Penultimate Monday night’s visit by All Progressives Congress, APC leaders Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande to President Muhammadu Buhari was perhaps the most visible show of concern by elements in the ruling party to the distress in the land.
Tinubu came out of the meeting pleading with Nigerians to join hands with the government to address the many concerns about insecurity, economy, and other issues in the land.
The call from Tinubu and his visit to the president undoubtedly reflected the unease he may have felt with the happenings in the land.
Tinubu, of course had a duty to intervene. After all, he was a principal facilitator in the emergence of the All Progressives Congress, APC administration of Muhammadu Buhari. Even more, preserving Nigeria in one entity would also be to his advantage as his career goal of achieving the presidency of Nigeria would fail if the country were decimated.
Campaigning with Buhari ahead of 2015, Tinubu had assured the electorate that more than President Goodluck Jonathan, that President Buhari was better positioned to address the issues that were prevalent at that time.
At that time, Nigeria had just suffered the lamentable abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.
Many Nigerians thought it impossible for such a kidnap to happen despite the fact the terrorist Boko Haram group had carved a niche for itself within Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
The naira at that time exchanged for about 170 to a dollar, a rate many Nigerians thought reflected the failures as we assumed of President Jonathan.
The APC mantra was Changi!
Six years into the Change phenomena, the worsening orgy of unimaginable violence is better reflected by international reports that Nigeria is about the third most terrorized nation on earth.
Despite claims by the government that Boko Haram has been defeated, decimated, and degraded, the insurgency has grown to the extent that Nigerian soldiers and now policemen have become endangered species.
After the kidnap of the Chibok Schoolgirls, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman turned into one of the most visible advocates for the return of the schoolgirls under the aegis of the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG group.
Then only few outside the inside reaches of the Jonathan administration knew that she was also a fanatical trooper for the Buhari Change mantra. Though, she was not a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, she was like a secretary all about helping the members in their meetings.
So, while she campaigned at the Unity Fountain in the daytime for the BBOG, in the night she was encamped with the Buhari campaign in laying strategies to remove Jonathan from power.
Perhaps it was that intelligence that informed operatives of the Jonathan administration and Mama Patience into the folly that the Chibok abduction was a ruse.
However, six years on, the comparison of school children’s abduction between the two administrations has turned sickening. Whereas Jonathan was smeared with only one major abduction, under Buhari, school children abductions have spread like cancer to the extent that it is no longer news for the international community. This week, the evil for the first time spread to the South with the abduction of students of the Abia State University, Uturu.
After the abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls of the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangabe, Zamfara State last February, Ms. Bala Usman on February 27, tweeted thus:
The state of insecurity in the country that has led to the kidnap of Kagara boys and Zamfara girls need to be addressed URGENTLY…We can’t go on like this! Rescue our children and Secure our country that’s all we ask Broken heartBroken heartBroken heart…#SecureNorth #SecureNigeria…
That tweet according to conspiracy theories laid the ground for a witch hunt directed at her that led to her suspension as MD of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
As with such cases in which those in authority are questioned by subordinates, rumours were flying about on Friday morning about massive holes in billions of naira in the accounts of the NPA supposedly discovered by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. The alleged audit query according to sources is what led to Bala Usman’s suspension.
Whatever, Ms. Bala Usman’s tweet about addressing the state of insecurity that led to the Kagara and Zamfara abductions have not been reasonably addressed by the APC administration.
In any case, as some alleged on Twitter, while Ms. Bala Usman was suspended to allow an investigation into issues observed under her watch, Dr. Isa Pantami who has admitted with video evidence to have supported terror groups is given a wave of approval.
Ms. Usman chose not to play the ostrich like some who would prefer not to see evil or hear any evil. Few would forget the fact that as Senator Smart Adeyemi lamented the anarchy in the land that Tinubu’s wife was widely reported to have heckled him for being unfaithful to the APC.
If Adeyemi, Bala Usman and others who have the voice in the APC opt to keep quiet, the anarchy that we see would grow to consume them and their party.
It was as such welcoming that Tinubu and Akande opted to see Mr. President. But having seen him, the outcome of the visit has largely remained intangible. Indeed, as Tinubu readies his political machine for 2023, a difficult question he would have to face is whether he would be sustaining the APC mantra of Change or Continuity. It is the devil’s alternative for him.