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The Sins of General Muhammadu Buhari – By Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

By Phil Tam-Al Alalibo – NNP – April 23, 2011 – Clearly, the people have spoken and Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan has emerged as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This marks the first time a southerner of Ijaw extraction has been voted into the office of the presidency. While this victory is commendable and clearly an overt indication that Nigeria is coming of age, it is evident that some elements in the north cannot accept the authority and leadership of a Southern Christian president and this is utterly worrisome.  Ironically, the northern opposition supporters who have taken to the streets in furious protest of the results of the fairest elections in Nigeria in the last two decades were either all on vacation or simply complacent when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ‘won’ the presidency in a most fraudulent manner in 2007. This was an election that was supervised by the most incompetent of them all;  INEC Chairman Maurice Iwu, an election that was bankrolled by a criminal namely James Ibori who has finally been caught by the long arm of the law for money laundering and faces the possibility of a long jail sentence in the UK. If their motives are pure and borne out of a genuine concern for parity and equity, the mind wonders why we did not witness similar protests against the fraudulent election results that ushered Yar’Adua into power in 2007.  And I might say that Buhari is aiding and abating the violence in the north – all through the carnage, the killing and maiming on his behalf, the man was not emphatic in his call to the youth to put an immediate end to the senseless violence that targeted Christians and their places of worship. I submit that Buhari was tacitly in support of the violence and may have even sponsored it and this my friends, amply underscores his acute lack of democratic credentials and his level of political maturity and intolerance.  The problem with Buhari is that he believes the presidency belongs to his kind, the northern oligarchy that has dominated the political landscape of Nigeria since God was a child. In spite of the changing times and demographics, with a majority Christian population, Buhari and the likes of Adamu Ciroma and the so-called ‘consensus candidate group’ remain soused in their ancient and grossly antiquated proclivity still expecting the presidency to be handed to them as the rightful owners of Nigeria. This was held in even greater expectation for Gen. Buhari in this election since his kinsman, the late president Yar’Adua, was from Katsina, he had hoped to carry the northern torch to continue where his kinsman left off. In all these, Nigerians will like to know why Buhari continues to chase the presidency since 1999 when democracy was re-introduced? What does he really want in Aso Rock? The man is 68 years old, a time when most men are winding down and preparing for or are already in a life of retirement, but this man continue to spend every waking moment insisting that he must rule democratic Nigeria. It is evident that this Daura, Katsina native cannot win a free and fair election in Nigeria even if his opponent is a Christian pentecostal goat from the south. He remains an Islamic fundamentalist, a jihadist of extreme inclinations, and we have not forgotten his utterances which were well pitted against the so-called infidels and his attempt to introduce Islam as the state religion when he held sway from 1983-85.  During this time, Buhari refused building permits for churches across the country while mosques were springing up willy-nilly. It was only a few years ago he urged Moslems in a speech in Sokoto to vote only those that can protect their faith and the import of this statement was hardly lost on the keen observer. What has faith got to do with politics and why should a man who intends to govern a country such as Nigeria with diverse political and religion interests be concerned with faith and make it a pre-requisite for office? The hypocrisy of Buhari is all the more evident and in fact alarmingly perturbing when we take a closer look at his military career.  We should be reminded that this man who has been running for the presidency in the last 12 years has yet to submit himself to the law for prosecution for overthrowing a duly elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari in December 1983 and for executing Nigerians on a retroactive drug law. Not even in chaotic and governless Somalia or in Taliban controlled parts of lawless Afghanistan do they execute offenders on retroactive laws, and this once again exposes the primordial mindset of this retired Major-General, a man who wants to govern a great country like Nigeria that produced Nobel prize winning Wole Soyinka, Achebe, the sage and countless scholars of immense reckoning. In his time at Dodan Barracks, and this is very interesting my friends, Buhari remained the only Head of State or president that selected a fellow Muslim as vice president. Could anyone imagine that in a country with majority Christian population, both the Head of State and the vice (Tunde Idiagbon) were Muslims from the north, it was as if the south did not exist and now he seeks to be president of northern and southern Nigeria attempting to reap where he had forgotten to sow. With such heavy-handed and utterly inconsiderate approach that remains edged in peoples’ memories more than twenty years after