One of the legacies the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is sure to leave behind is the fact that it had dealt a deadly blow to fake activism and obtaining funds under false pretenses of holding the government to account.
Prior to the coming of President Buhari, mischief-makers, cynics, and fraudsters had found a haven for attracting funds from the international community and from the government of the day by pretending to take the government of the day to the task.
The slant given such agitations gained credibility due to the failings of the governments of that era especially in the areas of corruption, insecurity, and general lack of purposeful leadership.
In those days, thousands of individuals and organizations sprang up all pretending to hold the government to account by criticizing the government of the day but which main purpose is to obtain foreign grant as well as pressure the government into bribing them.
The business became more lucrative with the resurgence of insecurity in the country in 2011 during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
With bombs going off in worship centers and other public places and attacks on communities by terrorists happening every other day and the government evincing lack of capacity at every blast or attack, the agitations intensified and more money keep pouring in.
The height of it was the kidnap of over 200 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State and the government failed to do anything about it.
When the government reacted in an irresponsible manner by leaving in denial and did not immediately show commitment to rescuing the girls, the condemnation that followed became a cash cow for the agitators.
The condemnation of the attitude of the then government by the world leaders added a flip to the rabble-rousers and opened the flood gates for more funding for these mushroom organizations.
Despite the millions of dollars that poured in, and the fact that none of the agitators who claimed links with the terrorists were able to offer meaningful interventions, both the government and the international community did not withhold funding thereby ostensibly egging on the blackmail.
Then-President Jonathan set up all sorts of committees to bring together these groups who were also posing as links to terrorist organizations and provided them a surfeit of funds.
A particular lady who benefited from the funds by organizing water vendors to pose as Boko Haram terrorists was last week arraigned in court by the EFCC under charges of falsely obtaining funds from the government while other, agitators’ were begged to hold their fires when they matched on the streets.
It was that easy to make money from the then government!
But the Buhari administration had closed the door on all such dupes by, first, tackling the issue of corruption through various economic measures introduced, and finally reducing the level of insecurity in the country by decimating the ranks of insurgents.
Since the bombs were stopped from going off, attacks on communities reduced and terrorists were no longer hoisting flags in Nigerian territories, the business was no longer lucrative for the agitators.
Those of them who will run to the press and claim that the government is failing in its responsibility of securing the lives and property of citizens no longer had any story to tell and resorted to cooking up crisis situations in order to benefit from them.
But the Buhari administration insisted it was going to do the right thing and not pander to the gimmicks of these crisis of entrepreneurs.
When the terrorists struck at a school in the little town of Dapchi in Yobe State, those in the line of the business of making heavy weather of such occurrences to blackmail the government while obtaining funds from foreign governments and agencies; thought they had struck a gold mine with what they could make of the incidence. Alas!
President Buhari cut their dreams short when in a matter of days, troops were sent to their rescue and the girls were returned making it difficult for the wailers to set up shops to ply their trade.
The wailers were also disenchanted when the Buhari administration secured the release of more of the Chibok girls held in captivity.
Similarly, the wailers thought the abduction of schoolboys from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, will provide them the opportunity to blackmail the government and as usual, obtain funds from various sources by pretending to be concerned about the plight of the boys.
But when President Buhari through the security agencies acted swiftly and saw to the rescue of the boys in a matter of six days, the look of frustrations showed on the faces of the fake agitators who had already printed t-shirts, caps, and banners and were already on the streets as a prelude to striking a bargain.
The business suddenly came to an end with the effective leadership style of the President leading to the release of the boys unhurt.
The wailers could not believe their eyes and have since then been trying to blackmail the government by weaving all sorts of conspiracy theories on the release.
They tried to blackmail the government with Lekki shootings and failed and now this!
President Buhari has again shamed them as encomiums keep pouring in from all over the world over the success of the operation that saw to the rescue of the Kankara boys!
Agbese, a researcher in oil and gas, wrote this piece from the PMB University of Dundee, Scotland