Are We All Karma’s ‘Bitches’?

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This time around, I intend to draw readers to my personal assessment of the leadership and followership we have in the entity referred to as Nigeria. We have leaders that are ordinarily supposed to be followers but mistakenly voted or appointed to leadership positions. Some of those leaders are just in power for a specific personal interest and those of their nuclear family members and tribal folk. And there is nothing more or less to say. It is a typical case of abracadabra. The more you look, the less you see. The more you see, the less you understand. It takes me to say that Karma is our open secret. In Nigeria, it is our sacred, secret space ignored in plain sight. It becomes out ternenos or ritual precinct of reward and comeuppance. In this divine, marked off terrain, the moral code of the universe operates at its darkest and most mechanical – there are no emotive shingles of pardon or persuasion, just causes and effects, actions and consequences.

In 1932, the great developmental psychologist Jean Plaget found that by the age of six (6), children begin to believe that bad thing that happens to them are punishments for bad things they have done. The Nigerian society, however, fights futilely to suspend the karmic laws of cause and effect, insulating individuals from the injurious effects of vice and poor judgment. Local gender activists, like their European and American models, abandon more progressive causes to pervert birth control and abortion in duplicitous bid to detach sex from its natural results or consequences. Politics is equally rigged to reward greed, bestiality, indolence, illegitimacy and so on.

Lest we forget the pervasive political and economic crisis bedevilling the country as the nation’s woes originate from her moral lapses. Endemic poverty, substandard healthcare and education, ethnic and religious bigotry, bribery and other forms of corruption manifest by the society’s poverty of morals and humane ethics.

Hence those guilty of corruption escape the consequences of their wrongdoing in connivance with a bland, treacherous government. The karmic consequences of this anomaly are, of course, better imagined-think Dasukigate, Mainagate, Diezanigate and several others. Until recently, there were no punishments for the wicked and no deterrence for the corrupt and the public funds’ thieves. Sadly, Nigeria was pilfered under the watch of serving presidents. The country was persistently sodomized and defiled by rampaging hordes of moral perverts. There was no good or evil. The cult of moral greyness bloomed on those leaders watch. Thus our karmic reality of chronic indebtedness and bankruptcy.

Then in 2015, arrived Muhammadu Buhari on the political turf as president on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC). Buhari suffers the flipside of karma – from his ascension to power and ouster by a military coup in the 1980s, to his emergence as democratic president, the retired military General was widely appreciated and denounced along bigoted shoals of ethnic and religious extremists. Base sentimentality and impoverished logic fostered by the elite class and espoused by segments of the citizenry continue to afflict President Buhari and his bungling cabinet.

In the presidential cabinet, subtle cues abound, establishing the workings of unforgiving karma.

We have ministers whose appointments were hotly debated and questioned based on their past shameful antecedents either as governors, commissioners and other capacities in public and private sectors. One year after their appointment into the presidential cabinet, those ministers can only manage a hobble along the clogged, swampy corridors of the APC’s politics of “Change”.

In Buhari’s cabinet, we have fabled genii asphyxiating in the stifling grip of intellectual squalor and the grotesque, institutionalized corruption plaguing the country unabated. Nothing works steadily. Contemporary political legend contends that some of the ministers are victims of hubris and karmic forces trailing their emergence through vile, subterranean tactics. President Buhari’s cabinet members, in a nutshell, constitute impediments to his success if carefully assessed- his personal and administrative inadequacies notwithstanding, if he has a formidable team, his shortcomings as an administrator and leader wouldn’t be so bothersome.

Lest we forget the country’s Eighth National Assembly presided over by Sen. Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara. It was an assembly that lacked character despite the commendable efforts of the leadership, particularly from Yakubu Dogara. Lawmakers in the country’s upper and lower legislative chambers constituted a great, shameful burden to national purse and pride. But groupies of the ruling class and their benefactors would have none of that. Left to them, their planted cronies who had wanted the heads of Saraki and Dogara did nothing wrong while holding the legislature to a standstill position. We can all remember one AbdulMumini Jibrin and his fruitless efforts to tarnish the reputation of Dogara.

From a majority point of view, the absence of a strong and critical electorate is what encourages the ruling class to continue to twist the arms of probity and good governance.
In the karmic scheme of things, not only are the corrupt saved from their just desserts, the worthy and true are punished for their uprightness and industry through unjustly burdensome levels of maladministration, taxation and bureaucratic ineptitude.
In the ensuing moral sepsis, the current ruling class treats equality as a moral baseline even as it establishes prosperity and poverty as fortunate and unfortunate draws in Nigeria’s cosmic lottery. Thus public office metamorphoses to moral insult and government officials make concerted efforts daily, to subvert the law of karma.

The most prescient portrait of the Nigerian character and our ultimate fate as a nation, however, resonates Hedges apt commentary on Herman Melville’s allegorical portrayal about the American character in his literary classic, “Moby Dick.” Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. He is our foremost oracle. He is to us what William Shakespeare was to Elizabethan England or Fyodor Dostoyevsky to czarist Russia, argues Hedges.

In truth, Nigeria is likeable to the fictional ship, the Pequod. The ship’s crew is a mixture of races and creeds which is reflective of Nigeria’s heterogeneous society. The object of the hunt is a massive white whale, Moby Dick, which, in a previous encounter, maimed the ship’s captain, Ahab, by biting off one of his legs. The self-destructive fury of the quest, much like the Nigerian society’s mad dash for wealth, assures the Pequod’s destruction.

While Ahab and his crew eventually gained awareness of their imminent doom, very few Nigerians appreciate from experience that our prevalent culture of illegal acquisition of wealth, fostered by insatiable greed and based on cutthroat politics, corporate profit and limitless devastation of farmlands by oil exploration accelerates doom.
Nigeria like the Pequod’s crew rationalizes madness, scorns prudence and bows slavishly before hedonism and greed. The society yields to the seductive illusion of unbounded luxury, wanton idolatry, limitless power and acclaim. Thus the country unfurls to degenerate forces and systems of death.

Those who foresee the impending doom lack the fortitude to rebel. Thus moral cowardice makes hostages of all. This shouldn’t encourage Buhari and his ruling class to scorn the subtle nudge of fact. History offers timeless lessons in the fate of Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Ja’afar Nemeri, Bros Tito, Samuel Doe and several other dictators that ruined the countries they once presided over. They are today part of the negative part of history. Those men rose to lead with positive intentions. In time, they did good but later got drunk with power, losing touch with reality, causing misery for many with their fate sealed in the Karma of their actions. Moby Dick eventually rams and sinks the Pequod.

The waves swallow up Ahab and all who followed him, except one. A man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is dark. Are we then all karma’s ‘bitches’?

Finally, from the grapevine, it is rumoured that the Bauchi state government has approached EFCC to de-freeze the over N11billion public funds it got frozen before the exit of the APC led government in 2019.

The reason, the coming government had earlier made a baseless allegation of a scam against the exiting government to the EFCC. Today, the same sitting government has failed to convince EFCC as to why the account at FCMB should be given a clean bill of health. If that is the case, was that money not for payment for services to the exited government with valid approval from the former governor? EFCC should channel that money appropriately to those genuine beneficiaries or we go for litigation to access payment.

Whosoever deceived EFCC to have frozen the account should now be questioned and charged with false information. There must be justice. No matter what may be offered as gratification, EFCC should maintain its position.

Muhammad is a public commentator on national issues.

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