Buhari’s search for jackals and hyenas
It is a Monday morning. President Muhammadu Buhari has just resumed in his office after his over two months’ medical vacation. He would have loved to have more rest. But he has been inundated with tales of the intrigues to take over his job. He just has to muster every ounce of energy to take back his office. A file is presented to the president. In it is a list that contains the names of those who were hell-bent on scuttling his presidency while he was away. On the list are ministers. There are also special aides and other officials in the presidency. All these are to be sacked. Welcome to the post-London Buhari era in Aso Rock.
The criteria for the mass cleansing are only clearly known to the helmsman of Aso Rock. However, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who was the Acting President while Buhari was away is not on the list. He has been found extraordinarily loyal despite all the machinations and intrigues of some people to intimidate and blackmail him into resigning, Buhari considers him as having judiciously represented his interest while he was away. What exemplifies Osinbajo’s fidelity to the Buhari’s vision is his maintaining the position of the president that the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could remain in office till 2019 despite his not being confirmed by the Senate. Again, Osinbajo refused to succumb to the clamour for restructuring that ruled the polity.
Buhari has always believed that nobody should tweak the structure of the country as it is. He is on the same page with former President Olusegun Obasanjo who also fought the civil war to keep the country together. But as for former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, Buhari would respond to him appropriately at the right time for taking a position on restructuring that is different from that of the president. Of course, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has always been coveting the president’s job. But there is a way to also pay him for turning himself into a jackal.
However, in the case of Osinbajo, the president does not really have so much choice. Even if he had departed from the path that Buhari had set, he would only have to endure him. After all, it does not appear that Osinbajo is so ambitious; he does not look like somebody who would like to take the job of the president. He is not likely to create a situation that would replicate the battle of succession in which Obasanjo and Atiku were embroiled. Atiku wanted to succeed Obasanjo as president. But Obasanjo did everything to stop him. Anyway, that was the mistake Obasanjo made. Buhari would not be so hasty to frontally attack Osinbajo and give him the opportunity to expose their presidential secrets before the public. He is wise enough to allow the public believe that he is a man of unimpeachable integrity.
Now, the attention of the president is on this insufferable jackal in the kingdom that feels that he cannot be tamed by anybody. How would he handle the Senate President Bukola Saraki? He has tried to use the law court to muzzle him. He hung charges of corruption on him. Everybody thought that Saraki was gone for good. But with just a slight shake of his body, these charges like brittle strings simply snapped. Buhari is aware of all the allegations that while he was away, Saraki was involved in some intrigues to remove Osinbajo so that he could be made the acting president. But the president still has almost two years to effectively rein in this rampaging jackal. Such a dangerous animal must not be accommodated among weaker animals in the kingdom.
There is this hyena that claims to know so much about the president. He claimed to have had exclusive information about the president being incapacitated. He was gloating over the inability of the president to return home and resume his duties. He thought the president would die in London so that he would not be haunted by his presence. Now, the president would also find a way to deal with him. The president would show Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose that he has returned alive. But he would exercise a little patience. He would just have to wait till 2018 when the governor’s tenure expires. Then he would know that the president is not like his old mother who is in pampers. He would realise then that while out of office, he would spend a long time moving from court to court to defend himself on how he managed the finances of his state.
The president is wondering if he really relaxed his position that that irritant who calls himself the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu should be eternally consigned to the dungeon of the Department of State Services (DSS). But he does not think Osinbajo could have supported his release without his prior approval.
Clearly, the president now realises that he was not able to domesticate this hyena in the DSS custody. He just has to return there. He disturbed the polity while he was away in London. Even now that Buhari is back, Kanu is continuing with his threats to dismember the country that the president fought to preserve its unity amid so much suffering. Thankfully, Kanu’s elders including those in the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the governors from the south-east have disowned his agenda. So it would be easy for him to be dealt with without so much protest from the south-east. The Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu by now would have realised his mistake in being responsible for the bailing of Kanu. The northern youths and other people have wondered what he is still doing in the Senate when he obviously supports someone who canvasses the breakup of the nation. He or any other Igbo person would not come out to make a case for Kanu’s freedom when he is re-arrested by the DSS. After all, he has violated some of the conditions given to him to enjoy his freedom. He has been addressing large gatherings of his supporters. He has been granting interviews on television where he has maintained his position that threatens the existing structure of the country. All these are in conflict with the conditions of the court that granted him bail.
The above are jackals and hyenas that the president can easily identify. As for the others, he would rely on the security agencies, other officials and family members to tell him. Even before Aisha Buhari alerted the nation this week to the presence of marauding jackals and hyenas, there was no doubt that she knew them. Was it not the first lady who warned us that the Buhari government was being hijacked by those who never worked for its emergence nor by any means shared the vision of the president? Since the president was away, she has seen so many of these jackals and hyenas that it would not be difficult identifying them to the president.
Yet the president is troubled by one fact. This feverish quest to flush out the jackals and hyenas from the kingdom is invading his privacy and denying him the opportunity to rest. Everybody is coming to tell him that the next person is a jackal or hyena. To save their jobs, officials of government have turned this into their primary assignment. They have neglected their duties of ensuring good governance. As far as they are concerned, the economy, jobs, roads, electricity can wait. They must secure their jobs first. Their names must not be on the list of the jackals and hyenas in the kingdom. Their first duty is to themselves now – protecting themselves from the ravages of an Orwellian dystopia now in Aso Rock.