The Making of History

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When General Muhammadu Buhari joined politics is not strictly of material value to this discourse without a deep knowledge of when he did, I could only skirt around the subject to see if it would be of substance value. What is of value at all is that he joined politics to contest for political leadership, having served as military Head of State for eighteen months or so.

This didn’t come easy but should be noted as one of the rare occasions when he ever changed his mind. I recalled an interview with him on Liberty Radio which touched on the subject of changing his mind. When I brushed the topic, he responded in these or similar words. “you have just reminded us that I loathed politics from the start, but here I am now”. This is contrary to those who insist that Buhari doesn’t change his mind. In politics, you have to moderate to suit circumstances but without losing your core values.

Such was General Buhari then, a complete political figure, so much so that when some citizens set out to persuade him to jump into the political fray; I was one of those who doubted whether or not this push would go through. When I hinted late Wada Nas, he described it as brilliant but unworkable. However, late Wada Nas hinted that he would approach him with the subject.

A month or so, when I heard no news, I personally gave up though I knew how close Nas was to him. One evening, I visited the former minister who didn’t hesitate to tell me that “the man has agreed”. In short, in Buhari’s road to Aso Rock, were two personalities, among others, who played some vital role. These were Wada Nas of blessed memory and Sule Hamman, now chairman Governing Council of the Kano based North West University. There was also a late Kano based politician of the leftist- brew. For sure, there were others known to this writer, who equally played some role in persuading General Buhari to try his hand at politics. Getting Buhari to change his mind on any subject, once he made up his mind, had always been a difficult task but once he agreed to so change, he pursues the matter to logical conclusion.

Over the years, Buhari was able to build a corps of followers who were prepared to be more of him than Buhari. I had the opportunity to meet some in Yola after his second attempt at the presidency. It was soon spread that he was no longer going to participate in politics. Someone wanted to know from me, if in truth, he made such a remark. I confirmed it to him and without thought he said, “let him dare it, we will kill him and if you happen to be one of those advising him to pull out of politics, we would kill you too”, or words to that effect. We had a good laugh, but he was serious. Such characters dotted the Buhari followers, very committed and loyal to him.

But how did the presidential election go? First, there was a scare worsened by the unholy utterances of some elements of the Niger Delta origin. They gave an impression of a bloody war should Jonathan not scale through even as perceptive fellows knew not that there was no way he could make it. Nobody took his ranting serious by its vertipurations. There was no way he could click victory; the insults coming from the creeks notwithstanding. Indeed, they made, matters worse for him. President Obasanjo was the first to voice out his disagreement when he noticed that Jonathan was keeping mute over the utterances of his Niger Delta brothers. The mindless utterances never helped matters and Jonathan’s silence merely added fuel to a burning situation. To be frank, Jonathan’s Niger Delta supporters added to his defeat, which he said was only with a margin of slightly over two million. He is of course used to the bogus of 99%: quite thoughtless in all ramifications.

Whatever, it has since gone down in history that Jonathan is the first sitting President to be defeated in Nigeria. This is a very profound history which deserves a robust analysis. If we are to rate why he failed to clinch a second term, corruption certainly featured prominently. Many are agreed that the Jonathan administration is the most corrupt ever in our history, where impunity was the standard practice and nepotism a grand standing old man.

There were, of course, other itches, no less dangerous. For several weeks, he allowed the so called Boko Haram elements to drive away people from their homes to caves and forests and Jonathan did not seem to have bothered as this went on for months. To date, many suspect that the Federal Government was the main stay of Boko Haram. This thinking arose from the deliberate failure of the government to deal with the situation. Jonathan went about it with sufficient casualness, thereby creating an impression of dubious nature in the whole drama. What made many believe that FGN was indeed the Boko Haram?

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