The thought of a Buhari presidency
SIR: Since emerging as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former military strongman General Muhammadu Buhari has played the fox. The man, whose presidential ambition has seen him through three previous unsuccessful contests, simply offered himself like a lamb to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Yoruba APC apparatchik to be repackaged. The repackaging must have included a suggestion that he refrains from his usual tough-talk and incendiary statements.
In collusion with a section of the media, the physical make-over resulted in a suit-wearing, gap-toothed democrat. We have also seen an amiable grandfather taking time off his busy schedule to do a hi-five with his grandson. Then he was sold as a leader intolerant of corruption and one who did all those dastardly things in the 80s in pursuit of our collective good. Indeed the airwaves have been busy with stunts to blunt memories of those jackboot days.
I guess all the while Tinubu and his cohorts told those lies, they only dreamt of the day their surrogate, Yemi Osinbajo, would mount the stage as Nigeria’s Vice President and open yet another door of looting opportunities. As the grandmaster of godfatherism in Nigeria, the spoils of office have been Tinubu’s driving force. As he sets to poke his greedy fingers into the pies in Abuja, he must be chuckling every night that he has played a fast one on us all forever.
Those who were not born or old enough to understand what it was to endure the worst kind of military dictatorship unleashed on Nigeria by General Buhari from 1983 to 1985, may have learnt about his horrific regime from history books. For those who went through that horrendous period, it was an experience that is better not remembered.
Buhari may have removed his military uniform, but he has remained unrepentant in his evil ways. No amount of PR makeover will ever change this. As Wole Soyinka said, the crime that General Buhari committed against the entire nation … is one of the most profound negations of civic being. To now expect a man, who has refused to repudiate the most callous act of wanton murder of innocents during his military regime to suddenly turn a new leaf, will be too wishful indeed.
The garb in which he has been dressed since this campaign, is contradictory in every material particular, to the man we all know. While President Goodluck Jonathan may not have totally delivered on some of his key promises, there is no doubt that the country is moving steadily in progress.
Tinubu and the greedy flock of overzealous media hounds portraying him as the modern day messiah may yet be in for a big surprise. If a Muhammadu Buhari ever gets near the Presidency, the old lion in him, with fangs that are only being hidden, will roar back to life again. Those black suits and bow ties would have gone to the bins while the lamb’s miens would have given way to his old bigoted ways. It will be a backward march into the past, and a future of uncertainty for the nation.
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