I will vote Mr. Buhari because…

March 20, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung photo



Prince Charles Dickson



“I am not upset, I am not upset!” Yet a grown man swears angrily six times because of last night’s pounded yam.



Cassandra in Greek legend, I recall, was condemned to know the future but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence the agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it. So the pain that we know our problems but seem condemned to an existence of being incapable of solving them seems our curse.


Some persons have criticized me of repeating the same story over again, that may be true but certainly I have no apologies because the truth is that if we were what we ought to be then I probably would have resorted to doing something else. We refuse to listen, so I repeat the message, I change the tempo, I change the direction, I vary the stand but the message remains largely the same; that we have a problem and we need to solve our problems but we seem impotent at solving it.


Fresh killings in Kogi state mean that the numbers of state, that has seen one form of pastoralists/herdsmen related butchering, stand at almost 27 states of the federation and to date nothing has been done in concrete terms to address the issue. How this particular sad phase in our history keeps defying solution remains strange.


So with plenty of solutions flying everywhere one cannot but wonder what is the problem, and what then is the solution…I dare say the solution is, there is no problem, or that all the solutions remain problematic.


How can a Nigeria where Nigerians don’t task their leaders, one in which we don’t request accountability from our leaders be changed? It remains a nation where the likes of Abdulrasheed Maina defy logic with all sorts of mythical tales; don’t change this Nigeria please.


If we change this Nigeria it would be self sufficient, with a strong social security system, security of lives and property would be premium for all irrespective of class and status.


A changed Nigeria would see portable water, a good roads network, adequate supply network for food distribution, fantastic health delivery, and quality education almost free of charge.


However for a nation of knowing fools, to know is not to be wise, so we won’t and have refused to change.


Many men and women in Nigerian leadership today know a great deal, and are we not all the greater fools for it? There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. Because to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom and this is what our leadership lacks, and citizenry are no better in this regard. So we won’t change much.


Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit but we have no limits, every single hour we endure a life that is best described as foolish, no fuel, we keep quiet, no food and we keep a deceitful smile. Our silence cannot be understood and there is a misunderstanding about the words we utter, we remain at war with ourselves.


So we ask for change but really we don’t want to change by our actions. We are not upset, yet we swear angrily several times because of last night’s pounded yam.


Like you cannot stop the sea from returning to the shore. How do you change when corrupt cases are lined up in media glitz and glittering glamour. The courts free all publicly accused big thieves. When they are not freed, they get a slap on the wrist; aided by weak penal and criminal codes or weak prosecution.


What has changed, is it the scandals that has rocked the NNPC consistently, from ghost approvals and signed contracts? Did we not dance that REMITA and TSA rock and roll commission blues and nothing changed. When budgets were not missing they were simply padded. No one was punished.


How about all the stage production of MTN’s fine and the bribe allegation against a top aide of the president and the grass-cutting cutter? How about the empty Aso Rock clinic with money voted for but empty? Do we want to change a Nigeria that gave us the movie ‘Ikoyigate’?


They don’t want Nigeria to change and neither have you or myself shown enough reason to demand change.


Who wants to change a nation, where you steal as much as you can; get some dramatic arrests; routinely attend court sessions; and then go home with a clean judgment of no-offence or no case?


So really I intend to vote Mr. Buhari because of all the stealing in Ministries, parastatals, agencies, at federal, state and local level, that has continued unabated. Despite EFCC, ICPC, and the various small 419 departments with duplicate functions in the Police.


I will vote for him because one can still ‘legitimately’ get away with stealing millions and billions and be celebrated, be given a chieftaincy title and several ‘thieftaincy’ rewards and awards of honorary degrees in any field of my choice and if I fall out with the powers that be, I have enough to get the best lawyers and injunctions when I am chased.


The camera lights of news stations and front pages of newspapers and early morning radio news are still full of the faces of those responsible for our current predicament.


Today the bitter truth is that corruption begets corruption, and we are breeding it. This Nigeria is benefiting a few, and many don’t want it changed, whether it stands or not is not about how much we swear, but real desire matched with action for change, and as it stands with this kind of changeless change, I am with Buhari, unless we show guts; when—Only time will tell.






Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

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