I am worried about the ongoing narrative that Nigerians desired a
change from the PDP misrule and agreed in 2015 to kick out
Goodluck Jonathan and vote in Muhammadu Buhari as President.
Nothing sounds more fraudulent. Was there a consensus at
anytime on that? The answer is no. Rather, the Buhari presidency
was a risk specifically undertaken by a tiny but powerful clique
solely for its benefit and not the benefit of Nigerians.
Now that the risk has failed and woefully too, the same clique is
trying to change the narrative and make the mistake look like
everybody’s mistake. It will not happen. I know the truth is always
a casualty when history is being hurriedly written from many
perspectives. But not this time please because I am going to tell
the truth to shame the devil and stop it from escaping with vain
Penultimate Saturday, my Oga, Dele Mommodu, did a lamentation
on the back page of Thisday Newspaper in which he admitted
being part of the cabal (that actually was the original cabal before
this gratuitous cabal in Aso Rock Villa that everybody is talking
about) that promoted Buhari to high heavens and made him the
one to defeat in the 2015 electoral calculations. Another of my
Oga, Sam Omatseye of The Nation Newspaper, has been lamenting
too. He also was part of the original cabal.
Yet another of my Oga, Femi Adesina, who was part of the original
cabal is not lamenting. At the end of it all, fortune smiled on him
and became a marginal stakeholder in the new cabal in Aso Rock.
He is a marginal stakeholder because the main stakeholders are
well known and he is not one. But as he was in the beginning
singing Buhari praises, so he is now, and maybe, ever shall he be
till Buhari’s tenancy in Aso Rock expires one way or the other.
Other members of the pro-Buhari orchestra who also benefited
when the deed was done are maintaining good table manners.
They are eating and have decided to remain quiet to avoid being
choked. One is the monumental Mohammed Haruna who is a
national commissioner at the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC). Another is Modibo Kawu who is the director-
general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). Yet
another is Bayo Onanuga who enjoys a double portion as
Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) with his wife
as deputy governor of Ogun State. The list of mercenary writers is
I cannot say for sure, but it follows that the lamentations of those
lamenting now could have turned to exhortations if fortune had
also smiled on them as others. In Nigeria, the transition from a
prophet of hope to a prophet of doom is so flexible and is often
determined by the warmth of the stomach. The only good thing is
that the subject matter has not changed and the voices that hailed
Buhari less than three years ago as a blessing unto the nation are
today saying he is an affliction.
The media was recruited as partner in the drive to enthrone Buhari.
And it did a good job of the script handed to it. Reason did not
stand a chance as emotions became too compelling to resist in the
media narration of falsehood to completely obliterate Buhari’s
past. In the aftermath, the choice between Buhari and Jonathan
became like the choice between Angel Michael and Lucifer.
Even the indefatigable defender of the national conscience,
Professor Wole Soyinka, also got overwhelmed. He believed, albeit
without clear proof, that by some cosmic interventions, Buhari had
been reconditioned into a manageable democrat in the years
between 1985 when he (Buhari) was overthrown as a military head
of state and 2015 when he sought election as a democratic
president. Lately, the Prof has also been seeing affliction in place
of blessing. But Professors Itse Sagay and Tam David West are
faithful disciples that will not deny the saviour of Nigeria and even
seem ready to propagate the gospel to the world long after the
master must have gone.
Mind you, the purpose today is to say that it is not all Nigerians, as
it is being peddled, that agreed to return Buhari to the presidency in
2015. Some people did and what I am trying to do here is to name
some of them. The political wing of the original cabal was far more
determined to witness the second crowning of Buhari as president.
But today, there is also huge frustration and disappointment in that
Apart from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has managed to break loose
at great personal cost, others are largely suffering in silence, and
like Boxer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, they do not know what
better thing to say than to agree that Comrade Napoleon is right
always. Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos
State is also in this camp and in fact the camp’s leader. He, it was,
who mobilised the Southwest to strike a successful formal political
deal with the Hausa/Fulani power elite for the first time since the
birth of Nigeria. And he did so in spite of warnings from elders of
For this purpose, Tinubu had willingly renounced his essence.
Suddenly, the man who was in the trenches under the NADECO
umbrella to fight dictatorship and Fulani domination of the Nigerian
political space was all too ready to go to dinner with the devil even
without a long spoon.
