by Oguntola Adelowo
History matters. Records are not kept simply to assist the weakness of memory, but to operate as guides to the future. Of course, we know that human beings change but not to this individual. For the Buharists, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) is the “messiah”. Any attempt to set the records straight by highlighting the dark days of Buhari is viewed by these people as being paranoid. They would ask you, who is scared of Buhari if not corrupt people? In the real sense of it, I don’t think anyone (including a kid from my home town) is scared of Buhari. Some of us that talk about him do so to establish the facts because he has been living on image-laundered life. Within these few days, lots of people have seen that Buhari didn’t build any refinery for Nigeria. He has no legacy despite ruling the country with iron-fist for almost 2 years.
Do he have the interest of Nigerians at heart? The answer is NO. In the interest of Nigeria and its people particularly some of the nation’s younger generation who are today devotees of him, I will like to write on why General Mohammadu Buhari must not be the Nigeria President come May 29, 2015 and why we must shine our eye before being carried away with the slogan ‘CHANGE’.
First, who is Buhari? He was a Major-General of the Nigerian Army. He is a Fulani, born 72 years ago, precisely on December 17, 1942 in Daura, Katsina state. He became the Governor of the North-Eastern state and served between August 1975 and March 1976. He also served the Military Government of Olusegun Obasanjo as the Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources between March 1976 and June 1978.
After Buhari and his men overthrew the government of Shagari with the sole reason that the government was highly corrupt, he locked up Dr. Alex Ekwueme – the then Vice President in Kirikiri Maximum prison but left Shagari – the President and Head of Government in his mansion. Alex Ekwueme was tried by the tribunal set-up by Buhari and the tribunal declared that he was even poorer than he was before he came into office. Yet, Buhari jailed him and allowed Shagari to relax in his mansion. He gave Dede Sam Mbakwe 100- year jail term for stealing nothing and also went after his wife.
Ambrose Ali was tried for an undeveloped plot of land and he was jailed for 75 years with heavy torture that led to blindness and later death. Jim Nwobodo and Lateef Jakande were jailed for 100 years for stealing nothing. Adekunle Ajasin was tried by a military tribunal and found innocent. Buhari ordered a fresh trial, he was found innocent again. Buhari changed the tribunal and tried him again. He was still found innocent. Buhari still jailed him. But, Buhari left his personal friend – Awwal Ibrahim – the then highly corrupt governor of Niger State who was arrested at Heathrow airport with £14 million. Awwal was never jailed. He was placed under house arrest in his mansion like Shagari for just two weeks an indeed released.
Buhari became the Head of State after a military coup which truncated the then civilian regime. His men overthrew the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the then National Party of Nigeria [NPN]. Buhari became the Head of the highest organ of government then known as Supreme Military Council [SMC] while another General, now late, Tunde Idiagbon served as his deputy.
On assumption of office, Buhari proscribed all the six existing political parties. He thereafter arrested many public office holders, tried them in a military tribunal for phantom corrupt offences and jailed many of them. Many of those politicians belonged to the Unity Party of Nigeria [UPN] founded by the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo. It beats my imagination to see someone like Chief Adebisi Akande wining and dining with Buhari. That Akande and Buhari are now members of the same political party, to me is unimaginable. Papa Awolowo will definitely be chuckled and astonished in his grave to see Akande in this position. But it should not surprise us because someone once stated that “Akande will prefer to lead criminals than to follow a saint”. And this is true.
This was the same Buhari, who believes that his religion is superior to other religions (whereas there must not be religious difference). In 2001, he gave his total support for Sharia with this statement:
“I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.”- Muhammadu. Buhari (August 27, 2001)
He made the above statement after he had gone to BBC Hausa Service to condemn the then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for urging Muslims states who adopted Sharia to return to the status quo. If you think that these statements mean nothing, then envision what would happen if a notable Christian political leader from the south make the same statement about spreading Christianity across Nigeria. Prior to the 2003 elections, he made another shocking statement:
“Muslims should only vote those who will promote Islam. We are more than the Christians if you add our Muslim brothers in the West.” – Muhammadu Buhari (2003)
Can Chief Ebenezer Babatope, then the Director of Publicity of Unity Party of Nigeria [UPN] forget in a hurry his days in prison and how Buhari denied him the opportunity of burying his late father?. It was also the greatest inhumanity to man on July 3, 1984, General Buhari ordered his agents to ferry the then Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umaru Dikko, in a diplomatic crate from London to Nigeria, via the Nigeria Airways Boeing 707 on alleged corrupt charge case. This led to a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the British Government. However, Buhari and his ADC, Colonel Mustapha Jokolo supervised the smuggling of 53 suitcases filled with cash against the protests of Tunde Idiagbon and ironically, Abubakar Atiku (an APC bigwig), was the former DG of Customs. Do you still need to know why Buhari has never accused Atiku of being corrupt?
That a blind man doesn’t see the sun, don’t mean the sun is not up in the sky. That Buhari has not been jailed for corrupt practices doesn’t mean he is not corrupt, after all, nobody has jailed Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo etc., yet people say they are corrupt. Buhari has never been able to account to Nigerians what he did with the N25 billion missing in Petroleum Trust Fund [PTF] of which he was the chairman. Shagari incurred Buhari’s wrath when he decided to investigate the US$2.8 billion that disappeared from NNPC account and traced to the Midland Bank, London. Justice Ayo Irikefe panel was set-up and Saraki headed the Senate committee. The following were unequivocally discovered:
Firstly, a judicial panel was set up to trace the $2.8billion (Justice Ayo Irikefe panel). Secondly, a senate committee was also set up to trace the $2.8billion (headed by the elder Saraki). The findings of the senate committee were reported live on NTA by Vera Ifudu. Buhari overthrew the government to burn and shred the evidence. Buhari got Vera Ifudu sacked. Vera Ifudu and the NTA went to court. Vera Ifudu won her case, got reinstated and was paid compensation A man that procured a loan of N27.5million to purchase his presidential form using man- know-man approach is definitely corrupt. Buhari ought to live by example.
Buhari’s government started War Against Indiscipline [WAI], a programme initiated to “curb” public indiscipline. Only God knows how many innocent citizens of this country that were deposited and died in Kirikiri and Ikoyi prisons. So many Nigerians also lost their lives in the hand of Buhari’s soldiers. WAI became an avenue for jungle justice under Buhari and Nigerians were barred from “talking” and writing through his draconic Decree 4. After Buhari was overthrown, Mohammadu Gambo opened the prison doors of 15, Awolowo Road on public television, revealing people in various stages of undress and malnutrition that had been kept in the dungeons without trial by Buhari’s hound-dogs.
Can we forget how many people that were murdered four years ago in some parts of the North because Buhari’s CPC lost the presidential election? Many Yoruba and Igbo extractions living in the North then will always remember what they saw in the hands of Buhari’s supporters. Yoruba nation lost some of its promising youths serving in the North as members of the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC] just because Nigerians voted against Buhari. Till date, the man at the centre of it all has refused to apologize to the victims of the election violence.
Someone will say that General Muhammadu Buhari [Rtd] can change when he assume power, I tell you boldly he can’t change from his wrongdoings. Can a leopard change its spots after several washings? The answer is NO. I still stand on my point that, if at all Nigerians need a change, its not Buhari, Tinunbu/APC change we want in country but a revolutionary change. Their dreadful house must be pulled down now or else our life will be in jeopardy. NIGERIANS must shine their eyes.