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General Buhari Must Be Warned – By Phil Tam-Al Alalibo

By Phil Tam-Al Alalibo | NNP | May 28, 2012 – Once again, General Muhammadu Buhari, the perpetual presidential candidate and born again ethnic jingoist has generously spewed his usual hatred and venom in a deliberate attempt to heat up the polity and cause disaffection in the ranks. As is often said, an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop and Buhari being jobless and unable to find productive entreaties in the time between elections has given into such tendencies to sure up his relevance.

At a time when the country is experiencing one of its darkest moments with all manner of security challenges, deaths and destruction of innocent lives and properties, the like of Buhari, rather than parleying with the security forces and the president to find a lasting solution to the Boko Haram menace as a true national figure and statesman has instead chosen this moment to heighten tension and cast wanton aspersions on the duly elected president. By warning three years ahead that there would be bloodsheds and “dogs and baboons” will be soaked in blood if the 2015 presidential elections are rigged is apocalyptic as it is an ominous indication of a man freighted with undemocratic propensities and wont. This is simply treasonable.

Without holding brief for President Jonathan or his administration, it is often said those that live in glass houses should not throw stones. Buhari, being a tenant in a glass house against this wise stipulation has been throwing stones without regards to his own indelible fallibilities, gross misconduct and scurrilous duplicity while in office. From all indications, it is clear that the former dictator is a man obsessed with violence and scatological tendencies; a man with blood on his hands as evidenced in the murder (or shall we say execution) in 1985 of three southerners on a law enacted well after they had committed their drug offences. Sometimes, I wonder if Buhari is endowed with sane deposition as his words, deeds and actions betray a man amply conflicted, torn mercilessly asunder by competing demons.

It’s unequivocal that Buhari was behind the violence that rocked parts of the north following his third failed bid to govern Nigeria; an event that claimed numerous lives including those of Youth Corpers sent to further the course of democracy. Even his reactions and public utterances in the wake of the violence betrayed his culpability only offering a feeble and hypocritical appeal for calm just to deflect criticisms. It will be recalled that in the days leading to the 2011 presidential elections, Buhari encouraged his supporters in the north to “lynch” anyone that tinkered with the results of the presidential elections. Evidently, every word that emanates from his lips is reflective of violence, death and mayhem; reconciliation and civility are not in the lexicon of this dictator. As a former head of state and a respected voice in the north, he couldn’t use his influence to advise his supporters to seek legal redress in the event of rigging, he had to, as per his nature, incite violence and death. Hear him in his own words: “you should never leave polling centres until votes are counted and the winner declared and you should lynch anybody that tries to tinker with the votes.”

Perhaps, his obsession to rule Nigeria which was truncated by his own hand-picked generals in August of 1985 is edged in his firm belief that only the north has monopoly on power, thus, the ascension to power by Jonathan, an irrelevant Ijaw fisherman is an abnormality, an aberration and a sure infringement on the inalienable rights of members of the northern oligarchy that are born to rule Nigeria. The disgraced dictator is bent on achieving this by any means necessary including violence, cajoling, reckless and irresponsible pontifications and what have you. It will be further recalled that only a few years ago, he was caught on the microphone in Sokoto telling his supporters to only vote for those that would uphold their religion, in other words, implying that they should only vote for Muslims.

In the same vein, it is also noteworthy that Buhari only campaigned in the north in the last presidential elections effectively annihilating half of the country and injecting ethnic and religious coloration into the electoral process, but yet he expected to govern the entirety of Nigeria if he had been elected. In light of the aforementioned, it is therefore not an erroneous summation that Buhari is the consummate tribalist in the checkered political history of this country and an unrepentant religious bigot. As Head of State, we remember all too well his administration’s anti-Christian policies. While he refused to grant building permits to churches across the country, Muslims were granted permits to build Mosques across the country willy-nilly. Until today, he remains the only leader, military or civilian, Christian or Muslim, southerner or northerner to appoint a vice of the same religion and from the same region in the person of the late Tunde Idiagbon from Kwara State.

