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Remi Tinubu’s heart of stone, by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, May 10, 2021)
The name, Eve, is not a derivative of the word, evil, though both sound alliteratively similar. It’s a name native to Hebrew, adopted by Latin as Eva, and accommodated by English as Eve.
In Hebrew, Eve means living. But religious male chauvinists are wont to disagree with this meaning and insist that Eve means the opposite of living. Death.
Religious male chauvinists would readily associate Eve with the evil that the Serpent concocted in the beginning of time, at the Garden of Eden, where the bite of an apple contaminated innocence and opened the gate for death to sneak into humanity.
But many feminists would frown on the saying, “Behind every successful man, there’s a woman.” For the feminist, a woman shouldn’t stand behind a man; that’s undignifying. Rather, a woman should stand shoulder to shoulder with any man, and enthuse, “Beside every successful man, there’s a woman.”
Shakespeare needs no introduction or a first name. A recurrent leitmotif in the Shakespearean tragedy of Macbeth is that the brave Thane of Cawdor was blinded by vaulting ambition, which pushes him to murder Duncan, the King of Scotland, and many others, on the bloody road to the throne.
But, I contend that Macbeth’s ambition would have remained an unfulfilled dream if not for the heartlessness of his wife, Lady Macbeth, who has an incurable desire to become the First Lady of Scotland, tearing out Macbeth’s heart from his rib cage and tossing it into a furnace fuelled by blood.
After Macbeth developed cold feet while toying with the idea of killing the king, he quickly banishes from his mind the image of himself on the Scottish throne, preferring to remain a thane than taint his hands with blood.
But his wife, like Adam’s Eve, would hear none of that. The deed must be done! The three predictions of the three witches must come to pass! Macbeth must be king, and she must be First Lady at all cost!
So, when the death rattle of the innocent masses rises up to Nigeria’s Awaiting-First-Lady in the chamber, she steps unto the street and sees a river of blood, but a smile breaks on her lips as she looks beyond the flood of blood and sees a crown, picks it up and saunters back home on the blood, barefooted, as though she was walking on a red Persian rug.
I aver: if Lady Macbeth could attain power without her husband, the wanna-be-first-lady would gladly toss the Thane of Cawdor down the pit of hell, (where they both truly belong), but because she knows that her ambition can only be fulfilled through the vile valour of Macbeth, she decides to stay with him and manipulate him for her use.
Lady Macbeth surely has a lot in common with Nigeria’s scheming First-Lady-In-Waiting. Lady Macbeth sees herself as the sword. She sees her husband, a foremost leader, which means Asiwaju in Yoruba language, as a mere sheath. The slim, tall and fair-skinned wife of the ruthless leader sees herself as the power behind the impending crown.
It’s common knowledge that Nigeria’s political class is crammed with chauvinists. The head of the class, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is a first-class chauvinist, who went all the way to Germany and proudly professed before the then most powerful woman in the world and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that women are playthings, fit only for satisfying man’s hunger and libido.
One of the many sons of Buhari in the male chauvinism clan is former Senator Dino Melaye, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Kogi. Another is serving Senator Elisha Abbo from Adamawa.
Melaye, it was, who desecrated the so-called hallowed precincts of the Red Chamber in 2016 when he reportedly threatened to beat up the matriarch of Bourdillon, Mrs Oluremilekun Tinubu, who has made the Senate her permanent address since 2011.
Melaye, also, allegedly threatened to whip out his manhood and impregnate Remi, a claim the ex-lawmaker has denied, saying Remi has ‘arrived’ menopause and so cannot be impregnated. Melaye revealed that he became angry when Remi called him ‘a thug’, and topped it up with another expletive, ‘a dog’, during a closed-door senate plenary.
Abbo, now a member of the All Progressives Congress, rose to national notoriety barely three months after his election into the Senate in 2019 when he beat up a lady in a sex toy shop which he patronises in Abuja.
But, under Buhari, civil and criminal cases involving his anointed are neither never prosecuted nor concluded. Here, I’ll mention just three for I want to quickly go back to Lady Tinubu.
Nothing is heard about the one thousand and one criminal charges levelled against the Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; disgraced former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, just disappeared into thin air despite the humongous money and property that allegedly developed wings during his tenure, while the police shockingly arrested the trader assaulted by the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, in March, when a judge turned a street fighter in Abuja.
Back to the beautiful wife of the King of Bourdillon. I was part of an outraged nation when the news of Melaye’s infamous face-off with Remilekun broke five years ago.
I met Senator Remi up-close during a Senate oversight function at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, about a decade ago. To me, she always cuts the picture of a lovely, motherly, humble and kind soul – even at a distance.
All that changed a few days ago when she hid behind a finger, drew a dagger, and back-stabbed the Nigerian electorate, whom she swore by the Bible to protect, trashing the Constitution and the country and showing herself as the real wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Genuinely worried about the free rein of bloodletting in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, Kogi senator, Smart Adeyemi, took to the legislative floor to appeal to President Buhari to wake up and act.
Adeyemi wept as he recalled that killings in Nigeria currently are worse than what obtained during the Civil War. He said there was nothing to show for the billions of naira voted for security yearly, calling on the Federal Government to seek foreign military help.
Sitting close to Adeyemi and completely unaware her voice could be picked up by the microphone affixed to each seat, Remi asked Adeyemi, “Are you in PDP? Are you a wolf in sheep’s clothing?” Because they’re in the same party and because she’s the wife of the Jagaban, Adeyemi ignored her and continued to speak to his conscience.
Like Lady Macbeth used blackmail and guile against her husbad, Lady Tinubu also attempted to do the same against Adeyemi, who slayed her with wisdom. What she meant to pass to Adeyemi when she murmured undertone like a lost bee was, “I’m here listening to you; I’ll report you to my husband.”
For Lady Tinubu, it doesn’t matter if 10,000 Nigerians fall to the bullets of insecurity daily inasmuch as the presidential ambition of her husband remains on course. For her, it’s inconsequential if the blood of the Nigerian masses is used to signpost polling units across the country – provided her innermost desire is actualised.
For a woman whom the illustrious Reagan Memorial School, Lagos, was wrongly named after, one would think Lady Tinubu would show love like Miss Lucille Reagan, a Texan missionary, who abandoned her home country, USA, to live and die in Nigeria, giving education and hope to millions of children. Reagan was a mother.
Remi means ‘console me’. But the side remarks of Lady Tinubu against Adeyemi wasn’t consoling. It reminded me of the wife of King Herod and the wife of Potiphar.
It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man in Abuja is snoring. Nigeria is in danger, we need to break the glass.
Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

