With one voice they cried out, away with this man! Release Barabbas to us! (Luke 23:18).
IT was the Jews that gave us this eternal line. The Jews as a nation at a particular period in their existence had come under foreign rule and domination by the ubiquitous and imperial Rome. At this period in their history, the Jews were anxiously and desperately in need of political and economic emancipation from the political stranglehold of the Roman empire. They clamoured to be let off the yoke of the rigid and frugal Roman political and economic establishment. They had had enough and so were in dire need of a liberator or a man with the political clout who could lead in the fight and struggle to emancipate the Jews. It was at this point of their history that Jesus surfaced on the stage for the liberation of not just the Jews but the whole of the Adamic stock. However, his was not a political liberation mission which is in the temporal and material domain; but he was onan exclusively divine mission. Alas came the clash and conflict of interest with his kinsmen. With the following he amassed and its attendant humongous political capital, the Jews thought they had the right figure whom they could rally round to champion their course of gaining political, economic and social independence from their subjugators and tormentors- the almighty conquering and cruel Romans.
When Jesus clearly showed them that, his was not about establishing any kingdom in the realm of this earth but he was here to do his father’s will (the God of Abraham), which the Jews had all the while claim monopoly of, there was bound to be clash of interest. The Jews were not ready to have any of such “nonsense”. To them, the claim of Jesus of been a saviour and redeemer of Abraham’s descendants amounts to nothing but philosophical bunkum and outright profanation if it could not bring about the political restoration of the Jews from their Roman conquerors! This to them was nothing but theological gibberish! It was within this backdrop that the Hebrews gave us this eternal line “away with him”. The Jews would rather have a rebel leader with a murder baggage released to them than a so called saviour who does not possess the dexterity to champion their political cause. At least a rebel is politically expedient and more helpful and relevant to their cause than a man who claims to be the saviour of the world but cannot save himself nor talk more of his people! So, at best, Jesus was a political liability and baggage to the Jews with his followers sending wrong signals to the Romans, it was best for them to get rid of him, accordingly, away with him!
So, prior to 2015, the news in town was that the Goodluck Jonathan presidency had politically, economically, and militarily excoriated and ostracised the North and was on a mission to exterminate the northern political aristocratic order. The Nigerian political landscape was awash with all sort of lies, propaganda and rhetoric. The highly revered diary-farming Admiral himself theorised that the Boko Haram menace was a ploy activated by the Jonathan’s government to perpetrate genocide in Northern Nigeria and many of such mis-information and dis-information were put in the public domain just to discredit the Jonathan administration and pave the way for a northern scion of the Dan Fodio hegemonic order. Those that knew the cattle breeding General very well based on his antecedents warned us too well, but we were not going to have any of such political gimmicks. After all, the incumbent president at the time of that 2015 historic election was fantastically corrupt, thoroughly clueless and an “ineffectual Buffon”. The man must go; nothing more, nothing less.
All manner of persons, including a Nobel Laureate, exploited our condescending and inherent gullibility to sell us the farce that it must be Buhari or no one else and if not, Nigeria would become history. Some, of their Eko collaborators told us how they were going to set up their own parallel government if their idol did not win the presidential election. In fact, the other room General boasted that if he did not become president, hook or crook, the blood of the dog and baboon would flow ceaselessly like the River Euphrates. Accordingly, Politics was reduced to its lowest ebb in this estate of Lord Lugard to the extent that in broad day light, for the first time in its history, the convoy of a sitting president was stoned and pelted. The Jonathan presidency was desecrated and humiliated all in the bid to foist Buhari on us. The bile, derision and malice against Jonathan was unprecedented. In a brazen act of contempt and rejection of the noble botanist from Otuoke, he was even referred to as a kindergarten president. Like a man destined to be killed by the gods, we were blinded, deafened and dumbed by our own collective amnesia and duplicity. Those who should know better feigned ignorance and were even conscripted into the conspiracy and treason.
