It’s good to start this article with a plea, nay, a warning: please, don’t go away. For those of you who have been put off already by the title of the piece, my advice is: don’t walk away from this page. Please, stay with me.
As you have rightly guessed, unlike those of you who don’t see anything good in our Presido, I do and I have come to praise him, not to criticise him. And, I am here to do that deliberately. I am here to praise him not just with my mouth or pen (pain?), but with my musical (mus(e)cal?) instruments.
Now, where is that my able player of tuba? Strike up that enchanting bass tune: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya! Where is my flutist, my drummer, my keyboardist, my udu and okwa players? Please, stand by because I am here to engage in real praise worship for our Presido.
As you have been told, criticism, whether constructive or destructive, distracts his attention from the work we’ve elected him to do for us. So? Isn’t time we repented of (repainted?) our sins (scenes?). Our President would do more, we’ve been told, time and again by those who should know, if we will praise rather than criticise him.
Brothers and Sisters in Crisis, if this is true, my question is: why are we reluctant to do what we know to be the right thing: praise him? If praising him can help us to rescue the Dapchi and remaining Chibok girls (how many are still missing out there?), held by Boko Haram insurgents, what are members of BBOG (Bring Back Our Girls) doing? Why are Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu not joining me in this big praise? If doing so can stop the orgy of killings going on in Benue, Taraba and Kaduna states, in the name of Fulani herdsmen, why are we not doing so?
If praising our Presido can help to bring back Maina and reduce the price of fuel or petrol, why is everybody standing by the sideline and looking at me, expecting me to do the praising all alone? Let me confess here and now before you people stone me to death with noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition, that I’ve not joined them o, whoever they are. I am still with the masses!
Is my tuba-playing man now ready? Good, please, give me that bass tune again. I want to praise my Presido. Thank you, very much. I can hear you loud and clear: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya!
Come to think of it, we can even take this praise-worship of a thing a step further. Those of us who just joined, it seems to me that we are becoming too much of a crowd. Can we diversify, sorry, divide ourselves into groups? Could some of us march to the fuel or petrol stations, still blowing our trumpets, beating our drums and conga, udu and ekwe, still clanging our cymbals and thumping our tambourines in tandem with the tuba-man refrain: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya!
In fact, I’ve just been informed by a source in Aso Rock that if we will take our melodious beat, sound and tune to petrol stations, the price may come tumbling down from N200, N150 or N145 per litre we’ve been buying it (depending on which station you are getting your supplies from), to N10 per litre. I swear! It all depends on how well we play our cards, sorry, tuba, conga and other musical praise instruments.
Where is my bass guitar-playing guy? Let’s hear you combine your own tune with that of the tuba guy’s: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya! Is there anybody out there who can play bass or snare drum very well? Please, join us o. How about Atilogwu and Nkpokiti dancers? I hope the search for greener pastures has not taken these our able youths, our agile, nimble-footed dancers to Libya or across the Mediterranean Sea, to Italy? Please, join us o if you are still there. We are praising our Presido.
Now, I will like to suggest, with your kind permission, dear reader, that we all take an oath, at this juncture, whether at Okija, Diobu, Port Harcourt or Jigawa, it doesn’t really matter, never to criticize our Presido again, no matter what happens and no matter what he does. I know that we have a lot of problems on our hands in this country. But look, I’ve just been told that if we will forget all that and praise him, all the problems will disappear overnight with a wave of the hand. So? Let us not criticize or bad-mouth our Presido any more.
Where is that gospel music group belonging to Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka. Where is their egwu oyorima? Please, forget about criticism for now, whether harsh or ashen, and let us take up positions and begin to blow our opi, beat our ekwe, and our ogene (gong), as never before, in praise of our Presido.
Are Governor Ayo (Iron?) Fayose and Chief (Chef?) Femi Fani-Kayode reading this? Please, join us o. Hey, you guys, strike up that mood-changing tune again and let us dance our hearts out for our President: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya; Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Good, you got it! That is the spirit of this time. Brothers and Sisters in Crisis, if you have been forbidden from criticizing them then, by all means, praise them.
You can play musical instrument, can’t you? Please, come with it. I’ve just been informed by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that 35 states owe workers’ salaries. But if the affected workers can join us in praising our President, who knows, they may receive telephone alerts that their salaries have been paid, before they finish reading this piece. Don’t you think that the lassa fever they said has killed 72 so far in 18 states will find its way into the Sahara Desert if it sees us going about, playing our musical instrument and praising Baba with it?
Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya! How about prices of foodstuffs that I hear are now threatening to shoot through the roofs into the sky? I understand that if we praise our Presido hard enough, food prices can come crashing down like a pack of cards: for instance, a small basket of tomato fruits may go for N20 and the biggest of them all for N40; a bag of beans may go for N200 and onions, for N50. A bag of rice may come down to N100 and yam for N10 per tuber. All that you need is to walk into the nearest market place to you and begin to chant praises of Baba and prices of foodstuffs will come dancing azonto with you.
A bunch of ripe and unripe plantain may go for N80 and banana for N15. As for cement and other building materials, I hear that their prices can come crashing down to the point that your gateman can build as many houses as he wants. And, you said not to praise our Presido if praising him can bring about the real APC change on the prices of things? I fear you o. Ah, there is power in praises! So? Ask traders, businessmen, market women and their customers to join in this great praise.
As for me and my family, we’ve decided to praise our Presido. If you don’t know how to do so, na you sabi. Oya, strike up that mood-changing tune again: Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya, Bu-bu-bu, Buhariya. Look, we are doing something serious here. We are praising our President!