Opinion

Opinion: Nigerian embassies of shame (1) by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, September 13, 2021)
Lacking the speed of the cheetah, the strength of the bull and the ferocity of the tiger, the chameleon, with its camouflage of many colours, tip-toes daily in cautious slow-motion, living on the wisdom of adaptive wits.
Appearing unconcerned, unpurposed and uninterested, the chief of stealth and the lord of disguise, the chameleon, is the cunning thief embroidering the environment in stolen identity. The chameleon is the motion without movement, the heat without temperature, the echo without sound.
For some, the chameleon is unbeautiful. Big bulging eyes above an endless mouth on an oblong head attached to a sickle body upon four wobbly legs define the chameleon and its clumsy tail.
The chameleon is seen in its slow and deceptive colours by the members of the Nigerian public, who daily come under the crunch of government insensitivity and ineptitude.
To this long-suffering group, the chameleon connotes arrested development, reward for corruption and a sense of entitlement by people in opportunistic leadership.
For some other group, however, the chameleon is swift, breathtaking and ubiquitous. This chameleon-is-fast group comprises political profiteers who sit magisterially by the public cauldron, dishing out the broth to relatives, friends and flunkeys, and smashing the plates of opposition with the ladle of vendetta.
In today’s narrative, I wish to be an unbiased mouthpiece for the group that sees the chameleon as faster-than-the-cheetah and the group that sees the chameleon as a moving statue. I’ll place side-by-side narratives from the members of the two groups, and leave the reader to judge.
Again, I promise not to be meddlesome. I won’t condemn, I won’t judge for I don’t want to be judged. I’ll simply state the narratives by the two groups, and leave the reader to fix the narratives in the proper boxes they belong. The boxes are two: chameleon-is-slow box and chameleon-is-fast box – truth versus lie.
After a 2-1 away victory over Cape Verde last week, the Nigeria Football Federation announced that Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has hit a centenary in national colours, contrary to a report by The PUNCH, saying Musa had only played 98 times for the Eagles.
Characteristic of its past embarrassment of the nation, which saw the country fielding overage players in FIFA competitions and filing out for a match in makeshift jerseys, the NFF had counted for Musa a 3-0 friendly win against Togo in Paris, wherein both Nigeria and Togo made more than the regular number of changes, thereby making the match uncountable.
Also, the NFF recorded for Musa the 1-1 draw match against Algeria, in which Nigeria fielded an ineligible player, prompting FIFA to award the 2018 World Cup qualifying match to Algeria even as Nigeria had qualified for the World Cup before the tie.
Instead of the NFF to apologise to Nigerians for the national embarrassment, its chairman, Amaju Pinnick, said: “We have our own data and that is what we are using, even if it is 50 caps for the national team in a country where you have an abundance of talents.”
It took a statement from FIFA confirming that Musa had only played 98 times for the Eagles, and not 100, for Pinnick to eat the humble pie. In which box would you put Pinnick? Chameleon-is-slow box or chameleon-is-fast box?
A few days ago, a former Governor of Benue, George Akume, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to thoroughly investigate the incumbent Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, after Ortom berated President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping silent while Fulani herdsmen turned Benue into a killing field.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, a few days ago, Akume said, “We call on Governor Samuel Ortom to tender an unreserved apology to President Muhammadu Buhari for using foul language and for operating outside the set rules of engagement between the state and the federal governments.
“We call on the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATE the application of the total federal allocations to Benue State from May 29, 2015 to date.”
In which box does Akume belong? In which box does Ortom belong? The chameleon-is-slow group or the chameleon-is-fast group? Remember, one group is telling the truth, the other isn’t.
