​Yar’Adua, Buhari and the Rest of Us By Onyeka Dike

 But then, how do we explain the Fulani madness that we hear about everywhere we turn? How do we explain the nosedive of the naira, such that we can’t even predict how low it would go anymore? How do we explain the hiked prices of fuel, gas, kerosene and diesel? How do we explain the fact that everything, I mean everything in Nigeria has gone up by nothing less than 50%? How do we explain away the over 200 lives that were bombed in an IDP camp? How do we explain that our lives mean nothing to him and all the people we gave a mandate to protect us? What is the state of our schools? What is the state of our health sector? Has power improved since he came in? What exactly has worked since Buhari took over? He keeps making promises, forgetting that he is no longer campaigning.



This morning, a friend chatted me up on Facebook, trying to confirm the state of Buhari’s health. Despite all the rumours that had been flying around, I chose to be conservative in my response. “Nothing confirmed yet”, I responded. He then told me that Buhari was unconscious. I don’t think he expected the response his statement elicited from me. “Make e die jare”, I said dispassionately.

He was very shocked. He reminded me that I supported Buhari in 2015, an accusation I pleaded guilty to, but not without letting him know that old things have passed away. I am a new creature now and any single support I had for him got buried in the Lagos Lagoon in place of the Igbos that a certain Oba wanted to drown in the same lagoon.

But then before anyone blames me for supporting Buhari in 2015 only to withdraw same long before his tenure is over, it is important I set the records straight.

As far back as the late 90s, I noticed that my political inclinations were particularly anti-establishment. When, in 1998, Abacha died and we had to go through one long electioneering process, I knew I never supported the PDP. They were the neocolonial masters in that dispensation and everything about them nauseated me. So, instead of rooting for Obasanjo, I supported Olu Falae and hoped so badly he would win.

In 2003, I so passionately rooted for Atiku to jump ship and campaign against Obasanjo. It was very obvious from his antecedents that Obasanjo was not the messiah we needed. But then, Atiku decided that it would amount to political suicide, so he humbled himself and campaigned with his master.

When Obasanjo decided to play a fast one on us in 2005 by pushing for a third term, I was livid with rage. I so eagerly wanted to see the project fail. And fail it did. As a punishment, he decided to foist the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on us in 2007, despite knowing his health condition. (A cunning man that he is, he denied that he did that as a way of getting back at us. That is a story for another day.)

In 2010, I was excited when the senate came up with the now famous Doctrine of Necessity and had Jonathan sworn in as the president. My excitement was not borne out of any optimism that he was going to be any different from the rest. At least, I had known him when he was a deputy-governor, then the governor of Bayelsa State. He had nothing to offer. He was empty and criminally minded. But I hated injustice. I hated the crazy suggestion that a coterie of power-drunk northerners wanted to bring another northerner to become president through the backdoor (this madness needs to stop. If we have to break up as a nation, so be it! But we can’t continue indulging a group of people who think it is their eternal right to hold power. They are a huge part of our problem and this needs to be addressed urgently).

In 2011, I rooted for Ribadu. Jonathan had proven his emptiness in a space of 14 months and there was no point allowing him to continue as president. Unfortunately, he won and we had to go through another cycle of experiencing a stillborn messiah in his worst elements.

2015 came and we were tired. Buhari was rebranded and repackaged, then sold to us as the change we needed. For the first time since this democratic gamble, I went on every platform to campaign for him, hoping that he would really be the change. The truth was that my heart was first broken when I learnt he had ‘won’ the APC primaries. I wanted Tambuwal or anybody else. But since they said he was the one going to wrest power from Jonathan, I put away my reservations and supported him. I thought nothing could be worse than Jonathan. I was wrong.

January 2017. Buhari takes a ‘10-day vacation’ and the media is awash with news about his rumoured death exactly a day after he leaves. The more his handlers try to deny it, the more the whole rumour transcends the realm of fiction to reality.

It is important to state here that Buhari’s handlers, his spokesmen especially, are the worst damage he has ever foisted on this country. Femi Adesina has lost all the sense that helped him climb the ladder to become the Editor-in-Chief while with the Sun Newspapers. He now speaks before thinking and that is not good for the image of his master that he is supposed to launder. Just today, I read in one of the dailies that he said Nigerians can’t force Buhari to address them in a video. Trust me, that is more than enough reason to believe that his master is no more.

Still on the rumour, one fact remains: you can’t force a dead man to deny his death. If Buhari is really dead, we will know in a short while. February 6 is just close by. Even if he decides to extend it till the end of February, we will still get to know and have the last laugh in the end.

It is seemingly sadistic and revanchist to talk about having the last laugh, but will you blame me?

