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Home arrow Africa arrow Time to Wield the Ax: Arrest and Try Buhari Now!
Time to Wield the Ax: Arrest and Try Buhari Now! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frisky Larr, NigerianNews Columnist   
Apr 25, 2011 at 02:08 AM

It remains a mystery to the discerning mind from where and how Muhammadu Buhari sternly believed that he would have garnered all the necessary votes to make him the civilian President of Nigeria in the April 16th Presidential election. Every sane, objective and intelligent analyst saw through the not-too densely darkened haze of the April 09th election into the National Assembly which way the tendency pointed.

For external, non-committed observers like us, it was not difficult to see that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had garnered not only a sound majority of votes leaving the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) a distant second, but also secured a geographically almost evenly distributed mandate. The PDP left even the second-placed ACN seeming like a footnote in the scheme of things that should only be taken cognizance of. Instant thoughts reflected on one single chance that the opposition stood to pose the minimum possible challenge to the PDP of forcing a run-off election between the ruling party and the eventual runner-up of the Presidential election.

Much like the period in the run-up to campaigns and the election proper, it was Buhari's inordinate obstinacy in a sage-like know-it-all fashion that ultimately torpedoed every effort to create a formidable power block. They had no objection to an alliance with the ACN in a deal that would have secured the minimum target of a run-up election. Alas, they were not prepared to make any sacrifice for such a major deal.

Buhari wanted the Presidency, come what may. Tunde Bakare had dreamt one of his false prophesies that God had ordained him a background leader in the Nigeria of his booze-induced vision. Else no one can understand some weird comments credited to Tunde Bakare shortly before the election. Bakare – a stern critic of Olusegun Obasanjo strongly attacked for declaring (with good reasons) that his electoral battle of 2007 was a do-or-die battle - saw in the April 16th presidential election, a make-or-break affair. I thought the Press would have rebuked him quickly enough for such utterances. But nothing happened. Explaining his reasons for not consenting to ACN overtures to have him step down from the office of Vice President (no matter at what point in time), Bakare remarked that he rejected that compromise because compromises lead to captivity.

Experienced political observers did not wonder if they were in the wrong movie or simply day-dreaming because politics is simply unimaginable without compromises. Else the United States under Barrack Obama and the hostile Republican Congress would have long been up in flames. Britain and Germany too! The political reality in Bakare’s evil vision is unfortunately, one without compromises. He has simply become a stunt actor in a manipulative game of regional aggrandizement.

Buhari was warned that the choice of Bakare was wrong. But he thought he was courting Christian votes and over-estimated Bakare’s following. Jonathan and PDP had long launched their campaign combing every nook and corner of the country while Buhari and ACN were busy bickering over their failed strategic alliance. Edo ACN now boasts that it has delivered Jonathan and voters should now return to vote ACN in regional Assembly elections. In other words, they have taught Buhari his lesson for inordinate obstinacy.

Bakare grumbled before the presidential election that the ACN had held secret negotiations with President Jonathan and demanded key ministerial positions in return for helping the President win votes. Bakare cited this as a key reason for declining ACN's overtures. In other words, Bakare, Buhari and their CPC saw the potential risk of a sweeping Jonathan’s victory if they failed to strike a deal with the ACN. So where the hell was Muhammadu Buhari expecting to garner all the necessary votes to make him President of a Nigeria that he had already ruled with the bullet and the barrel?

Flashback: The role of the Kaduna Mafia that surrounded Olusegun Obasanjo in 1979 is still fresh in the memory of every observer who lived to experience those days of Shagari’s ascension. The decision to block a Yoruba man (Awolowo) from succeeding another Yoruba man (Obasanjo) ended up costing Nigeria dearly in terms of strategic and intellectual development.

The Kaduna Mafia then was heard about but never seen. We all knew the power wielded by Shehu Musa Yar'Adua (Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters allegedly “under” Olusegun Obasanjo) and Theophilus Danjuma (a senior figure in the administration allegedly “of” Olusegun Obasanjo). Ibrahim Babangida was the unspoken hero of every neighborhood, who was believed to be the invisible key behind the success of every coup d’etat. No coup was believed to stand the chance of any success without the blessing of Ibrahim Babangida. But the Kaduna Mafia was the talk of the town and no one knew their faces. That was way back in 1979.