Let’s step outside the shores of the country and head to the US, touching down at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC, where a Nigerian-American, Azuka Aghenu, narrated his ordeal in the hands of embassy staff.
“Another name for the Nigerian embassy in Washington DC is hell. They operate the embassy as if they’re in a secret cult or a black market,” Aghenu, who is a senior bank executive, said.
“The officials operate a coordinated syndicate that extorts Nigerians who come to renew or get fresh passports. They charge you $30 for a United States Priority Mail envelope that costs about $13 – depending on the state. They go to the post office and pack the envelopes free of charge, and take them to the embassy to sell to members of the public.
“They collect cash for the free envelopes but for the visa fees, you pay with your debit or credit card, which suggests that the fees you pay with your cards go into the government coffers while the fees paid for in cash are open to manipulation,” Aghenu said.
Alleging that the embassy was hot, unlit, shabby and not child-friendly, Aghenu said officials attended to applicants on a man-know-man basis, leaving applicants who had ‘no connection’ unattended to and frustrated.
Aghenu also alleged that applicants’ data were pulled up from a large hand-written register instead of a computer, stressing that applicants needed to grease the palms of officials for them to be attended to.
“If you don’t bribe or get a referral from a big man known to them, you won’t be allowed inside the embassy. When you’re inside, they will take you into an oven – a big room, no air conditioner, no light, it was dark, we saw by natural light, two standing fans were misting out water.
“They told us to come along with the photocopies of our documents. The question is, why can’t they pull up on a computer the info applicants filled online when applying for passports? Why do they have to rely on the applicants’ photocopies when they already have the information in their database? It means someone can show up and collect someone else’s passport,” Aghenu said, adding that the embassy operations were intermittently disrupted whenever the server feeding the embassy portal from Abuja was down.
Aghenu, who has been living in the US for over 30 years, revealed that more than 10 officials of the embassy went to the mosque for Jumat prayer during official hours.
In which box would you put Aghenu? Chameleon-is-slow box or chameleon-is-fast box? Do you think he’s telling the truth or is he lying?
Narrating her ordeal at the Nigerian Embassy in Atlanta, Georgia, another Nigerian-American, who lives in Illinois, Maria Reyes, (not real name), said months after filling her application online and getting an acknowledgement, all the calls she made to the embassy to book a date to come to the embassy were not picked.
Reyes said, “People came from various states, leaving their jobs, families, and risking their lives. I travelled down from Illinois. The place was like a hajj camp. The officials talked down on you; the whole place was hot.
“Eventually, I had to use the connection of a big man in Nigeria for them to attend to me. When I mentioned the big man’s name, I was allowed to go in. I went in and I was told to pay $133 apart from the $195 passport renewal fee. They said the $133 was the fee for appearing without an appointment. I paid because I came from outside Georgia and I had no place to sleep. The $195 charge was payable only through debit or credit card, but I was told I could pay the $133 charge in cash. I smelled a rat, so I opted to pay with my card. I think the $195 fee goes to the Nigerian government, I don’t know where the $133 fee goes,” Reyes said.
Explaining that an official of the embassy sells bank drafts and money orders to applicants right inside the embassy collecting cash, Reyes said the bank drafts and money orders should have been paid for with debit or credit cards in order to generate receipts and ensure proper accountability to the Federal Government.
(To be continued)
Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola
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Opinion: Buhari is worst president, Ortom is right, by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, September 6, 2021)

