Over the last several hours, I have been inundated with a steady stream of impassioned pleas from many well-placed and not so well-placed Nigerians, including the emir of my hometown, requesting me to “please take it easy on Buhari.” I thought it is Buhari that should be pleaded with to take it easy on Nigerians so that I won’t have a reason to call him out on his incompetence and insensitivity. Believe you me, it’s no fun being openly critical of a person whose candidature I staked my reputation to promote, and in whom I invested enormous confidence and hope.
If Buhari actually had a clue and was governing well and wasn’t wasteful, protective of corrupt associates while pretending to be fighting corruption, insensitive to the plight of the poor, clannish, clueless, incompetent, etc., I would have been one of the proudest people today. I would have been glad to gloat and say, “You see, I told you this man can do it! He is the change we needed!” But he has made Nigeria way worse than he met it—and that says a heck of a whole lot given where we thought we were before now.
Nigeria is at its most perilous state right now. Everything is falling apart. Suffering has reached dizzyingly crushing heights. The poor cannot feed, and relentless hyperinflationary conflagration is eating up the middle class and dragging it to the ranks of the desperately poor. Nothing is working. It was customary to say that the country was on autopilot during Jonathan’s days. Now it has come to a standstill. And people want us to be quiet? What sort of conscience do people have? I would rather be dead than be quiet. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That’s what I told my emir. And that’s what I am telling everyone who is asking me to “take it easy it easy on Buhari.” No, it is Buhari who should take it easy on Nigerians.
I DID NOT want, DO NOT want, and WON’T EVER want, a job, ANY job, from this government. I made this crystal clear in my April 4, 2015 column titled “After the Euphoria, What President-elect Buhari Needs to Know.” No government job in Nigeria can give me the comfort and fulfillment I have here. All I want is for the government to actually GOVERN and make life better for our people.