The Age of Buhari: Regicide and the Post Ethnic Youth | The Mantle

As Nigeria prepares to transition to a new administration headed by Mr. Muhamadu Buhari, whose APC Party led a phenomenal rout of the PDP Party which has misrun Nigeria all the last sixteen years, i seek to capture the enthusiasm of my country, and the dynamics of the change my generation has caused, in an essay published in The Mantle weeks ago. Read the full essay HERE.

 

Rtd. Gen. Muhamadu Buhari, President of  Nigeria.

 The Age of Buhari: Regicide and the Post Ethnic Youth | The Mantle

By

Richard Ali.


“Dynamics change when social forces align. Since we are on the cusp of “The Age of Buhari,” we need to note that the two things that fuelled those two million excess votes were a new Integrative Politics and a Post-Ethnic Youth. Nigeria is considered Africa’s stunted giant and Nigerians, battling an absence of basic infrastructure such as energy and health, are aware of this. Nigeria’s inability to solve its internal problems, let alone make its power felt abroad, has become the subject of international attention in media and in the academy. The Nigerian problem is often interpreted in such international analysis as centred on the country’s being based on irreconcilable socio-ethnic differences, on it having a “predominantly Muslim north” and “largely Christian and animist south.”  Slightly less lazy pundits and journalists have spoken of the middle of the country where everything mixes—religion, ethnicity, history, and worldviews— but usually only in the context of civil crises, such as those in my hometown, Jos, in central Nigeria. Regardless of outlet or the preference of the opining party,  the common thread to interpretations of what Nigeria is have far too often been through divisive ethnic or religious paradigms. The events of the last two months have shown that whatever justification these interpretations are based on are no longer tenable; the national dynamic has changed. This election necessarily changes the very basis by which Nigeria is assessed, just as it will change the way the country is run.  

a complex electoral coalition was integrated under the APC’s mantra of CHANGE, one that cut across religion and ethnicityThe integrative politics I speak of is in the unprecedented political alliance between northwest and southwest Nigeria. The northeast, ravaged by Boko Haram, has been considered a fringe area by the Jonathan administration. It was Jonathan, after all, who had tellingly failed to act for two weeks after the Chibok girls were kidnapped. His administration only slightly edited and republished the same press release with each outrage committed by a sect they had been elected to deal with; a sect that at one time maintained control of an enclave the size of Belgium. So, it was expected the north east would vote against the incumbent political party. A fourth geopolitical zone, the north central, is the diverse center of the country and played the deciding role in the outcome of the election. Only the South East, core territory of the defunct 1960s secessionist Biafran State, which bears a difficult-to-understand republican grudge against the rest of the country, and the deep south, where President Jonathan hails from, held for the PDP party and the continuation of the status quo. In this way, a complex electoral coalition was integrated under the APC’s mantra of CHANGE, one that cut across religion and ethnicity.  

The World Bank estimates Nigeria’s ratio of people within the active ages of 15-64 at 53% of the population of 173.6 million, making it a country with one of the highest numbers of young people in the world. Most of these are under 45 and nearly 50% of the general population (which has a median age of 18) is urban. The dependency ratio, measuring people between the ages 1-14 and 65 above against the active population, is 89.2% according to indexmundi.com and the urbanizing tendency was assessed at 3.75% over the period 2010 to 2015. Interpreting these data reveals the rise of a segment of Nigeria’s youth population who are urban and largely cosmopolitan. This demographic lacks the ethnic or religious worldviews of their parents that provide a slim basis for generalizations. They are active citizens who do not think in the traditional binaries and moulds in which Nigeria is understood and interpreted. This population has increasingly been interested in how the government affects them both individually and collectively. They are the Post Ethnic Youth. One of the fatal errors of the Jonathan administration was in failing to realize their arrival on the national stage.”

Full Article HERE


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4 thoughts on “The Age of Buhari: Regicide and the Post Ethnic Youth | The Mantle”

  1. I remember this one! Interesting and quite insightful. More ink to the pen… May the times be kind on our dear Nigeria, her leaders and us all. Amin.

  2. You may want to look at your figures again. The dependent (less than 24 and greater than 65) you quoted to be 89.2% far does not balance the working class of 14 to 64 years of 53%…or am I missing something?

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