Mr and Mrs Buhari: Does the future of Nigeria depend on them?

January 7, 2019 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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Kingsley Alumona



Still fresh in the memory is Aisha Buhari’s BBC Hausa comments on October 11, 2016, that she would not support her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, come the 2019 elections because some cabals had hijacked his government. President Buhari, reacting to Mrs Buhari’s comments in Berlin, Germany, told the world that his wife belongs to his kitchen, his living room and the other room. This declaration not only shocked the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel who was standing beside him, it also shocked the rest of the world.


Interestingly, however, the First Couple is in the news again—Mrs Buhari for accusing two faceless men for constituting a gag on the wheels of the progress of the government, and Mr Buhari for shading crocodile tears over religion and its socio-political function. With or without them knowing, the future of Nigeria lies on their accusations and assertions.


It is not strange that Mrs Buhari is one of the few sincere people in the camp of the ruling party. Since the inception of this administration, she has not been reluctant in expressing her thoughts over what she thinks is unjust in government. A few of her reservations about the Mr Buhari-led administration would suffice in this rendition.


First were her BBC Hausa comments. She not only criticized Mr Buhari for not knowing forty-five out of the fifty people he appointed, she also said Mr Buhari was yet to fulfil what he promised the electorates. Another worthy of mention was her flare with the management of Aso Rock Clinic. On October 9, 2017, Mrs Buhari insisted that there was a need for Nigerians to know how the 3.89 billion naira budgeted for the clinic in 2016 was expended before it was reduced to 331.7 million naira in 2017. A few months before Mrs Buhari made this statement, Mr Buhari was in London for several months on medical attention.


Recently, Mrs Buhari made the headlines again. Speaking at the National Women Leadership Summit in Abuja on December 4, 2018, Mrs Buhari, once again, bared her disappointment on how Mr Buhari’s administration is being run. Without fear or favour, she said there are two men in Mr Buhari’s government who have constituted a hindrance in the speedy progress of Nigeria, stressing that she is disappointed in men who, rather than fight these two men, would go to them in the night begging for favours.


Full of determination to speak truth to power, she was not deterred by the presence of some political figures around her. In fact, she literally confronted them head-on. “I have realized that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, Special Advisor on political matters to the President; and Dr Hajo Sani; my aide, Sajo; and wife of the Vice President, Mrs Osinbajo, are not comfortable with my saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech. But, we must say the truth,” she insisted.


Yinka Odumakin, in his December 11, 2018 Nigerian Tribune column article titled ‘Aisha Buhari: The man standing in APC’, stated that what makes a man is the strength of conviction, the ability to speak the truth, no matter whose ox is gored, and that this quality is in short supply in what Mrs Buhari called ‘men’, especially the ones that populated the ruling party today. Then, Odunmakin added, “In such a situation, Aisha Buhari is the man standing.”


It is honourable and commendable that, instead of licking the shoes of these two faceless men crippling the development of the country, Mrs Buhari spoke the mind of Nigerians. Perhaps, if Mrs Buhari were not Mr Buhari’s wife, she would have been in jail by now or gone missing for good.


Mr Buhari, on the other hand, is a different narrative. Mr Buhari has infamously proven to be an antithesis of Mrs Buhari. The saying: Once a soldier, always a soldier, describes the unrepentant Daura general, the unelectable Mr Buhari who after three failed attempts at becoming the president of Nigeria succeeded in 2015.


Mr Buhari’s disposition before and after 2015 has not changed, it has only been magnified by the flashlight of democracy. Mr Buhari, in spite of his exposed persona and agendas, is still the same religious fanatic and nepotistic despot. Since the inception of his complaint-ridden administration, these qualities have further helped to alienate him from Nigerians.


Then came Mr Buhari’s November 30, 2018 Church Times article titled ‘Don’t politicise religion in Nigeria’, which seemingly read like something written with the pen of an intellectual with Mr Buhari’s name glossily printed on it. Why cry about religion now he is president? A critical interrogation of this article would suffice in exposing the hypocritical tendencies of Mr Buhari.


