By Danjuma Lamido
The name Mahdi means “Guided to the right path” but it seems the Kaduna-based businessman and activist Mahdi Shehu means the opposite.
If dishonour were to come with another name, the dictionary would not take offense if the consensus settles for Mahdi Shehu’s caricature show described below as a substituted synonym.
The first problem had to do with Mahdi’s credibility after the elaborate medical scam he perpetrated last year to deceive a court.
He had been arraigned in a Katsina court for making corruption allegations against Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s government. The activist pleaded ill health but when the court insisted on his appearance, he arrived in court posing as an invalid, with crutches, held by aides, clad in the medical foot, body, neck, and head gears that he took from his well-stocked Dialogue Pharmacy in Kaduna.
According to the video recording, it took Mahdi nearly half an hour to walk the short distance from the entrance to the courtroom, moving with great difficulty and sitting down with great pain.
Unknown to him, while he was in the courtroom, government agents sneaked into his cell at the Katsina Prison and installed a camera.
Mahdi Shehu returned to prison with the same elaborately staged difficulty and pain. As the camera recorded, however, as soon as he entered the cell, he put aside the crutches, removed all the other medical accouterments, put them aside, immediately became his normal self, and proceeded to lead the congregational prayer in the cell, with several of his mates behind him.
Since that video went viral, Mahdi Shehu’s standing as an accomplished dramatist was enhanced but his credibility as an anti-corruption crusader suffered an image blow.
This past week, the same Mahdi Shehu was seen in the media spewing uncultured bile. I’m perplexed as to how a character like Mahdi could find an audience.
With his character shared above at the Katsina Prison, I still don’t expect anybody to take him seriously.
The Muslim-Muslim ticket that the All Progressive Congress is currently running on is the first humiliation dealt to northern Christians, and it has given a crazy dog like Mahdi leverage to talk to Northern Christians anyhow.
Mahdi Shehu needs to be informed that Peter Obi is running for president of Nigeria just like the other contenders. All Nigerians will live in peace and prosperity under Obi’s administration, irrespective of their ethnicity, tribe, or religious convictions.
Everyone should denounce the statement made by Mahdi Shehu. One of the numerous diabolical remarks that decent individuals of this nation ought to denounce is this one. It is provocative, nasty, and could be more detrimental to Nigeria than beneficial.
This call from a so-called elder statesman must be ignored by any right-thinking Christian or Muslim in Nigeria. This call has the potential to split Nigeria apart through polarizing politics.
Shehu Mahdi has just made himself known to the world by demonstrating the destruction he has been encouraging and is capable of causing to Nigeria.
To arrest the future occurrence of such mediocrity, an organization inviting Mahdi to speak should put in place proper means of checkmating the excesses of these shameless comedians