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A Modest Proposal—on Ruga, Buhari’s overdue foreign travel, and other matters

A Modest Proposal—on Ruga, Buhari’s overdue foreign travel, and other matters

By: Akin Oseni

We are in the season of endless arguments, harsh criticisms, and bitter controversies occasioned by some salient national issues.

While everybody is talking, grunting, and blaming, no one is really willing to put forth any pragmatic idea towards resolving the many rancours. Pathetic.

Sadly still,  it is a rare practice here,  to see the well-read professors wade into socio-political debates, as they are given to more serious intellectual engagements of Protracted Striking Mechanism (PSM),  Standard Concepts of SDCization, Sex-for-Mark Theory and related scholarly ideologies. And of course, the learned fellows are technically busy at the moment researching on new legal terminologies like ‘case technicality’, ‘consented rape’, and other maxims and lexemes in the legal profession.  So shall we stand akimbo and watch the controversies in the country degenerate into civil strife? No.

Therefore, in my own capacity as a worthy patriot, volunteer thinktank and progressive mind (not APC please), permit me to advance the following ideas, as workable solutions to the many inflammatory and stomach-churning controversies in the country.

Ranked the most raging argument of the moment, the Ruga policy has been suspended by the government, after stiff resistance from Nigerians, majority of whom are Southerners and who argue the policy is a way of institutionalizing and importing the herders’ carnage to their thresholds. These equally unpatriotic fellows, also complain that it is lopsided and clannish for the government to invest our commonwealth in one ethnic business of grazing. Cowered by this outrage, the federal government has ordered that the Ruga programme be put on hold. Shame.

Personally, I do not agree with the government’s decision to throw in the towel. It is a bad idea to let Ruga, one of the grandest polices of the Next – Level administration, end with some ill-informed parochial regional sentiments. It is unacceptable.

Social commentators and policies analysts have argued that the Ruga policy is well intended, one targeted at achieving an effective and nationwide distribution of the herders’ onslaughts, thereby leading to achieving our time-long mantra of unity in misery oh, mind not the slip I really mean in diversity.  They added that the policy has only been poorly communicated by the ever-floundering presidential media team. ‘Imagine the thought of giving cattle better, more civilized, and utopian treatment of nationwide tourism,’ a social analyst thought. ‘Or the genius of creating more ranches for animal kinds, than schools and hospitals for human beings.’ ‘This, surely, will add feathers to our cap among the comity of innovative nations, and prove to the world how far we have progressed as a people, in the Next Level journey,’ he concluded.

So rather than suspend Ruga because of people’s lack of appreciation of its loftiness and relevance to our Next Level mission, I suggest we move all herders, old or young, learned or laity to Maiduguri — specifically Camp Zero, aka Sambisa, for the best global ranching practice. Such ingenious exercise can keep the Sambisa forest — you say of countless daemons? — gainfully active again. We cannot allow that historical land of blood and terror to lie fallow and useless since the Nigerian army has technically defeated its erstwhile occupants — Boko-Haram.

Long story short, to the federal government, I propose Sambisa as the best and most suitable location for the Ruga ranching policy.

Not only that. It has been established by well-meaning observers that the  dysfunctional nature of the presidential media team and its failure in articulating the many grand plans and policies of the government logically and comprehensibly to the people has done devastating damage to the image of our darling president, with many Nigerians calling the president clannish, nepotistic and sentimental in dealings. This, analysts say, has affected the many great programmes of the government from gaining nationwide acceptance and turned the body language of integrity into a body odour of dishonesty.

One southerner, Adeyemi Ogochukwu Tekena, was arguing the other day. He said the clannish tendency of the president is pronounced in certain areas. ‘Forget about political appointments and take a look at the different names given to the different military troops deployed to the different regions by the federal government,’ he suggested.

Credit: Mike Asukwo

‘For the north, you are likely to hear civilized and tender names like Operation Lafia Dole (Peace a Must), Operation Sharan Daji (Clear the Bush), Operation Safe the Haven and other peace-accommodating names. But in the South, the names of the troops are always suggestive of terror, brutal force and destruction. Imagine Operation Crocodile Tears,  Python Dance, Lion Roar, Tiger Cry,’ AOT concluded.

Language and communication experts have also advanced  their arguments in defense of the president. They say the president means no harm. All the misconceptions are only often necessitated by the wrong lexical and phrasal choices of the Femi Adeshina-led media team, who does not know the right words in the right order. The analysts, however, unanimously agree that the media team’s incompetency is really undermining the good intentions and the globally-sought integrity of the president. They suggest a complete overhaul of the crew.

