Permit me to begin this contribution with an interesting and historically accurate observation made by the Vanguard Newspaper on 3rd February 2015. They wrote, “Between 1983 and 1985, Peter Onu of Nigeria was Acting Secretary-General of the OAU. At the 1985 Summit in Addis Ababa, statesmen like Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania, lobbied for his election as substantive Secretary-General. However, there was a major stumbling block to Peter Onu’s candidature: his Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, was campaigning against him. Buhari claimed: “This generation of Nigerians and indeed future generations have no other country than Nigeria.” But when the crunch came, his allegiance to Nigeria disappeared.
In the election of the OAU Secretary-General in 1985, Buhari voted against Nigeria and for Niger instead. He secured the election of Ide Oumarou, a Fulani man from Niger; as opposed to an Igbo man from Nigeria. By so doing, Buhari became the first and only Head of State in the history of modern international relations to vote against his country in favour of his tribe”.
Graphically illustrated and succinctly put, that is the mindset of the quintessential General Muhamnadu Buhari for you. Yet even in his triumphs and all his glory he has suffered immense pain and his challenges and travails are legion. Consider the following. In 1983 he toppled the much-loved democratically-elected civilian President Shehu Shagari in a military coup and became Head of State. He ruled with an iron fist for exactly 20 months (31st Dec 1983 – 27th August 1985) after which he himself was overthrown in another military coup led by his erstwhile and again much-loved Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Babangida. Thereafter he was detained for three years in Benin city.
Exactly 30 years after he was removed from power in 2015 he was “elected” civilian President on the platform of the APC. Once again he presided over the affairs of our country for another 20 months (29th May 2015 – 19th January 2017) until he was struck by an undisclosed yet strange and debilitating illness, fell gravely ill, was compelled to formally transmit his presidential powers to the Vice President, was rushed to the United Kingdom where, up until today, he has remained incommunicado and on “indefinite medical leave”. Since then the Nigerian people have not heard his voice or seen him other than being fed with regular diets of pictures of him receiving his close political associates who urge us on a daily basis that he is “hale and hearty” and “getting much better”.
Sounds familiar? Let us go back a bit. The first time Buhari came to power he unleashed terror on the people in the name of fighting corruption and thousands of innocent and decent men and women were herded into prisons and detention centres all over the country. None of them were given fair trials and all were subjected to a level of humiliation and barbarity that had never been witnessed before in peacetime in our entire history. Criminal laws were applied retroactively and people were executed and hanged based on the application of those laws. Many were locked up, prosecuted and jailed simply for writing and speaking the truth as long as that truth embarrassed or exposed the wickedness or corruption of members of his Federal Military Government.
Many politicians, dissidents, writers, journalists, businessmen and human rights activists were locked up in inhuman conditions and underground dungeons and consequently fell chronically ill and most of them never recovered from the ordeal. Many civilians were tried before military courts and, without any credible evidence, jailed for, in many cases, hundreds of years. On the economic front a chronic recession was ushered into the affairs of our nation and people suffered hunger, poverty, deprivation and starvation. Thankfully 20 months later it all came crashing, he was removed from power and sanity was restored. The second time he came to power he did precisely the same thing as the first only this time it was worse because he clothed his … in the seeming legitimacy of civil rule and in a supposedly democratic setting where the rule of law, at least on paper, was meant to prevail.
Yet the modus operandi, intention, style and objectives were still the same: the decimation of all opposition forces by waging a bogus, vicious and selective so-called “anti-corruption war” which was fuelled and propelled by hate, spite, vindictiveness, pettiness, sensational media trials and the abuse of power and which resulted in the humiliation, denigration, persecution, demonisation, violation of human rights and incarceration of most of his critics and political opponents. Again his actions and policies resulted in the premature death and destruction of innocent and helpless men and women in some cases and in the reckless and wholesale slaughter of defenceless civilians by his security forces in others.