why should he expect to win an election in Nigeria when that entails winning a majority of the Christian states in the south? On the bright side, Buhari should be commended for forming a party, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in 2010 and winning 12 states just a year later, but the facts remain bare – that he is not the man for the presidency. He belongs to the old and recycled past, a tribe of  leaders whose usefulness has since been consigned to the unforgotten annals of history; a much younger and highly educated (a PhD) Jonathan presents a breath of fresh air to Nigerians, a break from the arduous and excruciating past that includes Obasanjo, Buhari, IBB all of whom have abstinately refused to read the tea-leafs to gracefully evaporate with the retirement wind. Buhari is not a sincere politician and there is ample evidence now that he is also classless in his ardent refusal to accept defeat in an election adjudged to be the fairest in the history of Nigeria and so recognized by the ‘gurus’ of democracy, the US,UK, France, Germany and Canada all of whom have since congratulated the president-elect. In the last several years, there have been many governors in the north who have rigged their way into Government House and yet no protests (or law suits) from Buhari and his eager youth since these riggers were Muslims, it was all good and dandy. This hypocritical stance of the north must stop and we will continue to remind them that they have no greater claim to Nigeria than the hard-working and industrious southerners.  It appears that one Nigeria is only suitable and attainable to the north if and only when a northern Muslim is in power no matter how grossly incompetent. This position, I must say led to the demise of Moshood Abiola, the undisputed winner of the annulled 1993 elections marked one of the best electoral experiences in Nigeria. The north and the powers that be simply would not accept his leadership. While Abiola was a Muslim, he had the sheer misfortunate to emanate from the wrong part of the country –  Ogun State. Were he a Muslim from Sokoto or Kano, he would have been an ex president by now, not late. In this election, Buhari’s concorted allegations and the reasons why he is heading to court are as curious as they are amusing. He is alleging that the Excel software used in the presidential elections was programmed to give PDP an edge. Ironically, this was the same software that was used in the National Assembly election the week before which he praised and the same software used in the 12 states where he won overwhelmingly. But the CPC flagbearer has remained selective in his court challenge and we wonder why he is not challenging the functionality of the software in the 12 states where his party claimed victory but has decided to do so in the south–east, south-south and south-west where his performance was disparaging, to say the least. It appears that the only free and fair election in Nigeria is the one won by Buhari, all others must have been rigged. We now hear that his own party in the south-east has disowned him for his baseless accusation of rigging. Buhari is a controversial figure, a man who is conflicted and truly does not have the interest of the nation at heart. No true patriot of the Nigerian state would standby while miscreants and thugs burn parts of the nation and murder hundreds on their behalf. There appears to be no difference between Buhari’s abatement of violence and death and Laurent Gbagbo’s defiant stance in Ivory Coast that led to the deaths of thousands of his countrymen. Buhari wants to be president at all cost but has not taken the time to fertilize the ground to reap aplenty in the harvest. His choice of Pastor Tunde Bakare, a pentecostal pastor is anything but appeasing to Christians who know all too well that a leopard can never change its spots.  Pastor Bakare with his abundant problems in Christiandom is no miracle worker and there is nothing he can do to change the perception of Nigerians about his principal. It would not have even mattered if Jesus Christ were to be his running mate, the man has an indelible scar that has made him public enemy number one, so to speak, to Christians across the country. The other day, I read that Buhari was weeping in Abuja, claiming that this is the last time he would offer himself to the service of the nation. However, his weeping piles in comparison to the weeping of millions of Nigerians that became hapless victims of the brutality occasioned by his regime in the mid eighties. Buhari is a bitter man and he must accept defeat and move on if he truly loves the nation and has its interest at heart as he has often claimed. Here lies true test of patriotism and I am afraid the former dictator has failed with distinction. President Jonathan is Nigeria’s president for the next 4 years and there is nothing anyone can do to change this fact; to do so will invoke unwarranted tendencies. The north must accept and submit to this humble and intelligent Christian president from the Niger Delta creeks in the same way the south has been submitting to the whims and caprices of northern dictators and presidents for almost four decades. That is the way the cookie crumbles and they must accept it or move across the border to Niger Republic. It’s that simple!

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Posted by on Apr 22 2011. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), NNP Columnists, P, Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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