The Conspiracy Of Bankrupt Intellectuals That Foisted Disastrous Buhari On Nigerians

The Conspiracy Of Bankrupt Intellectuals That Foisted Disastrous Buhari On Nigerians [MUST READ]

Clockwise from Top Left: Professor Charles Soludo, Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Pat Utomi, and Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

The fog of the 2015 general election is finally clearing up; the falsehoods sold to the people as change are unravelling at dizzying speeds. Even some vociferous supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari are deserting him in droves. Those who have not openly expressed some apprehension about the path the “messiah” has chosen to lead the country are grumbling and sniveling. However, a few diehards are still clinging to a tiny strand of hope that a miracle just might happen and things would change for the better under his government.

Well, it is going to get old saying I told you so. I can bet my bottom naira that nothing is going to change, at least not from what we have seen so far. As I have repeatedly stated in this column, change cannot come from a man who has not changed one bit, nor shown the slightest inclination to change contrary to the tales that were peddled on the campaign train. That will only happen when it’s proved that a leopard can now change its spots, or a tiger can change its stripes. His recent actions are a further proof of his ironclad narrow-minded, and ethnically inclined nature.

Those who collectively misled the people that Buhari had changed but are now singing a different tune must be held to account. We were bombarded with all sorts of virtuous and exemplary conducts of his past, and told his ethno-religious tendencies were “contrived” to undermine him. We were assured that Buhari would heal this land and restore hope to a fractured people. That has not happened; instead he has more than any president in the history of Nigeria consciously exacerbated the ethnic and religious divisions of the country by his actions and total display of insensitivity by his appointments.

They told us that he was the expected one – the long-awaited messiah who would bring back the glory of the fatherland and restore the pride of a people that were terribly famished. That wishful thinking has now clearly exploded in the faces of the proponents who spent their precious naira burnishing his image with cosmetics, as the candidate played along to the excitement of many.

In the last one year, the Nigerian economy has practically collapsed under the great “fixer”; the business environment has been scorched to the ground. Hunger and starvation have become daily companions of many people such that parents now exchange children for food. The change agents told Nigerians the ominous sounds of the prospect of a Buhari presidency that rang out so loudly during the electioneering were in fact drumbeats of exhilaration, hope and renewal.

Today, Nigeria stands challenged in all spheres, rudderless and floundering like never before. And of course we have so many astonishingly ridiculous and perverse people making silly excuses for the man who clearly has no business being at the helm of affairs of this country. Now it seems so obvious that Buhari and his party were very good at making promises but only excel spectacularly at making excuses for not fulfilling them.

The clamour for change can be categorised into four broad subheads, viz., the genuine change-seekers, the willfully blinded, those that lost out in the power struggle and had become spiteful, and the extremely partisan and sneaky activists who now even look the other way as the rule of law is mocked and torn to shreds.

It is true that many people yearned for a more fundamental change and desired it desperately; indeed, they still do. They constituted the genuine but ignorant, naive, vulnerable and undiscerning majority. These genuine change-seekers however became easily susceptible to the illusions called “change” promised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its standard-bearer who walked about with padded feet, waving and smiling sweetly at everyone to frenzied applauses from enthusiastic crowds.

Secondly were those who chose to be willfully blinded to the danger signals that were so glaringly visible that then Candidate Muhammadu Buhari represents. Thirdly was the category who embraced change more out of spite and malice than conviction that Buhari’s presidency would bring the much-needed elixir and healing to this troubled country. Having lost out in the struggle for power and control, they wanted to get back at former President Goodluck Jonathan. And in a clear act of sheer desperation, progressive-minded people joined forces with ultra-conservatives in an unholy alliance to get power.

Lastly were members of the intellectual/activist class who staked their reputations built over many years to sway support for the general on the extremely naive and dishonest premise that Buhari had changed. By endorsing Buhari, they were endorsing a brand of populism rooted on a campaign of half-truths, “true lies”, ignorance, prejudice, sectional politics and outright deception driven by a motivation to mislead the people to achieve power. To this group, the end justified the means.

