Obviously, this regime is on the road to its worst challenge. The matter of keeping Nigeria united should come tops in the cadre of tasks besetting this nation, more so, for a President who believes strongly in the indissolubility of Nigeria. It would have made a world of difference if the President had matched his word with action. Nigeria had never seen a clearer North-South divide than it has done in this era. When Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s nepotism, shown in his appointments, in a multi-ethnic and pluralistic society as Nigeria, could result in forcible change of government in a military regime, stones where gathered for his head. He was not the first to point at the glaring nepotism in appointments, but the President insists that he runs the country in accordance with the constitution. He had, indeed, done so.
However, he may have been insensitive to the political balancing in appointments. He has, inadvertently, attracted undue opprobrium to his ethnic Fulani kinsmen. He had been convinced that those who did not vote for him, in the presidential elections, should not partake in the critical points of governance and security of the nation. They would be given their constitutional rights, to fulfil all righteousness, and nothing more. I have heard it said, even by the President, that he has a tendency to be stubborn as most army generals are wont to be.
In that regard the scores of newspaper articles, and comments by well-meaning Nigerians pointing his attention to the implication of such nepotism in appointments amounted to speaking to the deaf. Now the effects are showing in more ways that the nation can fathom. We hope that the extra judicial killings would stop, and that the young men who have lent themselves to be used for destruction have come to see the futility in going through the route they thread, and the collateral damage attendant to their action. The foregoing is not the thesis of my intervention, just that it would be insensitive to be a public commentator in Nigeria today and go blind to the destruction of public property, and lives being cut in their prime. My theses here is to pour encomiums on one man who has made a habit of making a success of every assignment he was given.
The name Buba Marwa is on the rebound. Those who did not know him as the military Governor of Lagos now know him as the chairman and chief executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency( NDLEA). He was Brigadier- General, and Military Governor of Lagos sate, in the era of General Sani Abacha. In January this year, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him Chairman and Chief executive of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. The background to his appointment maybe the outcome of a presidential assignment in which he headed a panel that found out how illicit drugs were doing incalculable damage to the youth of Nigeria.
The Committee, which had Hajiya Aisha Buhari and Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo as members, among others, reported that over 14 million Nigerians were actively abusing drugs. It asked the Federal Government to declare an emergency on fight against drugs. It would seem that after studying the report, the Government sent Marwa to go and implement it by heading the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency which has the statutory mandate to execute the Committee’s recommendations. Truth be told, Buba Marwa has stamped his imprimatur of success on the job. He has given a bloody nose to many a drug trafficker. His exploits in barely six months has brought the agency hack to public attention. His era has had what I call ‘the Dora Akunyli effect”. No one seemed to know that NAFDAC existed until the late Dora Akunlili got there. Marwa had brought life back to the NDLEA.
Drugs have done incalculable damage to many impressionable young people. I am in the University system, and I know what drugs have done to many young people. I have often argued that one way out of the mess is to cut off supply routes. Marwa and his team have made it a point to block supply chains. The matter is deep rooted but as the Chinese say, the journey of a thousand miles begin with a step. Marwa has taken the right step in the right direction, and the public would help him save this society if we volunteer information. He has a streak of successes trailing him, and he would certainly make a success of this one. I recall that I was amongst a media think-thank urged him on to a presidential bid in the past. I feel vindicated to have been in that group given that the man has always acquitted himself creditably in all assignments given to him. Those who took a tab of his stewardship as Military Governor of Lagos would recall that there are Marwa Low cost Housing Estates and a means of movement named ‘Keke Marwa’ to remember the man whose regime brought it into existence as a way to ameliorate movement at that time.
It may no longer suffice now but the fact is that the man does his best to make a difference. I have long lost contact with him, but I have followed his exploits since he came on board, and I am inspired to do this article, and say pointedly that the President got it right in this one. The collateral effect of the debilitating insecurity in the land is that such good works as done by Marwa would be blighted by the general focus on insecurity . Many of these young men toting guns around are buoyed by strange effect of drugs, which is why we should all help Marwa to cut off sources of supply. We pray that he will continue to uncover and block the sources of these dangerous drugs that damage our youth and the thier future.