It would have been okay to dismiss reported happenings around the Buhari Presidency as part of opposition blackmail and negative agenda setting of partisan press but for the publicly manifested interplay of the antics of the gods and demons at the seat of power.

Those who have been married for sometime would agree that real wives not only have unparalleled knowledge of the personality of their husbands but also rare peeps into the happenings around their men. So it was not surprising that the first lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, was the first person to publicly alert Nigerians that her husband was kidnapped by those whose agendas center on selfishness and parochial interests.

The first lady obviously knew what these people around her husband are made of and that may be the reason she checkmated them when she cried out publicly about the cabal. Interestingly, this earned her the label of “the suicide bomber from Yola” because she is obviously destroying every one of their moves and they surely despise her for that. The expose to the press is what they are using to now tag her because it was explosive and she detonated it herself to rescue her husband and probably saved the entire country from apostasy.

Mrs. Buhari further blew things up by saying that the hyenas and jackals should beware because the Lion is back. But unfortunately, the Lion King seems to be caught between disrespecting his men and obeying his wife and so the hyenas and jackals have been getting messier in their tussle for supremacy.

When SaharaReporters ran in full a leaked telephone conversation between Messrs. Mamman Daura and Dr. Mahmud Tukur, two of the most influential members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, it was expected that as usual, the Presidency would come out to say it was another handiwork of the opposition PDP and enemies of the government but it did not and may never. This by implication is an outright authentication of the realness of the published conversation and so we can discuss it without fear.

A cursory look at the leaked conversation sure revealed so many things that made it very necessary to ask the big question: who actually benefits from this leak?

In all ramifications, the way the call began revealed so much concerning the likely power play and covert mindset of both of Mammam Daura and Mahmud Tukur.

First, the recording had started before the phone rang. Secondly, Daura was very cautious speaking and it was actually Mahmud Tukur that labelled Aisha Buhari “the suicide bomber from Yola”.

Also Mammam accuses Tukur of not picking up his calls. The question is: why was he not picking up or returning the calls? Could it be that Daura chose to record him knowing that Tukur as a journalist may likewise do the same?

Could it also be that that Tukur set up Daura for this conversation to be recorded as the questioning was very meticulous and deliberate to extract information for the purpose of being recorded? Clearly from the conversation, Tukur avoided implicating himself by only asking and not contributing much to the conversation. So between the two men and maybe an unseen hand (s), Nigerians are really waiting to see how all these would turn out at the end.

How can a Presidency that is supposed to be one indivisible unit be so polarized? Even among the so-called cabal there seem to be a mind-blowing level of polarization as confirmed by the leaks and covert campaigns from the seat of government. What kind of a country is this? How can a government that everyone is fighting or rather working against everyone achieve any tangible goal that would benefit the citizenry?

Even among the ones the ordinary citizens see as the President’s men, every day we hear of dirty infighting, backstabbing and outright mudslinging. Recall that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was informed that he has been suspended by the Presidency, the first question he asked was: “who is the Presidency,” thereby indicating a terribly divided Presidency. How far can we go like this? Or is it the dissonance between the Attorney General and the EFCC Acting Chairman? Or between the NNPC Group Managing Director and his supposed boss, the Minister of Petroleum or that of Transport minister and the guy supervising the Aviation sector as minister of state? Haba! Are these people not aware that time is going?

Most people who voted Buhari to power hoped he would, like in his previous government, round up, squeeze, and recover our stolen resources from those who looted the nation dry. But it has now turned out to be an exaggerated view of the democratic Buhari with the people around him not helping matters either.

Tragically, it is now certain that Buhari cannot perform and hiding under the excuses of his ill-health is an exercise in self-deception. The question is: when he was hale and hearty, what did he do? The best he did was to fill the entire Nigerian political and administrative landscape with the same people not because of any of their outstanding performance track record but because of where they come from and how they related with him in the past life thus making Nigeria look like a country populated with ‘this kind of people’ only.

Initially it was thought that President Buhari’s outsourcing of his executive functions was to provide for responsive governance while he attends to his health issues, but from the reported power play at the Presidency, though Buhari and his people may not agree, it is very clear that the dishonorable drumbeats Nigerians get from the government everyday only diminishes the hallowness of the nation’s Presidency and this caused more by the choice of players around him. God bless Nigeria!

Ifeanyi Izeze writes from Abuja. You can reach him at [email protected].

Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari

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