BUHARI, CORRUPTION AND THE CHICHIDODO BIRD
“Ah, you know, the chichidodo is a bird. The chichidodo hates excrement with all its soul. But the chichidodo only feeds on maggots, and you know the maggots grow best inside the lavatory. This is the chichidodo.” — Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968).
Professor Wole Soyinka sometimes makes a caricature of his critics by comparing them with chichidodo, a Ghanaian mythical bird that hates shit yet only eats worms. He once depicted a critic as a “human incarnation of the bird chichidodo”. In the word of Soyinka today, General Muhammadu Buhari qualifies as “a modern human incarnation of the bird chichidodo”.
The illustration of the chichidodo depicts everything that is Buhari – which can only last but for a while. Propaganda may be running for 20 years, it will only take the Truth a day to overcome it. He has just recently confessed that none of his daughters was married to an Igbo man after the Igbos and other unsuspecting Nigerians have been deceived for several years. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is reported to have captured this lie in his recent book “My Watch'. That is the trait of Chichidodo.
Gen. Buhari is running on a record that is alien to the realm of politics – Sainthood – and his party, the APC is dreaming in Utopia – painting a picture of a man that is infallible. This approach qualifies as the biggest political scam in modern times. Certainly, a pitiful miscalculation by the APC, even as its party chairman, Chief John Oyegun, is now trying to portray a Buhari that is friendly with corruption (in the interest of Asiwaju Tinubu, Tanimu Yakubu, Ismaila Gwarzo, Rotimi Amaechi, Bukola Saraki, and co.) You can't give what you don't have. For all we know, only GOD is infallible and no politician that is worth it, will trust his/her campaign on saintliness.
For over 12 years unchallenged, since he ventured into politics with just one mission – to get back power to the North (mainly the Fulanis), Buhari who surely understands the perception of Nigerians about corruption has been using 'Political Saintliness' as a selling point. He has succeeded largely, deceiving unsuspecting Nigerians about his anti-corruption posture. He likes to benefit from 'corrupt politicians' but never want to be seen as corrupt.
Buhari is not what he claims to be. A careful study of Buhari's past and present will sincerely reveal a-chichidodo-bird-like-character – perfectly narrated in the book “The beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.” The way and manner Buhari has logically extricated himself from the ills of the governments he served (Obasanjo and Abacha), preferring the achievements only (Refinery and PTF) is mindboggling. It is the sure trait of #Chichidodo. Let us look at other developments to further confirm his #Chichidodo posture.
Buhari has never admitted to be a coup plotter. He claimed ignorance of the 1983 Coup, but accepted the responsibility to head the government; meaning, he agreed to have the largest share of a cake not baked by him and without his contributions. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing during his regime, but he canceled the Lagos rail project for no justifiable reason (seen by some as sectional hatred). He is now asking the same Lagos that he has put under decades of traffic burden to vote for him without apology.
Buhari jailed Alex Ekwueme, a Vice President (at best a spare tyre of the government), but he placed the President, Shehu Shagari (the leader of the 'culprits') in a cozy Ikoyi room, (seen by many as sectionalism). Yet he claimed that the coup was because of corruption… He went on a wild goose chase of Umaru Dikko, a cousin of the man (Shagari, whom he kept in a cozy room) and attempted the first known kidnapping in Nigeria. Was Buhari really interested in Dikko? Was Dikko not keeping the money in trust for Buhari?
Buhari participated in the regime of Gen. Sani Abacha, one of the most corrupt head of states in the history of Africa and he never challenged the system over corruption. He once described the regime as free of corruption during a remembrance prayer by the Abacha family in Kano. He simply doesn't understand what corruption is all about or may be pretending.
Sainthood is about transparency, honesty, accountability and fear of God. Buhari has contested three Presidential elections as a “poor and clean man” but has never disclosed his sources of money. Can a poor man contest for House of Representatives seat in Nigeria twice, no to talk of a Presidential election?
Buhari has never contested any election on the strength of serving Nigerians. His first political voyage in 2003 was prompted by the Abacha family. His second and third attempts were prompted by a clique of Northern politicians who rode on his false saintliness in the North to win various seats. He wept and said he was not going to contest election again until another clique of politicians from Niger State approached him to contest – these are verifiable facts…
He is always pretending as never being interested until he is prompted by those who have a different mission in governance. Timipreye Silva paid for his N27 million nomination form but he claimed that he borrowed money in a bank to pay for it. He recently said that he has just N1million in his account but goes about in Private Jet.
Pa Adekunle Ajasin, former governor of old Ondo State was arrested and sentenced to over 100 years in jail. Pa Ajasin was known not to have spent one kobo of his security vote and had only one house to his name in his native home of Owo but Buhari has about three houses himself. Does this man understand what corruption is all about?
It is obvious that Buhari can heed the call of the devil to carry out a task and still claim to be free of demons. Will this #Chichidodo kind of politics last? In old age, Buhari should have the presence of mind and the heart to apologize over his past misdeeds. He is a mere mortal and should be courageous to say no to those fronting him for a mission that is not his.
Now that his party has said that he will not probe past corrupt leaders if elected, his anti-corruption mantra is no longer selling. At least, he has now admitted that none of his daughters is married to an Igbo man – an age long lie recanted.
Written by Johnson Momodu.