Friday, September 13, 2019



Their adversity among themselves is very highYou would think they were united, but their hearts are divided: that is because they are a folk who have no sense. ( al-Hahr: 14)

Caution: Haters of Buhari based on his religion and tribe are advised not to read this article. It is sure to increase the contumacy and hatred in their hearts; they will not be jubilant after reading its contents. 

Is this article a follow-up or an antonym to FOR THE LOVE OF ATIKU which was published (February 29th) on these pages sometime after the 2019 general elections? No, it is not. It will neither entertain the Presidential Election Tribunal’s dismissal of Atiku’s petition, in its entirety, against Buhari, nor discuss Buhari’s triumph in same. The army of counsellors at his disposal, spiritual and temporal, have apparently advised him to proceed to the Supreme Court, just as they goaded him into exercising his rights to challenge the results of the elections at the Tribunal in the first place; the expenditure in terms of time and resources is indeed ample. Legal minds at work and their client is equal to the task. And is President Buhari having a taste of his own medicine in Atiku’s rejection of the results, the judgement and heading to the Supreme Court? Concurrence. Sadly, Buhari’s extension “of a hand of fellowship to those who had felt aggrieved at the outcome of the election” met deleteriously clenched fist of Atiku Abubakar. The opportunity of being the second Nigerian to accept defeat at the polls and congratulate the opponent is lost forever. Atiku is just like Buhari: a Fulani Muslim, a Northerner, and a fighter to the finish!  

The congratulation came from unlikely quarters; from Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of the Christian State. He "congratulated President Muhammad Buhari on the validation of his election by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal." The Governor "urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his victory to work for all Nigerians, irrespective of their political leanings"; he also "called on the president to work towards the unity of the country, noting that  the country is divided." Indeed!

So, what is happening here? At a time when his party is issuing a proclamation about going to the Supreme Court, rejecting the judgement and "describing it as provocative, barefaced subversion of justice and direct assault on the integrity of our nation's justice system", Wike is congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari. Politics is indeed dirty. 

If you marvelled at Wike’s message to Buhari, he has an explanation for his action. He spoke at the Funeral Service in honour of Late Madam Blessing Awuse, Mother of Onha Sargent Chidi Awuse, at the St Luke’s Anglican Church, Emohua on Thursday, September 12th, 2019. “I am sure,” he said, “all of you are surprised that I congratulated Buhari. Is it not good for me to congratulate him than to go to his house in the night?

“So many PDP Governors go to see him in his house in the night. I have never gone and I will not go. I won’t go.” He also said: “Politics is a game of interest. And my only is Rivers State. Anything that is against the interest of Rivers State, I will not agree.”

So, by the time that we are deep in heated political wrangling, those who rule over us will have nocturnal meetings in the spirit of deep fraternalism.   

Another congratulatory message came from a group that calls itself IGBO BUHARISTS GENERAL ASSEMBLY which felicitates “with President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on his resounding victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal.” The Igbo group further states: “We BUHARISTS never entertained any fear over the ruling because we know you defeated your opponent squarely with a very large margin.

“We equally congratulate all BUHARISTS and well-meaning Nigerians worldwide. This is a victory for democracy, Nigeria and Nigerians.” 

What! Now! When hitherto you have rebelled and did mischief (and violence)? (Qur’an, Yunus 10:91)

When will I start discussing the main topic? So many diversions and digressions, but I think they are pertinent. My concern is not the politics, but the region and religion of the President. Whatever I mention afterwards is not blanket support of Buhari; it is stating the obvious and bringing to the fore the sordid employment of violence by some vile interest groups for their aggrandisement.

I concede that things are not as they should be in the area of security and standards of living in Nigeria. The pandemonium at train stations shows how desperate people are in trying to avoid road travel for fear of kidnapping. Bandits are growing more audaciously bold in their plunder and pillage of villages and towns, killing, raping and taking hostages for hours on end without any response from the security agencies. I heard one of the imams of a border-town mosque, in Katsina state, in a WhatsApp message, lamenting the security situation in the area and the free rein that bandits have to rape women in front of their husbands and even girls in the very sight of their parents. He decried the preferment of maintaining closed borders and seizure of imported rice over the security of lives and protection of property. The imam wondered why the munitions used by security personnel in raiding warehouses and confiscating illegal cargoes would not be turned against the bandits who are so relaxed during their operations that they spend endless hours in the same place, committing various forms of atrocities against defenceless citizens. Travellers are still susceptible to kidnapping on the Kaduna-Abuja highway. In Kaduna, many have been kidnapped around or in their places of residence with only two options: payment of heavy ransom or death in captivity. Abuja has experienced many cases of abductions including, recently, that of a lecturer kidnapped metres away from his university campus.

Therefore, I am not unaware of the above and more problems. Whatever the government is doing on these challenges, including upping living standards, the economy, we believe it could do more, as the impact is felt not by many Nigerians. 

But what is this hatred against Buhari, his religion, and region? If you do not want the sight of the man’s face, what has his religion got to do with that? Oh! His aim is to Islamise Nigeria. It is an agenda of Islamisation. Nonsense. If you hate Buhari, why will Hausa-Fulani suffer humiliation, expulsion from their dwellings and destruction of their properties because you are not happy with one of their own? Why will one bear the sin of another because they profess the same religion or speak the same language? Why will people bedizen themselves with Fulani outfits, commit crimes so that they will be blamed on the innocents? Why is every move by the government towards solving the farmers/herders crisis viewed with suspicion and rejected as landgrab? Why is Buhari’s government so irresponsive to a region that gave it much-needed votes, and is so docile to the whims of another region that spares no effort to hamper it?  

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