Tuesday, 22 April 2014
BUHARI: The Ego Has Landed By Michael Egbejumi-David
Nigeria is never in short supply of enablers. They are scattered all over the nation, but most of them reside in the southern part of the country. A disproportionate number of them are from the South-East. One or two are from Edo State. A gaggle can be found in the South-West.
Duro Onabule is one of them.
These are the people that can be relied on to provide justification for the perfidious acts of others whom they consider their masters and superiors. People they have inexplicably elevated to the status of tin gods. These enablers explain away the inexplicable. They explain away the illogical. They put into easy and flowery language what their masters would normally struggle to convey in understandable form. Other times, they simply pick up the brush and pan and clean up the dung after their tin gods. They are the bat boys of the owners of Nigeria. The bag carriers. The Otimkpus.
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari main claim to fame is that he picked up a gun and terminated a democratic dispensation. Well, there’s nothing special in wielding a gun and depriving others of their legitimate possessions. Armed robbers do it all the time, and the world was once littered with dictators and interlopers. But Buhari wants to wear this as some kind of honour badge. He won’t let the rest of us have peace of mind. He won’t let us drink water and put the bloody cup down.
After forcing himself on us and into office, he proceeded to treat the citizenry with contempt, scarcely able to conceal his disdain for anyone outside his own ethnic stock. When he was head Santa Claus of Abacha’s Petroleum Trust Fund, he largely stuck to the same lopsided template.
Buhari’s other accomplishment is his penchant for losing national elections. For a while, he astonishingly submitted himself to be sardonically and effortless played like a tuneless fiddle by the politicians of the ANPP, not once; but twice. Simply, the man had a ‘mare. Then he went solo, put together his own contraption but he amazingly continued to play the same ineffectual tune.
He seemed not to understand that to aspire to national leadership without the assistance of a riffle or two, you have got to be seen to be national in your orientation, in your outlook. In other words, you have got to walk the walk while you talk the talk. You just don’t flog and flaunt your imagined ethnic and religious supremacy and ask others to fall in love with you and get in line behind you. That is not how it works. But, apparently, our man still doesn’t understand this.
And so as inevitable and sure defeat looms on the horizon for him, he picks up the Armageddon script. The fires he lit back in 2011 are still raging in parts of the North-East and North-Central Nigeria.
But I don’t know what prompted him a few weeks ago to re-tread the doomsday apian way. Perhaps not enough lives have been lost to make sufficient impression on him, or, maybe he is unhappy that, overall, his objective for unleashing the mayhem still remains unfulfilled. Whatever; he was back in his elements. He was boldly exhorting his followers and other inebriated dimwits to touch the whole place anew. To lynch and to shed more human blood if there’s rigging in the next presidential election. He said, “Dogs and the baboons would be soaked in blood” if the 2015 election is rigged. Very reminiscent of the language used by another dictator, Saddam Hussein of Iraq as he tried to force himself on Kuwaitis and their little country. The next election is so far away, you have to wonder what kind of person this is. What manner of statesman is this?
But Buhari, while busy prescribing another round of bloodshed, gore and death for others, nicely neglected to acknowledge that in the last election, in the very few enclaves that he won, there was rigging aplenty. Underage Almajirai were captured on camera voting en masse for him. No problem there then; he could cheat but others are not permitted to do so.
And that is the problem! That is the superiority mindset. That is the ego. That is the incessant illogicality and it is all very nauseating. But you have to laugh; Buhari and a few of his handlers actually think the man can win an untainted national election in Nigeria. Yeah Right!
When some people decided to celebrate Sani Abacha’s 10 years of graceless exit, Buhari thought it an appropriate occasion to do a macabre public dance. He declared Abacha a non-thief. He said Sani never stole Nigeria’s money! It was bizarre. He said, “Ten years without the late Abacha, the said allegations remain silent because there are no facts.” However, even Abacha’s associates and family, his wife and kids, readily admit that their father and they themselves stole plenty of Nigeria’s money. Both the family and some foreign banks have been returning portions of the loot back to the Nigerian State since 1999.
The last time I checked, it was officially confirmed that, minimally, Abacha pilfered $3 billion. A little over $1.3 billion of that had been recouped with $800 million alone recovered from his Nigerian bank accounts. The Swiss authorities released $505.5 million to Nigeria after five years of legal tussle. But for Buhari, all that doesn’t matter. It is how he sees things that is important, and he wants others to accept only his views and follow him.
Sadly, this being Nigeria, he has a few followers. Onabule wasted no time attempting to deodorise Buhari’s latest intemperate and acrid effusions. He taunts Jonathan as a man scared of Buhari. The implication is clear. But so no one remains in any kind of doubt, one Buba Galadima rushed to the Press and dared Jonathan to arrest Gen Buhari if he can. Told Jonathan to arrest him or forever keep his mouth shut. He didn’t stop there. He then reminded Jonathan that even Obasanjo knew the score; knew well enough to leave Buhari alone.
You see the impunity?
So this is what a failed State looks like. Where some individuals and self anointed superheroes flaunt their imagined status, taunt the State and its elected leaders and simply carry on like it’s another day at the beach.
Perhaps Buhari was trying to goad Jonathan into arresting him so that more petrol can be poured onto the diminishing and increasingly boring fires he lit. Whatever the case; the ego won’t go away.