EXCEPT for the usual camouflage mien of a general, it is very likely that something must have badly shaken in President Muhammadu Buhari. It could be his psyche, confidence or trust or possibly all three. No one reads his obituary alive and remains the same. What becomes of such “living” dead, depends on orientation. Such fellow could choose to become a better man like Alfred Nobel. Here was a conflict and war profiteer, seen as world worst villain but fortunate to read a nasty obituary of self while being mistaken for a dead brother. The “mistake” helped him to immortality.
The fellow could also decide to be Hitleric in his response to such death rumour. The more the world wished Adolf Hitler to his grave, the grislier the anti-Semitic German became. He also booked immortality. Immortality is eternal memory. How fond, is the main issue. If the president had truly died when the rumour became a national bestseller, the truth is that millions of Nigerians would have engaged in open shindig, reminiscent of the passing of his ally, General Sani Abacha.
Millions would have mourned openly too, reminiscent of the passing of his former boss, General Murtala Mohammed. Isn’t that a salacious recipe for disaster? United States is torn in the median today because it elected “an unwanted” president. But very little is analogous between a divided America and a divided Nigeria. Unlike America, Nigeria elected a president she wanted. Again, while “an unwanted” Trump keeps speaking to unifying his nation, at least by rallying the majority behind him, President Buhari as one writer put it, “keeps ruling with his weaknesses”, thereby making the thought of a united nation impossible under him, despite the public deception and not-beyond-lip preachment.
If Nigeria is this divided today, blame the president who came into office with a wonky mindset to punish even the 5% that voted him from the geo-political zones that made different choices apart from him in 2015. Riding on the wave of historically “defeating” an incumbent, and with majority of vocal Nigerians truly behind him, he left magnanimity behind as he launched out to “finish” the enemy voters. With Sai Baba becoming the nation’s anthem, he simply metamorphosed self into an infallible deity, capable of no wrongdoing. His worshippers keyed into the giddying trance.
Then God decided to show the president that He doesn’t tolerate Nebuchadnezzars. Without doubts, his administration has been making strenuous efforts to meet its god-like image, but because the mindset hasn’t always been right and implementations of excellent policies have consistently been directed at hurting the “enemies”, the deity is almost completely demystified. Who wants to keep offering sacrifices to a god, which isn’t even capable of giving you back the same quantity as your sacrifice, let alone increasing it?
This “living” dead episode should communicate certain harsh truths to Mr. President. One, even his committed worshippers are now porting to the wailers’ camp. That should tell him the open celebrations about his rumoured death isn’t all about the enemy voters, regions or people. My brother, Femi Adesina got it very wrong arguing everywhere that the alleged malevolence being directed at president was from those still reeling in Goodluck Jonathan’s shock defeat almost two years ago.
Even that argument, if we hold it as the truism underlining the saga, is a positive for the wailers. They have a good ground to be nostalgic even if only on comparative analysis of what Nigeria was under their man and what Nigeria is under Mr. Adesina’s man. I agree it is cruel wishing anyone at all dead, let alone the president. But a depressingly hungry man is even more sickly than an ailing person with plenty of everything around him. While by God’s grace, an ailing person can respond to treatment with the plenty around him, a man with nothing is almost hopeless except by divine intervention. How many Nigerians today are genuinely seeking God even at least, for His mercies? They voted a president who promised all. All are now in shambles in his hand and you are savaging people for rejoicing at the possibility of his “end” bringing an “end” to their misery?
If you ask today “who wants the president dead?”. Many Nigerians who are not necessarily wailers would do public affirmation. A friend’s wife who injected herself with Sai Baba virus less than two years back, came panting with excitement to break the news of the president’s death. It took a late realization that I should know as a journalist before she could be calmed.
I pray the president return soon. I advise a new mindset, widened by wisdom, from the one taken abroad. So far, he has been very divisive in his ways. That would have to change for Nigerians of any hue, not to wish he returns a body-bag anytime he goes vacationing. He must return truly belonging to nobody and everybody, including the zones whose “son” lost to him. The bizarre “enjoyment” ratio 97:5 (bad mathematics) should be immediately discarded. The arrogance of “all-knowing leader must give way to an all-inclusive servant-leader, (not Babangida Aliyu’s type) leading from behind.
Though names had been bandied as the brains that cooked and festered the rumour, it would be needless going after them with EFCC or DSS.
Except the president is irredeemably incorrigible, the man that went should not be the one returning. I love the sober visage from the photo-ops by his media-minders. I hope it isn’t a facade from a man burning for vengeance when he returns. The question that must continue to temper the president is “what if I don’t return”? By God’s grace, my president will return. His first assignment, I pray, will be, firing his wobbly team.