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If Only Buhari Was President

August 2007

This is “No Bullshitting,” by Harry Agina

Folks,  this is a lamentation of a grieving Nigerian, and it is titled: “If Only Buhari Was President.” I grieve that Buhari is not president today, and I will tell you why. Mind you, I am not saying that I dislike our dear president Yar’Adua. No, sir! I do love the guy, and I believe that he is probably the messiah that we have always prayed for. My only problem is that Yar’Adua is not likely to hold the gangsters that ruined this country responsible for their atrocities. I lament because no matter how decent Yar’Adua is, his strange bed-fellowship with the gangsters means that gangsters are still in power in Nigeria!

          If only Buhari was president, the outgoing chairman of the so-called People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali would not continue to believe that this country belongs to PDP kingpins. If Buhari was president, Ali would not have the ignorant audacity to order our loot-makers, sorry, I mean lawmakers, not to impeach Madam arrogant and insensitive Speaker of the House of Representatives! If Buhari was president, Ali would not threaten to recall any lawmaker that flouts his obnoxious order!

          For the love of Joab, when did ‘We The People’ of Nigeria relinquish our constitutional right to recall our representatives to Ali and his PDP gang? And how do Nigerians sit back and listen to such blatant insulting robbery of our rights by gangsters like Ali? If only Buhari was president, he would teach the ignorant Ali that the power to recall lawmakers belongs to the people of Nigeria. If only Buhari was president, Ali would not dare to insult us with his open endorsement of the corrupt act of Speaker Etteh. He would have been taught that anybody that endorses a thief is equally a thief. If only Buhari was president, Ali would probably be so busy in prison for past mischief that he would not have the time to cook up any more mischief in this country.

          Oh, how I wish Buhari was president, just so that he would teach PDP gangsters a lesson or two on integrity! If only Buhari was president, we would not have to listen to Senate President Mark so shameless challenge the recent report of the European Union, which confirmed what everybody in the world already knew about PDP’s treasonable elections last April. Mark would not have the audacity to insult Nigerians by claiming that he represents the views of Nigerians as he goes about shamelessly glorifying the rotten criminal system that rigged him into the Senate.

          If only Buhari was president, we would not have to listen to Anthony Annenih (Mr. Fix-it) and his recent pronouncement that “no pot is big enough to cook me (him) in Nigeria.” He would not be free in the society to threaten Nigerians who challenge him to account for the three hundred billion naira (nearly three billion US dollars) that he stole from us. If only Buhari was president, he would have promptly made a pot big enough to cook a million Annenih! It would have been the end of gangsters in power in Nigeria, if only Buhari had won the 2007 presidential election and became president!

          The PDP gangsters in power knew what would have happened if Buhari became president, hence they made sure with their baba’s (Obasanjo’s) do-or-die banditry that it did not happen. They knew that a person like Buhari would have sent the entire gangsters straight to the same prison from which their baba was freed in 1998 and made president. I truly lament that Ahmadu Ali has the audacity to order our lawmakers to subvert our sovereignty by keeping Speaker Etteh in office no matter what the people of Nigeria say or want. What impunity! What insult!! Oh, how I wish that Buhari was president!!! Do remember, I lament that Buhari is not president only because we are still stuck with the gangsters in power who believe that they own Nigeria. Alas, Buhari is not president, and so we are still recycling the untalented people that ruined this country.

          I was not around when Nigerians demanded “Ali Must Go!” a few years ago when Ali failed to perform creditably as Education Minister. Of course, the man did not go anywhere; nobody booted him out of office because no leader ever does what the people want in this crazy country. Rather, our gangster power brokers rewarded the incompetent Ali with a higher post of Senator. Typical of Nigeria, Mr. Incompetence continued to rise in power, until he became Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. And now, he is jetting off to chill out abroad as Ambassador. In any sane society, Ali would hardly be relevant in government after his first major failure. Mind you, America and major European countries would not accept such a character as Ambassador, he Ali has to settle for lesser countries of the world.

          Whatever country Ali ends up in must wonder why questionable, incompetent and anti-people characters must keep representing a country with abundance of decent and brilliant performers. This is exactly what Professor Wole Soyinka and his literary colleagues were kicking against when they boycotted the recent NLNG symposium, or whatever the heck they called it. Soyinka’s point is that it is high time we stopped exalting criminals, looters and destroyers of our nation. Come on, people! Of all the bright minds, all the intellectuals, and all the literary icons with integrity in this country, the NLNG had to venerate an unrepentant man who raped our nation as a military dictator to deliver keynote address. What shameful worship of ill-gotten affluence!              

          The totality of the message that we constantly and consistently send to the rest of the world is very clear, but should anybody have doubts, then I will tell you: The clear message is that evil and crime pay in Nigeria, and Nigerians venerate and extol evildoers, as long as they are loaded with money, our money, mind you. A major newspaper in Texas, USA, once editorialized thus: Nigeria seems to have state-sponsored and accredited schools for criminals” who run things for the country. As a Nigerian broadcaster I felt the compelling urge to kick against the stereotype, and I did in my own little way. I produced a series on my television program in Texas, where we condemned the newspaper. We had various communications professionals and civic leaders from mainstream America on the program who condemned such stereotyping by American media.

          We actually eventually extracted an apology from the management of the newspaper. But, guess what? I felt like a big hypocrite as I challenged the newspaper house for the damning editorial, because I knew that they were not far from the truth. Any outsider can justifiably interpret our disgraceful acceptance and exaltation of corrupt leaders in any negative way. People who try to launder the image of Nigeria in a place such as America are always faced with this inevitable question: “Why is it that most, if not all Nigeria’s leaders are criminal, and Nigerians celebrate them as heroes?” Emphasis is always on the second half of that question, and I will repeat it in a different form: “Why do Nigerians so disgracefully condone corruption and celebrate past and present corrupt leaders as heroes?”

          I lament that the moral decadence is so bad that even our so-called traditional rulers have sold the sanctity and integrity of our cultural traditions and chieftaincy titles to high bidding evil moneybags. I once laughed a man to scorn who offered to have me conferred with a chieftaincy title in Nigeria. God knows I would not be found dead with one of those funny titles that any evil moneybag can easily purchase. Whereas sane societies all over the world shun anybody that is stigmatized with any crime or evil deed whatsoever, either perceived or real, Nigerians glorify confirmed criminals and evildoers, just as long as they are loaded with their ill-gotten wealth. What a shame!

          It is difficult to defend Nigeria outside Nigeria, because one has to explain why we all sit back like dummies and zombies while a handful of gangsters run the country aground. One has to explain why Nigerians accept so much bullshit from people like Ali who openly challenge our ownership of the country’s sovereignty, as well as disgracefully portray us to the world as a nation that legalizes illegalities. What the heck do we expect non-Nigerians to think about us when they see the chairman of the ruling party (never mind who that may be), on national television ordering our so-called lawmakers to shield a debased leader from the law? Oh, how I wish Buhari was president, so that he would sanitize this nation!

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