The Punch

Buhari and the three musketeers

- Ogejah El-hameed Adeiza • Adeiza is a writer and activist based in Kogi State. princeelha­mee@gmail.com. 0805372753­0

oN December 29, 2015, Nigeria’s informatio­n minister, Lai Mohammed, despite two days of bombings in the volatile North-east by the Islamist terror sect, Boko Haram, claimed that the group had been ‘largely defeated.’ A statement he reechoed four years later in 2019 when he, rather inscrutabl­y, said, “Boko Haram has been technicall­y defeated”. This statement was released at a time when terror attacks were relentless and lives were being lost, sometimes in their hundreds, weekly.

Following even more terror attacks and killings, the following year, the minister said the terror group hadn’t been defeated yet because world powers were frustratin­g the efforts of the government to deal with the insurgents.

That’s quite some remarkable turn of events as it seems Boko Haram might go down in history, and possibly the Guinness Book of World Records as the only enemy to keep causing more damage whenever a certain minister announces them to be largely and technicall­y defeated. The group recently released a video where they purportedl­y swore in a new “Governor” of Borno State, Abba Kaka, along with others who’ll assist him to fulfil his role. Of the 27 Local Government Areas of the state, Boko Haram now controls five, it is claimed, while the government of Babagana Zulum controls the remaining 22. The “technicall­y defeated” sect is now technicall­y controllin­g the land.

How can a defeated foe command so much authority in the land of its supposed conqueror? Why has Mohammed gone quiet? Is the Nigerian government playing with fire by sitting back and casting blame when they ought to have been proactive? Why aren’t they fighting Boko Haram with the same vigour they’ve been going after Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB and Sunday Igboho? Is the nepotistic regime fighting the 5% but empowering the masquerade­rs of the 97% to cause more mayhem? Why has the Nigerian military been swifter and combative in the South, but quite painfully toothless in the North? If IPOB had declared control over so much as a LG in the South-east, would the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), have kept quiet the way he has been concerning the activities of Boko Haram in the North? Why’s the FG fighting a selective battle? If Boko Haram which has killed thousands of innocent people is massaged, why are Kanu and Igboho demonised? These questions and more, if answered correctly, will point us to the real truth - something Mohammed has never appeared quite capable of saying.

When you analyse the freedom-fighting of Igboho and Kanu which is completely different from the ways of Boko Haram, it’s obvious the Buhari regime has no constituti­onal right to try to kill them the way they’ve been. Recently, Igboho barely escaped being killed by the DSS when they attacked his house. A former aide to then president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, puts it succinctly in his Facebook post, “Muhammadu Buhari has no moral authority to go after Sunday Igboho. He led a delegation of herdsmen to meet with Lam Adesina on october 13, 2000 to intimidate him. He encouraged his followers to defend their votes with the term ‘rig and roast’. Buhari himself was a Sunday Igboho to his own tribe before the 2015 elections. He protected them the way Igboho is protecting his people. Nobody sent DSS agents after him. Buhari himself said “‘The Military Offensive Against Boko Haram Is Anti North...that same year, Lai Mohammed said the proscripti­on of Boko Haram is unconstitu­tional.”

In simple terms, the informatio­n minister exemplifie­s everything that’s gone wrong with the Federal Government; paradoxica­l, yet entertaini­ng. As the vast majority of Nigerians frankly aren’t surprised anymore with the antics of the regime. Perhaps, he may wake up tomorrow and decide to tell us that Nigeria isn’t even a geographic­al place on the face of the Earth. Welcome to Mercury, everyone; explains why it’s so hot in here, right!?

Sheikh ‘Peacemaker’ Gumi, on the other hand, isn’t the peacemaker he projects himself to be. With his visits to the bandits in a ‘peace-making mission’, one would fancy this man getting awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But hold it! The bandits are still killing, kidnapping and carrying out more gruesome violent activities than ever before. Considerin­g the leaked video sometime ago where Gumi was seen telling the bandits that the army are not against them, and that only Christian soldiers kill bandits. This must be delusional grandeur.

How do the security agents continue to escort Gumi to meet with bandits in their hideouts, yet, the Nigerian Army claim they are unable to locate the same hideouts where they ought to deal with the bandits? How is Gumi not even in jail already? He makes these statements and comes out boasting and we assume all’s well with the justice system? Obviously, there’s a constituti­on for the North, and another for the South, or so it seems. Otherwise, can you imagine a Yoruba person having a leaked private meeting with ‘the-now-at-large’ Sunday Igboho, but still be walking free? Or shall we even try to fathom the possibilit­y of an Igbo man openly meeting with Nnamdi Kanu before he was arrested, then walking around freely in the country?

The peacemaker from and for the Northern Muslims has proved beyond doubt and logic that he truly stands for the interests of the bandits alone. We must understand that nonviolenc­e is the answer to the crucial ethno-religious crisis that currently beclouds us. There’s a need for us to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression itself. History has proved that man, in the face of unbearable oppression, always finds a means to fight back. Freedom is the most important necessity of life. If Gumi would understand these principles and pursue peace along unbiased lines, perhaps, the end of banditry and their vices won’t be far off.

Malam El-rufai is the other who, somehow, manages to be extremely religiousl­y and tribally biased while being the governor of an equally diverse people. Saved this one for last as he’s the one, amongst the three, most likely to follow his master into the Aso Villa. The incessant killing of Christians and non-fulani especially in southern Kaduna to which he turned a blind eye, and even defended the killer herdsmen, coming out publicly to say he paid them to stop the killings which have only increased, proves he’s full of bile. This is a man who has interest in becoming the President of Nigeria someday, ironically.

Who would want to be a minority in el-rufai’s Nigeria? He’s certainly going to make Buhari’s incompeten­ce and ethnorelig­ious bias seem like a child’s play. May Nigeria not have a president that would make her miss Buhari!

A Nigeria where cows are currently treated with more honour than anyone who isn’t Hausa/fulani.

Going forward, may Nigeria as a country not have any president who would make her miss Buhari and his musketeers.

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