The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

BACKLASH: Buhari, The Magician




THE APC must stay with the narrative. It does not have any right whatsoever; under the 1999 Constitution or any under constitution for that matter, including even its own constitution, to unilaterally alter what has been adopted.

We know the party represents change but that is not a reason to put everything in Nigeria in a perpetual state of flux. It was canvassed, debated and settled that General Muhammadu Buhari is a magician, on the basis of which he was rehired as head of state on March 28.

For good measure, that agreement has not been revisited and it will not be revisited till, at least, 2019. This is saying that General Buhari shall remain a magician and shall perform good magical stunts for the pleasure of the Nigerian audience for the next four years.

The scenario is not too different from a well promoted show by Professor Pella. The tickets have sold out and the capacity audience is in feverish anticipation of the big stunts ahead.

But instead of the magician Prof raising the curtain to begin performance, a lousy announcer suddenly comes on air to say ‘Prof Pella is not a magician’ and therefore the audience ‘should not expect any magic’ in the course of the show. This is breach of contract in everyday business language.

But it is much more than that regarding the Buhari show. The sheer size of the audience gives the whole thing a different interpretation. It is national betrayal.

We are talking of 170 million people waiting to witness a show, and a performer, no matter how celebrated, cannot just wake up midstream after he had been advertised all over town as a super performer to tell the mammoth audience that he can no longer perform up to his own billing.

There is absolutely no reason for this self-inflicted anti-climax even before the start of the Buhari Magic Show on May 29. This kind of approach is too defeatist.

No matter their constraints, good artistes, including con artistes do not advertise their weaknesses to spectators ahead of the show. They just mount the stage and perform anyhow and then leave the audience to do the final assessment.

And whether in magical or conventional shows, true assessment lies with the audience, not the performer. Buhari should not act differently. He should go ahead and perform to his billing and leave Nigerians to do the postmortem.

Maybe part of the problem has to do with the rebranding of the show as a magical performance. Ironically, it is Buhari and the APC who have introduced magic into the whole thing. At no time or place was the word ‘magic’ mentioned in the build-up.

Other things were however mentioned. One was corruption, and on that, Buhari only said corruption, which constitutes close to 80 per cent the body parts of Nigeria would be cut off in a matter of weeks and Nigeria would not bleed to death. Does that sound like magic? If anything, the declaration defines the retired general more as a surgeon than as a magician.

Perhaps, given the magnitude of the task, people just felt it is only a magician that can do it. If that was the genuine feeling across board, why then did we invest so much time and resources creating the Buhari brand? We could have easily gone to some Hindu community in India to recruit a world class magician to take the job.

Let’s go to something else. I do not also think it will require magic to perform the simple task of providing a meal daily to about 20 million school children across the country.

It will only take a little more than what Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the honourable minister of agriculture is currently doing, to boost food production so that there will be enough to go around the rest of the population after the school children must have been roundly fed.

The flip side of this task is the payment of monthly upkeep to the aged, which also does not require magical capabilities to achieve. By the way, I am very interested in the guidelines that will be used to decide the beneficiaries of the old people’s scheme and even the food scheme.

I suggest we take time out to establish a proper demography for reasons of equity and fair play. On the food scheme for instance, we will be talking about school enrolment and not overall population figures.

And so, I do not expect a Governor Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso to threaten fire and brimstone if someone along the line says there are more school children in Lagos than the entire Northwest, including Kano State, put together.

I also have a good number of old people in my village. In fact, my parents at above 90 and 75 years of age are very qualified. Let me warn that I will drag Buhari and the APC to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if my people are left out of the scheme.

The man and his party also mentioned free basic education, that is the first nine years of schooling, but some people have interpreted it to mean free education at all levels.

Whichever, these APC people should not make it sound as if free education is a new and impossible phenomenon in Nigeria, which requires magic to achieve.

