Opinion: The Anti-Government Campaign

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“Despite its populist rhetoric, the anti-government movement is clearly working to promote the agenda of some of the most powerful and moneyed interests in Nigerian society.”

There is a war on government in this country. It is being waged by a coalition of powerful political groups that seeks to demonize Buhari led government and shrink it dramatically. The aim of this well-organized political campaign is to reduce the government efforts, radically reduce government plan on economy, and undermine regulatory programs. This article describes how this anti-government movement has grown, who it appeals to, who is funding it, and whose interests it is really promoting.

The Goal: To Drown Government in the Aso Rock

If there is one person who for many years has exemplified this anti-government campaign it has been Ex-president Obasanjo who lead this country in both Uniform and as civilian.  He is one of the most powerful conservative figures in Nigerian politics and he is a leading advocate of changing government that isn’t doing what he like, dismantling government programs. Every week he hosts a breakfast meeting at his Ota’s farm.  This meeting serves as one of the informal nerve centers for the anti-government campaign in the Nigeria. The attendees of the invitation-only affair normally include members of PDP, APC and corporate representatives, the House and Senate leadership members of the ruling & opposition party, conservative media editors and reporters, right-wing think-tank intellectuals, and prominent grassroots activists. The topics of discussion vary from week to week, but the general theme is the same: how to wage war on the government. When the PDP are in power, he do promotes the government until he fallout with GEJ led government. When the APC now in power, OBJ strategize about what government programs must be blocked and how best to portray Buhari’s and his policies as dangerous and anti-Nigeria. “His goal is to cut any government in half in eight-years tenure, to get it down to the size where no any other head of state can break his record.”1

The Evolution of the Modern Anti-Government Movement in Nigeria

To understand this intense hostility toward Buhari led government we need to understand its history. OBJ want to remain the only longest serving head of state in this country.What is the need for third force where there are more good people in both leading political parties; APC/PDP.

“If we want our government to live up to its potential as a force for good in society, we need it to be as democratic as it can be.”

The real problem with Nigeria government is that it is not as democratic as it should be. Affluent special interests have too much power in our political system and the public has too little which OBJ is one of such,if his interest isn’t taking care next is to oppose.While it is crucial to acknowledge all that is right with Nigerian government, we must not turn a blind eye to what is wrong with it. Although government on the whole is good, there are things wrong with government – things that need to be fixed. And fixing those problems is necessary if we are to revive Nigerians’ support for government. The better we can make government, the more we can expect citizens to oppose efforts to undermine this vital institution.What is wrong is something altogether different – and something more disturbing. The main fault of our government is that it is not as democratic as it should be. We have what some have called a “deficit of democracy.”

The problem is that Nigerian government is now increasingly responsive to special interests and not the public interest and we do not expect this from President Buhari. This is why many people are frustrated and disappointed with our political system. Instead of a democracy where all citizens have an equal say in the governing process, some individuals have a disproportionate and unfair influence over what the government does. The result is that the power and greed of the few too often win out over the needs of the many.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that the left-wing in this country has declared war on government.”

Why do we (masses) need to stand up for Buhari led government?  Because for decades, this valuable institution has been unfairly governed and maligned by the same forces calling for “Third Party” in this country. To make matters worse, parts of the mainstream media have eagerly joined those leaders in bashing this government. Fortunately, the election of Muhammadu Buhari seemed to signal an end to the corruption and injustice from government.  He has portrayed himself as a champion of government and has pledged to reinvigorate the public sector.  He understands that we still face big problems as a society – problems that only big government can solve but now OBJ and others are seeking for third forces.

– El-Okene Adabara Abduljelil


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