The betrayal and treachery from Jonathan’s’ supposed political kinsmen were monumental and legendry. All manners of principalities and powers both from onshore and offshore were mobilised to make sure the re-election bid of Ebele was dead and cremated. It was a legion that came against a man whose original qualities and demeanor is beginning to unravel in today’s Nigeria. And then the sham called Buhari came on board. The rest as they say is now history. Prior to 2015, Buhari had openly wept to be given the foremost task of leading Nigeria. It is also meet to state that of all the presidential candidates and presidents Nigeria has ever had, none in their quest, desperation or scheming for power had ever shed tears. None! It was President Buhari that introduced such gimmicks and guile in order to be given power. Not even the sage, Obafemi Awolowo, with all his preparedness and capacity employed such deceptive tactics and dubious mendacity of shedding crocodile tears to get power. No politician had ever utilised such antics, except for Buhari. In his desperation for power, the president cried. He feigned innocence and humility, which by judging from his performance today, it is clear was a deliberate act of decoy, deceit and manipulation to hoodwink gullible and unsuspecting Nigerians. How comes the tears have ceased?
Nigeria as we have it today is worse off than when it was handed over to Buhari about six years ago in all indices of national life but Mr. President can no longer find the tears to cry. Could this be a case of hypocrisy, negligence or both? What an irony! So, Mr. President cried in order to come foist on us men of stale and moribund ideas and intelligence who are tired and have been retired to preside over our military and para-military establishment. He cried in order to come and make excuses for his incompetence. He cried to come and head a government that he never knows anything that is going on and is always surprised at happenings in the country! He cried to come and take us through recessions! He cried to come and empower his kinsmen and his fraternity.
Accordingly, the “all-knowing and flawless, competent, incorruptible, perpendicular, incorrigible and no-nonsense” retired Major-General was propped up (even appeared in suit), repackaged and rebranded just to sell us the dummy that the man was a changed and re-valued man. Alas, little did we know that of a matter of fact, the leopard can never change its spots. So comes the northern irredentist, ethnic jingoist, religious chauvinist with the pristine Arewa DNA to “salvage”Nigeria from the doldrums and governmental paralysis that plagued Nigeria at the time. But in truth, and this is by way of retrospection, the main reason the man wanted power was to emancipate and redeem the north from the political grip of the south! Yes, that is what it was all about. But ironically and regrettably, even the north has lost out. It is now glaringly clear and as the North has come to realise, that the prize of bringing Buhari is not worth the price it paid. Truth be said, Buhari is a political baggage to the North; an indictment and betrayal of the competence and merit level of manpower that abounds in the North. Again, Buhari’s woeful and embarrassing performance has shown us that it takes more than “hate and disdain” for corruption to lead a nation or to make a good leader. Regrettably, since the man came on board, it is as if the gods have abandoned us. The level of killing in the country is unprecedented. Save for the civil war era, we have never had it this bad. The economy is in tatters; unemployment is at the level of industrial proportions and the poverty level is phenomenal. Nigeria has become a killing spree and life is of inconsequential value under Buhari.Education under Buhari has gone comatose. Alas, under Buhari’s watch all manners of things and evils have befallen Nigeria. The man’s ineptitude has entrenched doom in Nigeria.The greatest shock and disappointment in all these, is that this whole mess is happening under the watch of a man that wept (crocodile tears) in order to preside and superintend over the geographical space Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has referred to Lugard’s zoo. Today, we cannot even relate with that tears. I always wonder what was that tears for? May be, it was revenge, bigotry, avarice, ineptitude, outright inefficiency or sheer hypocrisy on display. In all honesty, this is not the time to be proud of been a Nigerian.
Apparently, Buhari is the greatest political fraud to have occurred to Nigeria at any point of its existence and it would actually take a man of un-common and unprecedented making to break the record. To begin with, the man does not even possess the worldview and intellectual template to steer the affairs of a 21st century nation. He is too primitive and intellectually retarded; thus, he holds sway like a prehistoric demagogue. Ideologically, he is damn and dead bankrupt. Some view him to be a socialist, but socialists don’t pick their teeth! His upbringing and nurturing also seems not to make him to be given to diversity and inclusiveness. Again, he is all too knowing presumptuous and vaguewhich makes him a despot by default. At best, he fits to be a band leader of the Homo habilis dispensation. President Buhari is not only an obstinate man; he is ignorantly arrogant which he often mis-construe for discipline and integrity. Buhari’s obstinacy and arrogance can be visibly seen in his refusal to see the service chiefs go even though they have past their retirement age and such is setting a bad precedence in Military traditions. The truth is that nobody should expect Buhari to effect a change of guard. He is just reinforcing what he has entrenched in the SSS, Customs and other government establishments where he has installed tired, retired and archaic men with their decrepit and bankrupt ideological construe. What is responsible for such philosophical posturing of the man still continue to beat my imagination. I make bold to say that those men will live out the presidents’ tenure with him.
