The swamps of Okolobia point accusing fingers at General Muhammadu Buhari, everybody’s whipping boy. So did the flatlands of Dausayi. For seeking to impose frugality and good governance and lately to wrestle our society from decay; for being a northern Muslim and living in Kaduna, blame Buhari.
The Muslim-Christian and north-south dichotomies have been with us before the sharia riots in Kaduna, but blame Buhari. On this occasion of the General’s birthday; and though he is still mourning the death of his daughter, and now that of his governor, help me blame Buhari.
When it comes to value for human life; European and American dogs and cats have greater value than the ordinary Naija. You can go to jail for up to 14 years for cruelty to animals in those places. In Naija, even in death there is a distinction between men and women of caterpillar and juggernaut and the rest of us who have to wear the disposable adjective ‘ordinary’. How many people died in the Okolobia crash, Governor Yakowa, former NSA Patrick Azazi and four ‘others’? Pause!
Did anyone see Barak Obama on his feet the moment the Newtown, Connecticut murderer turned the gun on innocent children? How can Obama be so un-presidential as to cry? How silly can a president be recalling how many gun tragedies have marred his presidency? What, even the killing of ‘ordinary’ Trayvon Martin saw him stand up and identify. One little American killed in cold blood earned the sympathy and respect of the world’s most powerful individual. Why should he care?
Before I get those deluges of hate mails, I doff my fedora for President Jones for sparing us the ineloquence of making boring speeches even with a teleprompter. I am not asking him to go to Maiduguri. According to popular wisdom, the Kanuri got themselves into this mess on behalf of their power-hungry northern leaders; they should get themselves out or perish trying rather than curry the sympathy of a southern Christian president.
School children were raped in transit between the east and Lagos, nobody told the president, the youth minister, the women affairs minister, and no speeches were made. The kids would carry the scar – for life! Recently, a female student was killed in the east for refusing to be raped by armed bandits. There was no finger of protest.
Ordinary folks are kidnapped and sometimes killed in the east; the army is not called in. In fairness, in all these cases, the presidential spokesman responds with the same template which the ungrateful news media now describe as ‘terse’.
So, how does Buhari get back into the picture? A few social media friends asked the subversive questions last week when two VIPs died in a plane crash along with four disposable ‘others’. His question - when did naval helicopters become ‘kabu-kabu’ to be deployed to convey mourners from Okoloba to Yenagoa? He even alleged that a similar action happened penultimate week when VIPs were shuttling for loyalty between the president and his vice who were hosting different events at opposite ends of the Villa. The nation was shut down.
My friend feigned ignorance that the death of the parents of a presidential aide is not a national disaster worthy of the resources of our nation. He forgets that the aide’s budget is bigger than some state governments; that the aide in question is a Naija-Deltan from where we derive the fuel to power the crashed chopper. In short, this friend of mine suffers from the Buhari syndrome.
In government, Buhari, made a silly law that confined government vehicles back to the pool by 4 pm. No official could deploy a government vehicle to take his wife to the market or his children to school no matter how highly placed. Buhari could not have condoned fuel scarcity; those who hoarded sugar and milk would tell you how such goods were auctioned off. Such wickedly draconian laws would rob democracy of its shine and make public office unattractive to their excellent Excellencies and distinguished honourables. It would also be antithetical to the principle of loyalty.
Would an aide to Barack Obama, Francois Hollande or Iron Lady Angela Merkel have access to a naval helicopter for the burial of their parents? Please don’t ask? Would the governor of a state in America leave his official post, fuel up his official car and jet off to such an event at taxpayer’s expense? Please don’t ask.
We should never ask subversive questions in a land where every evil is the sentence of the gods–ikon Allah! So we dare not say that if we had been frugal with public office and public resources, Maryam Abacha would be smiling with her son, Ibrahim who killed himself and 14 others in Dausayi and crashed a presidential jet to boot. Patrick Yakowa would be at his desk this moment and the navy won’t be one chopper short. We could perhaps have saved the nation more resources sure to be deployed to newspaper adverts and funeral expenses for the dead VIPs and the meaningless probes whose findings would end up in a cupboard somewhere in the rock of offense. Heh, blame Buhari for giving us an invitation to treat. Let the party continue.
My Take: Frugality, Discipline, Selfless public service could definitely had saved this country from countless senseless tragedy and wasted resources.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters