LAGOS – Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari had so far demonstrated that he doesn’t possess the needed temperament to lead a diverse nation like Nigeria out of its present challenges.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Ezekwesili, a former presidential candidate who is launching a new initiative called #FixPolitics, said Nigeria’s religious divides and differences have become deeper now due to the “irresponsible, clannish, provincial, incompetent, and ineffectual management of our diversity by President Buhari”.
According to her, while countries like Botswana, Singapore, and South Korea that gained independence in the 1960s like Nigeria had successfully transformed their societies, Nigeria was still groping in the dark due to the fact that the citizens are not bound by common aspirations and shared principles.
She said: “As a result of those failures to build consensus, Nigeria has hobbled along as a country of people who are not unified around common aspirations and shared principles.
“How different the outcomes would be if we were a country guided by aspirations like equal opportunity, inclusive growth and prosperity, social cohesion and stability.
“These are proven from our #FixPolitics research as some of the building blocks on which other countries transformed their societies.
“We found countries like Botswana, Singapore, and South Korea to have prioritised human development, merit, productivity and healthy competition among constituent parts, as well as their citizens.
“The results show up in their economic performance and the vastly improved wellbeing of their citizens in contrast to Nigeria – all three countries gained independence in the 1960s from Britain”.
However, reality is setting in now. For after many decades of ignoring the obvious, it is becoming clearer to all discerning and reasonable compatriots that our union is facing the severest threat to its existence now.
“All is simply not well with Nigeria and Nigerians. Our country, Nigeria, is on the brink of a break-up despite the delusional protestations of Federal Government officials and their sycophants.
“Our ethnic and religious divides and differences have never been sharper and deeper than now.
“And this is all because of the irresponsible, clannish, provincial, incompetent, and ineffectual management of our diversity by President Buhari who simply does not know how to nor have the temperament to learn how to lead a diverse society like Nigeria.
“The totality of factors that threaten the existence of Nigeria are expressed in the consistent and unabashed ethnic bigotry of President Buhari.”
Ezekwesili said Buhari was far worse than his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
She added: “That President Buhari – who was elected by a representative section of the Nigerian people in a protest vote against his failed predecessor – has in turn dug Nigeria deeper into the trenches of humongous failure, will remain a wonder of historical proportion.
“Nigeria’s failures under President Buhari have become profoundly unsustainable.
“It is perplexing to watch our political leaders carrying on with their pretense that Nigeria is currently being governed.
“How can the political leadership of a country which is practically insolvent, terribly brittle on all fronts of national security and lost its diplomatic leadership and influence even in West Africa keep acting as if everything is normal?”
Ezekwesili, who said that there was no difference between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), added that politicians in both parties were like Siamese twins who placed their selfish interests over and above the wellbeing of the people they govern.
“Such imperviousness was the same attitude exhibited by the previous government of the current opposition party.
“Most Nigerians are fed up with the Siamese Twins-type syndrome of our politicians, regardless of whether they belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Their party acronyms may differ but the people in our politics today are of one embryo and exhibit a common and dominant political culture that places the narrow interests of our politicians over and above the wellbeing of the people they govern.
“Nigerians have experienced and now openly express frustration at the ‘hand-down’ and ‘turn-by-turn failure’ of the political leadership class in Nigeria at the federal, state or local government levels.
“They are designed by the environment that enables them to act without consequences and the incentive they respond to, to govern in ways that do not produce results for citizens.”