By Dele Sobowale
“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”
President Buhari’s friends have been telling us a lot about the man who wants Nigerians to give him a second chance to rule or ruin us. With less than five weeks left to the 2019 Elections, they have demonstrated to Nigerians how easily a country can become an international joke by their actions. The national newspapers, when they are not invaded by the Army and the Directorate of State Services, DSS, in an anti-democratic assault on our freedoms, have been feeding “My Fellow Countrymen” (Please remember Honore Balzac, 1799-1850, once said “I am beginning to wonder how many fools it takes to make the term “My Fellow Citizens.”), at least those not uneducated and who can still reason clearly, must be asking themselves if a political party which cannot govern itself and discipline its members can actually promise and expect us to believe that it can rule and discipline 200 million “Fellow Citizens”. Permit me to bring to everybody’s attention some of the facts that have emerged in the last few weeks which call into question the right of Buhari and Co to want to continue to lead our yet to be great country, Nigeria. Incidentally, one of the promises made by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2014-15 was to make Nigeria great again. There are however two ways to be great – through good deeds and by atrocities. Hitler was “great”; so was Winston Churchill. The difference is clear.
“It is the wisdom of the crocodiles; that shed tears when they would devour.”
Francis Bacon, 1561-1626.
One of Buhari’s close associates, once upon a time a brilliant journalist, but who obviously had succumbed to the witches and demons in Aso Rock, about two years ago coined the term “Weeping Wailers” to dismiss those who were perceptive enough to realise that Nigeria had stepped from frying pan to fire in 2015. There was nobody actually weeping at the time. Today, for the first time in Nigeria’s history, since the first governors were appointed, three APC Governors are shedding real hot tears. Borno State Governor Shettima decamped to Abuja to shed tears in Aso Rock – begging Buhari to end Boko Haram insurgency in his state. If you think that is nothing, try this one.
“Men make history; but not just as they please.” Karl Marx, 1818-1883.
VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ, p 93.
Zamfara State Governor, Yari, is wailing; asking Buhari to come and take over his job by declaring a State of Emergency. Together, the President and the Governor, both of APC, had made history in a way that does both of them no credit. This is the first time in our history that someone would plead to be relieved of a well-paid job in Nigeria. He has his reasons. Yari now shares the governance of Zamfara State with bandits and cattle rustlers. In fact, they are more in control. A trip to Sokoto which took me through the state with stop-over in Talata Mafara and Chafe was revealing. Whole communities have abandoned their farms and left the harvest to bandits.
Just in case you think that it cannot happen in Katsina, the President’s own state, then think again. Governor Masari has joined the “Weeping Wailers” of the Northeast and Northwest. He recently cried out that the APC-controlled state was besieged by armed robbers, bandits (again) and kidnappers. Like his colleagues, he is on his hands and knees begging Buhari to save the President’s own state. And before Lai Mohammed dismisses Masari’s Save Our Souls, SOS, alarm as fake news (another imitation of a foreigner Donald Trump of all people) some national newspapers on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 reported that “timely intervention of policemen on patrol along Gora/Dayi Road in the state saved a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir, from being kidnapped by bandits. “ His driver was not so lucky as he was said to have been abducted by the bandits. At least, this is one failure which Buhari cannot blame on Jonathan. There were no bandits in Zamfara and Katsina States when Jonathan was President.
Charity, we were once told begins at home. If so, can anybody please tell Nigerians why someone who cannot save his own home can be relied upon to save our own? Furthermore, it was over two years ago that Buhari and the Federal Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, announced that Boko Haram had been degraded. If so, who brought down the helicopter and why are people in Baga area being asked to relocate to safer places? Why should we believe them next time? Incidentally, Buhari and the same Lai Mohammed announced that the APC has fulfilled all its campaign promises. In May 2015 Baga had not been overrun by insurgents; it was a peaceful community. Today it is under siege. Katsina had no reported cases of armed robbery and kidnappings. Now, Masari has confirmed it has. Yari went into Gusau Governors Mansion a happy man. Now he wants to run away. Were there among the promises fulfilled?
“A rich man’s jokes are always funny.” Thomas Browne, 1605-1682.
Buhari naturally has a lot of rich friends now – especially among the Governors and Ministers of the APC. Hopefully, the President is amused – unlike Queen Victoria, 1819-1901, who frequently told court jesters “We are not amused.” Buhari better be tickled by the buffoonery his party is exhibiting because they scare the living daylights out of the rest of us.
Unless the situation changes between now and election day, APC has already lost two states through improper management of the primaries – Zamfara (again!) and Rivers. Since Zamfara’s loss is already stale news, the focus is on Rivers State where Mr Rotimi Amaechi, former Governor, Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the APC Presidential campaign comes from. On Monday, January 7, 2019, a Federal High Court sitting in Portharcourt, barred the Rivers APC from fielding candidates for this year’s election. That leaves Rivers APC with the presidential election for which to vie.
The author of this mess is none other than the DG-Presidential Election of APC.
As if that was not damning enough, a tape recording had gone riot in which, allegedly, the same DG had some things to say about Buhari which should have been left to the Peoples Democratic Party to say. Lai Mohammed says the tape was “doctored”. Do you believe Lai, man who can deceive Nigerians about Boko Haram? APC had made the situation worse by allowing Lai to speak on this matter.
“This our world is a comedy to those who think; a tragedy for those who feel.”
James Boswell, 1740-1795.
A political party, as opposed to a mob pretending to be one, should aim to represent the ideals and aspirations of the people. Is the APC a political party? Three hilarious cases argue that it is not. Two APC state governors – in Ogun and Imo – after declaring their loyalty to Buhari and promising to work for his re-election, have also made it abundantly clear that they would work against the party in their states at the same time by promoting another party’s candidate. Only the comedians at the top of the APC can fail to realise how ridiculous that proposal is. And, only in a country where we practice politics without principles can the two governors find people sitting with them to discuss the coming elections. One is among the Committee for re-election. Of what you might ask? Not done, A Minister, an NYSC draft dodger and a tax delinquent as well (he is still in office) also announced that he will not support the party’s candidate for Governor or any other post. Laugh if you want; cry if it hurts too much.
BABA HAS TAKEN A BREAK
“Tinubu takes full charge of my campaign.” President Buhari.
The announcement on Monday, January 7, 2019, merely confirmed what experienced observers have known all along. The rigours of the campaign have taken a toll. Baba has run out of fuel……