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Buhari’s Fresh Lesson

By Ajiroba Yemi Kotun
The writer
The writer

“Everything that exists has brought its own peculiar lesson.” – Orson Swett Marden (1848-1924)

No one generates more acidic enemies than the Buhari’s types. A lot of those who give the impression that they have a high regard for President Muhammadu Buhari, who has only the deepest contempt for everyone outside his party, in reality conceal a troubling hatred of him – he is too affectedly upright, too pompously rigid, too self-importantly vengeful, too haughtily bothersome, too conceitedly divisive, too smugly ungrateful and too sanctimoniously unforgiving. For many, he is cruel, domineering, and repressive – his rancorous goal prevails over suchlike gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation or gratitude he senses or believes. A number of these people from the same party as him – like the Leopard of Adamawa, the Lion of Bourdillon, the Tiger of the Red Chamber, the White Chameleon of Sokoto, the Red-Capper of Kano, the Owelleian of Imo and the diminutive Memo-Leaker of Kaduna - have all conspired against him one after the other, each airing as the “competent alternative” and waiting for the least symptom of weakness – which finally came on that auspicious day, March 19, 2017 when PMB anxiously journeyed abroad for medical help.

By declining to talk to Nigerians while in London to douse the death gossip about him, but choosing instead to host his ‘jolly’ enemies who postured as friends while spying to keep themselves a step ahead of 2019, Buhari not only lay bare his disdain for the people he purports to lead, he also exposed a craving to let go of power sooner than later. Now, because Buhari is not a Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), an Italian condottiero who became Duke of Lucca in the early fourteenth century amidst perfidy and mayhem through the help of one of the most influential and dominant families in the city, the Poggios, every member of whom he had imprisoned and executed after coming to power [“…princes should avoid as much as possible being in debt to anyone.”- Niccolo Machiavelli], he most likely might cede power to any of these his ambitious London visitors, who understood how exceptionally superior it was for them to do their own spying themselves by masquerading as allies while sneakily pooling intelligence on the occasion. It also reeked of a panic that the rest could thump him (Buhari) before he could be strong enough to wallop them, therefore rushing back home earlier than medically scheduled [“The best fortress which a prince can possess is the affection of his people.” - NM]. He finally embraced the precision that for a president to detach or cut off himself for that long is fatally perilous given that the Acting President had kindly and openly ordered and directed his actions to the point of being celebrated everywhere. Pressured and nourished by the Presidency cabals that his fortress (the Nigerian House) in faraway London has become a symbol of power isolation and an effortless aim for his enemies, this single ember circled into an inferno and within forty-nine days, initially a section of the press and subsequently a nation orbited against its ailing President who two years before had been partly adored, worshipped and bathed with shouts of Sai Baba! Sai Baba!

On March 10 when Buhari returned to the country wearing the most unflattering outfit and staggering on, the same ruthless party goons took one good look at him and concluded they won’t need his services beyond the present term, and thus began their own subtle influence and dash for power in 2019. It wasn’t at all complex to work out since their friendly facade earlier had afforded them this comprehension, the rest of us can go check with our Babalawos, Imams, Marabouts or Pastors as the case may be to get wiser. Don’t ask me how; these guys, who know the President about as well as Aisha, his wife does, clutch additional solid line of attack to judge such prospects.

While in London with PMB at his fortress, one can safely wager that these politicians knew better than to repeat the fatal mistakes of Steffano di Poggio (the most senior and experienced member of the clique) who invoked the Poggio’s family past assist and excellent deeds that conceded no commitment to Castrucani, a man who, similar to many, was not likely to be grateful or appreciative, for he viewed gratitude or appreciation as a dreadful weigh down to be thrust aside. Rather these ‘London visitors’ would have brought on a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek sincerity to promise Buhari, a man who appreciates only might and egotism, their full support for 2019 given their renowned capacity to garner votes and, of course, the grand political nuptials that could still be knotted again to produce his second Presidency. They would have unleashed on their host the thought of Jean de La Buyere (1645-1696) that the direct and preeminent means to attain his planned second term as President of Nigeria dwells evidently in his interest to sponsor theirs – all done with the right mix of cheerful humor - never underestimate the tonic power of humor on a sick person.

Also, never mind the ‘Presidency courtiers’ and their impractical claims that their principal would contest for second term and win - lotus-eaters all, who should be prayerful that the man completes his first term peacefully and in good health; but instead choose to thump-chest and feed fat on their convalescing master who may have learned now that personality, appeal and magnetism are as unstable, fickle and capricious as the sentiments they rouse. The sentiments mainly whip up feelings of adoration and worship which are tough to uphold according to Greene in TAOS (his 467-pager). Something he claims psychologists blame on “erotic fatigue” – the resentful jiffy that usually follows adoration or worship from which you become exhausted, enervated, and wearied. What else did you expect Nigerians to do when campaign promises are not kept, the Naira continuing its unending fall and economic conditions biting harder? Naturally, pragmatism will stealthily take over, and adoration or worship will turn to odium, revulsion or detestation. Now, hungry and tired, the masses shout: “Shege Baba! Kai, shege Baba!”

