by James Ogunjimi
Today is not #Throwbackthursday but let’s go down memory lane politically. Remember the last Presidential elections. Remember the time President Buhari was interviewed and asked about his plans for Nigeria.
What will you do about corruption? I will fight…
How will you handle the dwindling oil prices? I will fight…
And the naira, how do you intend to stabilize it? I will fight…
What of Boko haram, how do you intend to stop them? I will fight…
It got to a point where Nigerians started wondering if General Buhari thought he was being pushed forward to replace the gone Samuel Peters.
The President rode in on anti-corruption wings. He came in chanting death to corruption and indiscipline. He came in at a point where the nation was close to being ruined by the activities of the former administration. Nigerians wanted a fresh face and Buhari fit the image Nigerians had in their heads.
Anyone who knew a thing or two about politics knew for sure that only rigging could stop the General. His cult following in the north merged with the brilliance of the David Axlerod firm hired by the APC, catapulted the President to a position where his name became music to the ears.
When he came in, his first speech made it obvious that he intended to do exactly what he said. His “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody” speech sent Nigerians into a frenzy of analyzing who he was talking to and whose grip he was trying to shake off his ‘agbada’.
The arrest of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, PDP heavyweights, Olisah Metuh, Femi Fani-Kayode, and IPOB Chief Noisemaker, Nnamdi Kanu made it very clear that a new sheriff was in town. But if anyone still had doubts as to his seriousness, his decision to fling court orders aside cleared those doubts.
But then, the excitement died down and scales started to fall off. It started with the President’s refusal to reverse the Central Bank’s backyard recruitment. It extended to the handling of Dambazzau and his involvement in the Dasuki arms largesse, where Dambazzau’s name got erased from the report of the Army. It then extended to the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai’s Dubai properties and how easily they were tossed aside. Add to that the army’s massacre of Shiites in Kaduna and the killing of unarmed IPOB protesters and people started wondering if they had not made a mistake.
Questions started coming out. But before the President could provide answers, his health became a big issue. A man that had condemned public officials going for treatment outside the country flew out to treat an ear infection – at least that’s what they told Nigerians. It would not end there though. He left for the UK and as at this day, he is yet to return. The same person who demanded the removal of the Late Yar’Adua on health grounds is suddenly unwilling to relinquish power.
The journey from a one-man soldier to a one-man cabal holding Nigeria by the jugular has not been straight forward, but President Buhari has made that journey and is waiting at that junction where cabals stay.
It’s doubtful that the President would have cut anyone some slack if he was missing this long. We have had cabals who have held the nation ransom in the past but for one man to hold a nation of more than 160 million people to ransom? That is new.
If the Buhari that contested the elections in 2015, the one that detested corruption and corrupt people, the post-Tinubu Buhari, if he’s still in there somewhere, now will be the time for him to redeem what’s left of his integrity and resign. He has held Nigeria captive for long enough. He should let go and handle his health.