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Buhari taking Nigeria to the Promised Land

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By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, November 30, 2020)

In case you’re not Daniel, and you wish to come out of the lions’ den unhurt, employ satire.

Satire is the whispering roar of the ocean that sweeps away the vilest of powerful men. Satire: the claws of the whirlwind eagle that snatch up the spitting cobra before it slithers into its hole.

Snakes don’t blink. They sleep with their eyes open because they have no eyelids. So, when you choose to stand before the open end of the gun barrel and look at our tyrant in the eye, my patriots, don’t blink; use satire.

The father of American literature, Mark Twain, who’s also considered as the greatest humorist the United States has ever produced, puts a premium on gratitude in these profound words, “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”

Man will bite you even when you give him food, a dog will not. Despite all the record-breaking achievements recorded by Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Nigerians have yet remained ungrateful. The northern General has, indeed, been more ‘sinned against than sinned’.

If Nigerians were half as loyal as the dog, they wouldn’t look up to Aso Rock and wag their tongues because a mere 43 innocent citizens were felled by the bullets of Boko Haram on Saturday, in Borno.

They wouldn’t accuse Buhari’s overprotective government of not ensuring the safety of lives and property across the country after gunmen killed the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adegoke Adeusi, in broad daylight on Saturday, in Ondo State.

If Nigerians were grateful, they would call a spade by its name and blame the Olufon, a first class monarch, for intentionally allowing bullets to shatter his body and die just to give the Peoples Democratic Party the opportunity to accuse the Buhari-led government of infamy.

Instead of the citizenry criticising the inability of the Buhari administration to fulfil just one of its numerous campaign promises, flunkeys benefiting from the Buhari rule, would rather want Nigerians to lift up their eyes to the Horn of Africa, to Ethiopia in particular, and behold how Addis Ababa security forces have been painting the dissident region of Tigray with blood. Although there’s no states left unpainted with blood by kidnappers, cultists, hoodlums and Boko Haram, Nigerians still need to thank Buhari for allowing the wind to blow.

Rightly, Buhari and his beneficiaries wish Nigerians were grateful for the success of the ongoing anti-corruption war, the adequate security of lives and property, the enviable economy which has delivered the promised dollar-to-naira parity, the world class infrastructural facilities and the adequate supply of power.

I understand why Buhari’s squad and its megaphone-clutching men feel gratitude should flow from Nigerians after the General acted like a father by deploying soldiers to shoot innocent youths at the Lekki tollgate.

Only a heartless father won’t be moved after soldiers fired blank bullets into the air and blood sprouted at the Lekki tollgate. Only a conscienceless father would sit on a sofa after eating tuwo and pick his teeth when the dead bodies of Shiite and IPOB members litter the streets upon the shedding of crocodile tears by soldiers.

For Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, to promise is human, to fulfil is divine. President Buhari, in his 2015 campaign promises, said: “We (APC) will govern Nigeria honestly in accordance with the Constitution. We will strive to secure the country and efficiently build the economy.”

Buhari, who also promised that, “We will turn Nigeria to a position of international respect through patriotic foreign policies. Preserving the nation’s future is a sacred public obligation to all of us in this great party,” went to London in 2018 and announced before a Commonwealth summit that Nigerian youths were lazy.

Condemning the inability of the Goodluck Jonathan lamduck government to provide electricity, Buhari asked in his speech, “Shall we at home continue to live in a condition where the Power Holding Company and its successors seem only to have the power to hold us in darkness?” And the crowd thundered, “Noooooo!”

In his floundering trademark English, Buhari continued, “Shall we continue in a situation where 250 of our daughters are being (sic) abducted and the government has been unable to rescue them…?

“Shall we live in a nation where several people were trampled to death in search of jobs in a stadium and yet no one has taken responsibility for the tragedy?’ The spontaneity with which the Buhari regime attended to the #ENDSARS protests after two days, the coronavirus pandemic and other critical national issues shows the President as being absolutely responsible.

Buhari, who vowed that ‘pregnant and poor women and children will be entitled to basic healthcare’, also promised to treat every Nigerian equally, adding that his would be a compassionate government.

A calamity can’t beggar description and require a knife to dissect it, goes a Yoruba proverb. Oro kii tobi ju ka fi obe bu. The Buhari government is a monumental failure. The Buhari presidency complements what it lacks in ideas with brute force.

For Buhari, power is the limitless force that propels a mortal into invincibility and respect, shattering compassion, responsiveness and promise along its orbit. This is why all security agencies under the Buhari administration not only see themselves as the dogs of the king but the king of dogs that must attack anyone or interest opposed to the wishes of the king.

But this notion doesn’t hold water in neighbouring Ghana or faraway US, where their outgoing President, Donald Trump (74), is three years younger than Buhari, and their incoming President, Joe Biden, is 78. Buhari will be 78 on December 17.

Government’s perennial maltreatment of citizens is partly a carryover of our colonial heritage but Buhari, who was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army in January 1963, should have used his experience, and presidential powers between 2015 and 2020 to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.

