By Vincent Uba
Since President Muhammed Buhari assumed office over two years ago, there has been what I call “Buhariphobia” in the minds of some persons. These include corrupt individuals, some religious and ethnic groups.
The corrupt people are afraid of Buhari because they know that a no-nonsense President will not condone corruption in whatever guise and that those found wanting will be prosecuted. To them, fighting corruption is witch-hunting. So they employ propaganda and their ill gotten wealth to fight back.
For the religious groups, they reason that Buhari being a Muslim is working in the interest of Muslims. The groups posit that Boko Haram was a creation of Buhari. They also claim that the kidnap of Chibok girls was stage managed. How can one rationally claim that Buhari is working in the interest of Muslims or out to Islamize Nigeria when the same Buhari administration dealt with Muslim Shiites in Kaduna who became lawless in their activities?
All the noise about Buhari having an agenda to Islamise Nigeria can not be substantiated. Those who peddle the rumour are out to pitch Muslims against Christians to create crisis. Their goal is to see Nigeria disintegrate along religious lines to create opportunities to satisfy their selfish interests. And the ethnic groups that claim they are being marginalized under Buhari government and so they clamour for autonomy or secession are wrong. Truth is, I have not seen any government in Nigeria that has not been accused of marginalizing one ethnic group or the other. Right from the time of independence, there have been cries of marginalization. Even during the colonial era, government was accused of favouring a particular section of the country. The clamour for Biafra has become so loud. The social media is now a medium to disseminate lies, insults and propaganda against the Buhari government. Yet the originators of these lies and insults mostly some of my Igbo brothers claim they were descendants of Israel, that God is on their side and I ask, how can God support lies, insults and evil propaganda to advance a purpose?
May I remind the Buhariphobia groups that they cannot change God’s mandate. They cannot disrupt the will of God for this country. They can go ahead in their evil intention to celebrate our President’s ill-health or wish him dead like some now do. Whether they like it or not, our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God who made it possible for Buhari to come to power to rescue and sanitize this country will make it possible for him to recover from his ailments to continue his divine assignment. We thank God that there was no vacuum in government while Buhari went on medical vocation. God used then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to keep the work going excellently well.
Let me also caution our fellow Nigerian northerners. We are in one Nigeria. Issuing threat and ultimatum to fellow Nigerians living in the North to leave in response to the Biafra agitation is the height of constitutional breach. Two wrongs, they say, do not make a right. Nigeria is our country for Ibo, Hausa, Yoruba and other ethnic groups. No one ethnic group can lay claim to Nigeria alone.
To the law enforcement agencies, I am surprised that those who issued those threats are yet to be apprehended and brought to book.
To government, I know it is difficult to satisfy every Nigerian at any given time. But the Buhari regime should study the factors and or reasons intrinsic to this “Buhariphobia” phenomenon with a view to finding out if there are policies that lend credence to Islamization, marginalization and witch-hunting of any kind in the fight against corruption. If such is the case, government should amend such policies so that every Nigerian will feel a sense of belonging.
Let every Nigerian, in the spirit of unity, love and tolerance, work to safeguard the sovereignty of Nigeria.
*Uba is a former President, Catholic Brothers United, Lagos.