Pa Obafemi Awolowo, who started this scheme in Nigeria and perhaps the whole of Africa, if not the world, was not a magician. For the records, the man was a failed produce dealer, who later became a very successful lawyer, the greatest political philosopher and leader of our time and hailed from Ikenne in Ogun State.

Nothing in his bio-data stated that the Great Awo had practised magic or some other delusional art to become a great leader. Even electricity, which may seem as magic to my aged parents in the village can be fluently explained. It is charged electrons in motion and anywhere there is magnet, electricity is available in equal measure.

A man and woman too, can simply spin a magnetic disc at constant speed and revolution to produce this so-much-talked-about electricity that a large collection of the so-called DISCOs and GENCOs are not able to offer Nigerians.

As you can see, electricity is not even rocket-science, talk less of being magic. Why President Goodluck Jonathan failed to do well in this task is very difficult to understand.

Perhaps, with his PhD in zoology (or animal studies) he could not relate this simple principle of electricity production to humanconditions. But General Buhari, who had commanded battalions of men and women in military operations home and abroad is much more at home with human beings and would definitely do better.

He does not need to become a magician to deliver on that count. The other hard nut called insecurity, which has been abbreviated to ‘Bring Back our (Chibok) Girls’ is being cracked somehow because President Jonathan has suddenly woken up from a deep sleep.

This kind of ‘busy body’ by the incumbent is most unfair. He had all of six years to deliver his own magic and it is not sportsmanship to go on a reckless overdrive these last days, just to deny the President-elect, who had canvassed the dismantling of the Boko Haram terror machine and liberating the Chibok girls as a cardinal achievement, the attendant glory of the decimation of the terror group.

It is well all the same. The beautiful end of recovering the Chibok girls and degrading Boko Haram should justify whatever means. This leaves Buhari with only one task which may actually require magic to achieve.

This is the task of making the Naira equal the Dollar in the foreign exchange market in four or at most eight years. Even so, it is not an impossible task if you ask me.

Buhari only needs to slip back temporarily into his essence and promulgate Decree One of 2015 to bring the Naira at par with the Dollar. Later, he can invite Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo to explain that the Naira has only been redenominated to trade one-to-one with the Dollar. Case closed!

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • Rev

    Is this a parody or satire…Under what body of work will this masterpiece be classified…?

    • T Focker

      I choose to simply call it literary genius. Too good.

  • chi dan

    This work is an explanation of the change we have adopted which is any change at all is better than what we have. But unfortunately that change may turn out to be an aberration of the peoples expectations. A LIE. The man himself after campaigning to be a magician has come out on the first opportunity to say he is not a magician. Another claim of his to make naira at par with the dollar immediately made me to realise what a fool he is because he does not know the driving forces of currency exchange. But the people turned a deaf ear to this buffoon. Now the people will want to open their ears and eyes to the lies when they can do nothing but complain and the wicked cycle called nigerian leadership continues in a more wicked form.

    • Rev

      Please let us give the man the benefit of doubt…Perhaps, for the sake of our young ones, Nigeria’s course be redirected from the bellicosity of tribalism and religious bigotry by this elixir to Truth, Justice, equality and fairness…The chances are very slim but miracles still happen

    • PaschalUkpabi

      I find it hard to believe that some people will invite this brainless buffoon called Buhari to come and lead Nigeria in the 21st Century. Pray: where would this intellectually barren Buhari get his ideas to run Nigeria that arguably has some of the most sophisticated people on earth. Nobody is against the North, but if Buhari is the only credible person from the North to lead Nigeria, then all hope for the emergence of a Nigerian nation is completely lost. In fact, I am ashamed to have this man as my leader, and will never mentally accept his as so. Nigeria will always remain a zoo unless some drastic happens.

      Paschal Ukpabi, Esq.
      Detroit, Michigan

      • Having failed to actualize “Biafra State”, all what the Igbos are preoccupied are to bring down Nigeria. Whether the Igbos like it or not, Nigeria is going to be great.

