We live in hazardous times, when conscience is seared and sensitivities deadened. We live in a time when wickedness has been entrenched on commanding heights in our national psyche and nothing matters anymore as long as it suits our political interests. And talking about political interest. What really is political interest, if not doing things and saying things that massage our selfishness and extend our largesse?
Sometime ago, the world eulogised ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for his statesmanlike concession of defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election. Today, Jonathan is confusing the world, wailing more than the wailers, blaming everybody but himself for his loss of power. His advisers would do him a world of good by advising him to stop rubbishing the little modicum of esteem he left Aso Rock with because evidence now abounds that he was more of an absentee President, which is not much different from Buhari whom Nigerians (or traducers?) now describe as missing President.
In the past few weeks, there has been sickening concern about the whereabouts of President Buhari. Sickening because the concern has not been borne out of noble intent or genuine interest in the wellbeing of the old man, but rather a mischievous gloating over the predicament of Mr. President.
I must confess though that the President, or rather his aides are to blame for this. There is nothing unusual in admitting that the President is indisposed. Why wouldn’t he be, is he superhuman? And at his age, especially when there are doubts if he is actually 74 years or more, what is the big deal? After all, he is not the only president to be ill in office, neither will he be the last. Or have we even forgotten too soon Reuben Abati and his treatise on Aso Rock and its demons? In the light of this, would it be unusual if President Buhari gets a midnight kiss from the demons, even in old age? By the way, we all saw Buhari during electioneering in 2015, was he really healthy before ascending the throne of Nigeria’s presidency?
Why the presidential aides insist on keeping the man’s health condition secret beats my imagination. It took Buhari himself to tell a shell-shocked nation how close he was to death’s door when he returned from his extended ‘medical vacation’ in Britain a few months back, being transfused and all manner of laboratory tests. To me, the President’s candour then was most commendable but, unfortunately, his aides, who love living in denial, are yet to learn and are actually the ones fueling these wild speculations by failing to dispense information about the President, our President. It must be noted that from the day Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015, he lost his privacy and Nigerians deserve to know what’s going on in the life of their leader, even if it is in the ‘other room’.
The problem is opposition politicians are piling the heat in retribution. In its quest for power, the All Progressives Congress (APC), right from its Action Congress of Nigeria days, made a lot of demands on the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They wanted daily updates on the health status of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua. They insisted on this until the man died, unfortunately. And now the tide has turned and the APC is stuck; the PDP wants its pound of flesh. That, however, does not justify all the noise about the President. It is immoral to make political capital of the President’s plight.
It is not a lie that Buhari has not been particularly spectacular in office, what with the cronyism, nepotism and favoritism that characterise his government. A case in point is the shamefaced recruitment in the Department of State Security, in which Buhari’s Katsina State alone got 51 slots, more than entire zones in the South. Fulani herdsmen have declared open war on the entire country, especially in Christian communities in Southern Kaduna, Benue and some states south of Nigeria but Mr. President, patron of the cattle breeders, Miyetti Allah, has not batted an eyelid to these atrocities, which has emboldened the bandits, who see his body language as tacit approval or protection or both. It is also strange… that while people are being convicted rather harshly in Kogi for cattle rustling, Fulani herdsmen roam wide and wild, maiming and killing with eerie pleasure.
I heard one broadcast where a supposed Christian woman decreed death for any Christian that prays for Buhari. Not so, sister; I doubt whether you are truly a Christian. We are under obligation to pray for those in authority. Even if you don’t want to pray for him, you should not curse those who do; you are not the one to answer the prayer. Or has it occurred to you that God might have allowed Buhari to dislodge weak-kneed Jonathan for a reason, to punish kleptomaniac Nigerian leaders for their wicked stripping of our bleeding national coffers?
People have been saying evil things about Buhari but it is ungodly to wish the man ill or dead, no matter his tepid performance. I want to believe that the man has a good heart but is being misled by political profiteers around him. Those afraid to give him right advice lest they lose out in the end; those insistent on misleading the man so that they can continue to profit from the pain of Nigerians. Those saboteurs, who, unbeknown to him, actually want to lead him by the nose to Golgotha and disgrace him there. I don’t see how Jonathan and his bested PDP should still be blamed for our poor state after two years of APC abracadabra.
Yes, President Buhari is indisposed, so what? Is the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, incapacitated too? I know he is provably able to steer the ship of state. And I do not think Buhari is too daft to allow the so-called cabal to use him as sacrificial lamb to gain or retain power. He would not commit suicide in office to preserve the interests of the dreaded cabal and would easily step down when he feels he can no longer cope. Why would he die in office, what else does he want, having governed Nigeria twice, as a military despot and civilian president? He has nothing more to prove. His war against corruption despite its negative projection of Nigeria has been well worth it and is already speaking for him. By God’s grace, Buhari must conclude his onslaught on corruption and restore hope in Nigeria again. I suspect it is these gangsters of corruption, guzzlers of our national destiny that want the man dead at all cost, to truncate their looming calamitous downfall. God will not let them.