Hooray! The leaves are falling! It’s autumn, the evening of the four seasons. Harvested crops and fruits, in baskets, are heading to barns from farms.

Winter, spring, summer and autumn. Each period of the season walks on three legs. December, January and February are the three legs of Winter, Spring springs on March, April and May; Summer walks in the sun of June, July and August while Autumn descends the stairs of the season into September, October and November.

Autumn is the birthing of the farmer’s long-planted seeds of hope, which undergo fertilisation and growth in spring, and maturation in summer. It’s the period when farmers reap the fruits of their labour. When sweat is sweet.

Autumn, aka Fall, is the period before winter which is the coldest of the seasons. And winter connotes nightfall or death when to sleep is to wake and to die is to live.

But autumn is not the period when Samuel Ortom, governor of Nigeria’s food basket, Benue State, should dare Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), a 78-year-old herdsman, whom he described as the worst leader ever when it comes to security, corruption, economy, human rights, press freedom and keeping promises.

Not a herdsman, Ortom, a governor and a rancher, made some of his bulky allegations in August. And as the allegations rage into autumn, Ortom has yet to renounce his heresy against Buhari, the great Fulani president.

Call it a jinx, I don’t care; August is never Buhari’s lucky month, it’s December, the month of his birth, when like Macbeth, ambition overtook him and he stabbed to death the democratically elected government of the late President Shehu Shagari, a fellow Fulani, in the final hours of December 31, 1983. Macbeth wasn’t lucky with August, either – he was killed on August 15, 1057.

Call it the height of cold-bloodedness, if you care; the bloodiest of Nigeria’s generals, Ibrahim Babangida, likewise, chose his birth month, August, to drive the dagger into the back of Buhari, his former boss, in a palace coup on August 27, 1985. Is there an art to find the mind’s construction on the face? I doubt it. But I know karma is consistent.

