, coming in as Covid-20– more lethal ofcourse; variant, mutant and all! 

We see how the rise of the Ogbohos, and the Bandit kingpins, is holding our country in its entirety, to ransom, as we are held at the mercy of negotiations and amnesty arrangements for warlords, terrorists and irredentists. We are witnesses to a DSS that saw the build up of a militant wing of IPOB, while merely sending warnings to perpetrators of treasonable acts and offences. We see viral videos of acts of violence and genocidal tendencies, where hoodlums and political jobbers are at it, maiming and killing fulanis and their cows. The picture is mostly gory and the gains of democracy of this administration are almost swept off and hidden under the carpet of violence, upheaval and social unrest. Ordinarily, PMB is leaving, but one cannot fathom the rush for him not to serve out till 2023– afterall politicking has already taken centre-stage of our activities nationwide.

PMB is the target of all the killings and the now bizarre manifestation of the mutual and long-subdued religious, tribalistic and even generational hatred of one group against the other, or all others. PMB rode on the wagon of integrity and honesty and so there is little that can be done in denting that narrative. Energy is being dissipated unusually, in translating this administration’s programmes as one engulfed by incompetence. The competent Vice President is dented as sidelined and ceremonial, not withstanding leading and presiding over the nation’s Economic Council, and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, and lately; the exit-strategy of the government from the grips of the corona virus, and that of global recession.

PMB’s closest associates are however; facing the music of the #Endsars second wave initiative, as his aides and ministers are being vilified and given the discrediting treatment. One of such is the Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who is known to be the longest serving aide/ confidant to President Buhari, and ofcourse, his most trusted. Abba Kyari is no longer in the way, and naturally, Mallam must brace up for the barrage of allegations and controversies that PMB’s antagonists, are wont to fabricate. It did not kill Abba Kyari and definitely, it will not kill Mallam fa. 

Who doesn’t know that the Education Ministry’s budget is Nigeria’s second highest? Why do you think PMB has consistently posted Mallam Adamu to the ministry? A huge lot of the entire nation’s attention in terms of patronage for contractors and politicians is largely on the two agencies of UBEC and TETFUND. The struggle for the leadership of both institutions are viciously competitive. It is therefore no wonder that the intrigues of the tussle for contracts and Executive Secretaries of the two commissions under the Education Ministry is outplaying in such a dirty game of mudslinging and infighting– which opposition elements are manipulating to serve their cruci-fiction agendas. 

They are not interested in the fact that 13.2 million out of school children is now down to 9 million and would drastically be further pruned down; especially with the introduction of the special programme for out of school children. ASUU is finally back at work, even though NASU is warming up, but I have had a one and one discussion with a NASU official who had been forward with the fact that PMB’s tenure is one in which they have received the most money, in terms of their pay packages and what have you. 

Prof. Sule Bogoro is doing a great academician’s job of improving and rejuvenating the research centres in tertiary institutions of the country- vis-a-vis the challenges brought about by the corona pandemic. Tertiary Institutions have never received as much funding for both research and infrastructure, as they do now, under his stewardship. 20 private universities have just been approved across the 6 geo-political zones of the country and even my dear ‘Alheri’ is busy celebrating NOK University, despite her avowed criticism of PMB. 

So undeniably, and understandably so, Mallam Adamu is now Baba Buhari’s de-facto bullet proof vest. All those paid to fill their tanks for the drive of campaigns of slander against PMB and the players in his cabinet, both kitchen and living room; are driving hard and fast in the direction of Mallam. I do not expect Mallam to utter a word, other than pick up a toothpick, and ‘chuck’ it in his teeth, while browsing the dailies. It would have been perfect, if he had a gap tooth like his boss. The online campaigners have a new bowl in their hands and that will take a lot of their time, before they are done. Their purses in crypto, have just been smashed by CBN directives and all hell has been let loose. Just ignore them Mallam. PMB needs you, and APC needs you even more. Cooler and calmer heads like your’s, with great depth in knowledge, matched with intellectual fineness; is just what the naysayers hate to see around the corridors of power. 

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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