        • PaschalUkpabi

          Why are you hunted by Biafra? We are talking of you bringing a brainless illiterate brute to lead you, and you are talking of Biafra. If this is your Nigerian standard, it is not mine. In enlightened societies, Buhari would be a security guard. Time will tell where all these will end. Meanwhile, enjoy your zoo country.

          Paschal Ukpabi, Esq.

          • U should wait to see who is brainless between your Jonathan and People’s Buhari.

            Jonathan lost the election because of his failure and u areyet to agree that he failed. You are already condemning a man who is yet to be sworn in as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

            This is not my Nigerian standard and it is not caused by Buhari but Jonathan and PDP who have been ruling Nigeria for the past 16 years without a clue. For your information, Jonathan/PDP is leaving behind a collapsed economy, dead infrastructure, insecurity and lose of hope to Nigeria. I can bet it with you that the incoming government of APC will not perform miracle but GMB will surely revive Nigeria and bring back the pride that makes Nigeria stand out to shame mischievous people like you.

          • PaschalUkpabi

            Mr. Falola:

            Did you say “bring back the pride that makes Nigeria stand out”?

            You must be delusional! For this reason, I have nothing to say on this topic. Have a good life in your Nigeria.

            Paschal Ukpabi, Esq.
            Detroit, Michigan.

      • Lucky Obaseki

        I suggest you go home and run for an elected position because your escape to Detroit obviously has robbed us of the opportunity to have intelligent people as our leaders. Don’t sit in your comfortable motor city and abuse those trying to effect change that we so desperately need in Nigeria.

  • Dennis Onakinor

    Did the President-elect – General Muhammadu Buhari actually campaigned that he would make the Naira appreciate to the level of dollar parity? I doubt if he did, otherwise he would only be confirming what most partisan voters had said he was: “a near-senile septuagenarian lacking the mental infrastructure to run a modern state such as Nigeria”. Come to think of it, does the man know anything about the workings of the international financial system to warrant such an empty promise – obviously rooted in nothing but political opportunism? Yours truly has always maintained that the vaunted change which propelled this intellectually barren military general to power is “nothing but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained” (Bob Marley et al). The only regrettable aspect of all this is that the long-suffering but ever-gullible masses of Nigeria are in for another round of dashed hopes and wicked betrayal.

    • Kehinde Lawal

      I think you missed the point here: this is satire and not meant to be assimilated word for word. I believe the discourse here is to examine and critique the encomiums being poured on the general.
      And as for whether or not the populace are in for ‘betrayal’ or ‘dashed hope; I would rather explore other options than stick with a profligate government that lacks direction and one that is bereft of any moral imperative.
      I observe that it is the igbos who appear to appraise the Nigerian political climate with jaundiced eyes. In as much as I admire and respect the igbos, I believe it’s high time they moved on from the ‘burden’ of Nigerian civil war and stop whinging about being a marginalised tribe in Nigeria – remember ‘bygone’…..

      • Jonathan

        Exactly. They are stuck in the civil war mindset and hell bent on pulling Nigeria down. Can you imagine this clown calling the President-Elect, “intellectually barren”? That’s a term that should be reserved for Goodluck E. Jonathan.

        • Rev

          The likes of you pose a very potent danger to the future of Nigeria. You are transferring the downside aggression of history to yet unborn generations….Every narrative, people like you will connect to the civil war of yesterday…! By the grace of Christ within me I say ” May God forgive you…”

          • Jonathan

            WRONG. The people transferring the aggression are those still acting and voting based on ethnic sentiment on a level that is just unbelievable. Those are the people that pose a threat to the future of Nigeria. Imagine the SS and SE voting for this clueless embarrassment in the numbers that they did.

            People like me are not the problem – We are just making this observation.

          • wilsongaga

            Let me tell you,not everybody in the SS or SE voted for GEJ and those fictitious figures from those regions were not the true reflection of the voters mind.those figures were products of rigging which some state are trying to cover up till now, that is why,if you visit some of the INEC offices they are being guided by security agents and loyalist of the power that be,They are still covering up their mess by hiring thumb printers to help them cover-up.Election is still on.

