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Tue, 18 Jun 2024 Feature Article

Seeing Buhari’s Advice On Population Control And Self-Sufficiency As A Reminder Of The Biblical Question: “Is Saul Also Among The Prophets?"

Seeing Buhari’s Advice On Population Control And Self-Sufficiency As A Reminder Of The Biblical Question: “Is Saul Also Among The Prophets?\
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In the annals of biblical history, few stories capture the imagination quite like the transformation of Saul, Israel's first king. The question "Is Saul also among the prophets?" is asked not once but twice in the biblical narrative, first in 1 Samuel 10:11 and later in 1 Samuel 19:24. It reflects astonishment and skepticism from those who knew Saul's previous identity as a warrior and a leader, not a prophet.

For the sake of clarity in this context, the phrase originates from an incident where Saul, while searching for his father's lost donkeys, encounters a group of prophets. Overwhelmed by the Spirit of God, he joins them in prophetic ecstasy, an act so out of character that it prompts bystanders to question his role among the prophets.

This question underscores a theme central to the biblical narrative: the power of divine intervention to radically alter one's path. Saul's prophetic episode symbolizes a break from his past and hints at the unpredictable nature of God's call. It serves as a reminder that anyone, regardless of their past or expected future, can be an instrument of divine purpose.

In essence, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" is more than a question; it is a testament to transformation and the mysterious ways in which the divine operates within human lives.

Without a doubt, the foregoing biblical magnum opus has no doubt found expression in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government as the immediate past president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has advised president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to control the country’s population and work on ensuring that the country produces what it consumes.

In fact, his advice, so to say, expected from a Statesman has unarguably stirred a debate to a large extent that not a few political thinkers have been compelled to go back to their libraries , and conveniently browse the internet to truly understand who an advisor to a government is, and relevance of his advice to a sitting president.

Given the foregoing views, it is not a misnomer to opine in this context that his advice has made many Nigerians in the Christendom to recall the biblical phrase, "Is Saul also among the prophets?” The question which has unarguably culminated into a debate among political observers and analysts like this writer cannot be pooh-poohed by mere wave of the hands as the former President has stepped into the advisory role for his successor, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In fact, Buhari's counsel on population control and self-sufficiency echoes with a prophetic tone as he tasked the ongoing government on internal production to match the nation's consumption.

However, this advice raises eyebrows as much as it does questions the former president’s tenure that was marked by economic challenges and policies that some argue did not align with the self-reliance he now preaches. Critics point to Nigeria's continued reliance on oil exports and imported goods as indicators of a gap between past policies and present advice.

Not a few Nigerians, while responding to his advice have argued that if he did well in that direction during his 8 years stay in government that Nigerians would not have been groaning under the weighty prices of rice and garri together with other foods across markets in the country at the moment.

Without resorting to campaign of calumny in this context, the question of leadership rectitude comes into sharp focus here. Can a leader whose administration struggled with economic diversification effectively guide another on the path of self-sufficiency? This juxtaposition invites scrutiny of Buhari's legacy and whether his counsel stands on solid ground or if it mirrors Saul's unexpected prophesying; an event that left onlookers bewildered.

Given the foregoing backdrop, it is germane to opine that while Buhari's advice may hold merit, it is the implementation and outcomes of his own leadership that cast a shadow on its credibility. Therefore, as Tinubu navigates Nigeria's complex political and economic landscape, he will have to weigh the wisdom of his predecessor against the realities of his own administration's capabilities and goals.

It will be recalled in this context that Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra, while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Friday, September 1, 2023 likened the economy inherited by President Bola Tinubu to a “dead horse standing”.

The Anambra State governor, who seemingly spoke from his experience as a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and from a macroeconomic perspective, asserted that the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari bequeathed a rocky economy to the new one.

According to him, Tinubu’s economic team has its work cut out, adding that the “coming months will be bumpy”. “I will say to you in empathy and commiseration for the economic team of the president,” he said.

Also speaking in the same vein, on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics on February 25, 2024, the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, said, President Bola Tinubu’s effort to solve Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges is commendable despite that he inherited a “dead economy”. “President Tinubu inherited a dead economy and whatever we say, we must give him time,” he asserted.

Ostensibly hearing from the horse’s mouth, the Presidency in the bid of tackling the New York Times over its report on the current economic situation in Nigeria, has categorically said that President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, inherited a dead economy.

Given the foregoing assertions from personalities who unarguably understand the dynamics of governance and economy, not a few Nigerians are befuddled as they ask whether Mr. President would take advice from his predecessor who is ostensibly been blamed for bequeathing a dead economy to the ongoing government under which not a few Nigerians are groaning. Not only that, not a few people have asking “What made the former president not to control the country’s population and work on ensuring that the country produces what it consumes as he recently advised Tinubu?”

The reason for expressing the foregoing views cannot be farfetched as our forefathers proverbially advised that “The self-acclaimed hunter that always advises professional hunters on how to hunt an antelope should be asked how many times has his wife or wives taken an antelope he hunted to the Eke market for sale?” In a similar vein, an African proverb also says “Before you accept a clothes from somebody as a gift, look at what he is wearing because it is a trite fact that no one can give what he does not have.

While this piece is about to be brought to an end, one cannot skip the point that it is on public domain that Nigeria’s economy has faced numerous challenges in recent years, and that not a few analysts are pointing accusing fingers at the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as a contributing factor.

Also, it is expedient to analyze and answer the question, “Is Buhari also among the Statesmen?" against the backdrop of the fact that Statesmen, with their wealth of experience and knowledge in public affairs, often serve as valuable advisors to governments around the world. Their insights and guidance can help shape policies and strategies that address national challenges and promote the public good. By drawing on their understanding of historical contexts and international relations, statesmen can provide a long-term perspective that is crucial for sustainable governance and development.

Given the foregoing views, it is tempting to ask, “Which insights and guidance does the former president intend offering the incumbent government as help in shaping policies and strategies that would address national challenges and promote the public good?” This question is no doubt salient, and could not have been asked at a better time than now, as Nigerians gave him enough chance to prove his mettle wherein he spent a whole 8 years without meeting the expectations of Nigerians except that of his political affiliates and kinsmen.

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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