Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, gave the impression that the international community is in support of President Buhari’s bid to re-contest the presidency in 2019. Nigerians are asking: who are the international community that are giving such support? As a foreign affairs minister, Onyeama is in a position to know what the opinion of the global community is towards Nigeria. His perception can also be wrong.
Going by the reactions of a large number of Nigerians since that statement was made, the reality is, either that Nigerians are being mocked, or that Onyeama’s reading of the minds of the international community is wrong. It cannot be said that such opinion reflects the collective will of Nigerians. Majority of Nigerians are sad and hungry.
The relevance of a democracy lies in the opportunity it provides for people to make choices with regards to who leads them and takes decisions on issues affecting them. Voting process is the means by which the people express their right to choose. But a situation where the right of the people of a sovereign nation, especially with regards to the choice of a President, is subverted by an international community, that becomes an affront to democracy.
What is gradually emerging under the guise of democracy is a situation where powerful influences, global and local, drown the voices, choices and will of the common people. Such powerful influences who often throw their weight about in serious national issues, include the nebulous international community and their local collaborators. Their operational strategies include the flying of a kite, to test reactions of the people towards their plans and schemes, as well as the use of intimidation and blackmail to drown the voices of possible opponents.
A part of the scheme of enemies of genuine democracy includes holding the presidency to ransom thus forming a parallel government within a government. Hardly would any of those involved in the operation of a cryptocracy ever admit that there is a parallel government, but this comes about when the opportunity arises.
Opportunity for the operation of a cryptocracy comes when a chief executive is seen to be weak, ill, taking sides with weak interest groups, or placing the interests of some powerful groups in jeopardy. Often, the interests of dominant powerful groups, or placing the interests of some powerful groups in jeopardy. Often, the interests of dominant powerful groups whose members or representatives constitute the cabal, are made to represent national interests. Thus public finances and resources can be expended in the pursuit of some private agenda and projects, even when the masses are hungry.
Local powerful interest groups are usually the fronts of some international groups whose economic and political tentacles penetrate into vulnerable nations. Therefore, reference to international community is usually synonymous with foreign economic interest groups whose operations are facilitated by local politicians. Such local politicians are not only the proxies of foreign interests, but they also form the nucleus of the local cryptocracy or cabal.
Currently we have an example of external manipulation of the Nigerian economy via international community in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). Rather than the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the PIGB is a clever re-designed scheme which, in its ultimate implementation would peace Nigeria, particularly the oil-producing communities, in jeopardy. According to Dr Okey Ellah, “some individuals appear to believe the oil must belong to them so they have been trying legal tricks and means to acquire ownership.” A situation where Nigeria’s sold off to a few Nigerians and their foreign sponsors is a bad omen.
With regards to the purported global support for Buhari’s re-election, Dr Junaid Mohammed told us that “those who have a connection with the international community, know that it is nothing but contempt for the Buhari administration because of poor performance”. With wrong people in strategic and sensitive positions, is there any ill that cannot be foisted on Nigerians?
The only section of the global community that can support President Buhari’s continuation power is the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), for reasons which any honest Nigerian would not find hard to know. There is a strong need to steer the fate of Nigeria away from the grips of foreign interest groups as well as from the stranglehold of local cabals. While we may not know who the cabals are, we do know that they use “ Presidency” as a ready and clever cover in their operations. Someone once asked: “who is the Presidency?” Corruption can wear different masks, especially when fighting.
Dr Amirize is a retired lecturer, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.