In Nigeria, our quest to pursue the mundane is highly unprecedented. We apply vigorous energies at chasing shadows. We love it, and we nurture it. It is in our character to do just that. In most cases, we do that at the expense of our collective growth and development. We must emancipate ourselves from the clutches of ignorance and notorious hatred for unity and cohesiveness.
The palpable political serenity in the country was on Monday, August 7, 2017 disrupted by score of Nigerian youths led by Charles Oputa, aka Charlie Boy (the ‘Areafada’), under the banner of #OurMumuDonDo# slogan, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to Resume or Resign. The President, you will recall, transferred state authority to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, through a letter he transmitted to the National Assembly about 3 months ago, to enable him seek medical attention in London.
Charles Oputa and his co travelers did not in any way breach the Nigeria law. In a democracy like ours, the right to protest is inalienable and is adequately protected, as long as it is conducted within the confines of the law. In fact, protest and dialogue are perhaps the most efficacious tenet of democracy which is quite noble. However, the reason for any protest, in my opinion, should be aimed at bringing about good governance and positive growth. But when the intensions are beclouded with demonic interest that is detrimental to national development, it becomes criminal.
Such appears to be the case with the Charlie’s train. Obviously the intention of the protest was basically to mock and torment the person of Mr. President. It is an abuse to human nature which should not be acceptable. Where is our sense of humanity? All mortals are prone to sickness as we sojourn here on earth. It is only fair for us not to suffer persecution for our illness, and the President is not, and should not be an exception, most especially when his illness did not affect governance.
Instead of exerting so much energy in pursuing frivolities, Nigerians should rather demand good governance from leaders at all levels. If only Charlie Boy could look at the highly centralized power at the center and ask for devolution, and ensure that authorities at the federating units delivered on good governance and are held accountable; his protest would have been applauded. Painfully, the bill for devolution of power was defeated at the Senate in the ongoing effort at amending the constitution, but Charlie Boy and his group are so preoccupied with hatred for the President and could see nothing wrong with that.
The menace of insecurity that is threatening to undermine economic and political stability and lives and properties of Nigerians should have gained the attention of the ‘Areafada’ and his disciples. They should protest against the terrorists and kidnappers that are destroying lives of innocent citizens in the country. Only few days ago, the peaceful town of Ozubulu in Anambra State was thrown into mourning as innocent lives were brutally massacred in a Church by alleged drug mafias, and Charles Oputa did not think it right to protest against this insanity? His obsession and hatred for Mr. President has beclouded his sense of reasoning.
The level of corruption was monumental and alarming under previous governments, imagine if Charlie Boy and his gangs deposited their efforts at protesting against the massive looting and robust corruption that ravaged the country by public officials over the years, maybe the country would not have drifted into recession and suffer the predicaments that we faced today.
The media was agog with misappropriation and embezzlement of N11 trillion meant to provide electricity for the country between 1999 and 2015. Before this revelation, stories of discoveries of illicit funds in all colours of currencies running into billions stashed away in bunkers, overhead tanks and private homes were so pervasive. These atrocities did not prick the conscience of Charlie Boy to protest, but the President illness becomes a good reason for him to display his folly.
Truly, “Our Mumu Don Do”. Nigerians must not be distracted from the real issues that are undermining our growth and development. We must reject the misplaced agitations and frivolous protests by persons or groups with rotten ideas and dubious intentions. Nigerians should pray for good health and quick recovery of Mr. President and embrace the laudable programmes of the government which are aimed at redeeming the image of the country in the comity of nations.
Ikese is a Columnist at thenigerian.