The late Chief Moshood Abiola of blessed memory, once told the late former South African President, Nelson Mandela that, “though the black ants are very small, they can wreak havoc if they had access to one’s clothings, especially if they get to the reproductive organs.” He then unequivocally advised Mandela and the South African people to take care of black ants so that they did not invade the nation’s inner temple. Evidentially, the black ant is the only creature in the world that can easily bring the elephant to its knees. The scourge of uncongenial political and socio-economic black ants in Nigeria’s political space poses a serious concern as we drift down the twilights of this political dispensation. The dread arises from the fact that these in-country dangerous creatures, the sworn enemies of Nigeria’s progress have accessed the nation’s reproductive organ, have been wreaking havoc and have become difficult to eliminate.
The irony is that, it is the essence of President Buhari’s good government and the vision of some of the ‘grade A’ ministers like Chief Audu Ogbeh whose hands are on the plough to secure Nigeria’s future that are targeted for negative narratives. In their trade, they have refused to see the efforts of the President and the Minister who have energetically set a new direction for the nation. Every trick is employed. Hack writers and media acolytes have been willing tools. These political conspirators who want the nation on the usual path of retrogression could go any length to change the direction. The motive starts and ends with self-interest. Nigeria’s development and the common good are very far from their corroded agenda and minds. The outcome of their strategy is already showing on the mainstream and alternative media as the country prepares for a new political dispensation. The attack is fierce, especially on the president and public officers who are non-conformists.
Nigeria will probably be better off this time as the political psychic of the present administration is at discordant tunes with retrogressive maneuvering of the immediate past administration’s culture of impunity. Most Nigerians are now aware of the present leadership’s poise toward a sane society in spite of the antics of the black ants. This is possible because the man in charge is an incurable champion of truth. His body language discourages impunity – mai geskya. The President has never minced words on his commitment to the common good. And that commitment is manifesting slowly and surely in the nation’s development. The railways are gradually coming back, the roads are gradually shaping up, power outage is scaling down despite all the infrastructural deficits of the past, our schools and hospitals are yawning and kicking and our young people are nearing sustainable jobs. In fact, the President has said times without number that the situation would continue to improve in a gradual and steady manner given the monumental degradations of the past.
Lee Kuan Yew transitioned Singapore from a third world to a first world. He forged a system of long term-term vision. He eschewed and checkmated the narrow campaigns of black ants in his country in favour of long-term social and economic planning. Today, in many texts and fora, he is defined as a man of character and commitment. In fact, many of his principles are being imbibed and taught at schools around the world. President Buhari has been sincere to point up the fact that Nigeria’s development should go beyond the microwave to long term social and economic furnace.
The black ants are however shamelessly undeterred by the president’s stands as they continue to ply their trades of misrepresentation to deliver what Martin Luther King, of blessed memory referred to as unjust status quo. In the face of glaring great efforts and successes, they continue to point up the president’s incapability and insensitivity. They keep flying Kites to gauge the tempo with intents to sway the truth. They have found comfort in the world of failed dissident leaders and dysfunctional social media where obsessed users could ingloriously demand for heads of the president and public officers without subjection to rational reasoning.
As soon as he was declared winner of the just concluded presidential election held on March 23, President Buhari said Nigerians should expect all time improvement. To the discerning Nigerian, agriculture has been positioned to lead the way. There is very clear evidence of steady growth in agricultural productivity since the coming on board of Chief Audu Ogbeh as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Before 2015, there was a very low percentage of Nigerians interested in agriculture. Farming was left in the hands of the traditional farmers in the village. Everybody was talking oil and other stainless businesses. But today, the number of people returning to the farms has never been this large in recent times. This includes young men and women, old men and women, civil servants, workers of the informal sector and the military. The energy hidden in Nigerians that has not been exploited before is coming alive.
To say agriculture has become the new buzz is understating the reality. The Buhari government has visibly put agriculture back on the country’s development agenda. In the real sense, agriculture has become ever more central to anyone trying to make sense of the Nigerian economy and development. Nigeria has been experiencing decrease in imports and increase in exports in agriculture-related products. The best performers are in the rice field. The increase in the volume of rice production and processing is saving the country a lot of money. According to the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Nigeria has witnessed a great leap in rice production. The success in rice production is being visibly replicated in other food items like yam, cassava, wheat, sorghum, maize, millet, tomato etc. From all indications, the government is committed to sustaining and surpassing the current efforts.
But, the black ants are seriously at work to clear the way for the old order. In addition to referring to President Buhari and Chief Ogbeh as old spent horses they have continued to tag the President’s second term as next level of hunger, incompetence and insensitivity while they have emphatically manipulated and misinterpreted every word that come of Chief Ogbeh’s mouth – From cattle colony to pizza. In fact, as far as they are concerned the Buhari government has not achieved anything. They are blind to any government achievement. It is very sad that media men and women are procured so cheaply into playing the harlot for a fee to destroy a government that is committed to sustainable and enduring development despite their traditional role as agents of change.
Sadly, the ordinary Nigerian, the real victim of this manipulative politics, doesn’t understand the counterfactual political conspiracy in the whole affairs. Even as the nation is moving on slowly towards securing the people’s future the indomie solutions being peddled by the black ants appear more attractive. Increasingly, this attitude has become the bane of collective governance. Some sections of the Nigerian society have not recognized the fact that governance is the business of everybody. By supporting laudable government efforts such as agricultural development, the people are helping to advance national development.
History has shown again and again that leaders who have turned the fortunes of their countries round were men of integrity and deep seated sincerity who were advanced in age, experience and character. Age is a number but leadership that will guide a nation to rooted and genuine development path is a product of character. Although, it may be difficult to eliminate the black ants from the Nigerian political space at this stage as they have accessed the nation’s reproductive organ, we should join hands to eliminate them to avoid further havoc.
Dr. Okidu wrote this piece from Ilorin, Kwara State