In the fourth paragraph of the article, Mr Buahri said, “Along with the millions of Christians in Nigeria today, I believe in peace, tolerance, and reconciliation.” Conversely, Mr Buhari was quoted sometime in 2001 to have said, “God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.” Even the blind could see that there is no peace and tolerance in that statement. Again, after Mr Buhari lost the 2011 presidential election, he warned, “If what happened in 2011 should happen again in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.” There is no tolerance and reconciliation in that barbaric declaration.


In the same article, Mr Buhari also said, “This is not the first time that I—nor, indeed, my Christian-Muslim evenly split cabinet—have been the subject of such nonsense.” Everyone knows that Mr Buhari’s cabinet is lopsided Northwards. Federal jobs and appointments favour his tribe people than other tribes. On Boko Haram, he said, “Since my administration has been in power, Boko Haram has been significantly and fatally degraded.” It is interesting to know that before the publication of Mr Buhari’s Church Times article about one hundred Nigerian soldiers were killed by Boko Haram in their Metele barracks in Borno State. Some weeks later, on December 6, Boko Haram raided some communities in Rann, Kala Balge in Borno and killed some people as well.


About the nomadic herdsmen and settled farmers crisis, Mr Buhari, in the article, said, “At the heart of this discord is access to rural land, exacerbated both by climate change and population growth.” It is typical to expect such banality from a forgetful Mr Buhari. Not that long ago, he accused the Late Muammar Gaddafi’s men for the herdsmen-farmers crisis and killings. At one point, he even accused politicians from the opposition camps for it.


Also, in that article that reads more like a political fiction, Mr Buhari claimed that, just like Reverend Samuel Ajayi Crowther, he is a descendant of Abraham. But, that unlike Crowther, he is a Muslim. This statement begs the question: Who is really politicizing religion in Nigeria?


Nigerians do not care if Mr Buhari is Abraham or Crowther. They do not care if he is a Christian or a Muslim. They are worried about the crippling economy, about the sorry condition of roads, about striking hospital workers and university lectures, about minimum wage and unpaid salaries, ad infinitum. They are wary of the future.


Mr Buhari’s buffoonery on national matters is better encapsulated in Farooq Kperogi’s December 9, 2018 Saturday Tribune column article titled ‘Buhari: Not a clone but a clown’. In the article, Kperogi opined that those who invested hope in an idealized Buhari that never existed, the Buhari they see now is figuratively a clone.


Just the way Mrs Buhari is not comfortable with the way Mr Buhari’s government is being operated, Kperogi stated that even Buhari’s hardcore admirers are discomforted with an image of an ineffectual Buhari inexorably hamstrung by no-good, unelected puppeteers that he appointed. After stressing that Nigerians do not have a president, Kperogi added, “Buhari is a figurehead who is battling with the ravages of aging and who is unaware of what is going on in the country and around him.”


Without mincing words, one could comfortably say that Mrs Buhari is everything Mr Buhari is not. The sad truth is if Mr Buhari has one-third of the intellect, sincerity, vigour and people-oriented spirit Mrs Buhari has, he would have made a good president. Furthermore, if Mr Buhari’s political mouth pieces and sycophants that are bent on misinforming Nigerians could borrow a leave from Mrs Buhari’s sincerity and bravery, Nigeria would have been a better place.


At this juncture, it is imperative to emphasize that Mrs Buhari’s commendation is not complete until she lets Nigerians know who these two faceless men are. Nigerians have the right to know, and she has the moral obligation to let them know. If she denies them that right for any reason, then she is not different from Mr Buhari and the two men she is accusing. At this critical point in Nigeria’s history, truth and justice are the only solutions to her numerous problems.


Unfortunately, however, the future of Nigeria and Nigerians depends on the type of information and statistics those in power force down their throats. It is high time Nigerians wised up. Trusting their lives and future with the ‘next level’ of lies and impunities would be another four years down the ladder of unbearable misery.





Kingsley Alumona

Kingsley Alumona is a geologist and a reporter from Delta State, Nigeria. He works at the Nigeria Tribune. His works have appeared in the 2018 African Book Club Anthology, Kalahari Review, Nthanda Review, TUCK magazine, Brittle Paper, Daily Trust, Nigerian Tribune, The Nation, The Independent, The Vanguard and The Sun newspapers. You can reach him on Twitter: @kingalumona.

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