For instance, in the public debates for the desirability or otherwise
of the 2014 political reform conference, Tinubu had said openly
that a conference to restructure Nigeria was diversionary and that
what Nigerians needed at that material time was a Buhari
presidency after which other things including restructuring would
be added unto them.
To make it look real, he got the APC to include restructuring of the
polity in its manifesto. But that was where it ended. Nobody in the
APC including its chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is talking
In his New Year speech to Nigerians, President Buhari said the
myriad of national problems had more to do with processes than
they had to do with the structure of the federation. He more or less
put paid to agitations for the restructuring of the country to reflect
And so, in the end, after the huge and unprecedented political
investment that he made, what have been the returns, in concrete
terms, for Tinubu and the Southwest outside a lame duck Vice
President who is more seen than heard and who became Acting
President by default for a couple of months? Let me also add that
only charitable commentators like me would put the entire blame
on the head of the Ashiwaju alone. Others who are less charitable
will hold the entire Southwest responsible for the Buhari
misfortune. Here are a people known for their sophistication in
engaging the Nigerian system and they have hardly faltered right
from the days of the late sage, Pa Obafemi Awolowo.
Permit me to digress a little. Usually, when planners of a revolution
fail to agree or decide to project too much of personal interest over
the collective goal, they lose the initiative to control things to
complete strangers. That was what happened in the French
Revolution when the planners degenerated into self-cancellation
and allow the rise of that military upstart called Napoleon
Bonaparte to derail the goal of the revolution in pursuit of his
The Yoruba elders and the entire progressive clan in Nigeria also
went into self-cancellation in pursuit of personal glory and left the
In the process, the man with the most power, not the best ideas,
became the king. Tinubu overwhelmed the Southwest with his
power and led the region into the current quagmire. Two
considerations mainly defined the politics of 2015. First was the
pure desire to cultivate democracy beyond incessant attacks by
undemocratic forces personified by the likes of Olusegun
The other was personal lust for power which was vigorously
promoted through a complacent media as quest for good
Let’s us even agree for once that Buhari represented good
governance in the context of the issues that defined the last
In that case, what Nigeria chose in electing Buhari was good
governance, which in any case was a mere aspiration and not a
description of a perfect state of things, over democracy which
Goodluck Jonathan in all honesty, approximated based on facts.
I will add here that in a country that has suffered decades of
military and despotic abuse, what should come first is democracy.
An entrenched democratic culture comes with many benefits
including good and accountable governance. It is as the Christians
would say: choose ye first the Kingdom of God and other things
will be added unto you. Choosing democracy is like choosing the
kingdom of God that attracts other good things.
But Tinubu and others chose other things first and sacrificed the
kingdom of God—democracy. They, a kind of, put the cart before
the horse. In fact, as it has turned out, it wasn’t a horse that they
paired anyhow with the cart. It was a lion which only devours and
can hardly plough and prepare the soil for the cultivation of
And so, there is trepidation as the country moves closer to 2019. If
for a cocktail of reasons, the lion king refuses to be tamed by the
same processes that enthroned him in 2015, we shall all be
awarded a BA (Begin Again). The great battles of June 12 to gain
democracy would have been fought in vain as democracy takes
flight for the umpteenth time in Nigeria. The prayer is for things to
But then, prayer is not a strategy. The call will still return to
Tinubu, one of the greatest political strategists of our time to re-
enter his political laboratory to cook up a containment strategy for
the conflagration ahead. He created the virus in the first place and
I do not see this as another HIV that has no cure. That clear vision
which hit Tinubu and made him to accept a man who truncated
democracy and could not be associated with personal and public
development in 30 years as the saviour of Nigeria shall, by the
special grace of God, return to lead him to work out the antidote.
If he fails, I can pretty well do an epitaph here and now on his
political demise. It will read: ‘Here lies the Jagaban who fought so
hard to lose everything.’ Lesson: Statesmen should avoid short-
term tactical gains that could lead to irrecoverable strategic
I return to my starting point. Some people and not all Nigerians are
responsible for the change that has become chain. The fraudulent
narrative by the likes of Dele Momodu must end forthwith. Those
who caused the rain should be asked to invite the rain doctor.