The Dasukigate and The Greed of Elitist

The Dasukigate and The Greed of Elitist

I don’t know about you, but the way I see the unfolding crisis of the Dasukigate is extraordinarily puzzling and punishing. It is a drama that has come not only to define who northern elite are as individuals but to task our collective creativity and sense of reasoning to the limit!.

For sure, we don’t know what the future holds, perhaps surprisingly though, the Dasukigate, as time goes on, may reveal more beneficiaries which will almost certainly shock many Nigerians. No one would have imagined that Col. Jaafaru Isa, for example, a person known to be morally upright and critical of Jonathan’s administration, would succumb to his whims and accept that blood money at the expense of his integrity.

I still vividly reckon with pride the active exemplary role Jaafaru Isa played as sole Administrator of Kaduna State in 1995 when I represented my state, Kano alongside other participants in National Quranic Competition, held in the state. As a matter of fact, Col. Isa led by example and demonstrated integrity, resilience to fight corruption in principles of governance to the extent that one of his commissioners willingly returned N 700, 000 of that time (which according Ja’afar Isah’s calculation, during one of his interviews is worth N70, million now) to the state government out of fear God and guilty conscience.

I am appalled to hear Jaafar’s name among the beneficiaries of Dasuki’s ATM. If anything, this goes to confirm that Dasuki, former National Security Advisor, was so generous in sharing his loot with others. I mean he didn’t eat it alone. Indeed, Dr. King was right when he noted that ” the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.

Now that Ja’afaru Isa’s name is blacklisted, he has lost his pedigree, credibility and above all his reputation that he had worked so hard to build. It doesn’t matter even if he is cleared later. Many more shocking revelations are underway, I reckoned. This is just one example of how money corrupt people of integrity.

Still, I do have my reservation about the whole drama, though. I’m really not sure whether Sambo Dasuki is now acting like a sinking ship and realizes that his mundane perishability is inevitable and as such he’s exploiting every avenue to have as much victims (or can I say friends) as he can down the peril to alleviate his apprehension to some extent. And, federal government should take a note of that fact.

Remarkably though, it is not far fetched also to assert that some groups of elite are conniving with Dasuki to implicate many more influential people in the whole saga so as to make it difficult if not impossible for Buhari to succeed in his fight against corruption. What Buhari could do if corruption is endemic and permeates every house. It may not be absurd to assume that Dasuki can manufacture any lie to feed his vain delusions. Besides, some beneficiaries might have collected that money in good faith without knowing its origin as blood money.

Let’s not also forget that Sambo Dasuki as former NSO had held a public office which is legitimately entitled to annual budget. It is quite obvious that he must have awarded some contracts or appropriated some money by virtue of his position to some channels which were constitutionally legitimate like in the case of President Buhari, for example.

Realistically, when Buhari accepted two Jeeps he was not obliged to ask the legitimacy of their origin since as former head of state he is entitled to that facility. In other words, he never knew that it was blood money.

In the light of the foregoing, it is difficult to exonerate innocent people from this saga as there are many more people who were dubiously or innocently involved in the case out of ignorance of the source of money. Put simply, Dasuki can name everyone.

In any case, the Dasukigate leaves much to be desired.

Allahu A’lam.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD

9/1/2016

Baba Buhari where is your prudence?

Baba Buhari where is your prudence?

In all honesty, I would never have thought that, under Buhari administration, characters like Fayeso, Femi Kayode etc will remain free by now without having to be consigned to jail where they rightly belong. I said it elsewhere, and I’m repeating here with emphasis that I’m tired and sick with phenomena called Fayeso and FFK. Both constitute an axis of evil and I wonder why they still have the audacity to lambast PMB at any slightest opportunity despite the fact they both have huge skeleton in their cupboard.

More often than not, I can’t help but frantically ask myself “could this be Buhari”. I doubt if this is the same Buhari I knew 30 years ago. The Buhari I knew 3 decades ago never took the destructive criticism of high profile antagonist lightly. For this reason decree No 4 was promulgated to deal with such characters.

Yes, I know this is democratic dispensation but still criticism counts, and if left unchecked it will turn out to be more destructive in the long run than we begin to feel. It appeals to poor audience who can’t read realities the way they are and before you know it, it will begin to impact negatively or otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I care deeply for the freedom of speech and how pertinent it is for healthy society to thrive. But the way these people castigate and scold PMB is unacceptable. Yes, they heard him say he is a converted democrat and that is why they are over exploiting that provision to lambast him like hell.

