Why We Need Buhari to Fail
“Democratic Politics is a battle for good policy ideas… Democrats, in contrast, are constantly engaged in a battle for the best policy ideas to keep their large constituencies happy…” -de Mesquita Bueno The Dictators Handbook — Why Bad Behavior is Almost Good Politics
The All Progressives Congress Administration is completely and utterly bereft of good ideas. There is no other way to put it! If you do not believe me, try and remember a time when Mr. President, or any of his ministers actually made any profound policy statement. I am willing to bet that, if you are honest with yourself, you would remember Onu’s Pencils by 2018 declaration or Lai’s masquerade gaffe before you remember anything even remotely resembling sound thinking. And even after that, you are likely to remember harebrained actions like cutting trees to “defend the naira” and the various CBN trial-and-error” FOREX management tactics.
It would not be fair on the Nigerians that voted for the APC to say that they did not campaign on the platform of ideas. On the contrary I believe that indeed they did. Their pitch was simple: corruption was the sole cause of Nigeria’s many, many problems and if corruption was eradicated, all other problems would be solved and Nigeria would be well on the way to real development. Muhammadu was supposed to be the long suffering, tireless, tough general that would rally the forces of good against the evil in the land and usher us in to a new age of freedom and prosperity for all. A rather convincing pitch it was.
I think it is fair to say that the cornerstone idea of the APC administration has crashed and burned to ashes. Nigerians never did put the idea to the test and when the APC merchandise faced real world Nigeria, it proved to rather ineffective indeed. It is unlikely that Nigerians would make a repeat purchase.
It is a hard thing being unpopular in a representative democracy. It is fair to say that, at this rate of performance, the administration of Muhammadu would be a one term administration. With nearly two years of a four-year term gone, it is very unlikely that any meaningful progress can be made before the clearing house of ideas open for Nigerians to make their choices for.
Not having ideas or the capacity to generate and new ones, the APC finds itself in the position presenting itself to the democratic market square having nothing to transact with. It risks being a victim of the same maneuver that it used to good effect to shove the former ruling party out of power.
In the face of superior argument, the sane and logical thing for the side with the weaker argument to do is to submit. In a democratic system this usually means electoral defeat. We all know that the Nigerian system is neither sane or logical. This means the APC has other options.
**Pause. This is where my writing becomes dark**
The Administration it seems, has decided to take the strategy of the bully. Its lack of credible ideas to compete with has constrained it to use the tactics of personal attacks, intimidation, the threat of violence and actual violence. To retain power, Buhari and his camp must stifle the flow of contrary ideas. Buhari does not behave like a dictator because he wants to; he behaves to because he HAS to. It is a matter of political survival for him.
If the Administration had it way, it would find a way to enact laws to regulate social media; it would express the desire to suppress what it would call “fake news” under the guise of reducing the guise of misinformation detrimental to some government programme (they have no programme, at least none to provide public goods); it would have a system to monitor social media use by its citizens (secretly of course); it would try to exert some control over the social media discourse with a paid army of influencers who, if you listen carefully have the same coordinated, albeit-hollow message.
I am of the opinion that this administration will do absolutely everything and anything to retain political power. The retention of power is right now the only objective of this administration. It will use dirty tricks, intimidation, lies, disinformation and ultimately violence to achieve this aim.
We, the citizens must not allow this administration to succeed in their aim. If they succeed, all camps of the political class will be put on notice. It will send a message to them that the tactic of the bully works, that they don’t need to formulate good ideas or policies for the public good. They could oversee the worst economic performance in decades and still succeed in retaining power. If the Buhari Administration succeeds, it would send a signal that the Nigerian Citizen is not worth giving shit about. That is the reason why Buhari needs to fail.