His messianic posturing and his anticipated or purported magic wand ability is now eternally demystified. No wonder the holy books has cautioned that: even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17:28. I think it would have been better if the man never came back for the second time. At least he would have belonged to the class of the Awolowo’s of this world; like it is usually said of the sage, the best president Nigeria never had, so it would have been said of Buhari too, but such is no longer tenable because the man has proved all doubters wrong.Today, even some of his ardent worshippers are appalled by his performance and this is because in all facet of our national life, it is Buhari’s docility and dotage writ large. The Buhari zero sum game is up! Then like the kinsmen of Jesus Christ to Pilate, those that had expectation and hope in Buhari thinking he was the solution they were waiting for started saying: away with him.
So, when you hear the Northern Elder’s forum saying the man should resign, they are saying “away with Buhari”. When the denizens of the Caliphate came out the other day with placards reading: “Jonathan, please come back and be president again”, they were simply saying “away with Buhari”. When Senator Shehu Sani declared on the floor of the senate that Buhari keeps fighting corruption in the National Assembly and Judiciary, and other sectors with insecticide, but fights same corruption in the Presidency with deodorants, he was inadvertently saying, “away with Buhari”. Once the courts declared that Olisa Metuh, was wrongly incarcerated and should be re-tried or when Buhari’s Attorney General held that Sambo Dasuki was released from confinement due to Government’s compassion, they were clearly stating the obvious “away with Buhari”.His eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar also gave his voice to the “away with Buhari” chant when he declared that:“the North was the worst place to live in Nigeria today because, criminals go about doing whatever they want to do because nobody is challenging them”.Thus, when that renowned foreign tabloid surmised that Nigeria was tiltingtowards a failed state they were covertly saying “away with Buhari”. Also, when one of the noble laureates that facilitated his ascension to power crooned that the activities of terrorist and bandits are eroding Nigeria’s sovereignty, he was indirectly saying “away with Buhari”. Again, when the theatrical Melaye said to President Jonathan that him and his cahoots shot wrongly because of their blurred vision which is now better and that they were truly sorry for the wrong shot, he was wittingly representing his group to say “away with Buhari”. Also, when the buffoon, Ganduje told this world that Sanusi Lamido was crowned Emir of Kano to spite President Jonathan, and that his legacies of Almajiri schools in the north is historic, he was implicitly saying “away with Buhari”.It was the “away with Buhari” philosophy that drove Maiduguri residents out to pelt the president’s convoy with all manner of objects.When the Emir of Katsina voiced that Nigeria is facing its worst security crisis ever, he was simply stating that Buhari should never have been president in the first place-meaning, “away with Buhari”. Ever since the northern quartet of Tanko Yankassai, Buba Galadima, Ango Abdullahi and Junaid Mohammedhave become staunch critics of the FederalGovernment, they are simply saying “away with Buhari”.
But the most amusing of the “away with Buhari” chant is the one coming from the President himself. Till now, I am still at a loss and aghast as regards the parley between the President and his predecessor, Ebele Jonathan, whom Buhari and his stooges have constantly denigrated and demonized. They have used all sort of unprintable words to assault the man and have stated in different fora that he presided over the most corrupt government in Nigerian history. So, what has changed to warrant this sudden fraternity between a competent, righteous, no-nonsense and flawless Buhari and the clueless, corrupt, weak and flawed Jonathan? I think it is the “perfect” Buhari echoing the chant “away with Buhari”.
- Okopi, an archaeologist, writes in from Jos, Plateau State, via email@example.com
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