But the thing is PMB must as a matter of expediency overstretch his muscle and borrow from his PAST to combat this media terrorists. I still maintain that Buhari as military General had more room for maneuverer to rule Nigeria than he would ever hope for in Nigerian dirty politics. Why, because Nigeria needs a Dictator. So far, Fayoses and FFK have vindicated my preposition.

There is Arab expression (as expounded by Imru’ul Qays, legendary Pre-Islamic poet) and it is true, “wa jurhul lisani ka jurhil yadi”; the damage of the tongue is the same as that of the hand; that is tongue creates havoc in much the same way as hand.

The onus now lies with PMB to either legally deal with these undesirable elements past enough or else they will potentially drag his government down. Allah kiyaye. As a matter of fact, Fayose, FFK and co are doing character assassination and spreading lies against PMB and his government. Hence, he should take legal action against them. No president takes inflammatory criticism lightly.

Ibrahim IIyasu, PhD

8/12/2015

ATMs Embargo on Nigerians in Diaspora: Why it should be Lifted

 ATMs Embargo on Nigerians in Diaspora: Why it should be Lifted

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD

“Everything changes but Change itself”

John F. Kennedy

The people of Nigeria living abroad are today under the sway of unprecedented anguish called MasterCard withdrawal ‘embargo’. This technically speaking, means that from 1st January 2016, Nigerian in diaspora will no longer use their MasterCard/Credit Card (or whatever it is)  for online and offline transactions or make withdrawals from ATMs. This means they will never buy anything on Amazon, EBay, etc. or order anything online from a foreign website. This is incredible!

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the sanction is painful but inevitable measure taken as a result of dwindling foreign reserves and banks’ failure to settle dollar transactions arising from the use of MasterCard in foreign land. In other words, this restriction policy was initiated in good faith.

In the face of drastic fell of global oil price, it is critically urgent to figure out how to address the precipitous decline in forex earnings and by extension foreign reserves and the only viable alternative to preserve Nigeria’s reserve is to impose foreign currency curbs, said the CBN. Nevertheless, as soon as the reserves rise to anywhere between $50 billion to $ 200 billion, the sanction will be lifted.  But no one is quite sure when. The proponents of ATM sanction also argue that the decision has become necessary as ATMs are widely used in phonies and shams, hence its operations must be blocked.

Now, let us quickly review these arguments. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were essentially introduced to serve as one of the effective channels for electronic payment. Undisputedly, e-payments have their downside (as shortcut for fraud, for example,) but their advantages, as a matter of fact, by far outweigh their drawbacks.  E-Payments are cost and time effective as they reduce the time and cost needed to perform any transaction.

Let’s face it, Nigerian economy is in bad shape and the extent of that can only be imagined. It must be remembered that way back in March 2014 CBN issued circular directing all banks to install anti-skimming device at all ATM terminals to address the rising incidence of ATMs fraud. The ten thousand dollar question now is; what happened after that?

Rather than sanctioning ATM withdrawals per se, the CBN should have installed sophisticated technologies on their ATMs system that can forestall the trend and do whatever it takes to remain committed to the deployment and management of ATMs in line with global best practices. The CBN should also strategize on how to use anti-skimming device to minimize leakages and fraud, while at the same time serving their customers at efficient capacity to ensure that the Nigerian payment system complies with global payments standards. But to reject all these choices and block ATM usage abroad is doing nothing, and doing nothing, as President J F Kennedy once observed, is not an option. This decision is anything but bold and it speaks volume about the inefficiency of the CBN to successfully handle critical global financial issues.

While we appreciate the constraint the CBN is facing from law Forex inflow into the Foreign Reserves due to low oil prices, the sanctions imposed by the apex banks are way too extreme. If ATM card use abroad must be banned, it should be on politically expedient people instead of ordinary Nigerians who in most cases rely on it for their sustenance. Also, if it is true that ATM sanction is to combat fraudulent activities, the CBN can do that through BVN (which provides account details of Nigerians) without having to punish innocent masses for the sin of few corrupts.  The measure is also a hard option for Nigerians schooling abroad who depend on their governments or parents to fund them.

By taking this decision, the CBN is sending wrong signals to the world investors and international community that they are out of touch with the reality of modern economy. They have closed international doors against Nigerians. Needless to say, many businesses now rely heavily on using online transactions to thrive. Beside, as we are living in digital age, this policy will only draw Nigeria ten years back. Put simply, this is a wrong policy at a wrong time.

