Onyiorah Paschal Chiduluemije
It is increasingly disturbing the way and manner President Muhammadu Buhari has been running the affairs of this country, ostensibly called Federal Republic of Nigeria. Perhaps, more disturbing, is the obviously dangerous quiet and/or siddon-look that prevails in the kingdom of the so-called civil societies in Nigeria over this obnoxious trend. And, by the same token, no less disturbing – and even shameful of all (you may add) – is the fact that the Obasanjos and the IBBs of this hell of a country – who once upon in time baselessly accused the erstwhile President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of mainly appointing his Ijaw people into positions of leadership – have suddenly, though somewhat helpless (for fear of being probed), learned to keep mute regarding what they see and/or say nowadays.
In the same vein, “our” Soyinkas of the literary realm who in their various vociferous, melodramatic and vocabulary-laden polemics and diatribes, used to advance millions of reasons in preference for and in defence of their present-day democratic dictator, General Muhammadu Buhari, as against the candidacy of a mild, educated, metropolitan, nationalistic and excessively tolerant democratic ex-President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, no longer could talk and/or talk sufficiently. All of whom, like the cowardly Ogundipes of the 1960s, have suddenly rolled back to their shells. And none, for now, sees nor wants to be seen to have seen the dangerous slide from secular to Islamist state which President Muhammadu Buhari has plunged the country into.
Equally no less unfortunate is the apparent conspiracy of silence by the Ekwuemes of this world who (despite their likely and understandable plea for age alibi) once stood courageously in the way of the “devilish” intent of the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, which intent in no small measure is no less the same now both in content and actions of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. One therefore wonders what has happened to or become of the guts of the Ekwuemes of today in the face of the growing Buharislamization of Nigeria.
Perhaps more complicit in this unbecoming sealed lips approach to Buharislamization of Nigeria are the yesterdays’ Arewa men of “power must shift to the North” campaign. No doubt, in their complacency so far, they neither can see any longer nor perceive any wrong in Muhammadu Buhari’s perilously unrelenting efforts to run the affairs of an otherwise secular state along the line of a sunni Islamist republic – like President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is doing. And like the proverbial irresponsible adults at home, these Yesterday’s men seem so far to be rather glad watching the she-goat delivering while tethered.
Stupid enough, while the engine of the ship of the nation is fast getting closer to knock, these same men appear to be telling those who care to listen that the North is squaring up for another civil war to “preserve” the unity of Nigeria by all means(?) Hence, for them, it is better for their people to go for war than to live to see Nigeria being restructured. Hmmm…! By implication, instead of urgently and jointly working towards salvaging Nigeria from running its abysmally high temperature of destructive proportion, these doddering elements seem to be busy espousing and encouraging the Islamist and porous economic agenda of this rudderless administration. Any wonder, therefore, that President Buhari, who incidentally is of the same age bracket with them, reportedly feels that Nigerians are not in any way suffering/experiencing hardship at all?
As it were, it needs not be overemphasized that virtually every action and/or inaction of President Muhammadu Buhari nowadays is rightly perceived to be tainted with religious/Islamist undertone and colouration. For one, if it is not the controversy on his policy of dragging Nigeria into an unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia-led Islamic coalition against Islamic terrorism, it will be his reported anachronistic and highly controversial policy proposal to reduce exchange rate for Islamic pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Or, if the stench is not emanating from the litany of his lopsided appointments, it will be emitting from the un-secular words of his bizarrely fanatical declaration of public holidays for Islamic festivities. And where perhaps his religious bigotry fails to manifest in the way he refuses to react at times to religion-related happenings and/or Fulani herdsmen attacks across the breadth and length of the country, it will readily find expression in the deplorable mannerism he will eventually adopt in circumstances where he is impelled or compelled to react. Needless to say that the latter was well demonstrated in his terse statement in the wake of the recent brutal murder of an Igbo woman in Kano by some Islamist fundamentalists who reportedly stormed, blocked and performed ablutions in front of her (deceased’s) shop, which following her objection to this absurdity led to her untimely demise. In fact, it is interesting to recall at this juncture that “our” President hardly rounded off his so-called condemnation of this ugly incident in that very statement without implicitly pontificating unnecessarily about the need for religious tolerance by the person(s) in front of whose shop(s) ablutions was performed and those who wittingly fomented trouble by indulging in such despicable and trouble-courting act (?) Of course, don’t ask me, this is the same President that wants and demands respect from the citizenry and faithful across religious divides.
What is more, here we are talking about a “man of good conscience” and President who reportedly ordered the immediate release and empowerment of arrested Boko Haram terrorist detainees (all of whom were Muslims) and, on the other hand and at some other time, allegedly ordered and supported the brutal murder of many innocent, unarmed, hapless and lawful protesters and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – all of whom were Christians. Yet, in all this, nobody seems to be talking. Perhaps because his name is Buhari, the “lover” of his Hausa-Fulani people and religion – Islam(?)
Mr. Chiduluemije, a Journalist, writes from Abuja via email@example.com – 08052250171