The intellectual/activist class is particularly guilty of the situation we find ourselves today. They vouched for Buhari with such vigour and gusto that left the discerning dumbfounded. Our own hero and Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, stood shoulder above all others on this score. This was how Soyinka expressed his love for him: “It is however just as purblind to insist that he has not demonstrably striven to become what he most glaringly was not, to insist that he has not been chastened by intervening experience and – most critically – by a vastly transformed environment – both the localised and the global.” This to me was a pure fiction.

There is a saying in the land of my fathers that the hardest thing in life is vouching for someone, especially someone you barely know. When you do that, you are indirectly saying, ‘I’m putting my reputation on the line. I believe this person is a good person, with good character’, or has changed. This was what Nigerians were told. Soyinka and co. stood as referees for Buhari when he applied for the position of the president of Nigeria. They vouched for a changed Buhari and encouraged the public to employ him for the top job.

Will Soyinka honestly tell Nigerians whether this was the change he assured them would come from Buhari? Has Soyinka seen the lopsided appointments Buhari has been making across all strata of government? It is a chilling reminder of his past stint in office, particularly his tenure as the chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF); a past that was denied by his hysterical supporters in the run-up to the election.

Professor Pat Utomi was one of those who like our own dear Soyinka put his reputation on the line to reassure the people that Buhari “will restore hope” and lead Nigeria out of the woods during the high fever of electioneering.

You can imagine my profound shock and disbelief a few months ago when he launched a scalding attack on President Buhari and his government for the beyond-belief manner he was managing the national fault lines as well as his poor handling of the economy. This was what he was reported to have said:

“The problem with Buhari’s administration is his medieval mindset. He excludes rather than includes. So, he does not get the best idea. He is insular. Because of their medieval mindset, they have created a country that is more divided than they met it. And that is a problem for leadership that is marching towards progress. His ideas go back 30 years and they are irrelevant to this world. Open up your mind and listen to people and you can make progress. To lead is to serve. To lead, you must be knowledgeable. People don’t follow somebody who doesn’t know where he is going. Otherwise, you fall into a ditch.”

After reading that statement, I could not but asked myself and anyone who cared to listen, did he just know this about Buhari? I’m baffled as to how I could have seen it all and more experienced people like Utomi didn’t.

As if Utomi’s about-face was not dramatic enough, read what Oby Ezekwesili of Bring Back Our Girls fame had to say about the administration:

“Buhari’s economic policies are archaic and opaque, reminiscent of his first coming in the 80s. During that era, inflation spiralled. During that era, jobs were lost. During that era, the economic growth level dipped. That era wasn’t the best of eras in economic progress. “What did not work in 1984 cannot possibly be a solution in a global economy that’s much more integrated.”

She accused Buhari of rehashing the same “command and control” approach towards economic issues which has left the country’s economic indices worse off, adding: “We have lost the single digits inflation status we maintained in past administrations.”

The question we should all ask our bouncy campaigner is: did she just know this about Buhari? The truth is, she was one of those who consciously ignored the danger signals that were all so visible to everyone but which many chose to be willfully blinded to. The Chibok girls’ plight became a vote-catcher for then Candidate Buhari who repeatedly played it up and assured the nation it would top his list of priorities only to quickly relegate it to the footnote after gaining power.

Where is Professor Charles Soludo? Is he still in this country? If yes, then he must be grumbling quietly by now about the state of the economy. That is, if his economic theories still make any sense. But why is he not talking? The change he helped foist on the people is mutating into a crippling police state.

The economy is in a perilous state – on the verge of a recession. Is he not aware? To the chagrin of investors recently, a “changed” Buhari lest we forget, talked down the CBN new forex policy moments after endorsing it, thereby making many potential investors to nervously wait and watch from the sidelines. Now, won’t Soludo tell Nigerians how much the country has lost through the mismanagement of the economy, lack of policy direction and lost investment opportunities under one year of Buhari — N10 trillion, N20 trillion, N30 trillion or more? It will be interesting to hear from him, that is, if he still has the courage of his conviction. It is a crying shame that a first-class economist of Soludo’s stature was one of those who just couldn’t see through the facade of lies; maybe he did, but was driven more by petty revenge and that disease that afflicts only black people.