According to the Ortom of Benue, nothing good can ever come out of the Buhari regime in all the periods of the season – winter, spring, summer and autumn.

In August, Ortom said on Channels TV, “Mr President has a set mind. Mr President believes that for peace to reign in Nigeria, there must be open grazing, there must be provision for cattle routes…It is very clear that he (Buhari) wants to ‘Fulanise’ Nigeria. But he’s not the first Fulani president, (Shehu) Shagari was Fulani president, (Umaru) Yar’Adua was Fulani president, they were the best presidents in history, but President Buhari is the worst.”

There seems to be nothing august in August for Buhari. Reacting to the abduction of a major and the killing of two soldiers at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, in August, retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi, who described himself as a Professor of Global Security Studies, in an interview monitored on Channels Television, said known sponsors of Boko Haram live in Aso Rock.

He said, “Recently, 400 people were gathered as sponsors of Boko Haram. Why is it that the Buhari government has refused to try them? Why can’t this government bring them to trial if not that they are partisan and part of the charade that is going on?

“You remember this Boko Haram issue started in 2012 and I was in the Military Intelligence at that time. We arrested those people. My organisation actually conducted interrogation and they (suspects) mentioned names.

“I can’t come on air and start mentioning names of people that are presently in government that I know that the boys that we arrested mentioned. Some of them are governors now, some of them are in the Senate, some of them are in Aso Rock.

“Some people have the mindset to Islamise the nation and they are in government. The DSS knows them, the NIA knows them, the DIA knows them because it is the DIA that conducted the operations that arrested the (400) suspects.”

To whom much is given, much is expected. If a commoner like me know that August isn’t Buhari’s favourite month, why didn’t Ortom, a seasoned politician, and Olawunmi, the courageous navy commodore know? This is why I will depart, at this juncture, from Ortom and Olawunmi, and return my unalloyed allegiance to President Buhari, who is bigger than Nigeria’s Constitution.

If you think the President isn’t bigger than the country plus her Constitution, why was the Central Bank Act prohibiting the abuse of the naira suspended whenever Buhari’s children are wedding?

Even Buhari is bigger than religious laws. Or, why was the merciless-on-the-poor, acquiescing-to-rich Kano Islamic police, Hisbah, not at the wedding of the President’s son, Yusuf, to Zahra, the daughter of the Emir of Bichi, Nasir Ado Bayero, to arrest guests who wore outlawed haircuts such as Afro and mohawk?

Some of the great Hisbah police prescriptions for godly living include banning of lewd music, banning commercial motorcyclists from carrying two females at a time; banning of alcohol consumption, and banning boutiques from displaying clothes on full mannequins – you must remove the heads of the mannequins because they promote idolatry.

Many poor people have received varying degrees of punishments, including public shaving of hair and public flogging for contravening these paradise-seeking laws.

But the ears of Hisbah police were deaf to the lewd Naira Marley song, “I’m Coming,” sung at Yusuf’s wedding and its eyes were blind to the cleavage-revealing clothes worn by some female guests.

Did you see the video of the prodigal bus ride of Yusuf’s silver-spoon friends that attended the wedding, and the security around the bus?

Did you see the hysterical sons of Nigeria’s leaders donating naira and dollars worth over N500,000  to their bus driver, who was merely doing his work, even as they made a lousy show of it?

A particular scene in the viral video shocked me. Yes, e shock me. It was the handsome young man referred to as Osinbajo by his boisterous friends. He donated $100 on behalf of ‘me and my brothers in the South-West’. I ask, are the millions of unemployed graduates and touts  in the South-West part of the young Osinbajo’s brothers? There’s God o.

Did you notice the dexterity with which Osinbajo peeled a $100 bill from inside his bag with his two hands, a move suggesting that a lot of more dollars were still in the rich black bag.

I watched another viral video. This time, from Afghanistan. It taught a great lesson in integrity. It was the video of Afghanistan former Minister of Communications, Sayed Sadaat, who now delivers food on a bicycle in Germany.

