I used to admire General Mohamadu Buhari a lot. In him, I saw an Incorruptible Nigerian, whom given the chance, could rid our country of its greatest challenge—corruption in high places.
My view of Buhari’s incorruptibility remains unchanged, but in view of his actions and inactions in the wake of the crisis that followed the April 2011 elections, I do not consider him qualified to air ideas about Nigeria’s snail paced crawl towards political and economic emancipation from the brigands that now hold her captive.
Buhari, I have said before, lost all rights to talk when elder statesmen are called upon, just as he has lost the goodwill that has ensured he returned time and time again to compete for that exalted but oft raped position of this nation’s president. While I still say that Buhari did not ask his supporters to take to the streets and slake their rage on innocent Nigerians, doing nothing to call them to order painted him in colours that are not so different from those he was seeking to oust.
Anyway, this post is not really about what the man did, or didn’t do, after the elections last year. This post is about what the man is doing now and what he intends to do come 2015. Buhari as he is wont, warmed his way back into national consciousness by declaring in no small words that come 2015, naija masses will revolt if INEC does not allow for free and fair elections.
Hmm...here we go again, was my reaction when I saw reference to the statement on twitter, knowing the dams would soon burst and all hibernating GEJ Voltrons, as tweeps call them, would awake and be up in arms. My, my, was I right? Reno Omokiri, a young man most armchair activists like myself have come to expect the most uncouth behaviour possible in the course of defending his government pay cheque did not disappoint—kind of reminds one of pre-activist FFK’s brashness. Reno attacks on Buhari’s audacity to attack the hallowed PDP machine signalled other hibernating voltrons into action and the battle to ‘call Buhari to order’ was on in earnest.
While I think the PDP, and GEJ’s camp, are right to defend themselves if someone wrongly accuses them of wrong doing, in this instance they are absolutely wrong.
First: Because Buhari, though he might have accused them of rigging elections in the past, was only warning of the fall out of any attempt to rig the 2015 ballot. Second: Other, both highly and lowly placed, Nigerians have issued similar warnings in the past, and no one bothered to send out the verbal attack dogs.
I think GEJ is still missing the whole point of being president. He has to understand that as president he is number one and therefore the first target when things go wrong, and also the first when praises for things being done right are dished out.
Also, most of the technocrats drafted into government to help this unassuming man navigate foggy landscape of government-citizen relation are still dozing in the zombie days of military dictatorships, where any and every ‘his/her Excellency’ is sacred. Gaddem! This is a democracy, no matter how flawed, and people should be allowed to have opinions. I think it would serve GEJ and those who purport to speak for him to stick to the substance of opinions, not insinuations and hyperboles.
For PDP and its supporters: you may have ruled naija for the past 12 years, but you are not Nigeria and do not represent the masses. It is not given unto you to react to every statement from perceived political opponents as if you are Nigeria.
For Buhari: you lost your chance when it was clearly there for the taking. Go home, rest and advise younger protégées on how to take political opportunities. Also, talk smart, you are no longer in the army.
For the naija people: it is coming again, and we are losing ourselves once again to that sectional divide. When did Boko Haram stop being a PDP invention abeg? We need to wake up and smell the beans before it burns once again.