From Thing to Citizen – By Pius Adesanmi


I read President Buhari’s apology to the nation in his address at APC NEC. I am still chewing it and will react but there is something that needs to be addressed in the pattern of reactions I have seen thus far.

I have seen the reaction of many of the usual suspects, dregs still contesting the 2015 election on behalf of President Jonathan and supporting Dasuki’s ONSA contractors as the pathway to Nigeria’s progress.

They say Buhari’s apology is not accepted. They say it is too little and too late. They say they are unimpressed. They pick a hole here in the apology. They pick a hole there in the apology.

This is a great development. It has taken some grueling years to teach them that is not only possible to disagree with your President, in many cases it is your only civic obligation.

Those of us struggling for civic sentience in Nigeria should never be discouraged. We kept telling these folks that they could do it, that they could actually disagree with a President, but they didn’t think it was possible. That civic notion just did not exist for them.

For four years, these folks grovelled when they were pissed on by their President.

For four years, they said it smelled nice when they were shat on by their President.

For four years they danced when they heard “I don’t give a damn” from their President.

Now they have made the transition from things to citizens who can critique, dissect, and engage the apology of a President.

They have come very far. No matter the intensity of your political differences with them, whenever a thing that rejoiced on hearing “I don’t give a damn” becomes a citizen who screams “to hell with you” on hearing “I apologize”, you should celebrate that transition. It is good for our polity, it is great for democracy. We have not laboured in vain to teach civics.

Now we have to be vigilant to ensure they don’t relapse to thingship when next we have a President they like.

And if you are a supporter of the incumbent, do not tell me that his apology is the best thing to have happened to my life. Accept it and continue the task of holding him to account.

Or – accept it and keep praising him till you lose your citizenship and become a thing.

The choice is yours.

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