  • asekong

    Suddenly & most shockingly, the import of what’s at stake has come hitting home. But if the General & his sponsors think they can take Nigerians for a ride, they have another think coming. Let none be deceived, we shall meet at the barricade.

  • Concerned Nigerian

    Yes! Nigeria is eagerly awaiting the much promised change. I hope there will be no excuses for otherwise.

  • Victor

    “Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” This famous saying comes true again in the case of Nigeria. The recent electoral triumph of APC and their rebranded “born again Democrat” goes only to expose the level of ignorance, gullibleness and tribal bigotry that pervades the country and infests the people.


    This belongs to the classical nonsense is fraud clothed in expensive George and damask. Any reasonable incoming gov’t will always remind the populace that they are no magicians and that all hands must be on deck, sacrifices must be made by all and sundry, that does not mean they won’t try their best. Obama said so, Cameron said it and I believe Tony Blair also said the same thing. This writer said buhari only need to wait till 2019 to know if he was a magician or not, it is dubious and preposterous to suggest that buhari will think that he won’t be judged in 2019 regardless of what he says in 2015. On the principle of fairness, if buhari should wait for us to judge him at the end of his tenure, then these snide remarks and partisan criticisms should wait till 2019 too.

  • honesty

    This is a pure satire .The problem with us in Nigeria is that we are too impatient. Let us work together and give this new administration a chance after-all we have been in this mess since1960

  • olu

    I certainly don’t seem to comprehend the intent or meaning of this write up. To me it is purely reactionary and divisive. no one expects magic or magicians to come on board. .Lest the writer get lost in a mumble jumble meaning less write up, I want him to know that the work of transforming Nigeria is not that of Buhari or APC alone it is incumbent on all of us to chip in our modest contribution towards lifting Nigeria up from the “abyss’

  • Eyesofman

    I’m not surprised at this skewed and ethnic biased writeup, Buhari is not going to be a magician to anybody and nobody is going to put unnecessary undue pressures on the president elect. Buhari once sworn in as the president will take holistic view of all tha matters for the progress of this great nation before he makes his deft move on how to solves those problems, the era of clueless in goverment is gone for good. Most people are conjuring election campaign promises and trying to blackmail him on the strength of those promises. Buhari will put this nation on the part of progress again, criminals will be punished. GmB needs the cooperation of all nigerian to move the nation forward.

  • Said Mohammed

    It is disturbing that the writer in his naive, myopic vision could only see Nigeria as a theatre awaiting a magical performance. Nation building is too serious for Nigerians to allow us the luxury of this kind of rhetoric. Our collective life and that of generations to come depend on this project Don’t trivialise it.

  • wilsongaga

    I think the writer is insane and needs a psychiatric examination, The baton of leadership has not been handed over to the president-elect, they have started criticizing,this is not the way to comfort yourself after failure in election,though i sympathize with the hallucinating writer,But they should remit all form of stolen funds that will acts as a clog in the wheel of progress to the incoming government,they should remove all PDP’s political,Economic and administrative landmines that will make the new government dead-on-arrival, No weapon fashion by GEJ and the PDP against this in-coming government shall prosper in Jesus name!!!!!!!!! Amen, Anybody who support this prayer should say a bigger…………………..AMEN.

    • Odogwu

      I think you an illiterate, if not you would’ve understood the beautiful piece you’ve just read. Anyway, it is because of people like you that we are canvassing change to our educational system!

      • wilsongaga

        Your father and your entire life is illiterate and God will punish you because your father is among those who have bled this country dry of tax payers money, that is why you can run your toilet mouth, stupid fool.!!!!.

        • Odogwu

          You have just proved me a 100% correct on my assertion that you are a compound illiterate!

          • wilsongaga

            Your full life 100% compound illiterate,No way for you and your family to steal government money again, go and look for work, Idiot!!!!!!!!.