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Hanan on her father’s plane

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We are gradually becoming masters of tradition, the tradition of not agreeing with our leaders no matter what they do or say. Between the lords of our opposition parties or of the main opposition party and some of our finest columnists and legal pundits, we seem to be at a loss to identify those who do a great deal to advance the tradition. When their witchery fingers titillate their pens or tease their lap-tops our columnists, great pounders and severe critics of our fumbling political helmspersons, never hesitate to do their duties. Their love of, and for fatherland, never ever disallows them from striking those who deserve to be struck.

Our lawyers who always really seem capable of making anything happen with their oratory tongues of illuminations are always available to express their displeasure at the fiddle of the political lords. And when they express their displeasure they accompany it with their peculiar banjos. This happened barely a week ago, and it is even still happening now, with respect to Hanan, our president’s pretty daughter, who is prettier than Aisha.

The little girl – or do I call her the young lady? – entered her father’s jet which flew her as the lone passenger to Bauchi to do some work, to do some academic research or project connected with her master’s degree in photography that fetched her a first class in her bachelor’s. Christ, why should this be? Why the hullabaloo over Hanan on her father’s plane en route to Bauchi to engage in her worthy research?

It is true that her father, our President, General Muhammadu Buhari, our GMB, is our tenant in Aso Rock. It is true also that he and all members of his household are being catered for by the Nigerian State – meaning that our tax payers’ money gives him the advantage and privilege that he and his family members enjoy. In point of fact and of truth, Hanan and her siblings have the extra advantage of being bound to the legend of privilege on her mother’s side; and Aisha, her mother, as our current first lady, is well liked by many Nigerians – although I must affirm here that no one has carried out a census of opinions on this score.

A few years back, Hanan’s brother nearly lost his life in a motor-bike accident. Excellent medical attention he got in Abuja and in Europe saved his life. Let us briefly imagine what Hanan, her mother, her father and her other siblings went through at the trying period. And how many Nigerians truly offered prayers to GMB and his family at that time? Let the possibility of that severe time come down on us, and re-appear in our new memories. Put yourself, each and every one of you, in the grip of all that Hanan, her mother, her father and her siblings got entangled in then. It is only human for GMB to be human.

Where am I heading to?
Since Hanan flew to Bauchi on her father’s plane, which actually is our plane in her father’s care, the question of the legality or constitutional validity of the act has been raised by different persons – lawyers and non-lawyers, constitutional experts and non-constitutional experts, and critics of GMB who are mainly members of the opposition parties, and members of civil society organizations. The preponderance of opinions indicated that GMB acted illegally or unconstitutionally or corruptly by allowing Hanan to fly on a presidential jet to Bauchi for a private business, which I personally cherish as a laudable academic business, as I have already hinted above. Some persons, in private discussions with me, even went to the extent of calling our president’s posture as the posture of a fraudulent president undeserving of our presidential trust. I DISAGREE. I won’t join or enter their bandwagon or that of others who share their bandwagon with them. GMB is a father. He is our president, but he is a father, a father of a heavyweight academic daughter. There was nothing passionately, humanly, daughterly, and fatherly wrong in Hanan’s entering her father’s plane and flying on it. I say this without qualms – and as a student of human nature.

Once bitten, twice shy, we are told. The thought of Hanan experiencing what her brother earlier experienced on our road in Abuja terrified the general. This also explains why Hanan did not go to Bauchi in one of her father’s numerous posh and bullet-proof cars. The fear of Boko Haram and of kidnappers also occupied her father’s stern heart that softened for the daughter to enjoy the role history and fortune had offered her. And what of the bedroom plea on her daughter’s behalf by our president’s charismatic wife and first lady; what do we make of it? Christ, I must underline it: Our stern president cannot and must not be stern in matters of the heart.

And his dear wife is his true heart of hearts. She is the Aisha that surpasses other Aishas. He could not have turned her down, and he did not turn her down when she asked her husband for a husbandly favour on behalf of great daughter Hanan, I dare say it again. Unfortunately, the presidential defenders of GMB could not, and did not defend him properly on the matter. The defences the presidencynologists tendered were puerile, and amounted to no defences. It is needless and useless for me to repeat here what they spewed as replies to the president’s attackers. Their answer(s) had no fascination for me.

Now let me ask this question: Don’t many chief executives in several public or government establishments use official vehicles to get this or that done for their kids and wives, and relatives and friends? How many of them have we condemned, castigated or queried for their illegal acts? In any case, we must not pretend that we cannot be sensitive to the humanity in us in some of our actions. To say or to argue otherwise is to turn ourselves into fabulists; it is to engage in mythological or semi-mythological terms that belong to the realm of the unreal; it is to have naive fascination for the unreal.

I fully endorse what Hanan, an academic champion, and a girl of possibility, that we should admire, went to do in Bauchi on her father’s plane, our plane. We must learn to be human in all we do, in all we say, and in all our decisions. This is one huge lesson GMB must imbibe in his dealings hence-forwards with us and the toilers, the toiling masses of our country. But will he snap the toils of fortune ensnaring them? Will he? To be, or not to be? On this and other good scores, GMB must not engage in the procrastinations of Hamlet. Or has GMB not read that stupendously stupendous eponymous play by the charmingly great William Shakespeare? If he hadn’t found time to read the play before now, he should summon the time and interest to do so this weekend after Jumat. Thereafter he should read and study other works of literature on human nature and on humane political governance and rulership.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059


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