...Redifining Journalism for Development

The Sweep with Hassan Alhaji Hassan: The Patient Stylist and the Enemy of the Public


Mr. President has a lot to admire. He is a man of great style. In truth, peoples’ President is the master stylist. I love him for many reasons known to those who follow me. But in his style I have lots of added counts. Style is something every human must have because no two persons are created with same fingerprint. It is the single distinguishing factor in the life of a human.
Style makes the individual in relation to himself and the person in relation to others around them. Style defines their character, behavior, attitude, and action. It makes you unique, different because you are made to be and because you must be because it is so. And there is style in everything, every aspect of what we are, what we think and what we do. The style in focus is that of leadership, and it is of one person in focus – that same person that is first in mention and first in everything Nigerian, because he is the leader and how he conducts that leadership is subject to a number of frequencies of public criticism or individual outcry. That is normal with leadership anywhere at any time. But for the Nigerian leadership and what we think or say about it everything is – always – in the superlative, at the extreme and appears serious even when it is not.
No one should expect an analysis of the person and style of Mr. President here. It is both immaterial and impossible because he is one person who needs no introduction, not to even the under twenties. He is known. What is not known about him and is therefore the concern for both the citizen and for yours faithfully is why he is now the same, why he is different and why he is the way he is.
For yours faithfully and for anyone with kindness and respect to the truth and true governance, PMB’s leadership has remarkably redefined, reorganised and refocused governance by both the standards and experience of the Nigerian society. And we have said so much that no repetition is good anymore because it is not needed by the optimists and it will never be taken by the pessimists.
What is important is the outcry emanating from a seeming wind that rattles the grass of the Nigerian type of forgetfulness, mad-rush in life and impatience which stings most of us. Important it is because, now, it is the single variable linking the President and his leadership promise deliveries; between the presence and the future; between truth and falsehood; between the outright and the out-wayed Nigerian.
One of the items on the table of outcry is that the President is silent on national issues and that compares him with his predecessor who was wanted for ignoring public concern on key ‘national issues’. The President style of gradualism, calculated thinking and careful action is not friendly with that. But the problem with style is that it cannot be changed, even if you wish to, and it does not allow one’s style influence another’s.
But then, the forgetfulness of the citizen blinds them to certain facts: that change has brought us to a point of solidification and affirmation of leadership, opposite to that of the past largely seen as shaky, hasty, reckless and pushed around with every opinion such that it ends up dancing to different style that sum up the population.
The first thing before the first was the price hike of food stuffs in the market and their remain there without any sign of plummeting, with all the rampant, unprecedented, farming and dedicated food production ever, all in response to the will and calls of the ideal President. It was a point of mutual trust with the President and the people which revolutionised the first public confidence in government, first ever.
It was a Presidential national call which yielded empirical results and has met its grand objective of producing what Nigerians eat, and to stop importing foreign produce. The price hikes where unjustified and a deliberate hoarding of food stuff in the bushes jus t to ensure scarcity that makes the hike possible but unjustifiable. The prices are still at the hikes. Their objective was to kill the economy, create hunger and incite the people against the leadership.
First, fairness demands that every government, every president deserve their own different ways of doing things. The benevolence of PMB’s right of difference is even the best mark of difference ever: to stop indolence, idleness theft, waste, and to restore dedication, resource management, efficiency and prudence. Changing the old takes more time that just introducing something.
Second, as a result of the novelty of stopping the bad and restoring the good, PMB suffered name-calling, accusations, insult, attacks on self and family from even the most unlikely. A President of Nigeria called so meager and bad in the woundy mouth of the corrupt carnival. He almost suffered death due to his genuine commitment to collect back what thieves took from the State in the name democracy and governance.
Third, when he survived the worst, PMB proved godly and daring God is what the corrupt always do in different fashion, to the pleasure of the corrupt gallery of thieves. They resorted to the idea of herdsmen who are Fulani raid and kill other villagers, first in the south, then north central, North West and back. This started almost immediately he took over and lingered to date. The goal is that the Fulani President of Nigeria is using his people to kill others.