Erotic fatigue is a menace to all the Buhari’s types, who trickily prevail or triumph by posing as the messiah to deceitfully deliver citizens, in this case Nigerians, from a complicated or complex situation…from an alleged wasteful, decadent and corrupt administration. However, no sooner have they become safe in office than personality, appeal and magnetism become meaningless to them. Safe and sound on the ‘throne’, PMB, a man who on his way to the Nigerian presidency suffered multitudinous knocks, lapses and reverses [“Without doubt, princes become great when they overcome the hurdles that are placed in their path…” - NM] that would have discouraged lesser determined and persistent souls, behaves typically like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned. Baba-Go-Slow lounges in inaction and ‘snails’ away superciliously like his tenure would last till eternity; he just couldn’t be rushed. “Hit-the-ground-running” is damned!

Now midway into his turbulent and perplexed presidency, he appears to knowingly encourage hazard and peril by backing and sponsoring his own appointees to defy and mock the most important arm in any democracy - the Senate of the National Assembly of Nigeria, as did Maximilien de Robespierre (1758-1794), Deputy of the National Assembly of France (June17, 1789- July 9, 1789) and Head of the powerful Committee of Public Safety (July 27, 1793-July 28, 1794), that was launched by his political ally, Georges Danton (1759-1794), also a member of the Committee and a former Minister of Justice whom Robespierre later moved against by accusing him of corruption and getting him executed on July 28, 1794 at age 36. Robespierre, nicknamed l’Incorruptible (The Incorruptible), a blunt campaigner for the underprivileged and for democratic institutions doubtless exerted his influence to suppress the left-wing Herbertists – as Buhari is also doing to the opposition PDP presently [“When a prince acquires a new state, it is necessary to disarm the men of that state except those who have been his supporters in acquiring it”. - NM]. Now his party must clean his mess with the Legislature and the Judiciary.

Again, just as General Buhari had championed the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) through his late deputy then Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon (1942-1999) at the WAI launch on Tuesday, March 20 1984 at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, and elsewhere throughout his twenty month-reign as a military dictator, Robespierre was the brain behind the Festival of the Supreme Being of May 1794 during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, which purified the revolution of its enemies by transporting them to the guillotine. Two months later, on July 26, Robespierre, a demigod and the President of the National Convention (June 4, 1794-June 17, 1794), scaled the podium to talk to the Convention, hoping his speech would guarantee a place for him in history. He spoke about more plots, treason, and unspecified enemies just as President Buhari continues to reel out as well as celebrate in the media scandalous ‘corruption cases’ of everyone in the opposition except those of his own party men. The reaction seemed fervent, but the majority of the Representatives were clearly not impressed and they demanded Robespierre be specific - Declare the guilty; name the enemies of the revolution, but he stubbornly refused, just as President Buhari has refused to replace Ibrahim Magu, whip Hammed Ali into line, spank Itse-Osagie, etc …Well, in a move that seemed like a 419, cutback addendum, he finally woke up from his snooze on Wednesday, 04/19 to suspend the embattled SGF, Babachir Lawal and NIA, DG- Ayo Oke after Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State had just dismissed the anti-anticorruption war as becoming laughable… Hearing the SGF’s flippant and jokey point of view – “Who is the Presidency?” - before journalists yesterday on television shows nothing serious will ever come out of the whole charade. Na today!

So, as Robespierre stood the next day to begin to defend his speech, the Representatives told him to hold his tongue, and within hours, he was the one to be beheaded. On July 28, in the midst of an assembly of French men and women who looked happier than they had been at the Festival of the Supreme Being two months earlier, the head of Robespierre who had assisted France during her war in opposition to the Austrians and the Prussians (just as Buhari had also helped Nigeria fight her Civil-War), dropped into the silo, to reverberating joyfulness. The Reign of Terror had ended with him. This incident, as well as others of its kind, instigated an interlude in French history branded as the Thermidorian Reaction (July 27, 1794).

Enough is said already, let’s ignore those who unpatriotically urge President Buhari to continue to desecrate, despoil as well as violate the other arms of government as only the executive arm that he heads is ‘clean’. Even PMB himself can’t beat his chest anymore on that given his topical suspension of Lawal and Oke; the executive arm’s seemingly impregnable position has begun to weaken. The same people, who unmindfully urged General Sani Abacha to his waterloo on June 8 1998, are at work again for want of filthy lucre or appointment.

Lastly, everywhere, people grow weary of the Buhari’s types, and at their earliest indication of weakness they roll over them. The adoration or worship these folks demonstrated previously is wont to be equaled by their revulsion or loathing at this time. Only then will we all jointly paraphrase Dan Agbese from his If This Is A Lesson (Newswatch, September 14, 1987): To condemn this administration is compulsory, to lay Buhari to rest is mandatory.


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