By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
Two days after he returned from a 103-day medical vacation in London, President Muhammadu Buhari in a jumbled statement set more tension on the nation he left almost rudderless. Not quite sure how to address us, he started his August 21, 2018 broadcast with “my dear citizens”.
Were we glad that we were something in Nigeria with all the doubts and evidences that our status was doubtful? Is Buhari not full of surprises?
He had another one. “I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters”, the President said. Was this Buhari? The entailed familiarity was entirely unlike the Buhari we know.
We were Buhari’s “brothers and sisters” unknown to us. How? What brought about the endearment? Was Buhari capable of such feelings? Or was the speech for another speaker, another audience?
Any doubts that a long stay abroad changed Buhari were rested with the threats in the next lines. “I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.
This is a step too far,” said Brother Buhari. Our Brother questioned our right to dare discuss how Nigeria runs.
Brother Buhari dredged up a supposed 2003 conversation he had with the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to support his imposition, a “must remain one and united” Nigeria. Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Buhari decided, without conditions, without authority, without inputs of others that Nigeria must be one, our Brother alleged.
Anyone in doubt should present his own Odumegwu-Ojukwu imposition. Brother Buhari believed an invocation of Ikemba would settle South East agitations over accesses to liberties to manage their affairs without strictures that delight our Brother.
Few speeches give a better insight of Brother Buhari’s impressions of his messianic mission than that of August 21, 2018. Nigeria’s unity, for him, is a dead question.
“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable,” he continued in the manner of a brigade commander. The consistent contradictions of Buhari and his minders were obvious.
“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence,” he conceded in a rare, momentary realisation that Nigerians had rights to discuss without Brother Buhari’s permission.
Yet, trust our Brother to appropriate powers and abridge conversations that expose his management of Nigeria to debates.
“The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse,” according to Buhari. Before his proposed discourse, Buhari determined that, “The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart”. What is there to discuss?
Refusal of Nigerians to cede their rights to a say on Nigeria to Brother Buhari is becoming central to chaotic decisions that drive the Buhari administration. Where are the National Assembly and National Council of States in the steady push of Nigeria to the precipice?
Welcome back from London Brother Buhari. Social media, at the prompting of impostors, indiscernible elements, unchanging politicians, enemies of Nigeria and the like, reported that protesters surrounded your London abode, asking you to leave. We know those were your supporters, London chapter, who were glad to receive you after a long absence.
Our multiplying challenges continue. Doctors are on strike. You cannot take them to court – courts are on strike too.
Everybody is not on strike. Bandits, Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, armed robbers, and those who insist on discussing the unity of Nigeria have refused to go on strike.
We feel so entitled that we expected Twitter’s African operations to be headquartered in Nigeria. Inimitable Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed blames Nigerians, excluding the Buhari administration, for creating an image of Nigeria that scared Twitter to Ghana. What would Alhaji Mohammed have said if Twitter chose Nigeria?
THANKS APF for confirming that the story of over 7,000 penises shipped from Nigeria to China was a satire. Though we may feel a significant body part is intact, our manhood is still in firm Chinese grip – that is not a satire.
.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues