There are two statements that President Muhammadu Buhari made in the last few days that I find curious and misleading.
I have read them over and over again and I am left with no other conclusion than the fact that we have a president that has no recollection of history and that has no memory.
First, he said that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governments that were in power for 16 years before him had achieved nothing and had “left nothing” for him in terms of development.
Second, he said that the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria that are agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra should “forget it”.
Permit me to begin with the latter and my response is as follows.
“Mr. President, you are right when you say that a war was fought in which two million people were killed just to keep Nigeria one.
Yet the cause of that war and the reasons that it had to be fought in the first place are still very much with us and have not been resolved or even addressed.
Worst still the barbaric acts of savagery that provoked it still occur on a daily basis in our country.
You seem to have forgotten that the catalyst for the war was the fact that over 100,000 innocent and defenceless Igbo civilians, including women and children, were murdered in cold blood in a series of well-planned and well-executed pogroms in the north over a period of three months just after a group of young northern officers, including your goodself, carried out their “revenge coup” on July 29th 1966.
During the course of that “revenge coup” no less than three hundred Igbo officers and an Igbo Head of State, together with a Yoruba Military Governor, were beaten like dogs and murdered by those northern officers.
After the pogroms started the Igbo fled the north in their millions, ran back home to the East and demanded to have their own country where they would be safe. You and others denied them that right and it led to war.
During the course of that war you bathed in the blood of Biafrans, you killed their infants and babies, you raped their women, you burnt and pillaged their homes, you crushed their bones, you brought them to their knees and you stripped away their dignity, self-esteem and self-respect just to keep Nigeria one.
After the the war was over you took all their properties, seized all their money, and left them with 20 pounds each in the bank.
For the next 40 years you insulted them, killed them, marginalised them, humiliated them, broke them, denied them their rights, enslaved them, turned them into a nation of traders, took away their soul, and reduced them to second class citizens.
Now you say their grandchildren, who swell up the ranks of IPOB and MASSOB, have no right to ask for self-determination or for their own country simply because you killed their grandfathers and grandmothers during the war, starved their parents and shattered their dreams.
I say shame on you and all those that think like you. If Nigeria was a normal country by now you and a number of your colleagues would have been at the International Criminal Court at the Hague answering charges of genocide and crimes against humanity which were committed during the civil war instead of being president.
Remember the Asaba massacre? Remember the bombing of Onitsha bridge? These are just two of many.
If you want the Igbo or any other southerner to stay and if you want Nigeria to remain one then you must treat us all as equals, offer our children and our people equal opportunities, tender a public apology and pay full compensation for all the atrocities that you, your people and your forefathers have committed against the people of the south and the northern minorities over the last two hundred years.
In addition to that you must defeat, destroy, and dismantle Boko Haram, decommission your state-sponsored Fulani militias whom you call herdsmen and put a stop to the marginalisation, intimidation, threats, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and mass murder of our people.
You must also desist from implementing a contrived and ill-motivated economic policy whose primary objective is to pauperise and impoverish the Nigerian people and bring them to their knees and whose purpose is to ensure that no individual or group of people has the resources and means to fight you and to stop you from coming back in 2019.
It is after you have done all these things that you can make a passionate appeal to us for the continued unity of Nigeria. And please bear in mind that it must be an appeal and not a demand. There must not even be a whiff of the usual threats or intimidating words.
Outside of that the Nigerian baby you are carrying and saying that you killed and died for during the civil war is already dead. It is only waiting to be buried.”
To President Buhari’s assertion that sixteen years of PDP-rule “left him with nothing”, I say it is manifestly dishonest and by saying this he has inflicted what William Shakespeare describes as “the unkindest cut of all”.
It is obvious that Mr. President has either lost his memory or he has been badly misinformed.
I say this because if one considers the state of the country in 1999 when President Olusegun Obasanjo took over and compare it to what it was in 2007 when he left office, one will have no choice but to concede the fact that this was not just development but a miraculous transformation in every single sector. That is what Obasanjo managed to achieve and I am very proud to have been part of that government and part of that legacy.
After Obasanjo left President Umaru Yar’Adua took over and after his passing came President Goodluck Jonathan.
As far as I am concerned Jonathan built on Obasanjo’s legacies and foundation and he took us to yet another level.
If you compare Nigeria in 2015 by the time Jonathan left to 1999 before Obasanjo came in, you will have to thank the PDP for lifting this nation up and taking us from strength to strength.
By the time Jonathan left office in 2015 Nigeria had the largest economy on the African Continent, the 24th largest economy on earth and the third fastest growing economy in the world, among many other things. And Jonathan managed to achieve all that whilst fighting a civil war in the north east against a relentless enemy.
Sadly in one year and three months all of those gains have been destroyed by President Buhari and his APC and we are now back in the dark ages.
Every sector in the country has been destroyed whilst poverty, misery, tears and suffering stalk the land.
All hope appears to have been lost and virtually everyone, including many of those that supported Buhari and helped to bring him to power, are murmuring and complaining.
The truth is that President Buhari has brought nothing but poverty, incompetence, fascism, ethnic cleansing, recession, abuse of power, persecution, genocide, chaos, destruction, division, fear, death, shame and the gnashing of teeth to Nigeria.
He has no way of running the country other than to intimidate the citizens with brute force and threaten the opposition with his numerous security agencies. That is his legacy and it is one of failure, lost opportunities and shattered dreams.
Finally the president would do well to remember that a large number of people that supported him in his quest to become president in last year’s election were all originally from the PDP.
This is whether they were PDP Governors, PDP Ministers or PDP legislators who decamped to the APC.
No less than 70 percent of the people that helped to put Buhari in power used to be in the PDP including President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, former Speakers of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, Aminu Masari and Umar Ghali Na’aba, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El- Rufai, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Minister of Transport and former Governor of Rivers state Rotimi Amaechi, former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Segun Oni, Danjuma Goje, Aliyu Wammakko, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Murtala Nyako, George Akume, Senate Leader Ali, former PDP National Chairmen Barnabas Gemade and Audu Ogbeh and many others.
When Buhari insults the PDP legacy and says that nothing was ever done by the PDP in 16 years, he is insulting the 70 per cent of his support base and people that put him in power starting from Obasanjo. I think that this is most unfair and very ungrateful of him.
We leave it to Obasanjo and Buhari’s other new-found friends, political associates and allies to take up the challenge, to rise up to the occasion, to educate the president and to defend their own history, legacy, and record in public office.
Yet I am not surprised at the convenient memory loss or insensitivity of our President or indeed that of most of our leaders. The truth is bitter and more often than not beyond human comprehension. Yet we are constrained to share that truth and lift the veil from time to time.
The fact is that most of them are not human. They are what Mr. David Icke, the famous British historian and researcher, describes as “hybrids” and “shape-shifting reptilians”. Worst still they work for a hidden hand and some very dark and sinister forces.
It is in that context that one can understand their unbelievable mendacities and exceptional callousness.
They are, in the main, cold-blooded reptiles and certified psychopaths. They are incapable of displaying any form of empathy and they lack the milk of human kindness and compassion. May God deliver us.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from @realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.