Muhammadu Buhari beware of ides of May!
‘‘…a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’’ -Matthew 10:36
‘’If you discipline yourself within, you will be less vulnerable to injury from outside’’ –Critias of Athens
‘’Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it!’’ – Socrates
Caesar: Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue shriller than all the music cry ‘‘Caesar!’’ speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March
Caesar: What man is that?
Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March
(Excerpt from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
THE ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15TH of March. It was marked by several religious observances and it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44BC. It is the day he was assassinated by a group of conspirators, including his bosom friends, Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents–the soothsayer’s warning, some fearsome thundering, his wife’s dreams of his murder, and so on– Caesar ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom. When the legendary Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was warned about the ides of March, he waved it aside arrogantly! May 29 has now come but not gone. General Buhari must be mindful and careful of his greatest enemy –they are the people that are bent on manipulating him towards achieving their aims. Some people in his government are not seeing his tenure as the fruit of democracy but rather as propaganda to achieve their aims.
Julius Caesar has many things in common with the President Muhammadu Buhari: He was a general, he was much loved by the people, he was on the verge of transiting from a military lifestyle to civilian, and he became a leader when Rome was yearning for change! If Buhari is not careful, the decisions in the month of May might make or mar his administration; his journey of four years depends on his decisions in this month of May.
The General must be mindful of three sets of people around him and must put them where they belong: The Manipulators, the Desperados, and the Sycophants. The month of May is very critical in his life, he should beware of his ‘friends’, beware of what he eats, beware of ‘executive’ tea, beware of strange clerics, beware of soothsayers and psychological sorcerers!
Buhari swearing-in must not be a coincidence with Caesar’s fate. The General must be sensitive to the truth that there are many forces within that are going to work against him than without. The enemy is within his camp, I am not writing philosophically neither am I correlating historical repetitions of the past.
The President must be careful of his Ministerial list; his special advisers, and the plethora of sycophants that abound around him. You know a great leader by what he delegates. Great leaders don’t delegate their ‘thinking’; it is a sacred responsibility of a leader to be in charge of his thoughts. Every man must do his own thinking. He must not just be an observer but a strong factor in the selection of those that will ‘pilot’ his government. Albert Einstein said: ‘‘Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.’’ Every problem is a ‘thought problem’ and the solution also is hinged on our capacity to think albeit differently, it is impossible to change the world by thinking like it. President Buhari must attract and retain people with the ability to think differently from the ‘common’ Nigerians.
There are many ‘Brutus’ and ‘Cassius’ around him. His undoing is not going to be corruption or Boko Haram but his negligence in delegating the responsibility of picking the core people around him to the ‘power-house’ of APC. The future of his government will be determined in this month of May and he must vehemently resist manipulation concerning his core ministers; delegating these responsibilities to sycophants will ruin his government. His ‘wealth’ will be the kind of people he is going to end up surrounding himself with. He must beware of liabilities in his government. He should not surround himself with ministers and advisers that are product of political, ethnic and religious manipulations; he should surround himself with leaders that can solve problems and are so full of initiatives and passion for a new Nigeria. He must maximize the wealth of network by bringing into his government people with high intellectual values and avoid intellectual liabilities.
‘‘Without great friendship, life is virtually bankrupt’’ –Richard Simmons III.
‘‘Leaders that are unable to solve problems are liabilities.’’ –Gbenga Adebambo.
The President must learn to separate policies from politics! It is said that he who pays the piper dictates the tunes; this strange idiom must not rule this incoming government.
Another major area that the President must be sensitive to is maintaining the tempo of the clamour that brought him to government –the clamour for change! The wise keeps creating new worlds while the fool lives in a world that no longer exists. Charles Darwin in his famous book: The origin of species says: ‘‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.’’ The easiest way for Buhari’s administration to become irrelevant is to resist change. He must understand the fact that we cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are; and to my fellow Nigerians we must not only clamour for change, we must be prepared to endure the temporal pain that comes with it. Joyce Meyer said: ‘‘You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.’’ Buhari must be cautious of people that will kill revolutionary initiatives; people that will demarcate him away from the feelings of the populace; people that will insulate him away from the suffering and realities of the common Nigerians; people that will strangulate innovative and novel ideas; people that will resist change that his government represents.
‘‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or sometime. We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’’ – Barack Obama
I am not a prophet of doom but I see his enemies coming more from within! Buhari must vehemently refuse to bring in people that will dampen the tempo for change. He must diligently search out and embrace ‘’change’’ gladiators. He must vehemently refuse to live in a world that no longer exists. The greatest place for Buhari to watch is his back; he should beware of his ‘friends’, Nigerians will help him take care of his enemies! I love Nigeria and let everyone know that I warned him to beware of the ides of May.
• Adebambo Gbenga lives at Bodija Ibadan and is a youth coach and editor-in –chief of Maximum Impact Magazine. +2348053139316