To think that this is a man that wants to govern the entirety of Nigeria is laughable and makes an utter mockery of our democratic system. He claims that the 2011 presidential elections were rigged against the contrary proclamations of the local and international election monitoring teams. Agreeing for a moment for the sake of argument that the elections were rigged, does he expect to win the presidency with his sectarian approach even if the elections were free and fair? Who in his sane mind will vote for an avouched jihadist to be president of secular Nigeria?  It is equally laughable and outright farcical to hear Buhari accuse President Jonathan of appointing his Ijaw kinsmen to choice ministerial positions when the north has held political power for thirty-eight out of fifty years of independence and during this time, it was common knowledge that the south in spite of being the bread basket of the nation and its economic engine was amply marginalized.

Nowhere was this any more evident than in his lopsided choice of cabinet members during his twenty months in Dodan Barracks. Out of sixteen cabinet positions that included the Chief of Staff (vice president), only six were southerners, well less than 50% of the cabinet for a region that equaled the north in population, if not more. While he held sway, most of the juicy and coveted cabinet positions were entrusted to his northern and/or Muslim protégés. For example, Domkat Bali was head of the defense ministry, the powerful Abuja ministry was in the hands of the late Mamman Vatsa, both the key internal and foreign affairs ministries were headed by northerners in the persons of Mohammed Magoro and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari. The communication and trade ministries were headed by then Lt. Col A. Abdullahi and Mahmud Tukur respectively while the powerful transportation and education ministries went to Abdullahi Ibrahim and Yarima Ibrahim respectively.

The problem with Buhari is the fact that he has an over-inflated sense of his own importance. In his ignorance and arrogance, he has dared the duly elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria twice to arrest him. What he has failed to realize is the fact if he is arrested, nothing will happen, absolutely nothing will happen. Far more influential and well-heeled personalities in Nigeria have been arrested, imprisoned and some even murdered and nothing happened, the heavens did not come down and Nigeria did not seize to exist.  Buhari was in the country when his senior in the army and a former military vice president from a wealthy family with political pedigree, Maj-Gen. Musa Shehu Yar’Adua, the elder brother of the late president was arrested, imprisoned and poisoned in an Ebonyi jail and nothing happened.  Buhari was also in the country when a former president with far more goodwill and popularity in the eyes of the international community in the person of Obasanjo was imprisoned and almost murdered by Abacha, nothing happened. In the last few years, many, including former influential governors and even a former Inspector-General of Police had been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment and nothing happened. If Buhari is arrested and imprisoned for his treasonable avouchment nothing will happen, absolutely nothing. By throwing the gauntlet to the president of the country, he is placing himself above all laws, above board and untouchable as a privileged member of the northern oligarchy, exactly the characteristics Nigerians want in a man that seeks the highest office.

The likes of Buhari must know that there will be no justice except there is political equity in the country and an acceptance of the glaring fact that the south and Christians have equal and bona fide right to the leadership of the country. When the north was at the helm for forty years out of fifty years of independence; neither Buhari nor the northern governors complained of injustice even when it was (and still is) evident that northern leaders (not Jonathan) were the very ones that impoverished the north. If Jonathan elects to run for re-election in 2015, he is so empowered by the constitution as a Nigerian and nothing will happen.

General Buhari must be warned not to incite violence with his irresponsible and unguarded pontifications. It is unsettling that at the age of 70, when most of his peers have since consigned their efforts to spending time with their grandchildren and assuming an envied statesmanship posture, Buhari, amply fanning the ember of discord still seeks to become president against all odds. Invariably, if violence consumes the country in 2015 as a result of his incitement, Nigerians and the international community, including the International Court of Justice,  should know exactly who to hold responsible.

 

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Posted by on May 28 2012. 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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