Talking about his new job, the 49-year-old British-Afghan dual citizen said both his job as minister in Afghanistan and delivery man in Germany involved serving people.

Sadaat, who holds degrees in IT and  Telecommunications, and hopes to take up a job in the telecoms industry as soon as he learns basic German, said he was not ashamed of his current job.

Sadaat served for two years as minister, and voluntarily quit his post in 2020 because he didn’t want to soil his hands.

Explaining that he was proud of his new job, Sadaat said he could have made millions of dollars as minister.

“I could have bought buildings in Germany and hotels in Dubai, I wouldn’t have needed to work. But I’m proud that my soul is happy and I have nothing to be guilty (about). So, I’m doing an ordinary job. I hope other politicians also follow the same way to work with the public,” he told journalists.

May God bless Nigeria with leaders like Sadaat, amen.

 

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

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Opinion

Opinion: Buhari: Our president, their patient, by Tunde Odesola

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(Published in The PUNCH and Tunde Odesola.com on Monday, August 23, 2021)

His name outnumbers the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Arguably, the most creative hands to ever hold a chisel and a paintbrush, but unmistakably the sublime genius embodying the inventive force of the Renaissance Age.

A sculptor, painter, architect, poet and engineer, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is the 38-letter name a little wizard was given at birth. But the world picked Michelangelo from the names and stuck it to his forehead.

A year before he died at age 88, Michelangelo, an Italian, who lived between March 6, 1475 and February 18, 1564, wrote in Italian language on a sketch he was working on, “Ancora Imparo,” meaning, “I’m still learning.”

The quote is akin to the pearl of wisdom from compatriot, fellow polymath and older rival, Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452–May 2, 1519), who had earlier said, “Learning never exhausts the mind.”

For Michelangelo, every work of art he embarks on is a challenge, a task accomplishable on the flourish of his brilliance. He defines his raison d’être in these enduring words, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

I affirm that Michelangelo’s imperishable legacy stands on four cardinal pillars: learn, discover, act and set free. These, for me, are the hallmarks of great leaders, great epochs.

Depressingly, however, these same pillars are conspicuously absent in the regime of Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which comes across as standing on the pillars of ignorance, neglect, inertia and persecution.

Whereas Michelangelo describes learning as a life-long process, President Buhari appears to see life from a short-sighted spectrum, having not learnt any economic and patriotic lessons from his over 40 years of medical tourism to the United Kingdom.

In an unlearned defence of government policy, Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed; and Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, severally said it was right for the President to patronise foreign medical services for over 40 years.

This is despite the fact that Made-in-Nigeria doctors, who migrated abroad as a result of the rickety state of Nigeria’s medicare, today hold vital positions in first-class hospitals worldwide, potentially including Buhari’s hospital in the UK.

Last Thursday, Mohammed, in a display of the confusion that has continuously characterised the Buhari regime in the last six years, said those criticising the President for seeking medical care abroad were making ‘inconsequential attempts to de-market him’.

In a jejune defence, Adesina also said, “President Buhari has been with the same doctors and medical team for upward of 40 years. It is advisable that he continues with those who know his medical history and that is why he comes to London to see them. He has used the same medical team for OVER 40 years. Once you can afford it, then stay with the team that has your history.”

With soaraway inflation crippling Nigerians, Adesina should know that Nigeria cannot afford the unending presidential flights to the UK and the sacks of pound sterling in medical fee for gerontocratic ailments treatable in Nigeria.

The hotness of Lai Mohammed’s sophistry and the coldness of Adesina’s remarks will win trophies in Sodom and Gomorrah.

The display of profound arrogance by both Buhari spokespersons runs against the time-tested advice for caution in a Yoruba proverb that says, “When a man is sent on an errand fit for a slave, he should display discretion.”

What would Buhari and his image-makers say about Aisha, the wife of the President, who went to Dubai last year to treat neck pain? Dubai doctors must have been treating Aisha from the womb, right?