It is a double tragedy that he even aided and abetted the campaign of malicious lies with his allegation of “missing” or “mismanaged” N30 trillion during the run-up to the presidential election. It was a season when the walking wounded with malice in their hearts would come to the public space to spew rubbish just because they wanted to hug the headlines the next day. It keeps me up at night knowing that they willfully led this nation back to a replay of 1984/85, the consequences of which are the debilitating economic and socio-political crises we have today.

Let Nigerians ask former President Olusegun Obasanjo whether this is the “Nigeria of our dreams” he so gleefully told the world Buhari was building some months ago. The same Obasanjo acknowledged even before the election that Buhari knew next to nothing about economic management but went on to recommend him for the top job. Obasanjo who instituted an enquiry into the activities of the PTF even denied the findings. It was the height of fierce determination to push through his spiteful “change”. If Buhari was not good on the economy, he has even proved worse on politics. No one can tell for sure, maybe, just maybe, this was the change they meant after all.

Shaka Momodu is a columnist with ThisDay where this article was first published. He can be reached by email HERE

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


  1. The Nigerian intellectuals/activists,including egocentric,power – grabbing and revenge – seeking characters such as Olusegun Obasanjo,Ahmed Tinubu,Rotimi Amaechi,Bukola Saraki and intellect – miss – road pretenders like Oby Ezekwesili and Charles Soludo – harbingers and purveyors of retrogression all – who by their several and joint recommendation of,and dalliance with an arch / ultra conservative feudal like Muhammadu Buhari have only succeeded in regressing Nigeria some 32 year’s back to 1984, when brutal and indifferent display of that retrogression was first made manifest and written large over the country by the same actor, ain’t seen nothing yet……And in context,imagine a Wole Soyinka who then on a certain day in 1984 had the moral authority to state that, “I feel like I have just been forced to participate in a triple,cold-blooded murder.”,when his new-found recommendation executed some Nigerians on the basis of a retrospective,retroactive law.

  2. Nigeria never see nothing. I was denied my voter’s card in Lagos till date because they put a call to me and asked who I was to vote for, to which I said anyone who would rule in such a way that I can put food on the table for my family. Sounding not clear and convincing that I would vote for their ruse “Change”, they never let me have the card, but brought same voter’s cards to all my neighbours, who told them, they were for “change”. I mean their cards were all delivered to them at home. Ironically, those people in Lagos who mocked me as in their eyes not being progressive, are today denying that tererhey voted for this “change”. All of them shamefully claim, they never voted on that day, eventhough they not only queued and voted, but waited to be sure, their”change” took sway. I laugh: You ain’t seen nothing. All of you are dying with me together. It is all change.

  3. well spoken you finish matter. they have sold their conscience never mind their titles, personalities achievements and positions they occupy in the nation. they sold all. soon they will tell the nation no permanent enemy and friend in politics and every one is entitle to his opinion there tore his membership card jati jati a party he was alfa and omega, where he rigged election tie, president of africa OBJ. Any way at the beginning they said the fear of buhari is the beginning of change they have their different reasons for seeing buhari as the right peg in the right whole. some one who has been idle for over 20 years without adding a paper to his previous certificate wace that can never be found if thete had been wace then, he only acquire military certificate 80s, yet a professors and highly respected personality join touts and partisans ascertain an apartheid, fanatics nepotist and religious leader a changer. some supported to avoid been probed, for position noted as usual. many of them are dogs they vomit and leak as for their changer Messiah. corruption fighter it will tie him. he is suffering from his spoken word to GEJ. “Making the nation un governor able” is part of it. since corruption is the all in all of a good leader yet he is yet to clear himself with ptf fund as you early said. he thought manner will fall again. as fuel appreciated in his first rule Yoruba said oshe she bere. he will keep fighting corruption and removing fixing his people 4years will be over where as all well known looters are working with him

  4. This write up can play emanate from the mindset of a mischievous, pessimistic and myopic person. Yes! Only a sadist could come up with such misleading write up. When will your pull him down / smear campaign end?
    Whether you like it or not, Buhari is succeeding.
    I thank God I am not too gullible or illiterate to understand your hate campaign.