Playing the tribal card has been a permanent feature of Nigerian politics. Until now, the Fulani man’s brothers still maraud villagers and kill them mercilessly. This is perhaps something serious that should dent the clean plate of this man’s straight personal records at home, at war and in government. Whether that has been achieved remains to be seen. But so far, it is not a goal to be scored without further assists.
Fifth is then the old Niger Delta issue a deadly element in the blood of Nigerian divide and rule governance. It was a long military idea muted to be permanent feature of the polity. Kidnapping, pipeline burst and various attacks on government agents and organs, have tolled the pressures on the President. This raises the question if he can handle it. But the main goal is to deny this willful, sincere, committed President the funds for implementing his agenda for the people. No goal yet. And projects are today all over in every critical part of the country.
Sixth, the mass media subsystem failed to serve the nation the traditional function of structural functionalism. It is supposed to support the State to succeed in all aspects of governance and should mobilise and rally the public for massive national support, cooperation and to inculcate patriotism in the minds of the people. That was drastic miss. The mass media remained mute and when they have to say something, it is either to announce, “Buhari says” or criticize what Buhari says or does.
Seventh? The old Middle Belt doctrine of divide and rule. The military used it to actualise authoritarian personal agenda from the whims of one man who owned the idea of a better Nigeria to himself. It was revived, met to elect new leaders and staged a conference that opened the mouths to pour the clichéd notions of marginalisation, targeted against the Fulani tribe of the man in charge who has done away with lots of their old anti-poor agenda.
Eighth? Fuel scarcity. By all accounts, it was orchestrated for political reasons in order to bring down the man and his government. Politicians who instigated the Niger Delta, the market hike of food prices. Same politicians also who instigated the onshore/offshore oil theft. They have milked the nation and stood above its riches, laws and government. When order reckoned, a lot of discomfort sweeps the guilty. And that is also the cause for the atrocities.
Ninth? The lingering of the fuel shortage against all the presidential orders and government directives. Our previous accounts on individualism said how the individual bad politicians and enemies of the State have grown too big above the power of the government.   The DPR persons closed some stations, sanctioned/penalised some but they defy the authority. What is needed is for the president to come down to the stations and remain there – in all of them at the same time.
Tenth? Public conspiracy. On normal issues concerning their grievances, Nigerians are intolerant to exploits and unnecessary fuel shortage, occasionally created by the marketers on purposes to make more profit at once, out the poor’s pocket. They would invade the stations and set them ablaze or stop them from selling.
Thanks to the people of Jigawa who demonstrated that in some ways. The peoples’ action is the only panacea against individual disobedience to government orders and stand against the law. The man who wishes them well cannot be everywhere, all the same time.
Eleventh. Again, media apathy. Or media conspiracy. On normal crises, the mass media in Nigeria is always quick to fuel the issues and take them to different dimensions, thereby creating debate and with the debate comes  understanding of the problems and who is responsible.
Editors and journalists are members of the public who use fuel too. But their silence or that of their houses does not help government triumph over public enemy individualism. They are still silent while the fuel scarcity lingers.
I have lost count and the list persists. The enemies of Nigeria are the ones in most key places of governance, simply because the President is most liberal democrat who gave positions to anyone, even outside party and any other consideration. The hope is that with short time work under him, they will change and adjust and governance will be turned around. Sad.
They have held the positions, milking them and see the President with double faces – one is for the President and the other for the other presidents as masters of the chains of conspiracy against the people that Nigeria must not be better, at the least not under Buhari. It has been a lifetime-long rivalry that crippled the nation, killed many of its innocent souls – its best – and pitched the people against each other while the cruel and the wicked hug, tap and share.
It is a year to the end of this term. And the overall objective of making sure Buhari quarrels with the people and never returns for all the above spoils is the single ultimate reason. Playing politics with the peoples’ time, energy, resources and lives have been the fuels of politics of blood and demise – either do or die like Shehu Yar’adua and Abiola died instead of do.
May be it is time for the public enemy to do or die. However it turns out, my hero is triumphant. He has shown, proven and made his point. And he holds no grudge. He is healthier now than he started. He is comfortable as he marches the surmounts and he relaxes with the detractors.
But if you want him to do more, then you sign up to the condition: stand up to national responsibility of fighting the public enemy with the hands, with the mouths or with the hearts. Even at that, yours is the weakest faith in the ability of my hero to deliver.
Hassan Alhaji Hassan can be reached at: 08032829772/08050551220 (text only with full names and address) abuna2406@gmail.com

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