The Emperor Of Tribalism Poem by Chinedu Dike

The Emperor Of Tribalism

Rating: 5.0

As most Nigerians remain ruefully lukewarm 
about President Buhari's second term bid;  
an ever-increasing multitude of potential 
voters across ethnic divides, seem to be 
enthralled by Atiku-Obi presidential ticket,
on the duo's restructuring manifesto and
remarkable track records of achievements.

It's as if the masses with full intent or 
otherwise, have at last come to 
the realization that Nigeria's 
incumbent head of state,
President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) ,
who had risen to power on the crest 
of integrity, was a bad call hurriedly
made in an infatuated impulse.

With PMB's popularity ratings plummeting 
headlong from its previous pre-election 
heights, gullible and stout-hearted defenders 
of his Presidency are faced with a number 
of awkward issues, as they contemplate
the President's pathetic twist of fate.

Well, it remains beyond doubt that
an individual's mindset impacts on
how the person visualizes
and adapts to existential realities. 

A careful scrutiny of the intricacies
of PMB's worldview suggests,
a rigid muslim with a fixed mindset. 
It is this uncharitable frame of mind 
that deprives him of the flexibility 
and adaptability, that are crucially 
needed to form an all-inclusive and 
progressive national government.

The core-northerner, with an inherent 
pugnacity, is a wholehearted believer 
and an unyielding promoter of Hausa/Fulani
hegemony: A clannish head of state who views
Nigeria through a parochial and ethnic prism.
This almost primitive sense of kinship has
prompted President Buhari to distribute
the country's resources and opportunities
within the boundaries of ethnicity.
Consequently, he has flooded his government,
its parastatals, state agencies, etcetera,
with his kinsmen — especially in the presidency
and the department of national security. 

A factual assertion of PMB's unfair tribalism
and sectionalism is backed by
a sackful of evidence and statistics. 
For example, in the 2016 Department of
State Services (DSS) recruitments;  
A total of 479 candidates were recruited 
into the elite security unit from the 36 
States of the Federation, plus 
the Federal Capital (Abuja) .
Out of this number,  Katsina,
the home state of the President,  
grabbed a lion share of 51 slots;  
followed by Kano 25, Bauchi 23, Zamfara 20.
By far these four states from the northern Nigeria
have more slots than the four southern states 
of Akwa Ibom 5, Edo 6, Lagos 7, Ebonyi 7.

The figures for Nigeria's six geographical 
zones are:  
South-south 42
South-east 44
South-west 57
North-central 66
North-east 100
North-west 165 (PMB's region of origin) .

Utterly unashamed of his unfair tribalism,  
the President has loaded the agency with 
by far more people from 'North' than 'South'.
Katsina State(51) alone has more slots than 
the six states of South-south(42) ,  
the five states of South-east(44) ,  
with the six states of South-west(57)  
slightly higher by 6 slots.

A cursory glance at the overall high profile 
appointments made in defense and security 
departments within PMB's first year in office,  
is yet another example that points to a 
President who writes his principles with 
pencil, while he's got an eraser handy.
Embarrassingly lacking in political savviness,  
the President has created national security 
outfits more Hausa/Fulani than Nigerian.

The Minister of Defense is an Hausa man;  
The Inspector General Of Police;  
The Internal Affairs Minister;  
The Chief of Army Staff;  
The Chief of Air Staff;  
The Chief Security Adviser;  
Director General of the Department of State 
Security Service (DSS) ;
Director General of the National Intelligence 
Agency (NIA) ;
Director General of National Drug Law 
Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) ;
Acting Chairman of the Economic and 
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ;
Comptroller General of the Nigerian 
Custom Service;  
Comptroller General of the Nigerian 
Immigration Service;  
Comptroller General of Prisons;  
The Chairman Independent National Electoral 
Commission (INEC) ;  
To mention but only some of the most strategic 
portfolios — all from Hausa/Fulani extraction.

Granted, for his peace of mind regarding
personal security, all his bodyguards and 
the Brigadier Of Guards may be his own people,
but tribalizing the entire military and security
outfits in a multi-ethnic country of many
ethnic groupings is nothing short of a call
for intertribal tensions and bellicosities.

These lopsided selections are a snobbery 
of the level playing field provided by 
the Principles Of Federal Character —
which enshrines equity, justice, and fairness. 
They were hiring exercises conducted 
in bad faith. In a blatant display of his
ethical inconsistency, the self-acclaimed
anti-corruption crusader has changed 
the Nigerian state into an ethnic state —
and the nation's federal character
has become Hausa-Fulani character.

