Whenever and wherever I see or hear the name Muhammadu Buhari, my mind quickly flashes back to the inimitable Professor of virology Tamunoemi Sokari David West who made UCH Ibadan home where he lived, worked and died on 11 November 2019. Tam David West was Minister of Petroleum during Muhammadu Buhari’s first outing as Military Head of State. From his name, you can easily distill he was not a Northerner. He was of Kalabari extraction from the then Rivers State. Muhammadu Buhari is from the dusty little village of Daura not far away from the border, that is if there is one between Nigeria and Niger Republic. David West, on the other hand as mentioned earlier, comes from a littoral community in what is now politically and geographically South-South of Nigeria, two opposite ends of the geographical divide, you may say.
After the military putsch which removed Muhammadu Buhari from power and ushered in the gabbed toothed Ibrahim Babangida, the new regime was not too comfortable with David West. Therefore, after an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, David West was sacked from the position of Petroleum Minister and the excuse was that he took a cup of tea while in Vienna and received a wristwatch as a gift. It is important to lay this background as from it, some vital lessons will come forth. Ibrahim Babangida removed West from the position supposedly in a dubious attempt at fighting corruption but grew himself in the art or science of corruption to becoming one of the most corrupt leaders this country has ever had. But because in Nigeria we have not grown the culture of holding our leadership to account, Babangida left to enjoy his loot. Whilst it will be foolishness for anyone to think that there was no corruption prior to Babangida’s coming on the stage, it is true to draw the conclusion that he elevated corruption to it’s zenith in Nigeria.
David West invested so much confidence and trust in Muhammadu Buhari just as the now former Works and Transportation Minister Amaechi did until just recently. In one of Muhammadu Buhari’s futile attempts to be elected civilian president of Nigeria, David West came out to proclaim that if his own biological forebear was standing in an election with Buhari as opponent, that he would cast his vote for Muhammadu Buhari. Such was the depth of trust David West invested or had for Buhari. This is quite profound particularly in a Nigeria where the ethnic nationalities are drifting back to their ethnic cocoons because Buhari has failed to be president for all of us. Oh, how I wish that David West was still alive to be a witness to how his beloved Buhari has reduced Nigeria to mere Bantustans.
Under Buhari, Fulanization found a comfortable accommodation in the lexicons. Clearly, Muhammadu Buhari for all the years after his ouster from power as Military Head of State did practically nothing to uplift himself enough as to position himself for a future political contest. Little wonder then that he failed woefully in three previous attempts. It took an alliance with that traditional political line of weak resistance under the command of the now beleaguered Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to get him to be president. Now, see how he has made a complete mess of this once promising country. If Prof. Tam David West were alive and on a visit to his native Kalabari kingdom, he wakes up to find Fulani so-called herdsmen wielding AK 47s and grazing their dry bones in the name of cattle whilst also destroying people’s crops, I wonder what the virology professor would have thought of his idol Muhammadu Buhari.
In my small village somewhere in Zangon Kataf of Kaduna State, there is now a general saying that it is better that many of our forebears have since departed to be with the Lord than remaining alive to see what Muhammadu Buhari and his Fulani tribesmen have inflicted on life in mine and other villages. These are the same wondering Fulani herders that used to scavenge from the leftovers from our farmlands after harvest. Under Muhammadu Buhari, the Fulani have returned, wielding AK-47s and laying claims to our ancestral lands as conquered territory. They kill, burn, maim and destroy at will whilst an impotent or inept security architecture looks on helplessly. Nearly all institutions of government are now firmly under Fulani elite control. That is a major plank of the Fulanization agenda of the Buhari government. The counter insurgency campaign in the Northeast was used as cover for Fulani gun-wielding herdsmen to literally walk across the vast northern borders from almost everywhere in West Africa. Nigeria, under Muhammadu Buhari, is now being claimed as the homeland of the Fulani. Sadly for Muhammadu Buhari and his tribesmen, history is well beyond their reach to distort, corrupt or rewrite. Everyone knows that the Fulani left their homeland in Guinea. They cannot now claim or pretend not to know this fact. The 8 turbulent Muhammadu Buhari years are coming to an end which translates to the obvious fact that there will be a redrawing of boundaries after his departure. Communities whose lands were forcefully taken by the AK-47 wielding Fulani herdsmen will be recovered if possible by force of arms because as the Good Book puts it “ Iron sharpeneth iron “ if need be. Buhari’s Fulanization agenda used the cover of Boko Haram and Islam to infiltrate this country. It did look from the onset that Christian and non Muslim communities were alone the target of the Fulani agenda but in due time Muslims have become justified targets. The Muslims are killed, kidnapped and harassed just as other Nigerians. Do not even mention the name of God or Allah to the Fulani kidnapping cartels as you plead for the release of a kidnapped loved one because the Fulani kidnappers will tell you very clearly that they do not know any Allah or God.
In all of this, Buhari as President, Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria has hidden behind the façade of not knowing what the citizens of the country he is the leader of have been going through. When the killings on mostly the Plateau and in Southern Kaduna was in full gear, contiguous as the Plateau and Southern Kaduna are to Abuja, the president pretended not to be aware. The pretense was the justification for non action by the security forces and so our people have continued to hemorrhage and suffer without help coming to them. Nigerians now fully believe that their president is deliberately failing to secure the country to allow his Fulani tribesmen time enough to accomplish a complete takeover of Nigeria. It is good that in the end, Muhammadu Buhari got to become president of Nigeria. Had this not happened, so many folks would have been going about spreading the highly toxic claims that he is the best president that Nigeria never had, much in the same manner as late Obafemi Awolowo.
Nigerians have been served the very best of the Buhari menu of ineptitude and lack of patriotism for Nigeria. We all now do know that a man cannot give what he does not have. The way things now stand, Muhammadu Buhari cannot reverse himself as it is too late in the day. One thing is certain, Muhammadu Buhari is going down as the man who was at best president for his Fulani tribesmen but not president to other Nigerians.
What a disastrous outing. Going forward, Nigerians must learn to distinguish between who patriotic leaders are from charlatans. To God Be The Glory.