Unlike the strong democratic institutions that withstood the attack by Trump to delegitimise the 2020 American election, democracy-protecting institutions such as the judiciary, legislature, police, military, labour, media etc, under Buhari, act in breach of their responsibilities.

This is the only reason why Buhari, whose country is not richer than any of the 50 states of the US, could be more powerful than the combination of the immediate past President of the US, Barack Obama, the incumbent Trump and the incoming Biden.

If you’re in doubt of my assertion, please, google the noun, ‘idiot’. Have you? Ok. What’s your reaction when many pictures of President Trump came up? Can such an idiotic joke happen in Nigeria, where a man was clamped behind bars just because he named his dog Buhari? In Nigeria, the name Buhari is on the Exclusive List.

When grilled by the US congress to explain why many pictures of President Trump show up when the word, ‘idiot’, is googled, Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, said the internet reality reflected google searches by users.

For expressing that audacious consumerism flair, Google was neither fined nor shut down. Its workers were not threatened or clamped in jail by the police. Yet, in Buhari’s era, media organisations have been fined by regulating bodies for reporting the truth even as social media users, influencers and celebrities have been threatened by the government.

The fascist government of the day doesn’t want Nigerians to talk about its ridiculous actions including the multi-million dollars Chinese locomotive trains that are detaching in motion, killing cows up country, and the ones that are packing up in northern forests opening commuters up to killing by Boko Haram.

Though his weight isn’t measurable in either gold or silver, Buhari will surely tip the scales against Obama, Trump and Biden.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

Opinion

Buhari rests in London, Nigeria boils by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, April 12, 2021)

As a herdsman, ‘yowwa’ is the likeliest gratifying word to escape from the tight-lipped Nigerian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) if his cows nuzzle their muzzles against him as they eat hay from his outstretched hands during a random visit to his herd.

And as a devout Muslim, ‘Auzubillahi!’ is the likeliest word the President would utter if a dog mistakenly snuggles up against his ankle; Islam forbids human-dog embrace.

Aside from the religious injunction, however, the 78-year-old northern leader is unlikely to prefer the dog to the cow. Quite unlike the slow, witless and clumsy cow, the dog is a very intelligent, friendly, sensitive and witty creature. Universally, the dog is seen as man’s best friend, not the cow. Notwithstanding all these attributes, President Buhari’s preference will still be for the cow, not the dog, any day, anytime – for ancestral reasons.

The age-long ‘yes-sir!’ military mentality that upholds loyalty to superiors over patriotism to Nigeria, predisposes Buhari, a veteran soldier, to choosing the pliant cow over the witty dog.

Surely, the flunkey ‘yes-sir’ mentality is the reason why the Nigerian military, police, DSS and other security agencies put Buhari far above the country and the Constitution, and would shoot at innocent youths at Lekki tollgate even when such an order is in clear breach of the rules of engagement and the Constitution.

Indeed, the distinction between sycophancy and patriotism was what saved the US when subversive forces rose against its democracy on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol as the judiciary, the legislature, the military and all other institutions of government stood in defence of the American Constitution over the shenanigans of former President Donald Trump and his cohorts.

The understanding of the distinction between racism and patriotism is what is currently playing out in the trial of the white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of African-American George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sending him to an early grave in Minneapolis city of Minnesota, USA.

Chauvin’s ongoing public trial, which commenced on March 29, 2021, displays the unquestionable ability of the American nation to reinvent itself when faced with challenges.

For the average Nigerian like me, it beggars belief to think that serving and retired Nigerian police officers would enter the witness box and vehemently condemn one of their own as it’s being done in the trial of Chauvin, who faces up to 40 years in prison if the second degree murder charge, which presupposes that he didn’t intentionally kill Floyd, is upheld.

Since public hearings on police killings and brutality opened in various states of the Nigerian federation, following the #Endsars nationwide protests last year, no ex-security officer or serving security officer has come out to condemn army-police extrajudicial killings.

Public officials’ arrogant misuse of state power against the citizenry is one of the reasons for the overwhelming call for the restructuring of the country.

The monumental failure of the Buhari-led regime in tackling insecurity, corruption, nepotism, poverty, ethnicity and government insensitivity is the fuel to the agitation for the break-up of the federation.

Arrogant, insensitive and utterly reckless, the All Progressives Congress-led Presidency, in 2019, released the picture of Buhari picking his teeth, probably after drinking some (nunu) milk from his cows – while the citizenry groaned under the weight of unemployment, lack and dejection. Only our I-don’t-care President would pick his teeth after drinking milk.

Commenting on the tooth-picking picture, presidential aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, displayed the characteristic arrogance and insensitivity of the Buhari regime when he said in a tweet, “It’s hard to understand why some people are genuinely angry because of this innocent pic. When I innocently snapped it on Feb 27 and posted (it) on my Snapchat, it didn’t occur to me that it’s going to give wailers that strong hit…”

As Nigerians have been gnashing their teeth since the beginning in 2015, so shall it be till the end in 2023. Nothing will stop the plunge. Buhari is on an eight-year vacation.

