UNCLE SAM AND HIS PUTRID TALES OF HATE, MALICE & SOUR GRAPES
The article, No longer a pariah by Mr. Sam Omatseye, which appeared at the back page of the July 13 edition of The Nation newspaper, was in very bad taste. And the fact that the writer claims to be one-time winner of the DAME Media Award for Informed Commentary, makes the article pathetic. From the write-up, one gets the impression that the writer is unhappy that after President Buhari has been vilified and ignored by politicians and the people of Nigeria, the latter have now joined his band-wagon, chorusing his praises following his 2015 election victory.
In view of the reputation of the writer and the traditional responsibility of all journalists and writers the world over, Omatseye is doing violence to journalism and national discourse. Through his writing, he is promoting hate and discord and perhaps wished that providence did not change the fortunes of Buhari to tally with the desire of the generality of Nigerians for Change in their lives!
One gets the unmistakable impression that Omatseye and his paymasters, must love President Muhammadu Buhari and had done certain critical things that helped him to power. The question now is, should Omatseye and his group bellyache over the fact that many have become converted to the Buhari clan? It's like if it is possible, the writer and his sponsors would like to dictate to President Buhari, those who should be his friends and associates and who should rejoice, and those who should be shut out!
The above cannot however happen because Buhari's victory at the 2015 polls is a national mandate that transcended the capacity and imagination of the foresighted people who began the struggle. Indeed, a few wise and courageous men began the project to rid the helpless people of Nigeria of the misrule of the PDP but later, the idea and effort was taken over and adopted by the Nigerian people and this made victory possible. Omatseye and his mentors have forgotten that the brand called Buhari, was not their creation. They merely prepared and presented him with a platform in which many other Nigerians bought into through the legacy parties. These parties were, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which in spite of the brilliance of its leaders remained a provincial political party, Buhari's defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which in 2011 garnered 12 million electoral votes even when the hard- fighting Buhari lost that election to the PDP candidate, Goodluck Jonathan, the veteran opposition party, the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP), the New PDP faction of Atiku Abubakar and the five Governors and Governor Okorocha's branch of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). The question needs be asked Mr. Omatseye and his paymasters, how could only one of these legacy parties provide the ingredients for the victory of Buhari against the PDP behemoth, when it took a five party coalition to send the then ruling PDP out of power?
Thus one finds it difficult to place the sulking and grudge of the writer and those who sent him on errand. It seems that a kind of infantile neurosis is disturbing the political camp of the writer and his masters. The Nigerian people having wholeheartedly adopted Buhari and flocked to him in their millions, the political camp to which the writer belongs is feeling sad that they cannot control or dictate to Buhari as the latter now belongs to all, and no one in particular; apologies to the President.
The writer in his article not only expressed regret that President Buhari is now the toast of most Nigerians , including his foes of yesterday but he also singled out eminent Nigerians who have pledged loyalty to the President for abuse, insult and hate! This is akin to anti-party activity and treason! Pray, what wrong has former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senator Bukola Saraki done to warrant the denigration heaped on them. One gets the impression that Omatseye not only lacks home training but respect for elders and leaders which is part and parcel of the culture and tradition of our society.
Reading the article titled, “No longer a pariah”, one discovers that a principal grouse of the writer with Atiku, Obasanjo and Saraki is over the outcome of the democratic election that produced the current National Assembly leadership. Omatseye would like the election quashed and the preferred candidates of his sponsor imposed on the national legislature under the guise of party supremacy. However knowing the APC leader who sings party supremacy because it would benefit him and his acolytes at the expense of the other legacy parties, no one is fooled. The sponsors of the article are no democrats nor are they national politicians but are those who are unrepentant advocates of regionalism and provincialism. They allowed their party, the then ACN to join the APC coalition for the simple reason of capturing power at the center which they hoped to monopolize and appropriate with Buhari becoming a puppet President, always at their beck and call. When it has become clear that the dynamics of politics is making the ACN's political domination unrealizable, hence the bitterness and declaration of war on all perceived adversaries.
The National Assembly crisis is behind the party and the nation now as all and sundry have resolved to move forward and allow peace to rein, yet war and violence remains in the heart of the former ACN leader, who true to type thinks he should be the one to decide who gets what in the Buhari government. Being loyal and committed members of the APC, both Senator Saraki and House Speaker Dogara are eminently qualified to hold their leadership positions in the National Assembly having satisfied the requirements of the 1999 Constitution.
In the last paragraph of Omatseye's confused and poorly-conceived article, one sees totally unmasked, the malice, arrogance, intolerance and violence that make up the persona of his paymasters. He wrote, “Obj, Saraki and Atiku have a choice. They have to decide whether they belong to APC or they want to form an alliance to form another party”! This is arrant nonsense. Is there a Godfather in APC? No. As far as the majority of the party members are concerned, the party is a democratic party in which all the legacy parties and their members and any Nigerian who joins the party are equals. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a founder of APC as other leaders of the legacy parties that came together to give birth to the latter. He cannot threaten anyone in the party because the APC is not his provincial ACN where he used to call the shots but which in national politics, failed serially.
This writer has seen reason to understand why, despite his brilliance and hard work, Asiwaju Tinubu is not accepted as a political leader among his Yoruba kith and kin and why that South West political bulldozer and arch-foe of the Jagaban, PDP's Chief Bode George stated the truth about Tinubu for all seasons, that “he (Tinubu), is yet to learn, and can never learn the rudiments of national politics”!
Written by Hassan Ahmed, a Political Analyst.