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President Muhammadu Buhari
Was Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai, just boasting or was he telling the truth? It is reported all over the place that El Rufai claims to be the one who told our dear President, Muhammed Buhari, that the bandits, who now terrorise the people of Nigeria at will, are threatening to kidnap our President, the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and a once proud General of the people’s army!
Are you not scared as I am that it took the Governor who is in Kaduna to give the President who is in Abuja this “intelligence” report already well-known by every Nigerian who owns the ubiquitous smart phone? The damned information is everywhere on WhatsApp!
Am I stupid to ask if the President does not have a smart phone? Is it that none of his coterie of aides gave him this information that is both so personal and incredibly scary? Is the President so isolated or he in a kind of bubble that he is in the dark as to what is going on around him? Maybe he does not like bad news and nobody around him has the courage to give him what must be the “baddest” of news.
My good friend, the Hon. Minister of Information, may express the view that the bandits are just making noise, doing “shakara” or engaged in cheap propaganda. Not long ago, I would have joined the Minister and with absolute confidence beat my chest that whoever had the temerity to even suggest that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the largest black nation on earth; the man who commands the biggest army in Africa, can be kidnapped, must have drunk a huge amount of “ogogoro”.
Please pardon me to confess that I am not so sure anymore and I get the impression that there are millions of my country men who are scared like me. To my mind, the Kaduna State governor appears to have made the matter worse.
No one in Nigeria has so repeatedly sought to be President than Mohammed Buhari. At the end of the day, millions of Nigerians, in trust, gave him what he had continually asked for. I know many of my friends who would have taken a bullet for Buhari because they had absolute confidence in him. For instance, my good friend, the great Nigerian journalist, Azuka Jebose Molokwu who now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, was a 100% Buharist. Azuka, who takes no prisoners, was on every platform campaigning for Buhari. My friend, Patrick Harry Doyle, the well know broadcaster and actor, was a Buhari man, through and through. I know that none of them is an APC man or got “shishi” to throw everything for Buhari.
At some point, a creative Nigerian had to divide the populace into “Hailers” and “Wailers”. The “Hailers” were the Buhari enthusiasts and those opposed to him were called “Wailers”. Does Mr. President know that a great percentage of the Hailers, in the millions, like my two friends, Azuka and Patrick, have become Wailers? Why? It appears that Buhari spent much of his energy campaigning to be President. By the time he got the Presidency, the energy was gone.
I believe Nigerians voted for Buhari because they wanted someone who does not take nonsense. They voted for the former army general reputed to have zero tolerance for corruption. Nigerians installed a President they believed would take on Boko Haram and deal insurgency a deadly blow. There was the feeling that the constantly smiling incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan was too soft to confront Nigeria’s problems. Sadly, Buhari’s reputation has unraveled before our eyes. No amount of packaging or public relations can cover up what is obvious.
I watched the last APC convention on TV with dismay. Our anti-corruption President, the leader of the APC, was there with his wife, sometimes smiling, as the orgy of corruption played out on national television. Each of the “aspirants”, many of them government officials, had bought a party form for the obscene amount of one hundred million naira. Even our Central Bank Governor, a man who should be rarely seen, was said to have bought the form and lined up a large number of vehicles for the presidential campaign! At Eagles Square, delegates were being corrupted with huge amounts of dollars to the knowledge of practically every Nigerian. All the speakers were praising the President in a terrible case of public masturbation.
The chickens have come home to roost. In this month of July 2022, the consequence of the reckless dollarisation and the reckless national debt have exploded before our eyes. The Naira has taken a dangerous plunge towards a bottomless pit. The five-month-old ASUU strike does not appear to have any resolution leading to mass demonstrations across the country. How do you tell the lecturers that there is no money after they have seen the APC carnival of Dollars?
In this month of July, 2022, a former Accountant-General of the Federation was ordered to be remanded in prison custody for allegedly stealing the dizzying amount of more than N109 billion Naira and two of Nigeria’s major airlines, Aero-Contractors and Dana Air, packed up business and lost their wings. Very soon, only few Nigerians will be able to fly as airline tickets hit the roof and the aviation industry groans over the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel. Travel by road is of course not an option as bandits are everywhere waiting for you.
Suddenly, I am not sure whether Aso Rock or the Central Bank is safe. Everything appears to be unravelling and Nigeria appears to be on free fall. With the diving of the Naira, inflation is galloping like crazy. A decent loaf of bread is now at least 1000 naira! You are left asking: Who is in charge?
As a regular Nigerian, you are left terribly confused. You are scared like hell. You don’t have a convoy. You don’t have any police security, no Army, no DSS, no Secret Service, not even a catapult! Yet, you must go out every day, completely exposed, in search of daily bread. If the President’s convoy is not safe, Kuje Prison is not safe, the bandits can kill men of the Presidential Guard at will and threaten to abduct the President, who then is safe in Nigeria?
I don’t get scared easily but right now, I am scared! Does Buhari know what is going on? If not for Tobi Amusan, I don’t know how I would have survived this week.
See you next week.