4th Republic: From Obasanjo To Buhari With Gloom
By Tunde Odesola
Because there’s absolutely nothing inspiring about the most popular Buhari that I know, I can’t name my son Buhari. Buhari bawo? Naming my son Buhari would be an unforgivable sin against the infant.
But, can you, my reader, name your own son Buhari? Why, if yes, and why not, if no?
Naming my son Buhari would tantamount to yanking off the shawl of innocence enshrouding my newborn, dipping it in the mud and raising the bemired shawl up like Boko Haram would raise the severed head of an innocent victim up on a dripping pole.
I won’t name my son Buhari because I don’t want to incur upon him the curses invoked by Nigerians on the blundering Nigerian leader, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), after innocent protesters were mowed down on October 20, 2020 at the Lekki Tollgate Plaza, Lagos, by zombie soldiers who pierced the night with bullets.
In their dying moments, the over 100 Borno rice farmers blindfolded and shackled at the limbs like condemned dogs before Ogun shrine must have taken terrible thoughts of Buhari’s incompetence along with them to their graves as sharp Boko Haram knives slashed open their throats and their hot blood squirted in vain for justice.
When a certain Joe Chinakwe christened his dog Buhari in 2016, he was arrested and charged with ‘breach of peace’. I love and breed dogs, but I don’t want Chinakwe’s fate to befall me. I have a pitbull stud named Bond.
I love my pitbull so much I can’t rename him or any puppy he sired Buhari because Bond isn’t only active, Bond knows the importance of security and takes it seriously. Bond will defend you to the death.
Generally, couples name their newborns from the abundance of their hearts, wishing their babies would grow up and follow in the footsteps of the personalities they named them after.
Also, in the not-too-distant past, the names parents give their infants reflect their fears when they suspect that their newborns are abiku.
Globally, millions of parents have named their children after celebrity sportspeople, inventors, politicians, actors, musicians, clerics, moneybags etc.
To name a child after a particular personality, the personality, basically, is expected to possess values intrinsic to the promotion of humanistic ideals.
When she visited Nigeria at the peak of her reign, many Nigerian parents named their baby girls, Elizabeth, after Queen Elizabeth of England just as many parents named their baby boys Obafemi, Nnamdi and Ahmadu in reverence for foremost Nigerian leaders, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello.
Since assuming power in 2015, President Buhari has been unpretentious about the higher-than-human status his administration was granting cows and their caregivers called herdsmen. Between 2015 and 2020, cows moved from the position of ordinary citizens to first class citizens and now to super citizens.
Nowadays, Nigerian cows are luckier than privileged Nigerian citizens. They’re also luckier than cows in India, where killing a cow for food fetches life imprisonment in the Hindu-dominated western state of Gujarat. Hinduism recognises cow worship, Islam doesn’t; and Buhari is a muslim.
On Nigerian highways, cows lead, motorists follow. A motorist who accidentally hits a cow on the highway, will be sent to the grave by herdsmen as an advance party, should the cow not survive the impact from the hit-and-die driver.
Therefore, if security forces could teargas parents in Katsina, protesting the abduction of their 344 sons from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, make no mistake about this: Buhari’s seeming show of love to herdsmen is fake.
Like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari sees himself as being greater than Nigeria and believes the country owes him gratitude for misgoverning over it.
If Buhari truly loves the northern talakawa, young minds who are recruited and radicalised by Boko Haram, would have been long taken off the streets – into schools or vocations.
It’s crystal clear that Buhari’s show of love to Hausa-Fulani herdsmen and the talakawa, in general, is merely to court their influence in the northern political matrix. It’s also a lethargic potion to maroon and lock northern youth activism in the cell of ignorant docility and exploitation.
The number of wastrel northern youths ready to pull the dagger in blind defence of Buhari unbares the fangs of tribalism that defines the Buhari mystique.
To sustain Buhari’s fast-fading mystique, one of his media aides, Shehu Garba, last week told a heinous lie capable of making Satan repent and seek salvation.
In the prism of Garba’s jaundiced journalism, 344 kidnapped schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, became 10 just to maintain the Buhari mystique and drape the garment of honour on a tattered administration.
While Nigeria and the international community bemoaned the fate of the innocent children, Garba, whose children were nestling in safety and opulence, still maintained for many days that the number of the kidnapped children was 10.
But when the boys were returned after an exchange between Nigerian security forces and the bandits, Garba ‘discovered’ that the true number of the schoolboys kidnapped was 344. The truth didn’t set Garba free, however.
Instead, the truth tied Garba’s arms and feet backwards and dumped him on the dunghill of public ridicule after he said, “I apologise for the incorrect communication citing that only 10 students were kidnapped at the science school, Kankara.
“This communication of numbers was provided by persons that should ideally know. These numbers were seen to conflict with what was available at that time.
“Please understand that this communication was in no way done to downplay the seriousness of the situation. Please accept my sincere apologies on this matter as we continue to move our great Nation Nigeria forward.”
For seven days, Garba didn’t retract the false number he fed the whole world with even after the Governor of Katsina, Aminu Masari, said more than 300 students were kidnapped from the school.
Garba knew that the crown of security had tumbled down the head of Buhari, hence he needed to cover the President’s pate with the zucchetto of ‘only-10-boys-were-kidnapped’.
Garuba, as the Yoruba would call him, drowned the cries of the agonising parents in an ocean of lies just to preserve the broth and the brood.
Shockingly, he wasn’t ashamed to dart to the podium and share in the victory of the boys’ recovery. This typical shenanigan defines the Buhari presidency.
If I was chairman of a university senate, I’ll name the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, a professor. Professor Lai Mohammed was lying in wait for Garba to finish his leg of the unending marathon of lies when he said though Buhari never visited Kankara, ‘the President coordinated the rescue effort from Daura.’.
If the President coordinated the rescue effort as claimed by Professor Lai, that means the President, going by the misinformation claimed by Garba, must have been seeking the release of just 10 schoolboys.
Then, at what stage did the bandits on the other end of the phone say, “Mr President, you’re running a shambolic government. At this stage, you should know that we carted away 344 schoolboys, and not 10?”
Same last week, ex-President Obasanjo put the lid on the monumental waste the Fourth Republic had been when he said the late Chief Lamidi Adedibu won Oyo State for the Peoples Democratic Party without mentioning the bloodshed and violence that characterised PDP’s rule when he was President from 1999 to 2007.
The late Adedibu publicly said he spearheaded the illegal removal of then Governor Rashidi Ladoja because Ladoja didn’t lay the treasure of the Oyo State Government bare at Molete.
From Oyo to Ekiti to Anambra and many other states of the federation, the impunity of Obasanjo’s government ranks higher than that of Buhari, whose government holds the title of the Most Lifeless Government in Nigerian history.
Written by Tunde Adesola and published in the PUNCH on Monday, December 21, 2020.
Facebook: @tunde odesola