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Buhari’s best birthday gift to Nigerians     

By Chidulumije Nwankwo                
27 December 2018   |   3:25 am
It all began as a rumour, some even had to initially dismiss it as an IPOB propaganda, merely because its supreme leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was the first to...

[FILE PHOTO] President Muhammadu Buhari. PHOTO/TWITTER/APCng

It all began as a rumour, some even had to initially dismiss it as an IPOB propaganda, merely because its supreme leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was the first to blow the lid off the matter, and now the issue has not only gained traction and transcended the question of whether the man we still refer to as “our” President is the authentic retired Major General Mahammadu Buhari or not, but also it is now such that makes it imperative that both the subject of our “small talk” in any gathering these days and all the people who are bent on swearing with their lives that he is still the real figure in the villa need to come clean quickly regarding this burgeoning shameful controversy over Buhari’s genuine identity.

As a matter of fact, it is either a fool or a pretender, or perhaps those whose bread may have been buttered in one way or the other by the current government of “change” and as such would not stop at anything to ensure that the table is never turned upside down, or perhaps the blind, that will certainly remain up till now unmoved, indifferent and, in fact, unperturbed by  a plethora of trending confusion-laden present and past pictures of Buhari in the public domain.

Of course there is no doubt that Buhari was once upon in time terribly sick but did reportedly recover. In the same vein, much as it is well appreciated that with God all things are possible; that with God the dead bone shall rise again, and, moreover, that with God the sick shall be healed and restored to sound health or to the fullness of a robust being, body and soul alike, yet, needless to say that, there are reasons, cogent ones for that matter, that tend to propel one to consciously or unconsciously become somewhat skeptical about the actual identity of Buhari. In any case, one must confess that the seemingly taciturn approach adopted by both the President and his appointees on this matter has neither helped to douse this controversy nor even to eliminate it entirely. In fact if there is anything, both the President and those saddled with the task of managing him and the controversy of this sort are both guilty of mismanaging the entire affair. For one, the allegation has been leveled that the Sudanese man, Jubril Al-Sudaniy, who currently parades himself as President Muhammadu Buhari, cannot afford to speak the peculiar Fulani dialect of the “original” Muhammadu Buhari. Whether this is accepted to be true or false or wrongly or rightly regarded as cheap propaganda or even campaign of calumny, the big question is: what is the Federal Government’s, or better still, Muhammadu Buhari’s detailed response to this grave allegation? Or, is the allegation not deemed grievous enough to deserve an unambiguous response or commentary from the Buhari-led government? Or, again, are Nigerians not entitled to ask or know the truth about this lingering controversy over the actual identity of their President?

Moreover, it is equally understandable that one other aspect of this embarrassing controversy which gives Nigerians serious cause for concern is not unconnected with the issue surrounding the abrupt growth of abundant hair around Buhari’s head, nowadays. In this regard, there appears to exist two schools of thought, those who do not seem to believe that the man in Aso Rock villa is the real Buhari and as such are inclined to perceive virtually everything about his sudden growing of much hair in his head as not only an aberration but a novelty, and, secondly, those who strongly attempt to situate this hair-growing oddity in the context of the pills which Mr President apparently takes in order to contain his health challenges. Somehow, it might be difficult to roundly denigrate the postulates of these two divides.

For the first school of thought, though, the argument is that at his age, now above seventy, President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer growing younger and so cannot suddenly be seen to be growing abundant hair in his head now, especially when viewed against the backdrop of his hitherto bald head. Hence, it is on this note that the people of this line of reasoning are inclined to strongly posit or subscribe to the controversy that the man currently parading himself as Nigerian President is not by serious objective scrutiny retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari but, rather, Jubril AL-Sudaniy from Sudan. Similarly, the people here also insist that not even the use of any kind of drug or the adverse effect of the use any drug is enough to make the “real” President Muhammadu Buhari to suddenly begin to grow much hair in his head like a young person, more so when this novelty is juxtaposed with the fact of his hitherto bald head.

On the other hand, for the second school of thought, the logic behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s growing of much hair around his head is simple and scientific. For people here, the argument is that President Buhari’s hitherto chronic sickness which saw him for umpteenth times embarking on a series of medical trips was an open-secret to all and sundry, before his eventual recovery. Also it is an open-secret that his being placed steadily on medication ever since his apparent recovery is not unexpected. Hence, drawing from the reasoning of the people of this persuasion, there is thus nothing untoward regarding the pills Mr. President apparently keeps taking that adversely causes him to grow hair around his head, like a youngster. Therefore, they argue, there is no cause whatsoever for any sane person to begin to speculate on the identity of Buhari or even to propagate the falsehood that he is long dead and so that the man allegedly parading himself as Nigerian President is a Sudanes impostor, by name Jubril Al-Sudaniy. Anyway, left to common sense, what is paramount at this point in time over these lingering issues surrounding Buhari’s true personality identity is not to allow it to continue to fester, and thereby unnecessarily dominating issues of meaningful national importance in the public domain. In other words, something needs to be done to end this national ignominy. And however this controversy is viewed, be it as an IPOB propaganda or campaign of calumny by critics, the truth is that it is high time the Buhari-led government cleared the air on this embarrassing allegation in a nation-wide broadcast. Besides the urgent need for Mr. President to address squarely the allegation that he cannot speak his peculiar Fulani dialect, there is also the imperative to address the nation without wearing his cap. This invariably will enable all and sundry to appreciate the truth regarding his head-hair growing oddity.

Surely, there is no other time for Buhari to sensibly respond to this escalating controversy concerning this alleged Sudanese double and impostor parading himself as President in the Aso Rock villa than on this special occasion of his birthday. Undoubtedly, this will be well appreciated by many Nigerians as a special and, in fact, the best birthday gift from “our” real president.

Chiduluemije, an Abuja-based journalist, wrote from Nsukka.