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Can two walked together, except they be agreed? – Amos 3:3
Four theories swirl around Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his regime. The first is that some years back, on one of his numerous and long-drawn trips to London for medical treatment, Buhari died and his remains were flown to Saudi Arabia for burial; but presidency cabal conspired to bottle up the news. Determined to continue to hold on to power, they sourced a Buhari look-alike to pose as Buhari and continue to rule over Nigeria. Enter Jubril of Sudan! Proponents of this theory, chief of whom is Nnamdi Kanu, the self-styled leader of the secession-seeking Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), point out what they describe as differences between the physical features of (the late?) Buhari and Jubril of Sudan. Buhari himself has denied that he is dead, in the same manner Umaru Yar’Adua denied his death rumour from his hospital bed in Germany. Nigerians will still remember ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s phone call to the then PDP presidential candidate at one of the party’s campaign rallies: “Umoru, are you dead?” It took a while before Buhari responded to the widespread rumour but when he eventually did, he denied that he was Jubril from Sudan. That, however, has not stopped Kanu from continuing to insist that the man in Nigeria’s presidential villa is Jubril of Sudan and not the real Muhammadu Buhari.
I suspect that the truth may be somewhere in-between. We knew Buhari was ill and that he serially travelled abroad for treatment. Matters were not being helped by the fact that the nature of his illness has not been disclosed to Nigerians. This, then, is sure recipe for the rumour mill to fester and boom around his health issues. What aileth thee, O Buhari! When a car’s engine (the heart of the car) knocks or has issues, it can be replaced. When other parts of the car malfunction (e.g. gear, brain box, carburettor), they, too, can be repaired or replaced. Sometimes, the body parts of Camry can fit into Pajero jeep, especially where the damaged part is not easily available. The mechanics will graft it; sometimes it works but hardly can it work as perfectly as the exact part. But the car will trudge on by and by. As with a car, so also with the human body: Engineers who made the car and other mechanical appliances imitate God. The mechanisms are virtually the same. So if the heart of a man malfunctions, he can have a heart transplant. If the kidneys or any other parts fail, there is transplant or grafting that can be done. Many years back, a fellow Minister in my church working for a multinational beverage company suffered food poisoning and was flown abroad for treatment. I understand his whole blood was drained out with fresh blood injected into his system. Technology has travelled a long way. Medical science has recorded a lot of record-breaking discoveries and innovations that it should be practically possible to remove all the innards of a man and replace them with the innards of another man – and, if compatible, they will function, even if not optimally. I have seen a Volvo car that carries the engine of Camry or a Mitshubishi that is running with the carburettor of a Toyota, etc. Because information about Buhari’s health status is kept as State secret, it may take a while before the nature – and cause – of his illness becomes public knowledge. Until then, all possibilities and permutations will continue to have a field day. However, I pitch my tenth with Buhari that he is the authentic Muhammadu Buhari and not any Jubril from Sudan. He may carry some strange body parts (of Jubril of Sudan?) that are either meshing or not meshing very well, but the body or carcass appears to me to be that of Muhammadu Buhari. So I believe until proven otherwise!
Another theory is that Buhari suffers from dementia or acute forgetfulness; a disease generally associated with old age. This is not an offence. We all know Buhari is old, whether or not we know his actual age. Buhari himself may not know his own actual age, since it was not recorded. He will not be the only one in this category. Obasanjo told the whole world he belonged in the same category. Yours truly is also a proud alumnus of this group. Those who claim to know say it is because of his dementia that Buhari is not effective as a leader. They say he forgets things easily. And the people around him catch-in on this to have a field day. They say this is also the reason he surrounds himself with the people he knows, whom he thinks will not leak his secrets or betray him. Unfortunately, many of them are said to feast on his predicament to feather their own nest.
A third theory is that old age has had a debilitating effect on Buhari’s performance in office. I cannot speak of the “ozer room”! The man is way past his optimal level. His illness has also not helped matters. Buhari himself made allusion to this sometimes ago when he wished he had become president much earlier. As they say, the Buhari we see today is mere appearance and not substance. We only see the robe and not the masquerade.
A fourth theory which encapsulates the three above is that Buhari is a captive of forces beyond his control; and these are the forces of ill-health, old age, and the cabal that surround him. He thinks he has no better choice than rely on them. His wife, Aisha, thinks differently. She is piqued by the callous and brutal manner the cabal have taken advantage of her husband’s misfortunes. Buhari, however, thinks the cabal’s excesses are the lesser of two evils, the other evil being for the whole world to know his real status and behold his nakedness. His case, thus, resembles that of biblical David who, after he had disobeyed God by counting Israel, was given three punishments to choose from, none of which was palatable.
Presidency cabal know what we don’t know. They have sensitive secrets in the palms of their hands. They hold Buhari by the balls. Rather than help, they exploit him. And the man considers himself powerless and helpless against them. His case is not that of weakness, like Jonathan’s; this man is through and through helpless against the cabal. Buhari is president only in name, the actual presidents are the cabal that surround him – and these are divided into two broad groups – the appointees and non-appointees made up of family and friends. The cabals have factions; they form and un-form alliances depending on their vested interests. They war ceaselessly and persistently amongst themselves to corner resources and enlarge territories and poles of influence. They wield the long knives against one another.
In appearance Nigeria has one president; in actual sense the country is ruled by many presidents, none of which is elected. That was why, in the heat of his own losing out the other time, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, “Grass-cutter” Babachir Lawal, asked “Which president” when he was told that the president had approved his removal from office. Many presidents rule Nigeria, each jealously guarding his own turf and seeking the slightest opportunity to encroach on the turf of others.
Muhammadu Buhari needs help! He needs liberation from the stranglehold of the cabal that have reduced him to the butt of cruel jokes. There is really no difference between the cabals. It makes no sense to support one against another. They all are treacherous leeches sucking the blood of Nigerians and driving the country to the edge of the precipice. Need I say more?
“If Britain could exit Europe…”
… a masterpiece and deep, intellectual discourse. – Nicholas Nkem Okeke.
… an eye opener to the uninformed that believe in lies and intimidation. – Tema, Nassarawa state.
… instructive, wonderful, educative, fearless, thought-provoking and revealing. It gives hope that one day we (the South) shall exit this problem called Nigeria. I am not for restructuring because we have gone past that stage. My prayer is that God should help Nigeria to disintegrate so that we can go our separate ways. – Ojo O. O. Esq.
… fantabulous but the title is not correct. Britain did exit EU but remains a European country. – Obi Anyaorah, Ihiala.
You are a fearless eminent son of Africa! More power to your elbows! – Chief Segun Adegoke, Ondo, Ondo state.
“Bitter truth the North must hear…”
This deserves an award! He who presses another down will himself not rise up. They never knew that with Federal Character/Quota System they were digging their own grave. See Buhari’s style of governance! Can they ever think right? I read your write-up again and again. Unfortunately, do they understand even if they read at all? – William Adeyemi, Lagos.
This is an inspiration and divinely-inspired. Go in this courage! No weapon fashioned against you shall prosper! – Ndu.