A retired Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi is Nigeria’s Minister of Defence whose major responsibility is to manage all branches of the Armed Forces of the country, protect the country’s people, national territory, and interests.
Normally when there’s a clear and sustained failure to deliver on these tasks, the minister loses the job either by resignation or sack by those with the authority to do so. That’s just how governance and leadership work with positive outcomes getting rewarded while failure is punished for the sake of committing to measures likelier to achieve the results required.
Leadership works differently in Nigeria. Not only has the Defence Minister failed to protect Nigerians from terrorists, but he has also gone as far as telling Nigerians that they are partly at fault because of their unwillingness to fight against terrorists armed with guns, bombs, and rocket-launchers. We are talking about terrorists who actually attack military bases in some instances.
Hearing the Minister of Defence Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi should have left me angry and alarmed but anger comes from expectations being dashed. If you expect a certain action or behaviour from a person, you are very unlikely to have the jolt that takes you into Anger. Irritation and Contempt and much more likely to be the emotions felt because this type of behaviour is has been a recurring theme.
It reminded me of a story that was on Sahara Reporters on the 5th of September 2020 about a song composed by the supporters of the president. The song is titled “Babu ruwan Buhari” meaning ‘It has nothing to do with Buhari” and the basis of the song was the idea that Nigeria’s woes were not the president’s fault but a predictable outcome of divine punishment on Nigerians. They said Nigerians had turned away from a God who, in response, had chosen to punish the country apparently by making it a place with Buhari.
The pattern of encouraging irresponsibility is clear in a lot more ways if you look across Nigerian Society. We keep Responsibility and Power separate from each other and leaders only exist to be pampered and worshipped by the populace.
This failure to make sure that whoever has power also has responsibility has destroyed Nigeria. It’s why Buhari and his Defense Minister can fail as woefully as they can without paying for it. Nigerian Culture puts Responsibility for progress on the Young, Poor, and Vulnerable sections of society.
We put Responsibility on those we feel we can abuse SAFELY instead of putting it on those with Power.
In our culture, the “Leadership” is a PARASITIC clan that is above the laws AND limits of the Land, and nothing good will happen until we rectify that flaw in our leadership model.
If the current administration really wants the people to defend themselves, then why do Southerners and Northern minorities who defend themselves against murderous herdsmen punished for it? Why is there an uproar over the activities of the ESN or Sunday Igboho if self-defense is a permitted channel?
It is the terrible form for a government to be so incapable of having its members sing from one hymn-sheet.
The minister of defence should resign if he’s not up to the task of keeping Nigerians safe and the APC members responsible for that silly song should endeavor to never sing it again or make those absurd excuses for the incompetence of their principal.