This column is a weekly chat. It is RIPPLES. It first appeared in 1990 at The Triumph newspapers, Kano and was later transferred to The PYRAMID, also in Kano in 1993. It is now a weekly chat, God willing on the VANGUARD as from this month of October 2017. Its first outing here was on these pages last Friday.
As the name Ripples suggests any pebble dropped here is meant to be correctional, to work and shuffle and ruffle the usually placid waters, on any issue we address with a view to whip and swirl and excite them. The expansive concentric circles such a pebble and the Ripples it engenders in the waters should hopefully lead to whatever desired Change we envisage.
This morning, RIPPLES is about the long wait for and on General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) by many, in fact a preponderant majority, of his believers.
It is one topic that friends (in power) of GMB as PMB may not be comfortable with. And it is that change from the GMB we used to know to PMB that some of us now blame for the long wait. For the change so simple, appears to have had an inexplicably profound impact on the General and his world view.
The many new (power) friends of GMB as PMB would say you are a “wailer” if you point to something that PMB as the GMB we used to know should do, or should have done. On the social media circuits “Wailers” are those who complain about the General and his Government and its agents, while “Hailers” are those who’d always laud whatever it is the General and his Government and its agents do, right or wrong.
I consider myself a true friend of GMB, in fact a believer if ever there was one. Many condemn me as a “hailer” par excellence, who sees nothing wrong in the General.
By the way, for the uninitiated, GMB is the fond and affectionate tag that we all used in referring to the President, General Muhammadu Buhari. That was before he was sworn in as President. Soon after he was sworn in, we were told he is now to be addressed as PMB, President Muhammadu Buhari.
For a celebrated no-nonsense General who was scooped up into the untidy embrace of Nigerian politics in 2003, he was so roughed up that at a time he had to announce that he had given up on Nigerian politics. That was after his third attempt to be elected civilian President, in 2011.
Despite tearfully giving up then, dropping the General and annexing “P” for President to his MB, Muhammadu Buhari, was a disservice to him and to us all who actually have been rooting for him because he was a serious General unlike so many other Generals, including those who were Presidents and Heads of State before and after him. Or so most of us thought. And it is these “most of us” that are today worried at the long wait we have had to contend with to see the General in him, the decisive, Tested and Trusted General of our dreams.
His handlers probably thought they needed to denude him of the General in him, to soften the brittle soldier’s soldier they feel should be pushed to the background. Probably, so that he is more amenable to the ways of politicians.
They apparently have forgotten that he had already won the election and didn’t need any name change to perform what we voted him for, to fulfill the Change Dream he sold us and we kept selling the Nigerian voter all of the years of GMB politics. And that was a Dream kept alive since his entry into Nigerian politics in 2002 for the 2003 General Elections.
That Dream of Change leading to Good Governance had by 2015 had a critical three-item agenda as its immediate concern. That GMB will fight insecurity to a standstill; that he will stop corruption dead in its tracks before it killed Nigeria, and that he will tackle the economy and unemployment, especially among the youth and women.
Indeed it was GMB’s soldierness that earned our General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) victory at the 2015 polls. We needed a firm, focused and experienced soldier to put the breaks on the horrible mayhem of the Jama’atu Ahlil Sunnah Lil-Da’awati Wal Jihad, better known as Boko Haram (BH) that had apparently been assisted and left to grow into a monster by the roguery of previous handlers of our national security.
And GMB is all of that firm, focused and experienced soldier scripted for that securing of our lives’ job. That has largely come to pass, despite the rearguard action of the rump of the BH terror; the irritable menace of kidnappers having a field day all over, and the violent clashes between itinerant roaming herders and sedentary farming communities. We are definitely more secured despite the Biafran folly of IPOB, thankfully stoutly halted by the General as President.
GMB happened on Nigeria to save us from our nation’s rapacious security architecture that in years past led the leeching on our blood for their personal enjoyment, all the while, boosting the terror in what appears a deliberately orchestrated scheme designed for a purpose.
The Police IG was targeted, right inside the Force Headquarters in Abuja. The UN building was breached at its most fortified Nigerian office at Abuja. Police barracks, Prisons and emirs’ and chiefs’ palaces and mosques were not left out.
Now, since 2015, the stories at the EFCC and in our various Courts of Law tend to validate Late General Andrew Azazi’s bombshell. Remember he’d suggested it was his government’s ruling party that was behind the BH terror campaigns that had defied all logic? To compound matters they used monies voted for arms to fund elections; and to fund their obscene lifestyles. At the very top, it was as if they were in a mad rush to out-buy one another as if they were in competition for the most absurd misapplication of money, even stolen money, or more appropriately loot. It was clearly pillage of atrocious proportions.