The Kaduna Mafia metamorphosed into a stronger cult and the actors were no longer concentrated in Kaduna. When Dele Momodu traveled to Vienna to consult with Rilwanu Lukman in 1999 over the nomination of Olusegun Obasanjo for the presidency after the demise of Sani Abacha, Lukman told him pointblank that the decision to make Obasanjo President had been taken by some very powerful forces and there was nothing anyone could do about it. But we know that Ibrahim Bademosi Babangida and Atiku Abubakar played the key roles in installing Olusegun Obasanjo who had been tried and tested in 1979 as a compliant doll of some scripted Muppet Show. But in 1999, the phrase “Kaduna Mafia” had disappeared from every dictionary.

Shortly after, the declaration of Sharia came en vogue in northern states and everyone knew that powerful background forces were the mastermind. We did not know the face of this mafia. In 2009 however, when the demise of yet another northerner stared Nigeria in the face with the potential consequence of the ascension to the Presidency by a Southerner that was not bargained for, the mafia began to throw caution overboard.

Emissaries with vested interest in the Nigerian project (meaning Nigeria’s oil) flocked into Nigeria to broker some smooth sailing and peaceful co-existence. One frequent port of call by the American Deputy Secretary of State for Africa, Ambassador Carson and even Tony Blair of the United Kingdom was the hilltop mansion of Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida who was not in power in any official function. Then the mafia was gradually beginning to wear a face.

When the vegetating remains of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was brought into Nigeria in a cloak and dagger operation under the cover of darkness, we do not know till today, who ordered regiments of soldiers into the street without the knowledge of the Vice President (acting constitutionally in the absence of the President).

The desperation that however greeted the zoning debate in the ruling PDP finally uncovered the most active operatives of the background power in the northern establishment. The reality craftily engineered by Olusegun Obasanjo over several years as a ruthless civilian President (with the paramount good of the nation at heart) finally bared open the impending loss of power that these northern powerbrokers did not bargain for. They finally threw caution overboard and names like Adamu Ciroma, Ibrahim Babangida, Atiku Abubakar, Aliyu Gusau emerged to confirm what observers had always suspected.

Suddenly it was Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau with the blessing of Adamu Ciroma again, who emerged in the run-up to the presidential election of April 16th, to mediate between Muhammadu Buhari’s CPC and Bola Tinubu’s ACN to help them form a formidable block to eventually defeat the PDP (their own party). It was the last straw they could grab in their desperation. They failed. Muhammadu Buhari failed and power did not return to the north.

Ibrahim Babangida hurriedly advanced to congratulate the winning party. Atiku Abubakar thrust forward to condemn the ensuing violence in northern Nigeria. Muhammadu Buhari chose not to pretend to have anything against the violence until pressure was mounted on him to speak out conditionally. But the violence has been wreaking undue barbaric havoc as usual in times of crisis in the north of Nigeria. The infamous saying by Atiku Abubakar that “whoever makes peaceful change impossible, makes violent change inevitable” started taking concrete forms and has so far, only been falling short of a coup d’etat to force power back to the north.

The intricate game of manipulations and contrivances are all too obvious. Tunde Bakare is an unwitting tool in the hands of strategic players with the deceptive vision of personal ambition. He has, till the time of writing, refused to speak out in condemnation of the violence and criminal attack on Southerners living in the north. He has not even uttered a word against the burning of churches while no one burns mosques in southern Nigeria.

It is time to wield the ax. Until the central government in Abuja summons the constitutional strength and courage to deal the northern mafia a final blow to kill and bury all its future aspirations on the political drawing board, Nigeria will never know peace. If we do not seek to split Nigeria into the Arewa Republic and the Rest of Nigeria, Muhammadi Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Atiku Abubakar, Adamu Ciroma, Aliyu Gusau and many more members of the secret Brotherhood known to Olusegun Obasanjo and no doubt, Jonathan as well, should be arrested and kept in detention now while investigations proceed. Everything else will be cowardice and the postponement of the final day of reckoning.

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