So when my friend heard me wish Buhari dead, he most likely didn’t get the bearing of my message. The interesting thing is that more than 90% of realistic Nigerians would want him dead. The reason is obvious: Buhari is a lie; a sad, uneventful, underwhelming kind of lie. A nightmare you wake up from and refuse to sleep for the rest of your life. Buhari and his change agenda are completely fraudulent. Nigeria is worse off under him than it ever was under Jonathan. And Jonathan himself was a big fraud.

You see where I am coming from? I am speaking the minds of over 160 million Nigerians who are tired of the hell that Buhari has turned Nigeria into. His blind policies have made us the laughing stock of many nations and it will take more than an entire decade of aggressive nation-building to reverse the damage he has done.

Interestingly, for a man whose (football) age is 74, wishing him dead is not necessarily evil. It is our way of admitting that he is old enough to depart this evil world. We are trying to save him from the consequences of the unbelievable damage he has done to our country. But then, his handlers will not see it. The Abba Kyaris, Babachir Lawals, Femi Adesinas and Garba Shehus of this world will not understand. They are immune from our sufferings. All they think about is their own share of the loot. Anything that will bring an abrupt end to their perpetual looting of our common treasury will be resisted altogether.

But then, how do we explain the Fulani madness that we hear about everywhere we turn? How do we explain the nosedive of the naira, such that we can’t even predict how low it would go anymore? How do we explain the hiked prices of fuel, gas, kerosene and diesel? How do we explain the fact that everything, I mean everything in Nigeria has gone up by nothing less than 50%? How do we explain away the over 200 lives that were bombed in an IDP camp? How do we explain that our lives mean nothing to him and all the people we gave a mandate to protect us?

While people are being laid off from their jobs and salaries are not increasing, Buhari is hell-bent on snuffing life out of many Nigerians. Our joke of a president, he will rather attack anyone who complains about his insensitive policies. He will rather ban hosting Big Brother Nigeria in South Africa, despite the fact that he is doing so in a London hospital. (He would rather ban FX for education and importation, but still send his children to schools in the UK. His hypocrisy is legendary.)

What is the state of our schools? What is the state of our health sector? Has power improved since he came in? What exactly has worked since Buhari took over? He keeps making promises, forgetting that he is no longer campaigning.

Truth be told, Nigerians are tired of Buhari. They want him dead. They also wanted Abacha dead. They wanted Obasanjo dead. They wanted Yar’Adua dead. They wanted Patience Jonathan dead. Now, they want Buhari dead. The reason is obvious. Praying for their death is the only way we get back at them for all their wickedness.

I still remember the celebrations that greeted the news of Abacha’s death. It was unprecedented. We took to the streets, screaming with joy. When Stella Obasanjo died in 2005, I still remember the celebration among students of the University of Benin. She was not the person we wanted dead, but then, since she was Obasanjo’s wife, that was enough consolation.

When Yar’Adua’s death was announced in 2010, it was more like a breath of fresh air. We were tired of the drama that governance had become, owing to his ill health. Olusegun Adeniyi, the cerebral spokesman of the late Yar’Adua, has done us a world of good by giving us a front-row perspective of what transpired during all those years. One thing that we can’t deny is the fact that Yar’Adua had a good heart. He was the first president to reduce the price of petrol. He was also the first and only president that admitted that the process that brought him in was flawed. He was true to his word about the Niger-Delta and introduced the amnesty programme. He was the first to ever openly declare his assets and he blackmailed Jonathan into doing so, despite the latter’s reservations about it.

Yar’Adua had lofty ideas and great intentions, but sickness did not allow him see them to fruition. When he died, a beautiful future of possibilities also went with him. By strength of introspection, I really wish he had lived. He was the only different person among the shenanigans that we have had (and still have) as presidents. But then, because sickness wouldn’t allow him to be great (lol) and we couldn’t indulge a power-drunk cabal of Aondoakaa, Turai and the rest to hold sway, we just believed that death would solve the equation. And it did.

2017. Buhari is rumoured to be dead. Buhari is not Yar’Adua. The latter had good intentions while the former is evil in every way. If Nigerians are helping to spread the rumour, it is because we so badly want it to be true. We might not be ready yet for another Arab Spring. (Suffice to say that it is this understanding that makes the huge criminals ruling us to take us for granted with every opportunity.) So wishing Buhari dead is that revolutionary part of us that might not be ripe enough to lead a revolution on the outside, but then, consistently revolting on the inside.

And whether he comes back dead or alive, the truth is that he is dead to us. We are just waiting for the formal announcement so we can do the dust-to-dust.

Author’s Bio

Onyeka Dike is a communication expert with relevant experience in corporate communications, biographical writing, editing and publishing. He holds a master’s degree in English from the prestigious University of Ibadan. He is an informed political commentator and social crusader.

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