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HomeOpinionTinubu's Weaponization Of Ethnicity - Erasmus Ikhide

Tinubu’s Weaponization Of Ethnicity – Erasmus Ikhide

 

PRECISELY five years ago, July 19, 2018, I forewarned in an article titled: “Avoiding The Road To Kigali”, published by countless newspapers, home and away, when President Muhammadu Buhari’s bigotry instinct pushed him to unleash his ethnic Fulani Herdsmen terrorists brothers on the traumatized nation.

Here is my opening paragraph: “Those who say there have been climactic upsurge of raping and massacres of Nigerians on their farm lands by the unwashed dogs roaming the forests with AK47s instead of being in schools since Buhari became President can not be faulted. His negative words to political appointments smacks off endorsement of extreme northern nationalism which has now led to so much national unease and dark foreboding for the entire country. The fear of his Fulani herders have become the cornerstone of nascent national wisdom.

“The ethnic cleansing gradually rapping Nigeria around from the horn of northern axis — Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Kogi and the pinpricks in other parts of African most populous nation invoke similar trajectory with which the Rwanda genocide was prosecuted between 1990/1994 that grounded over two million innocent souls to the dust.

“Nigeria has never been more polarized and bitterly divided by religion, ethnicity and creed since independence. The ascendancy of the ethnic champion has seen the rise of a northern tribalism and governmental incompetence on a hair-raising scale that has dwarfed the most extreme manifestation of state delinquency since after the Civil War”.

Under the Presidency of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the same APC cast, the nation has regressed terribly in an unprecedented scale of ethnocentrism, studious manipulation of the Yoruba folks minds by weaponizing their brotherhood and stoking the flames of ethnic politics to cover up for Tinubu’s abhorrent insensitivity, crass inefficiency and deliberate affliction of economic hardship on Nigerians the very day he took office.

Truthfully, most Nigerians did expect Tinubu to wallow on Buhari’s hollow path of blaming President Goodluck Jonathan for his eight years of the locusts, because they’re both APC. Buhari was an unenviable leader who blamed others for his failure, but Tinubu could not disappoint Nigerians also by plying the same route. President Bola Tinubu ought to be one of the examples of great leaders who did not blame others, but blamed themselves when an ill-thought-out policy torpedoes the nation’s economy or unforeseeable tragedy enveloped the nation, instead of rallying his region around socioethnic bile to gain momentary clout.

Why will Bola Tinubu not borrow a leave from Abraham Lincoln, who shouldered the blame for mistakes made during the Civil War; Harry Truman, who famously kept a sign on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here”; and Admiral Grace Hopper, who took responsibility for errors in her work. These leaders demonstrated accountability and integrity by accepting responsibility for their actions.

Now, how do you even advise President Tinubu and his wrongheaded team that the nation’s economic crashed due to untimely removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the Naira with billions of dollars wasted on the exercise by his wrong advisers who didn’t wish him well? How do you convince people like Bayo Onanuga and Festus Keyamo who are experts in vile and bile gutter verbage that blaming former President Muhammadu Buhari in a government they both serviced for years is not part of the solutions to the present economy hardship?

Who can convince closed minds that before this government came to power and imposed harsh economic policies without a strategy or team in place, Nigerians were able to pay for food, housing, clothing, education (both domestic and abroad), healthcare, entertainment and other necessities? Is it not shameful in 21st century that a political party like the APC administration has been trying to blacklist previous APC administration as their only achievement and national anthem with repugnant insults, and shamefacedly so, to gain relevance.

The likes of Bayo Onanuga and a few others are the reasons other ethnic groups are tagging Yoruba people as traitors and blackmailers, a man who was employed under Buhari, but today doing everything to castigate the old man simply because he wants to cover up for Tinubu’s monumental and colossal failure after nine months of economic destruction and stagnation.

However hard they try to dodge responsibility, Nigerians can not be convinced otherwise that it was not President Tinubu who unveiled the policies that led to current economic disaster and hardship on May 29 2023. His economic team has been in charge ever since, yet unable to revert to N462/$1, where President Buhari left it. For Tinubu and his team, it is not yet time to start showing real solid results and stop blaming everyone else for their incompetence. It does the nation’s head in when Tinubu and his men are everywhere looking for positive reviews or blames to defend this ineffective regime, that is on a mission of grabbing, snatching and running with power.

If I were President Tinubu, there is no other time than now to be a responsible leader and admit that the policies are the cause of the current economic hardships. Doing nothing and waiting for total collapse of the economy is not the answer to the current economy woes. As at today, diesel is sold for ₦1750 per litre, and food stuff is terribly expensive, yet the government is under the blindfold of ethnic chauvinism, not knowing that people can tolerate anything but not hunger.

It’s time for Tinubu’s Presidency to introspect on his nine months of traumatizing administration after the needless appointment of his son in-law as the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Abuja. Again, it is not even the traveling to Qatar which Seyi can afford, but about the optics. The only message from the outing is that Tinubu is insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, after deceiving the people that he walked Seyi out of Federal Executive Council meeting, previously. At a time the Nigeria Labour Congress is angling over the increase of N30,000 Thousand Minimum Wage, Seyi Tinubu was spotted adorning N346 million worth of wristwatch. On a gloomy note, Seyi’s wristwatch would pay an individual’s N30,000 Minimum Wage for 961 years and some months, yet Seyi has been in the forefront of the advocacy that has been calling on Nigerians to endure the pang of hunger!

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no option than to put an end to these incompetent Bretton Woods economists implementing failed IMF/World Bank policies that messed up the Nigerian economy in the past. The President should start fixing security challenges, electricity, large scale food production and revaluation of the Naira and forget stoking ethnic sympathy. It is absolutely imperative to emphasize this point again: if President Bola Tinubu must avoid taking Nigeria and Nigerians on the road to Kigali, he should do everything to stop weaponizing ethnicity.

Ikhide can be reached via: ikhideluckyerasmus@gmail.com.

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