Fredrick Nwabufo: The injurious lies in Buhari’s Independence Day speech

One detraction to the nationwide rapport is the hackneyed lies. Lies informed and retold many instances as fact. Lies informed intentionally to tinge a previous of acrimony in brushstrokes of concord. Nigeria by no means had an excellent previous and the ‘’founding fathers’’ by no means envisioned a congenial future for the nation. There has by no means been such a factor as ‘’Nigerian unity’’; it solely exists within the tomes of make-believe. We’d reasonably parrot this fiction than work at attaining a nationwide accord. Step one to unity must be discarding the lies and embracing the reality about our previous whereas searching for collective concurrence.

We should pursue nationwide unity with fact and honesty about who we’re; the place we’re from, the place we’ve been and the place we’re headed for.

In 1950, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, ‘’a founding father’’ and younger politician from the north on the time threatened a ‘’holy warfare towards the southerners reasonably than be part of them in a single unbiased nation’’. “There isn’t any foundation for Nigerian unity. It’s only a British intention for our nation,” he was quoted to have stated in Time Journal of October 10, 1960.

Additionally, in ‘’The Biafra Story’’, the ebook by Frederick Forsythe, Balewa was quoted as saying in 1947: “We don’t need, Sir, our southern neighbours to intrude in our growth. I ought to wish to make it clear to you that if the British quitted Nigeria now at this stage; the northern individuals would proceed their interrupted conquest to the ocean.”

One other founding father, Sir Ahmadu Bello described Nigeria as a ‘’mistake of 1914’’.
He infamously stated: “The brand new nation known as Nigeria must be an property of our nice grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio. We should ruthlessly stop a change of energy. We use the minorities within the north as keen instruments and the south as a conquered territory and by no means enable them to rule over us and by no means enable them to have management over their future”.

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As well as, Obafemi Awolowo, a founding father of Nigeria, by no means pandered to the phantasm of a united Nigeria. He was forthright concerning the true visage of the entity. He classically outlined the colonial outfit as a ‘’geographical expression’’.

Additionally, Nnamdi Azikiwe, despite the fact that he held nationalistic beliefs and tropes, and was extra expansive in outlook, admitted that nationwide unity was not ‘’fairly a actuality’’. ‘’Tribalism is a actuality. Nationwide unity is usually a actuality; however at current it isn’t fairly a actuality,’’ he stated in a lecture delivered in 1964 at Princess Alexandra Auditorium on the College of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Clearly, the founding fathers weren’t absorbent of the thought of a united nation. The political events they led trailed regional filaments. So, why will we cite them as some image of harmony? In truth, they laid the groundwork of the current topsy-turvy.

So, situating President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day speech the place he stated: ‘’Our founding fathers understood the crucial of structuring a nationwide id utilizing the facility of the state and labored in direction of unification of Nigerians in a politically secure and viable entity,’’ and inspecting in it by the microscope of our historical past, it’s apparent this assertion is patently false.

One other whopper – or reasonably confutation of actuality — in Buhari’s speech is his assertion that the ‘’underlying reason behind many of the issues we’ve confronted as a nation is our constant harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we’ve harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.’’

Nicely, Buhari has been dutiful in accenting these ‘’artificially contrived fault-lines’’ since he turned president in 2015. His nepotistic propensity is unequalled. None earlier than Buhari has been extra provincial. In all aspects of the nationwide life, the president has obtrusively proven desire to individuals of his native complexion and faith. The proof is littered within the lopsided appointments, sectional recruitment within the DSS, separatist promotion within the customs and different establishments.

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The president additionally spoke about ‘’nationwide therapeutic’’ and banishing the stereotype of seeing ourselves as coming from one a part of the nation. Unbelievable, however it’s all platitudes. What’s the president doing or what has he accomplished to evoke the incandescence of ‘’oneness’’ amongst Nigerians? It’s true Nigerians have at all times been divided, however Buhari has widened the chasm and tended the furnace by his deliberate pursuit of an insular agenda.

Buhari stated it’s essential for Nigerians to ‘’help the enthronement of the rule of regulation by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary’’. I agree. However I want to remind the president that it was beneath his watch that brokers of the DSS invaded the residences of judges at midnight in Abuja, mauling doorways and breaking partitions. Judges have been kidnapped and a few forged earlier than courts on sudden costs. Was this not an try to compromise the judiciary by intimidation and concern?

Additionally, the nation’s chief justice, Walter Onnoghen was eliminated in vexed circumstances within the build-up to the 2019 basic election, and one other from a piece of the nation the place the president comes from, appointed in a really murky affair.

Once more, I want to remind the president that he as soon as slighted the ‘’rule of regulation’’ when he stated it ‘’should be topic to the supremacy of the nation’s safety and nationwide curiosity’’, to justify his extra-judicial exertion on residents.

So, once more, it’s all platitudes. The president’s Independence Day speech is solely a contradiction in strains and paragraphs.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a author and journalist

Twitter @FredrickNwabufo

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