I am not a fan of sequels. More often than not, they underperform, they fail to meet the expectations created by the first part. Sequel to novels, a sequel to movies, the sequel even to a political term of office. Hit the ground at best in the first term, and find your way out of office.
Nelson Mandela understood this more than any African leader of his time and age. However, it is difficult not to make a case for sequels when you observe the likes of Paul Kagame of Rwanda or the stable men of Botswana, especially Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae, who worked hand-in-hand to ensure reasonable term limit in the country, even if it did not favour their personal hold on office.
And now, I’m writing a sequel myself. Last week, we observed Muhammadu Buhari’s planned political and democratic sequel. I stated categorically that Buhari will not be stopped by former heads of state; Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo. I added that the men who will stop Buhari are members of his own household.
I stated the roles of Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state and Ibrahim Idris, inspector general of police (IGP), in ensuring Buhari has a failed bid, come 2019. This week, we take that a step further. Looking at the other men who will halt Buhari in 2019. They would not be the ones we expected, but the ones we least expect or better put, the ones the president may consider his friends.
Tunde Bakare and Fela Durotoye, who have been committed to the Nigerian project for decades, have indicated interests in the top office of the land, and many have said they would give the president a run for his money and political clout in 2019. But Bakare has come out to say he would not be running against President Muhammadu Buhari. “We have come a long way together,” Bakare told Channels TV. Hence, Bakare may not be against his friend — President Buhari — in 2019.
Durotoye, on the other hand, has the backing of those in search for a breath of fresh air. Those who desperately want a deviation from the norm, those who are seeking a president who must be under 50. And as potent as this may get, the main players capable of shredding Buhari’s kingdom, are his own men.
Here is a continuation of the incomplete list of the men who will tear Buhari’s kingdom:
Mr. Adesina is someone I respect so much. When he was appointed in 2015, I was happy that an honest man had been appointed to speak for an honest president. But like English Lord Acton says ” power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Power seems to have “edited” Mr. Adesina.
As the president’s spokesperson, Adesina is responsible for Buhari’s public perception. He may not be able to decide what the president does, but he is expected to paint the presidential actions well enough to the people, but this has been done rather poorly.
Speaking on the indictment of former SGF Babachir Lawal, Adesina has said nobody can pressure Buhari into acting on the case, suggesting that the electorate have no effect on the president they elected. In 2018, he said herdsmen killed more people under Goodluck Jonathan than they have under Buhari — another poor way to defend his principal.
Just on Tuesday night, he said Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s interventions on Buhari’s unforced errors are “just his opinion”. “His opinion is his opinion,” Adesina added. Soyinka highlighted factual errors being made by the president and Adesina says the errors are his opinion? Amusing!
Need I say more about the poorly produced and ill-timed documentary on Buhari’s other side?
Like Adesina, Shehu, also a veteran journalist, has done more harm to Buhari’s image than good. Shehu is particularly skilled in making his principal a laughing stock and increasing his enemy base. You remember how he orchestrated the rodent story from 2017? At the end of the same year, he stated without remorse that Buhari’s appointment of dead men and women was due to the president’s implied negligence.
Shehu has made unguarded statements against organisations, individuals and elder statesman who question the president, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ghali Na’Abba, Muhammad Sanusi II. For Shehu, “Napoleon (Buhari) is always right”.
In 2016, Muhammad Sanusi II, the emir of Kano and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), complained that the CBN was illegally funding Buhari’s government. Rather than address the issues and the law being broken, Shehu said the revered monarch was speaking without facts on the issue.
On Mainagate, Shehu said the former pension boss sacked by the past administration was recalled by the invisible hands loyal to Goodluck Jonathan, blaming the former president for a recall in Buhari’s administration. Now, we all know better.
When the campaign takes its final swing, President Buhari will tell Nigerians he has been fighting corruption for over three years in office, but Malami’s role in this government will stand as evidence against the president. From his feud with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC) and his role in Maina’s recall, to the shady deals around the recovery of Abacha’s loot, Malami’s soiled wig may be the symbol of official corruption in the Buhari administration.
Not only did the minister of justice meet with a national fugitive in the United Arab Emirates, he facilitated his recall, and is standing in the way of a senate probe on the return of the controversial Maina.
As regards Abacha’s loot, Malami has also played a rather controversial role, in what is called “re-looting the loot”. According to an investigation by TheCable, Malami hired two new lawyers, loyal to Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to duplicate a job already done by previously hired lawyers. The plan was for this CPC lawyers to get four percent of the $321 million Abacha loot.
This is not how to be the attorney general of the federation!
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Ultimately, no one can stop Buhari as much as he can stop himself. When all is said and done, Buhari’s works will speak for him. His nepotism, as proven by skewed appointments will speak for him; his silence on the dubious recruitment at the Department of State Services (DSS) will speak for him; his actions on herdsmen attacks will speak too; the recall of the questionable NHIS executive secretary and many other unforced errors will also speak.
Mr. President, over to you.
Reach Tijani across major social media platforms @OluwamayowaTJ