To a grave disservice to many other ethnic
and religious groups, almost all of the top
security personnel in the country are from
the Hausa-Fulani Muslim North. 
In tribal or religious clashes with members 
of other groupings, these security officials
have been known to be inhumane law
enforcers with a warped sense of justice,
who treated others like outsiders.

The figures above, which are verifiable via
the internet, are just the tips of the iceberg,  
for there are undoubtedly much more of
this kind of miserable stories to tell in all
spheres of the President's expansive influence.
PMB's pro-North and pro-Islamic leanings 
appear to be quite opposed to his much 
paraded political ideology that lays claim 
to moral and ethical superiority.

Anyone with a rudimentary understanding 
of economics knows that the country's
foreign exchange has been unfairly slanted,  
to favour the Hausa/Fulani who own 
most bureaus de change in the country.
Certainly, there's a sense of crafty pretense 
about the latest Nigerian hegemon.
The crown of tribalism has proclaimed 
President Muhammadu Buhari its Emperor. 

It was obvious during his earlier days in office 
that PMB had failed before he even started.
After dawdling with doubt for the better part 
of his first year in office, in a blind exercise of 
power of appointments, he came up with 
the most tribally and religiously tilted Federal 
Cabinet in the annals of Nigerian politics. 

In his virtuous hypocrisy, the ethnic jingoist
and religious bigot continues to empower
more and more political entrepreneurs
from the mainstream 'North'.
These delusional sycophants and 'Yes men',  
hardly would they advance opinions of theirs,  
let alone query the validity of their master's.

Power, to Buhari, is all about asserting his
superiority — the Nigerian military style.
He prefers friends and partners who are 
eager to dance to his tunes, instead of 
the ones who challenge him to see
things in their proper perspectives.
Consequently, he continues to build 
mediocre teams devoid of innovative 
minds, that are essentially needed to
compensate for his presidential ignorance.

It may also be worth noting that Buhari 
was the foremost beneficiary of
the 31st December 1983 coup d'état largesse:  
he became the Commander in Chief of
the Armed Forces and Head of Government —
haven masterminded the putsch that
aborted Nigeria's Second Republic. 
Not only did Major General Buhari (rtd)  
desecrate the presidency of a good man,  
Alhaji Shehu Shagari, of blessed memory;  
but also, his thoughtless and criminal 
usurpation of the Nigerian masses mandate,  
in no small measure aggravated the country's
descent into sixteen years of democracy
drought and socio-economic stagnation.

That abominable act of sacrilege against 
the sacred will of the Nigerian peoples
and the revered institution of Democracy,  
has since clothed his integrity in rags.

The ex-military ruler should consider himself
undeservedly fortunate. Why Nigerians
have voted the notorious military dictator
into power through the ballot box in 2015,
beats the imagination of any sober society. 

Under PMB's guard, Nigerians carry on 
mourning the socio-economic, political,
and security situations in their country,
as they take a turn for the worse —
from bad to potentially disastrous.

Under PMB's guard, Nigeria has become
the world's capital of poverty, with the attendant
sharp increase in the country's national debt.
The seeming ostracisation of North Central 
Nigeria (The Middle Belt) by the core North;  
The gruesome and unabated killings of hard 
working rural farmers by the fiendish and 
trigger-happy Fulani herdsmen;  
The government's authorized maiming 
of demonstrating Shiites Muslims;  
The Massacre of the unarmed, nonviolent 
and defenseless IPOB members by 
security operatives;  
The manhandling of dissidents by security 
agents of The State - an invariable portent 
of their unlawful arrests;  
The unceasing snobbery of the Judiciary,  
which ought to be the firmest pillar 
of any people's oriented government;  
And the Executive's bitterest antagonism 
with the Legislature is surely not helping 
matters - with no record of any bills yet
to be passed via peaceful grace. 
The list goes on and on.

One couldn't help wondering what had 
transpired between PMB and Donald Trump,  
that had prompted the US President
to poetically refer to him as 'lifeless'.
As if the derogatory remark wasn't enough,  
the ebullient American further added 
insult to injury by declaring before 
his aides, that he wouldn't want to 
meet his Nigerian counterpart again.

The bareness of Trump's sentiments,  
to be honest, it's an eye-opener. 
And the definite implication is that 
the Nigerian out-of-date President,  
whose body is not healthy enough 
to withstand the vicissitudes of his office,  
is too great a burden for us to bear. 

PMB is a lingering emblem of despotism.
An absentee head of state,  whose zeal
to rule Nigeria is only exceeded by
his total disregard for his fellow citizens.
The echoes of his incompetency 
are reverberating across the nation 
and beyond the country's shores,  
as his presidency serves to spotlight 
the cold vacancy of leadership during
his promptly aborted military regime.

