United Bank Africa

Just Before We Forget

By Charles Ogbu
On the 31st day of December, 1983, a young over-ambitious but poorly trained Katsina state-born soldier called Muhammadu Buhari overthrew the democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari and Alex Ekwueme and ruled the West African country called Nigeria with iron fist for 20 months before being kicked out by another Niger state-born soldier called Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. But despite ruling with a loaded gun and a suspended constitution, this young soldier, Mr Buhari, failed woefully in everything and only succeeded in inflicting pain, blood and sorrow on the people.
Thirty years later, a group of political hawks who witnessed the 1st missionary journey of this young soldier and saw all the tyranny, gross human right abuses and economic armageddon that characterised it, connived with their political hallelujah boys and some morally bankrupt leeches masquerading as intellectuals both in the media and the Churches and sold the same Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians, most of whom were not born during his short stint 30 years ago.
All known rules guiding the affairs of decent men were broken in a desperate bid to foist the now frail much older but still poorly prepared Muhammadu Buhari on over 180million Nigerians.
Intimidation was fully used as a legitimate tool. Gory displays of violence was not left out. Alternative facts were freely peddled and forced down people’s throat. History was twisted and truth, decency and common-sense stood on their head with reckless abandon just so the candidacy of this old soldier could be sold and bought.
Even the body of Christ was dragged into it when a certain priest declared that the old despot was God’s choice as revealed to him with the aid of some bird called pigeon. Those who dared question the rationale behind the choice of the ill-prepared former treasonous dictator were branded haters and bigots who wouldn’t allow a Northern Muslim rule over them. It did not matter that these same “haters and bigots” had previously voted overwhelmingly for another northern Muslim called Umar Musa Yar’adua, now late, from the same Katsina state as Mr Buhari.
Writers who are supposed to be the conscience of the society willingly sold their pen to the highest bidders, murdered truth and deliberately fed lies to the public. Informed youths who are supposed to ask questions, uncomfortable questions, chose to suspend the part of their brain used for reasoning and embraced the well packaged fraud sold them. But, in all these, the sign that this man was, is and will most likely die a disaster in government was all over the place. No reasonable man could have missed it.
The record of this man’s tyranny, vindictiveness, ethno-religious bigotry and raw hate for people from a particular section of the country and religious affiliation was there. Those records were never hidden. Some people simply allowed themselves to be fooled. And here we are!!
While we mourn the millions of people whose businesses and means of livelihood have been destroyed by the 16th century economic policy of the Buhari-led government, the thousands of innocent Nigerians butchered by the government-sponsored Fulani militias, the hundreds of the Shiite Muslims and pro-Biafra activists sent to the great beyond by soldiers under the command of this death merchant called president Buhari, we must remember one thing: The man who knowingly bring the fire-spitting animal called Dragon into his home is the one to blame for any damage the Dragon may cause to the home. By spitting fire from its mouth, the Dragon is only doing that for which it is called Dragon. The man who brought it into his home only to start complaining of the fire from its mouth is simply being dishonest to himself because he ought to have known that spitting fire is one of the main characteristics of the Dragon.
Whatever you do, however you do it, always remember that your biggest problem is not the integrity-challenged nowhere-to-be found ex-soldier called Muhammadu Buhari. Your biggest problem lies with those political terrorists, intellectually fraudulent writers, pigeon priests/pastors as well as the cash-tivists masquerading as human right activists who knew Buhari for the plague he was some 3 decades ago but still repackaged and foisted him on Nigerians.
There is nothing that is happening now that didn’t happen during Buhari first coming, some 3 decades ago. Charles Ogbu remembers! You, too, should remember. No one can make a private bargain with history. Knowing your problem is good but knowing the person or persons responsible for the problem is better. It will enable you separate your seeds from your chaff. We must not allow our arsonists to play the fire fighters in an inferno they deliberately provoked out of greed, hate and bitterness.