Displaying his nonchalance to public outcry for the umpteenth time, Buhari, on march 30, 2021, embarked upon a two-week medical check-up in London, despite the nationwide strike by medical doctors in public hospitals back home.

Without a word on the plight of millions of sick Nigerians condemned to attend public hospitals nationwide, the President hopped on a plane and zoomed off to England, probably with two toothpicks in his mouth after a meal of tuwo and isi ewu.

Defending Buhari’s shameless medical trips, the most meritless of Buhari’s media aides, Lauretta Onochie, tweeted on April 7, 2021, “NEXT YEAR. PRES. @MBuhari WILL GO FOR A ROUTINE CHECKUP.

  1. We have been here since 2016. Its been the same wailing. So the response will also be the same. At least, once a year, People across the world see their personal Doctors especially one they have seen for about 40 years.’

It’s not hard to distinguish the noise of an empty barrel. So, Buhari, Onochie and the wastrels that make up the Presidency see nothing wrong in wasting Nigeria’s hard currency abroad in the last 40 years?

That Buhari cannot give Nigeria just one hospital he can attend, despite ruling Nigeria for eight years now, summarises his failure as a leader. It’s scandalous that Buhari didn’t feel ashamed about going to England still – for treatment – when he’s in an opportune position, in the last six year, to turn around Nigeria’s health sector.

The latest trip makes it Buhari’s 12th time to run off to London for medical treatment, despite his country having 72,000 registered medical doctors with over 50,000 of them, shamefully, out of the shores of the country due to lack of facilities and adequate welfare packages.

Buhari’s insensitivity doesn’t stop at the medical sector alone, where nurses, physiotherapists, health technologists etc are leaving the country in droves, the lethargy of his regime permeates every fabric of our national life, and holds the country down to slow death.

Even his wife, Aisha, left her matrimonial home, and took off to Dubai for six long months. It’s unheard of anywhere in the world that the wife of the president of a country, which isn’t at war, would go on vacation abroad for six months! Or, could it be that oga madam went on antenatal vacation ni?

Henceforth, I’ll be on the lookout for a bulge in the mid region of the beautiful Aisha. If Aisha gets pregnant penren? Eeeehhh!! Nigerians will put Buhari to the sword online. I bet you, trolls against the Buhari family will burn down the internet!

But seriously speaking, President Buhari won’t touch the dog. I’m sure he won’t touch the pig, either, because he’s a very pious Muslim. However, Buhari is the chichidodo, a bird that passionately hates feces but loves to eat the maggots in feces.

Buhari hates corruption, but corruption has been the signpost of his administration with millions of dollars yearly disappearing into non-working refineries and his former EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu, enmeshed in financial scandals.

Buhari promised to stop medical tourism when campaigning to be President, but he and his family have made England, France, Germany, Canada, Dubai and the US their second homes.

Buhari promised to revamp the education sector, but his children never graduated from a Nigerian university.

Buhari, in 1983, promised to build infrastructure when he seized power in a military coup, but he cancelled the lofty Lagos metro line project initiated by the late Lateef Jakande administration, throwing the traffic of the lagoon city into eternal chaos. He came back in March 2019 to inaugurate a bus-stop in Lagos, though. Chai!

The alarming picture just keeps flashing in my head: Nigerian President on the bed of a random London hospital in an age when microchips can be implanted to monitor and control patients. Unmh!

Buhari rests peacefully in London while peace has fled his own country, Nigeria. Terrible.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

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Video: Nigerian leaders won’t be part of a decision that will take them out of power – Fr. GEORGE EHUSANI

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Demise of Yinka Odumakin, a dependable ally of the masses

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By Lai Olurode

The passing away of Chief Yinka Odumakin was a great loss to this country.

He was committed to a great but restructured Nigeria.

He was a dogged and committed fighter for causes that he believed in. And really, he was committed to fighting whatever would rob off negatively on the masses, no matter their ethno-religious identity.

To my mind, not many living Nigerians are as committed to a restructured Nigeria as he is.

Odumakin was courageous, bold, painstaking in the pursuit of facts and figures.

He had a robust and versatile mind. He speaks fluently and unrelenting and consistent in the pursuit of truth.

He had no permanent friend except in what is just, fair and right

The last time he was in touch with me was a couple of weeks back and in respect of the death of yet a greater Nigerian, Alh. Lateef kayode Jakande. He wanted some clarifications about LKJ’s unbelievably spartan life, which I obliged him.

May the soul of Odumakin rest in peace and may God be with his wife,  Dr. Mrs. Joe-Odumakin and the children he left behind. His death is certainly a devastating loss to the progressive camp and to all lovers of a great and peaceful Nigerian.

 

*Olurode is a former National Commissioner at the INEC and professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos.

April 3 2021

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