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Muhammadu Buhari the man who will kill the Nigerian corruption
Buhari the current anointed Nigerian savior was a former military dictator who ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985. Through a coup d’état Buhari ousted the elected government of his fellow Muslim northerner Shehu Shagari. (It had long been established that the coup d’état was carried out to prevent Shagari’s Christian Vice-President Alex Ekwueme from becoming the next president after Shagari.) During the period of his rule, Buhari’s government began a program which was termed “war against indiscipline” and the public was flogged into lines and frog-jumped by mean-looking soldiers. Therefore, he was considered a tough leader and an easy choice by those who were eager for a Nigerian change. The efforts of Buhari’s horsewhip wielding soldiers who also pulled down people’s business and private buildings that were termed illegal structures were complemented by those of the special armed mobile police force infamously called “kill-and-go” by the locals.
Though, Buhari in the opinion of many Nigerian experts is an epitome of a typical corrupt Nigerian leader “of the first order,” yet change mongers who were anxious to duplicate the American “Obama change” in Nigeria wanted change by all means. Despite the fact that there are abundant public records of Buhari’s unsavory corrupt trails, his backers like himself believe in Buhari’s private personal interpretation of what corruption is. By his private definition, the universally acknowledged corrupt former Nigerian maximum military ruler Sani Abacha “was not corrupt.” By this incredible declaration, like the legendary king of old, Buhari has been dancing naked in the public to the Nigerian corruption music while wearing an invisible garment which he believes perfectly covers his dirty corrupt warts from public view. With such false public image of the untainted Nigerian saint who was beatified by a gullible college of blind cardinals, Buhari became the mythical quintessential Nigerian tough saint-ruler who would kill the Nigerian corruption because “himself, like Abacha is not corrupt.”
Sending an S.O.S. to the United Nations
In the meantime, many watchers saw President Buhari’s request to the United Nations to help Nigeria negotiate the release of the Chibok girls as reading from a rehearsed political script; a gimmick. His critics believe that the request was planned and delivered at an appropriate time and place to produce the desired dramatic effect. It was meant to refresh the mind of the international community on the unfolding political drama in Nigeria. The suspense was thus heightened and the audience was like told to expect the next big thing on the agenda – the release of the kidnapped girls. It was seen by most observers of the Nigerian political scene as a ploy or a sort of mockery of the global community’s collective intelligence.
However that maybe, it’s expected that the joke would not be completely lost on the UN and other members of the international community. No matter what, there will always be some who can read between the lines. Nonetheless, it is clear that President Buhari and his handlers have convinced themselves that the whole world will always collectively fall under the spell of the religious/political antics of the Islamists of northern Nigeria. From all indications northern Nigerian Muslim fundamentalist, like their counterparts in other parts of the world have come to believe that they can actually succeed in “fooling all the people all the time.”
The emergence of Boko Haram
The Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram emerged about a decade and half ago as a militant pressure group conceived to violently enforce the political and religious mandates of Nigeria’s Islamic north. Just before the emergence of Boko Haram group; as a political block, the north adopted the Islamic sharia as its legal system. Now, sharia runs pari passu in the northern region with the presumed Nigerian secular constitutional legal system. Part of Boko Haram’s declared goal is to maintain a tight-fit Islamic hegemony over the entire country or when that is not possible to create an Islamic state out of the present Nigerian country. Which is why when the former Nigerian President Musa Yar’Adua, a Muslim northerner died in office and his vice president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner replaced him, the north vowed to take back the leadership of the country at all costs. A northern representative Lawal Keita declared: “We will make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan. Anything short of a northern president is tantamount to stealing our presidency. Jonathan has to go and he will go . . . he will be frustrated out of office.”
Before being elected president, Buhari warned Jonathan’s government when it planned an expanded military pressure on Boko Haram strongholds in the northeast. Especially after the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, Buhari said that northerners would view attacks on Boko Haram as attacks on the northern region. In the same token, some critics have often analyzed the circumstances that surrounded the well-publicized captured Chibok school girls, and concluded that it was an elaborate political web of deceit weaved by the Islamic north to wrest power from a southern Christian president.
The critics cite as hints to the puzzles, the fact that the principal of the kidnapped girls’ school, instead of being censored or reprimanded for negligence, was rewarded. Following some months after the kidnapping of the girls the school principal Asabe Kwambura was compensated with a plum government job as Bornu State’s Board of Education Commissioner. Another point which the critics make is that only a few weeks after Buhari publicly expressed helplessness in the matter and requested for UN’s help, a part of the girls, 53 of them were released by their captors. There was no indication that United Nations negotiators were involved in helping to free the girls. Nigeria’s Vice-President declared that the girls’ freedom was not obtained by any military force or through the swapping of any captured Boko Haram fighters. Soon after the first batch of girls was released the administration’s spokespersons boasted that more girls would still be freed. Now, people are asking why the sudden change of heart by Boko Haram? The freed girls were in captivity for over two years and were supposed to have been married off, given away or sold into sex slavery for that period. Yet of those who came back, except one none had babies, pregnancies or any visible physical signs of severe sexual abuses.
After considering the above points and more, most critics insist that the whole campaign; #Bringbackourgirls may have been a mere political practical joke contrived by Nigeria’s Muslim north to take back the country’s leadership. It is believed to be a web of lies which unwittingly caught off guard many notable international personalities like the wife of the President of the United States of America, United Nations Ban Ki-moon and many others. Without knowing it, these otherwise decent people may have been taken for a ride, dragged and sullied in the muddy waters of the Nigerian political conundrum.
**written by Osita Ebiem**
**Published by Yahgozie**