Satanism in cabalism
It appears that providence is activating the solution to Nigeria’s serious but hitherto evasive political problem by inspiring Mrs Aisha Buhari to provide the crucial clue on the existential threat of cabalism to Nigeria’s corporate survival in her recent interview to the BBC: “Most of those that are occupying positions in agencies, nobody knows them and they themselves don’t know our party manifesto; what we campaigned for…only to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position. They were not part of us from the start. They don’t have a mission or vision of the APC…” Although governors make similar complaints against the presidency, this problem is also chronic in the states and local governments. Her intervention should propel its urgent solution with all seriousness as it is a major cause of asymmetry between government’s policies, programmes and actual performance through their impact on people’s lives.
While her interview was about the same time as Reuben Abati’s “The spiritual side of Aso Villa” (The Guardian 14/10/16) , she unwittingly provided the clue to the endemic problem of Nigeria’s mis-governance which Abati wrongly ascribed to voodoism in the villa: “When Presidents make mistakes, they are probably victims of a force higher than what we can imagine…They act like they are under a spell…There (is) a witchcraft dimension to the governance process in Nigeria. I am convinced that there is an evil spell enveloping this country. We need to rescue Nigeria from the forces of darkness…The President is most affected by the atmosphere around him. He can make wrong decisions based on the cloud of evil around him… Aso Villa is in urgent need of redemption…”
But we should also ponder on: why the British endangered democracy and good governance in Nigeria by deliberately falsifying the first census figures as revealed in “Harold Smith’s confession” on which subsequently faulty censuses and expensive structure/cost of governance were based, why those who fought for independence were sidelined into opposition roles in the first republic, why Ironsi (having refused to hand power to Nwafor Orizu) excluded the coup leaders from his government to commit constitutional blunders (Decree 34, 1966) that triggered chaos that eventually led to the civil war, why Gowon reneged on his announced 1976 handover to civilians, why 1979 constitutional provision for using the electoral college for inconclusive presidential election results was jettisoned for the notorious 12 2/3 Supreme Court decision that was precluded from jurisprudence, why Babangida took IMF loan with its vicariously economy-decimating conditionalities: devaluation, de-industrialisation, privatisation/commercialisation of national assets, mass unemployment and pauperisation despite wide opposition by economic experts and annuled the June 12, 1993 election, why Abacha organised the Daniel-Kanu-led one-million-man march for his self-succession, why Obasanjo allegedly sought constitutional amendment for a failed third-term bid and lobbying for it partly through selling Apo legislative quarters and monetising civil servants’ emoluments allegedly to appease various interest groups, why Jonathan permitted himself to be held hostage by predatory politicians, technocrats and businessmen through which the country was vandalised economically in his desperation for a second term and why these economic predators have persisted with their virulent campaign of calumny that Buhari’s government lacks a competent economic team because it excludes them. Obviously, from this synopsis of the various administrations, the cabals constitute Abati’s mythological “higher force”, “evil spell” and “forces of darkness” that induce “Presidents (to) make mistakes” and constrain “the governance process in Nigeria.”!
Thus, as demonstrated, while Abati and Aisha Buhari re-opened the gnawing issue of Nigeria’s jinxed under-development, their pardonable error consists in limiting it to the villa because the malaise, whose virus exists in all tiers and institutions of government, has nothing to do with voodoism (until otherwise proven by authentic exorcists) has afflicted Nigeria before 1960! Nigeria has always been supinely ruled through remote control by cronies and third-party agents/advisers (sometimes foreign) that reached an embarrasing level when Gowon openly blamed his policy mistakes on his advisers (or Dodan barracks cabals!).
Cabalists essentially comprise shadowy food-is-ready, any-government-in- power, alecs who masquerade as technocrats to harvest where they did not sow beyond their technical and managerial capacity, thus causing frequent failures in governance by pressurising the government to adopt counter-productive panaceas that have perpetuated Nigeria’s political, economic and technological backwardness. Their cranky methods, often in cahoot with foreign interests, subvert national goals and objectives which run counter to theirs within and outside government houses. But cabalism is also nurtured and thrives through intrigues and subterfuge that corrupt the electoral process during the primaries resulting in the imposition of “annointed” candidates. Thus, noting the current risks/threats of cyber attacks on U.S. election results, the Nnamani Electoral reform committee should avoid the terrible mistake of recommending electronic voting that can give the cabalistic hackers dangerous opportunities for manipulating election results! Hence, cabalism, by perverting the universal live-and-let-live rule, is predatory and satanic.
Certainly, this writer is quite excited that this issue has eventually emerged because when it was flagged in “the risks of solipsistic panaceas” (The Guardian 09/11/11) and “mis-governance through cabalistic solipsism” (The Guardian 30/12/14) it appeared to be conjecturally ethereal.
Cabalism is a peculiarly obnoxious management system that thrives on the we-versus-them paradigm and once the cabals take over the machinery of governance, they super-impose their private agendas in policy formulation and decision-making, often different from the ruling party’s manifesto, behind the screens of the elected officials. And, since key members of the cabals and their protégés are often ethnic champions, cabalism is often rabidly rooted on primordial tribalism/ethnicity and deceptively sychophantic this-is-our-chance hero-worship that together afflict the government with poor internal criticism for collective improvement just as it ignores the benefits of good listenership from the public. It is this lack of internal criticism that accentuates cabalistic solipsism and disdain for eclecticism which promotes mediocrity and the collectively woeful performance by the government.
Therefore, cabalism must be urgently tamed/eliminated through a comprehensive reform of the electoral and governance infrastructure/processes in all institutions and tiers of government.
• Okunmuyide wrote from Lagos.