Here is an emotionally distant autocrat,
whose silence and stern miens during
periods of national tribulations always
wore the semblance of an undertaker —
never calling up enough empathy
as a doleful sympathizer will do,  
by rendering heartfelt speeches on 
such sorrowful occasions, to assuage 
the pains of those affected. 
Such basic responsibilities he readily 
delegates to any one of his aides.

Equipped with perfect sets of iron teeth,  
there is no kind of trauma that President
Muhammadu Buhari may not impose on 
his political adversaries with impunity.
The case of Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd)  
readily comes to mind.
Under the guise of national interest,  
PMB who has a grievance with the former 
National Security Adviser (NSA) over
Sambo's ill complexity in the coup d'état
that dethroned him from power in 1983;
in his relentless quest for a damaging 
retribution continues to keep him 
incarcerated against the rule of law.

The recent intimidation of Atiku Abubakar
by irate security agents of the state, and 
the subsequent ransacking of his private jet 
at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,  
Abuja, was an unjustified exercise of power 
to hold his main political opponent in check.

By freezing Peter Obi's account with that 
of his wife, in a ploy designed to cast his 
spotless reputation in a bad light, PMB
indeed has inflicted a wanton insult on 
the feelings of a most respectable Nigerian.

Peter Obi, the running mate for the main
opposition party presidential candidate,
is a politician of well-known and approved
public opinion. Undoubtedly above and beyond
the errors of his colleagues and contemporaries,  
the well-groomed administrator with a
quiet fortitude enjoys enormous goodwill
nationally. A political fortune that is hinged 
on his sagacity and unimpeachable integrity.

The Harvard trained former Governor 
of Anambra State, whose stewardship 
in the face of substantial economic,  
fiscal and structural challenges in his 
State, was nothing short of excellent;  
not only does his success serve as an 
eloquent reminder of the value of hard work 
and dignity in labour, it also reinforces 
the belief that with great skill, an
ingenious composer could still make music 
from even the most discordant tunes.

It thus follows, that these politically 
motivated hostilities against the main 
opposition in the current presidential race,  
are pointers to a PMB who is downright 
jittery over Atiku-Obi soaring popularity,
since their emergence as PDP flag bearers 
for next month's presidential election.
The glaring injustice is there for all 
who are not blinded by prejudice to see.

With the official endorsements of Atiku-Obi
presidential ticket by the apex socio-cultural 
groups of our major ethnic nationalities,  
it has become quite safe to declare with 
no fear of deviation, that the rest of Buhari's 
days as President are numbered.
His desperate attempts to hold on to power 
even when events point to the contrary, as 
nasty and self-serving as they may be, they're 
more or less the last kicks of a dying horse.

Let's Get Nigeria Working Again!  
Viva The Federal Republic Of Nigeria!

Nigerian Politics
Geeta Radhakrishna Menon 13 April 2019

A full vote for this powerful poem that exposes the existential reality of Nigeria. Thank you Chinedu. God bless.

4 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 28 March 2020

Thanks for your insightful appraisal of the poem, madam. Remain blessed.

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Bonaventure Onuabuchi 18 April 2019

An amazing narrative piece, I am happy reading from a brother here. Above all, reading a poem that addresses our national issue, despite that we still nurture the Lie again. Good one bro

4 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 19 April 2019

A beautiful comment, Bonaventure. Thanks and do remain blessed.

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Me Poet Yeps Poet 11 June 2019


2 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 10 June 2023

A powerful poem on Nigerian Politics. Marvelous write, dear Chinedu, this poem is on rank 8 this morning. Once again Congratulations. Revisiting this great political poem is a great lesson for me, since I am not good in politics. What a precize notitions. I am full of admiration for you.

0 0 Reply
Kesav Venkat Easwaran 09 January 2023

Gone through your long poem. Much information there. Appreciate your detailed analysis and honest political stand stand

1 0 Reply
Dr Dillip K Swain 24 December 2022

Great! Merry Christmas to you my friend. You are a blessed soul. Stay always happy and blessed my dear Chinedu!

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 18 November 2022

5 Stars TOP Score and myriad(s) more! Thank you for sharing, dear Poet. God Blessings

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Sylvia Frances Chan 18 November 2022

WOW! TODAY on Rank number 9 of The Best Poems of Member Poets. CONGRATULATIONS for you and this poem. A powerful poem on Nigerian Politics. Marvelous write!

2 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike

Chinedu Dike

Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State; Nigeria.
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