Based on this professional submission, I suggest we source another, and as a matter of fact, a more eloquent and oratorically gifted man to head the presidential publicity team, for better image projection and policy articulation. My candidate? The grandiloquent, magniloquent, and linguistically competent  Honorable Patrick Obaihagbon. He only is the man capable of communicating the most complex ideas to Nigerians including the gentle — and sometimes hard men of the press, without objection or questioning. He only can make people accept the most difficult proposition without raising dust.

Therefore, for better and effective communication of the government policies, I propose as the head of the presidential media and publicity, venerable lexicographist Honorable Patrick Obaihagbon.

Credit: Buni TV

Another major controversy: Insecurity.  The terror of insecurity nationwide has become more popular than the naira currency, with the allied forces of banditry, herdsmen’s carnage, kidnapping, ritual killings ravaging one or all of the regions of the country. All security agencies, apparatus and approaches have been rendered impotent. This has led some curious Nigerians to question the uncommon sense of having a Defense Minister, Mansur Dan Ali, whose own state Zamfara, is the statutory headquarters of banditry and associated crimes in the country. A round peg in a square hole, critics say. Others added that the fellow is too soft-looking and conciliatory for the serious job of fighting crimes and terror in the country.

While it will be unruly for this proposal to poke nose in the executive decision of ministerial appointment, permit me to nominate as an alternative defence minister and perhaps a better and more efficient replacement for the Zamfara man. Who does the cap fit? His excellency the constituted authority, koseleri — now koselemo — Mr Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, the former governor of Oyo State. For perfect synergy, I propose a man of zero tolerance for insubordination, a vindictive scholar, veteran deflator of gra gra, the able man called Abel, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, Ibadan varsity Vice-Chancellor and honorary field marshal, as the minister of state for defence.

With proven draconic expertise, tested will for victimization, and an unquenchable zeal to rebuke alternative opinion, these two are obviously the perfect fit for our defence ministry. With them, insecurity can become a fairytale told only by the elders.

Credit: Mike Asukwo

Meanwhile, some Nigerians have been in grouses lately with President Muhammadu Buhari. This time, not about Ruga. Not the lopsided political appointment either. Reports say it has to do with the president’s poor travelling form in recent times. Many weeks off-board? Nigerians (home and abroad) argue they have been deprived of the epic comments that come with each travel of the president. Remember the ‘fantastically corrupt’, ‘the shithole’, ‘the other room’, ‘the lazy Nigerian youths’, and many other comments that have now magnified our presence on the world map, all came with the president’s voyages. 

This does not bode well for the President and the country.

Therefore, to help the president regain his travelling form, I humbly suggest that Mr president be placed on an intellectual diet of close reading of Homer’s epic, Odyssey, and Jonathan Swift’s travelogue, Gullivers’ Travels.  This, hopefully, can put Sai Baba again on his tireless voyage. Nigerian can be happy again.

Lastly, Senator Ademola Adeleke — the legendary dancing senator — has lost his election petition case at the apex court. Too bad. In spite of the many shreds of evidence informing the court of the ruling party’s unwholesome activities in the Osun election, Adeleke lost. The presiding judge premised verdict on ‘legal technicality’, a term that has since thrown the literate and the unlettered among Nigerians into the puddle of befuddlement.

Justifying the technicality verdict, the bench and the jurists have argued that the concept of technicality in the legal profession is of the exclusive knowledge of senior judges and lawyers in the country, and only applicable in cases where the ruling party and the sitting president have a strong political stake.

They added that such verdict also comes handy when the law tries to forestall a plausible embarrassment of having a dancing governor or one without a common Senior Secondary School Certificate, especially in a land of virtue. The explanation has since laid the controversy to rest.

While Senator Adeleke may have accepted the reality of his illusion, this proposal holds that the absence of such noble merry-maker in the public scenery is highly likely to cause humour strike and irredeemable health damage on Nigerians — especially those with Nigeria-made hypertension.  God forbid bad thing.

To avert such national disaster, I propose that senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke, known for the rare talent of boundless and timeless dance, pool creativity together with nephew Davido and Senator Dino Melaye, as triple-threat entertainers. Imagine the fun magnitude of Baba Shina doing the Shina Rambo, without the distraction of lawmaking or cabinet meeting. That will be an amazing spectacle. Won’t it?

It is hoped that, in a rare spirit of patriotism and civic responsibility,  the few ideas advanced here will go a long way in addressing the bickering and petty annoyances in the country, if graciously and gratefully accepted by concerned individuals, government and corporate bodies.

This is my modest proposal. 

Akin Oseni is a teacher and can be followed on Twitter, @akinomooseni.

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