We will all miss Abba

In his graveside elegy which the coronavirus pandemic didn’t allow him to deliver, Baba isinku President Muhammadu Buhari, called his transited CoS, the very best of his enclosed circuit of pals. The statement becomes an alternative fact to the extent that a member of the ‘coven’ would come out, disputing the president. Since all the tributes, both genuine and contrived, agreed with the president’s submission, particularly the sacramental testaments of those who knew him long before Nigeria became a federation like London-boy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, how sound would be, the disputations of the rest of us, throwing stones at the character of a man we barely knew beyond media ascription of evils of the last five years, among other stories of alleged selective evil he did to people we know are rarely innocent of the guilt around their necks and when stripped of emotions, we would judge as deserving of the lacerations on their buttocks from Kyari’s koboko (horsewhip).

If we think Abba was bad, the president had hinted us, to be prepared for someone worse, because by his admission, the most durable of his circle, from which the next occupier of the seat would surely come, is the one we had wished to hell. The president knows his bedmates, not the atohunrinwa (strange bedfellows) who he is being compelled to share space with, because he needed to win elections, and he should be commended for not being pretentious about who his real friends are. Whoever is now deluding himself as the president’s man, when the adversity had been mutual until the needful merger, is possibly the stranded monkey on Idanre hill. He would either stay in the sun for long, or receive the sense to hop on the next dangling branch, even, of banana tree. Interestingly, that tree which produces the most desirous of monkey’s menu, is the only one, God hasn’t given him the grace to learn how to climb.

Despite Abba’s pedigree and I’m not going to deny him the applause of his self-developmental strides. There are definitely better men, even using the president’s standard, that will do the job in a more decent and effective manner, without getting crooked with statecraft like smuggling a looter-fugitive back into the country and onto top public job or encouraging the president to be stomping on the nation’s law by signing Bills on convalescing couch in London, among other ills, bearing Abba’s bold imprints. But the president won’t have them.

One, because they are not available among the rest that his best left behind. Two, God would probably have to re-do the Nebuchadnezzar’s miracle before someone like him, will consider anyone outside his small circle of friends, even if, from the North, where he pointedly told the World Bank under Ban Ki Moon to concentrate developmental projects. That was in October 2017.

If the president stepped outside of the North to consider a replacement, whether Ajimobi or someone else, then we should all be worried, because whatever altruism that would officially account for such a misnomer, would end up not bearing good fruits for the nation.

No, President Buhari isn’t anti-South. He is just too pro-his people, to help himself and for a man with a lean circle of trusted friends, he can’t help himself not going overboard. He should also be commended for conceding Abba would make a better president if the deceased had Buhari’s kind of cult following pre-Nigeria becoming the global capital of penury. It is that sickening hunger in the land that got his groove desecrated recently in Borno, when miscreants, using his media spinners’ profiling, were captured on video, insulting the god for whom they were cutting their flesh for blood to gush in 2015, like the 450 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:22-40.

Abba wasn’t voted for, but he became the de facto president and there was nothing nocturnal about his ascendancy. In full glare of the rest of the world, the one voted into power told his ministers and all others where the real executive power was shifting, and the brilliant Abba maximized the unconstitutional power transfer, dealing ruthlessly with any obstacle at sight, including the office and person of VP Osinbajo. Well, his momentous history writers, who revel in posthumous affection, while telling of Arabian fairy night with saintly Abba, tried to mock the collective mentality, by rhetorically asking if national problems, would disappear with Kyari’s disappearance. Well, Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn”. There were problems in the land when Nigerians were world-happiest.

It is obvious rigorous governance isn’t so symmetric again, with the president’s physicality. Combination of age and infirmity is taking a toll, but he was wrong to dump such crushing state matters on someone with ‘underlying’ medical conditions, though younger. The president literally slaughtered his ‘golden’ hen. Now, we all have to make do with any kind of hen he can lay his hand on and screwing our faces to swallow the eyinkeyin (ignominy) from Abba’s successor, who will also likely run the government like Abba for the remainder of the second tenure.

Unfortunately, he will be second best to Abba, since the leader of the caucus, is expected to know the capacity of individual member and in his estimation, Abba towered above them all. Buhari’s mentor, Mamman Daura attested to this.

Little wonder, despite coro-force, Abba got the closest, to state burial and soon, an au revoir anthem may be composed by his cheerleading force, to open all official functions. From his friends who really knew him, he would be deserving of the cannonisation and from the nation that saw his hand frequently in guile, he would be deserving of God-win jibes. But Abba is gone, leaving behind lessons for those wishing to learn and the first, for the nation, is, don’t rejoice yet; the president promised a worse fellow. We can only pray that at least, the new man, would have a church-mind. The main challenge is that the now-elevated office is actually for someone very close to the CEO and while good but inferior men, may not be so scarce around the president, may he be guided to pick the best of the second-best, amen.






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