  5. The author, Shaka Momoh based his entire diatribe and vilification of Buhari and the activists/intellectuals he named on the perceived skewed nature of Buhari’s appointment of persons into public office.
    Once again, we see what drives commentary in Nigeria: the sharing of the so-called national cake, simple-minded greed, and inevitable resort to veiled ethnic sentiments.

    Momoh says all thinkers, writers and public affairs analysts, save his humble self are stupid, could not read Buhari’s malicious intentions for Nigeria. He also says they don’t have the right to criticize Buhari when they deem fit because they endorsed him over Jonathan in last election as if their endorsement meant a carte blanche for the President to do whatever he pleased.
    So in Momoh’s smoke-filled, one-track mind, anyone who supported and still broadly supports Buhari should be executed.
    And Jonathan, ineffectual as he has always been and will remain should be re-conscripted to ‘unlead’ Nigeria into perdition.
    Thanks, but no thanks. Momoh. A dead stubborn, resolute Buhari is infinitely better than a zombie Jonathan any day.
    And note, Nigerian intellectuals will say what they must of any leader, Buhari inclusive, what they feel at any
    point in time, without prejudice to earlier opinions or standpoints. It is a mark of objectivity that they do not like Momoh, stick foolishly to supporting the candidacy of the obviously inept, uninspiring Jonathan.

  6. This is just the genesis of the most orchestrated change. This is exactly what happened in the bible when the Israelites wanted a change.God gave them Saul who made them nash their teeth.

  7. Buhari came with an Islamic agenda and not economic. His agelong plan to make the Hausa Fulani the overlords of Nigeria is being perfected. He has no business with addressing any economic issues. We give thanks to tinubu and his Yoruba people for selling Nigeria to Hausa Fulani hegemony.

  8. I can vividly remember what I kept saying during 2015 electioneering that may be in anti corruption Buhari may do well but as for economy that we will be worse for it. behold it is coming to pass today. but the pain is that even the anti corruption fight is one sided. imagine the thousands of petitions against members of APC not a single person has been invited, interrogated not to mention taking such to court. Obviously today we have not achieved any of our expectations but who knows all hope may not be list yet. Let’s keep asking for the right things to be done. it’s better that late than never.

  9. Change depends on the change you are waiting far as I am concern change is already in our domain manifesting in every facet of our life.rampaging fulani herdsmen, ethnicall cleansing the i gbos,second coming of militants,no food on the table,lies upon lies are all mantra of changes

  10. Jonathan failure/flop sold Buhari in 2015 general election more than any so called conspiracy of the change agents. Man, live up. Jonathan is gone. Throwing childish tantrums won’t work.

  11. Corrupt and aggrieved. By their writeup we shall know them. Anyway, it’s no more business as usual whether you like it or not. Moreover, those that voted for pmb. Knows too well that he’s not a miracles worker and such doesn’t expect overnight transformation of the bastarly destroyed Nigerian economy under gej. Sooner or later we’ll get there.that I know of. As per political appointments, same was witness under gej. When most of his appointment comes from south/south and South/eastern part of the country.

  12. Thanks Momodu for sharing your thoughts which I can authoritatively say bears the mind of more than 50% of Nigerians.

    I just wished that Obasanjo, Soyinka, Utomi, Ezekwesili and Soludo could read this piece, accept their mistake, denounce this government and tell Nigerians to be weary of this government come 2019.

    They should also, in their small capacity as individuals, support as many Nigerians as they can cos largely, they brought this woes upon the Nigerian people.

    At this state in Nigeria economy (cos I refuse to be part of it) and with 3 years to go, we can only get on our knees and pray for God’s mercy and also for God’s true Messiah for this country cos it is now glaring to all that General Buhari is not that man.

    Francis Nwokike

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