Sir: When I was told that some northern leaders are “plotting against Buhari” (Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari ), I replied that it shouldn’t be only northern leaders who should be plotting against him, but anybody who desires peace and progress of Nigeria should do so. He is refusing to see that the country has experienced enough of carnage, genocide, and economic destruction since 2011 till date. Buhari joyfully inherited governmental terrorism against the Boko Haram (BH) Islamic sect. He wrote hilariously in his campaign poster: “I will defeat Boko Haram”. He even said he would do so in six weeks.
He became the President on May 29, 2015. After more than six months of intensive battles, at the end of December 2015, all that Buhari could boast of was having degraded BH. I said: Yes, but you have not defeated BH. I later added: Yes, you have degraded BH, and in doing so, you have perpetuated carnage, genocide, and economic destruction of Nigeria, originated by, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and compounded by your immediate predecessor, the former President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan.
The words “terrorists” and “insurgents” were not used to describe BH in the lifetime of Yar’Adua, and were never found in Nigeria’s lexicon, except probably in passing, until Jonathan’s presidency. Buhari advanced terrorism by extending militarism to the Southeast and renewed militarism in the Niger Delta.
Buhari’s apologists will find excuses for him, but I will respond by saying the Niger Delta militants were going to make that region ungovernable for Yar’Adua, but he found a way round it in what he termed “amnesty for the Niger Delta militants”. Given benefit of hindsight, the amnesty programme could be better negotiated, but it engendered the necessary peace. What stood on Yar’Adua’s way was waywardness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he inherited, politically, and Islamic imperialism that he inherited, religion-wise.
The former challenge mortgaged Yar’Adua’s good political intentions, while the latter led him to abuse his presidential powers to attack BH, using false propaganda that Boko Haram meant “Western education is evil”, whereas it refers to diversity of frauds committed by those who possess Western education and are guilty of self-aggrandizement, gross underdevelopment of Nigeria, and mass abject poverty.
Anybody who will develop Nigeria will never think of fighting BH, but how to engender peace, nationally and holistically. That fact was amply demonstrated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who rebuffed every pressure on himself to attack BH. Who did BH attack before being attacked by Yar’Adua? Even if you will finger Jonathan as the reason for the renewed crisis in the Niger Delta and in Biafra land, I will counter by saying that the north was going to make Nigeria ungovernable for OBJ, by resuscitating the Sharia crisis, and so on. But, as an astute politician, OBJ found a quiet way out of it, and the crisis fizzled-out within a short time.
In summary, Buhari lacks political sagacity and statesmanship that are required to steer the Nigerian ship. He remains fanatical about the gains of the jihad wars waged by Shehu Usumanu Danfodio, to whom he paid homage at his inauguration as Nigeria’s President. Buhari has sustained the fears of those who expressed fears before the election that Fulani herdsmen terrorism would intensify under his presidency. Notwithstanding perpetuation, perpetration, and even expansion of terrorism, Buhari’s apologists are clamouring for a second term for him, notwithstanding carnage, genocide, and economic destruction of Nigeria, or even his age and infamy.
Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin.