The hailers have become the wailing wailers. The joyous hailers of yesterday are the bitter wailers of today. How times change!
Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, is vividly furious. The fiery priest is not grieved for nothing.
He is not alone. The cleric carries the entire Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) along with him. They are on the same page in this ire. Their rage is neither misplaced nor out of tune. It is perfectly in order.
Priests are mortals after all. Oh, yes, they are humans too. They have blood flowing in their veins like other beings. They cannot be insulated from annoyance and irritation. There are biblical evidence and proofs.
Priests too do get agitated and visibly angry. If God could burn with so much anger against the Israelites, His chosen nation, in their winding 40-year journey to the Promised Land, then who would not?
Kukah cannot certainly claim to be an exception. He is not known to have ever played one. That is why he and the CSN gave vent to their anger on the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) the other day, the way they did.
The Catholics are not taking kindly to BMO’s unkind and unholy demand. The Buharists were livid at Kukah. They wanted him out as convener of the National Peace Committee (NPC). Whatever that means!
Their reason: Very petty! BMO picked “huge” holes in the role(s) Kukah played in reconciling former President Olusegun Obasanjo with his deputy, Atiku Abubakar. They were taken aback by the public show of it.
Buharists did not see it as ordinary reconciliation. They saw it (rightly?) as endorsement of Atiku as a better alternative to their principal, President Muhammadu Buhari. Their fears and worries may be genuine.
Buhari is seeking a second term in office, flying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) flag. Atiku wants the same office on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The CSN could not honestly understand the BMO’s grouse. And it said so in clear terms: “In 2015, when Buhari was contesting, he visited the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and he was granted audience. Why has it suddenly become a crime for an National Peace Committee convener to do his job of facilitating peace between two national figures?”
Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, CSN’s spokesman, graciously opted to educate the Buharists: “If it is the fear of losing elections that is the main concern here, the BMO should rest assured that the election outcome would depend mostly on how voters assess his (Buhari’s) government and not whether Bishop Kukah reconciled Obasanjo with Atiku, that is if the election would be free and fair.”
Not done yet, in case the BMO is ignorant of this: “The animosity between
Obasanjo and Atiku has long remained a national embarrassment and Kukah and NPC have been making efforts behind the scenes for their reconciliation.”
The Buharists were reminded that, “these attempts have been long before Atiku became the presidential candidate of the opposition PDP.”
That is what they did not understand.
Bassey also reminded BMO that Buhari recently met with some Muslim clerics in Aso Rock to specifically solicit their support for 2019. He insisted many of the clerics, there and then, openly pledged to support him.
His poser: “How does the President meet with Muslim clerics to endorse him on the one hand and goes to an interfaith conference to berate clerics for being partisan just because some notable clerics were involved in a reconciliation move that had opposition elements as the object?”
To the Catholics, however, the BMO’s clamour on Kukah is not only unthinkable but largely laughable. The reasoning is grossly warped and equally stinking and tainted.
Since the Catholics closed their case, no Buharist has the required guts yet to attempt a veritable answer to the question. That is baffling, very unlike them.
It is amusing and amazing; how Buharists and APCists have been so restless and restive. They have not known peace since the “deed” between Obasanjo and Atiku was done. They are still in a deep trance having unending nightmares.
That was the same state of mind supporters of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan were grudgingly thrown into in 2014. That was when Obasanjo sealed a similar deal with Buhari. There was jubilation in Buhari’s camp but lamentation in Jonathan’s camp as they licked their deep wounds.
There were hailings in APC then, but wailings in PDP. Today, the hailers have become the wailing wailers. The joyous hailers of yesterday are the bitter wailers of today. How times change! Life is in itself very dynamic.
What is the fury, hullabaloo about Obasanjo endorsing, or demarketing Atiku? Some of us wonder aloud! Obasanjo has every right like every Nigerian to endorse, support or back anybody, and for whatever post. That is the farthest he can go.
He even has the advantage to withdraw such “endorsement” at any point in time. He has made his choice publicly. You can choose to make yours privately, anyhow, somehow.
The Buharists are even crying wolf where there is none. They are ferociously alleging a gang-up. That is ridiculous. Gang-up is politics and politics is gang-up.
It is the other name for alignment and realignment in politics. When two or three gather, reach accord against a common opponent, that is realignment, a.k.a. gang-up. Every “reasonable” politician does this. It is a vote-watching device.
It is saddening that history is repeating itself in an awkward manner in Nigeria. It is odd; it is weird. But we cannot help it. They were hailing and throwing banter yesterday (2014) over Obasanjo. The same characters are wailing profusely today (2018) over the same element. Hosanna today, crucify him tomorrow!
Wailing cannot win election. It never did; not even for PDP in 2015. The earlier the wailers and the hailers realise this, the better.