Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere,
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of compassionate intensity.
(W.B. Yeats The Second Coming)
William B. Yeats’ poem shows the Nigerian situation in 1983 before General Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues struck on 31st December, 1983. False historians are now at work. Femi Fani-Kayode(FFK), doing the job he was paid to do as President Jonathan’s Campaign spokesman he tweeted on his official twitter account on New Year eve that General Muhammadu t Buhari, the All Progressive Congress(APC) candidate “truncated democracy and took away our peace on this day 30 years ago.”
I agree fully with FFK that since Buhari came the forces of reaction have murdered sleep. They have known no peace. In parenthesis, FFK’s job, like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984 involves large scale propaganda. You hear things like FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGHT; WAR IS PEACE; 16 GREATER THAN 19; CORRUPTION IS VIRTUE, VIRTUE IS VICE.
Don’t be surprised, they justify these before their gullible followers. This dirty job also includes malicious distortions of hitherto plain historical facts,(and in some cases falsifying them) in the process confounding the pseudo-intelligent, confusing the gullible, compounding the problems for the ignorant and permanently weakening the consciousness of the unconscious. This is FFK’s job; no one should blame him as he is well paid for it. My own job on the other hand is to put the records straight, fill in where FFK missed it, and clarify the points where FFK appears confused so that confuse people like him may understand.
In 1983, like now, thing have all but fell apart. Orders were no longer in Order. The government had corruption stamped in gold. In fact corruption became a virtue with irredeemable features, as it is now. The economy was, like now, battered with high rate of inflation, unemployment, huge debt profile, reckless devaluation of the naira, mismanagement and wastes and ill-thought austerity measures as a result of fall in oil prices the lists are endless. There were ethno-religious crises everywhere Madakeke/Ife, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Bauchi and so on and the Shagari government was helpless and hapless. The final straw that broke the camel’s back was the massive rigging of the 1983 general elections in favour of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) leading to breakdown of law and order in the country. Clearly things were falling apart, the centre could not hold. These were the “democracy” and “peace” FFK and his colleagues enjoyed so much (they won’t let go of) that he now boldly tell us that Buhari put (and still intend to put) an end to in 1983. It was a crime for Buhari to have ended their party. The party is on now, (as it was then) they are now crying like babies when he is even yet to assume power. Do you now see how WAR IS PEACE?
Any curious observer will quickly strike the similarities between what was happening during Shagari and what is happening now. The second coming of Buhari (which is now at hand) is seriously discomforting them. They are working round the clock to avert it.
The intervention of General Buhari in 1983 effected immediate changes to the country’s then multiphase challenges. The Administration’s responses were immediate manifesting in the following:
The Buhari Administration recovered all ill-gotten wealth from politicians and other public officials, no matter how highly placed and irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliations through special investigative tribunals. The Administration’s spirited anti-corruption campaigns went far beyond the experiences of Nigerians when a detachment of the Nigeria secret service went to London( where ex-Minister of Transport under Shagari was then living before the coup) to literally “abduct” Dikko back home to face trial. This mission was largely unsuccessful but the intent was well noted and admired. I wish to note that in fighting the monster of corruption, innocent people might sometimes suffer. Just as removing a tumor from the body sometimes affect healthy cells to save the entire body!
The Administration restored order and discipline in public life clearing the country of the stranglehold of corruption, impunity, indiscipline, immoralities and other social ills with the formation of the War Against Indiscipline(WAI) which till date is still a landmark. WAI Brigades were set up in schools to instil discipline, order, patriotism and other national values among our young ones.
Concerned by the growing rates of social vices, the Buhari Administration promulgated Decrees carrying long jail terms and death penalties for crimes ranging from economic sabotage, drug and currency trafficking, examination malpractices and the likes to serve as deterrents to potential criminals. Under these decrees, which may be applied retroactively, many were executed, and in many cases sentences to death. These executions were boldly carried out. Enforcing discipline where indiscipline prevails requires bold, detribalised, decisive, and “though” leadership.
In November, 1980 Mallam Muhammadu Maitatsine led an extreme Islamic sect in an operation to wipe out other Muslims and non-Muslims. This group was extremely intolerant, and the Shagari government watched helplessly as this group killed Nigerians in broad day light in Kano, Kaduna, and Maiduguri. The Buhari Administration wasted no time in flushing the sect out, and all its remnants in 1984 and normalcy was restored. This is the primary responsibility of the state. There is no excuse for failure!
When W.B.Yeats in his poem The Second Coming wrote: “Surely some revelations is at hand/ Surely the Second Coming is at hand./ Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.” We have to understand that our present situation in Nigeria is in worse case than it was in ’83 these were the “revelations…at hand” that reactionary forces are afraid of and will do anything to supress. The General “Troubles…sight” as they see him coming to take away the feeding bottles from their mouths. Was this is why they raised 21 billion naira for elections? They will gladly pay you $2000 per tweet just to discredit the General. The sacred time was slow but finally it came. They knew they could run but not hide. They could postpone the inevitable, but could never avoid it. They were only postponing the evil days from February 14 to March 28. Alas! The Second Coming.
I will not end this piece without saluting the courage put up by numerous Buhari’s Volunteers on social media too much to name. Despite the financial inducement in this period of economic hardship you stood your ground. When others were roasting their mothers you kept yours. For these wonderful people, I share this beautiful P.B.Shelley’s lines
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy power which seem omnipotent;
To love and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the things it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This like thy glory, Titan, is to be good, great, and joyous
beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.
(Percy Baysshe Shelly, Prometheus Unbound, 1820)
I thank you for you did not falter, fear or brake. You kept the spirit high; sustained the momentum; fought like true soldiers of fortune and faith; and in the end Victory! Buhari’s Second Coming we know brings hope and victory.
May we all find profound Peace.