Once again on the economic front, just as he had done thirty years earlier, he ushered in a period of unprecedented suffering, hunger, hardship, economic recession, poverty and starvation. And yet again, 20 months later it all came crashing down, he was struck down by the arrow of affliction, he was forced to relinquish power and he was rushed to a London hospital for help and medical attention. It was 20 months the first time and it is 20 months the second. One must pause here and ponder on the circumstances. Is there not more to this than meets the eye? Are there any lessons to be drawn from all this? Is God not trying to tell him and indeed all of us something? Is this not the finger of God? Does the killing, locking up, humiliation and persecution of innocent souls and the sadistic destruction of the lives and families of others not come with a heavy price? Buhari did all that when he came to power in 1983 in the name of fighting corruption and he did again when he was “elected” in 2015.
Yet the Alpha and the Omega and He that is known as the Ancient of Days neither slumbers nor sleeps and neither does He abandon His own. His word says “touch not my annointed and do my Prophets no harm”. The Lord of Hosts is not a man: He does not lie and neither does He repent. He is faithful and true and He ALWAYS honors His word. Each time the enemy does his worst, the Lord of the Universe does His best and proceeds to display His awesome sovereingty and power. This is especially so when the leaders and Princes of this world stand against or seek to destroy His annointed. God rules in the affairs of men and He alone forges the destiny of nations. The kingdoms of the earth are like a drop of water in the oceans before Him.
And He alone lifts us up, brings us down and determines the length of our days. The bottom line is this: the Lord is against President Buhari and it is time for him and his evil party to stand down and let go. Our country needs deliverance from the “broomstick” and “chanji” spirit of the APC. In 2019 we are not going to have an election in this nation but instead we will have an exorcism. By God’s grace we will pray them out of power and restore the fortunes of our beleagured and suffering people. In normal countries only witches and wizards fly around in the air on broomsticks chanting “change” but in Nigeria the APC Federal Government has sold our birthright, squandered our good fortunes, traded in our destiny, mesmerised our people, decimated our economy and dedicated our nation to the forces of darkness. And their “great and wonderful works” speak for themselves.
Permit me to share just three examples of those “wonderful works” with you here. The first is the fact that the naira, at 5 naira to 1 US dollar, is not only at the lowest it has ever been in its entire history but has now also become one of the three most worthless currencies on the African continent after Zimbabwe and Somalia. The second is the fact that UNICEF has just announced that Nigeria is one of four countries in the world today (the others being Somalia, Southern Sudan and Yemen) in which 1.4 million people are suffering from starvation.
The third is the fact that more Christians are being slaughtered in Nigeria today than at any other time in our history and that the religious, regional and ethnic divide that exists in our nation, with its attendant hate, bitterness, violence and bad blood, is more pronounced today than it has ever been before. And all these “wonderful works” were achieved in the space of one year and eight months. That must be a world record in terms of the time-span for deterioration and disaster. Lest I forget permit me to add just one more “wonderful work”.
President Buhari is supposedly fighting a war against corruption yet after his lawyer gave 500,000 naira to a judge before whom he (Buhari) had a case it was described as a “gift” as opposed to a bribe. What a wonderful way to fight corruption that is but thankfully God is watching. We are sitting on a keg of gunpowder even though we hate to admit or acknowledge it. I guess that is “change” for you and these are the fruits of the witchcraft brew called “chanji”. Yet the truth is that all hope is not lost and even if they have one million warlocks, witches, dark angels, sorcerers, witchdoctors, marabouts, pagans priests and Ali Modu Sheriffs working for them together with the army, the navy, the police, the EFCC, the DSS, Boko Haram, Miyetti Allah and the Fulani militias and herdsmen, one way or the other, by 2019 at the latest, they will all leave power. God wills it and so it shall be.
The Holy Bible says, “who art thou O man? Thou art as the grass that withers, thou art as the flower that fadeth: a man that is borne of woman that is today and tomorrow is no more”. We must all, no matter how big or powerful, humble ourselves before God because He alone makes kings weep in their closets and causes emperors and tyrants to tremble in their wardrobes and wet their beds. As regards his 20 year jinx, perhaps President Muhammadu Buhari will return safely to Nigeria and perhaps he will not: only God knows. Whichever way it goes the Lord has made His point. All praise, all glory, all honor be unto His holy name forever. Shalom. By Femi Fani-Kayode