In a move to deflect public criticism from her neck-pain trip, Aisha spun the red herring fallacy when she said her flight back to Nigeria encountered a turbulent storm, hoping to mask the wastage of public funds, which her trip symbolises, with public sympathy.

Then she pushed her luck over the precipice and rubbed insult into injury by saying, “I, therefore, call on the healthcare providers to take advantage of the Federal Government’s initiative through the Central Bank of Nigeria guidelines for the operation of N100bn credit support for the healthcare sector as was released (and) recently contained in a circular dated March 25, 2020, to commercial banks.

“This will, no doubt, help in building and expanding the capacity of the Nigerian health sector and ultimately reduce medical trips and tourism outside the country.”

What hypocrisy! Scarcely had Aisha’s flight from Dubai touched down than she started to talk about reducing medical tourism. If she knew that medical tourism was a drain on Nigeria’s economy, why did she embark on it? Nigerians, whose taxes are being used to maintain Buhari and his family’s expensive lifestyle, are grumbling, ‘like husband, like wife’.

In 2017, Aisha had lamented that there was no syringe in Aso Rock Clinic, Abuja, when she fell sick. She revealed that, “In the end I had to go to a hospital (in Nigeria) owned and operated by foreigners 100 per cent.”

Similarly, Aisha’s daughter, Zahra had, also in 2017, said there was no Paracetamol in Aso Rock Clinic despite a budget of N3bn for the provision of drugs to the hospital.

That this insane level of corruption could happen under Buhari’s nose without perpetrators fearing the consequences of their action indicates a rudderless Nigerian ship careening against the rocks of insecurity, unemployment, hopelessness and poverty, heading for doom.

When Buhari, who has completely lost the fear factor, doesn’t care about the corruption perpetrated with the precincts of his residence, how would he care about the slaying of farmers by Fulani herdsmen in Igboho or the killings by unknown gunmen in Owerri? How would he care about the kidnapping of schoolchildren in the North or the bloodletting in the Middle Belt? Or care about the worse-than-pigsty hostels in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka?

If Buhari had done something about the anomaly in Aso Rock Clinic since 2017, Aisha wouldn’t have embarked on a neck-pain trip to Dubai in 2020.

When you minus 40 years from Buhari’s 78 years, you have 38 years. For someone who joined the military in 1962 at the age of 19, this means that Buhari had received medical treatment in Nigeria for 19 years, that is, up till 1981 when he was a colonel who had been Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters, a member of the Supreme Military Council, and had been GOC of the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Mechanised Division, and the 3rd Armoured Division.

I ask, why did Buhari stop receiving treatment in the good, old Nigeria where doctors had his medical records for 19 years?

And if Buhari says he’s been receiving medical treatment abroad in the last 40 years, that suggests that he was receiving medical treatment in the UK between 1983 and 1985 when he headed a military junta that toppled the democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983 over allegations that the civilian government was ostentatious and corrupt.

This act of hypocrisy runs contrary to the War Against Indiscipline mantra upon which Buhari and his deputy, Brigadier General Tunde Idiagbaon, rode to power.

In Buhari’s lip-service War Against Indiscipline, public officers were forbidden to own foreign accounts, own houses abroad, send their children to foreign schools, send their underage children on pilgrimage, among other prohibitions.

But when Nigeria’s bloodiest military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, torpedoed the Buhari-Idiagbon fascism on August 27, 1985, Idiagbon had gone on holy pilgrimage to Mecca with his underaged son, Adekunle, showcasing another classical hypocrisy of Buhari’s leadership.

Nothing demarkets Nigeria more than Buhari’s over 40 years of medical tourism.

Then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in May 2016, during a conversation with Queen Elizabeth II, described Nigeria and Afghanistan as ‘fantastically corrupt’.

Cameron is right.

 

 

Email: Tunde Odesola.com

tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

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