Speak to any Nigerian leaving abroad and you will hear the amount of losses they incur whenever they make withdrawals using those MasterCards. You almost certainly lose from both ends. Predictably, this policy has come only to add salt to the injury. For the sake of clarity, I’m obliged to share my personal experience. Over the last three days I have made three withdrawals (one withdrawal per day). I had a withdrawal limit of taking just RM, 1000 per day. The exchange rate in Malaysia used to be around N52,000 per RM,  1000 per day,  but this time it sky rockets to the  rate of N 63,658.55 per RM 1, 000. For every withdrawal I discovered that I lost RM 382 (N 24, 317) to ATMs at both ends. Collectively, I’ve lost N72, 952 (RM 382 X 3 = RM1, 146) to cash machines for withdrawing just RM 3,000. Just do the math, why on earth will I lose RM 1,146 just for withdrawing RM 3,000. To say this is outlandish is an understatement.  Hasbunallahu Wani’mal Wakil. What the hell is going on in the CBN?

That Nigeria now earns less from crude oil sales is not a subject for debate. As a matter of fact, past administration of Jonathan did not save for the rainy day when the oil market was booming to diversify the economy well enough to be a productive economy that can withstand shocks. When oil prices were at $128 per barrel many OPEC countries saved the windfall and built up their foreign reserves. For, example, Saudi Arabia had a $662 BILLION war chest, Russia had $371 billion, even war-torn Libya had $105 billion in foreign reserves. Nigeria had $30 billion. Countries need those foreign reserves to support their currency and avoid rapid devaluation. In Nigeria, the money was plundered and that is why we are now feeling the pinch.

Now that the mistake has already been made, Nigeria should look for viable alternative rather than unnecessary stoppage of debit card for foreign currency. To encourage production and exportation, the CBN can promote local manufacturers and finance activities just like the EXIM of the USA. This way more foreign currency will flow in and Nigerian forex trading will be improved and the quagmire of the dead economy will be turned around quickly.

President Buhari is not your fault, this is understandable. Nigerians elected president and not a magician; so he cannot change everything within the blink of an eye. Both the Finance Minister and the CBN Governor are in the best position to explain this situation to Nigerians.I personally believe in the sincerity of purpose and honesty of the President to set this nation on tract. I also appreciate how he is determined to deliver on his promise on CHANGE. I always pray for him.

Certainly, life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes. Change, according to philosophers, is the law of life. The fact that things are the way they are, they will not stay the way they are. Everything flows and nothing stays still. Hence, all things must change to something new, to something strange. Hence, we as a people should welcome change because there is a certain relief in change, even it be from bad to worse.  Change is inevitable in progressive society, because “progress”, as George Bernard Show observes, “is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.

Mr. President, Nigerians understand perfectly well that the price of CHANGE you were voted for is costly and they are ready to pay for it and that is why you are there. But please do something urgently to holistically address this burning issue and lift the sanction. Readjusting is a painful process, but most of us need it at one time or another. Nonetheless, ATM withdrawal sanction, is way too much too bear.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

1/1/2016

https://ibrahimilyas.wordpress.com/

Radio Biafra: New Emerging Threat on the Move

Radio Biafra: New Emerging Threat on the Move

Today, I want to talk about a menace called Radio Biafra. It is a radio station currently airing on FM 102.1 in most South Southern and South Eastern states of Nigeria. In the past, it was an Internet radio station reaching a handful of audience. Dramatically, it has now developed into a terrestrial radio station with a Frequency Modular (FM) bandwidth.

45 years ago Nigerian government led a strong military offensive against Biafra secessionists. Even though, the rebels were defeated, it seems their dream of independence has not completely vanished. Only this time, their approach is different; “Biafra will live forever. Nothing will stop us,” is the gist of their anthem in the Igbo language.

The emergence of pirate station in Nigeria is not unusual per se, but what lends this new station its interest is the extraordinary speed with which the propaganda involved in its campaign is spreading. It is no secret that the Biafra Radio now is one of the most sought after channels in the southern part of the country.

There is an English expression and it is true; “ a stich in time saves nine”, which expounds that it is always better to manage bad situation immediately because if you wait it degenerates into something worse and difficult to handle as it requires extra work. I am saying this because Nigerian government has a history of negligence and lukewarm attitude in handling sensitive security issues at their early stages. They usually prefer waiting until it is too little too late and the enemies are already close enough to attack. In these circumstances, government will respond at the eleventh hour. Put simply, it is only good at counterattack. But this time the case of Radio Biafra is totally different and if government decides to take it lightly, it will be doing that at its own peril. Unless security personnel get in fast enough, I foresee another catastrophe on the rise.

The ‘director’ of the station is called Nnamdi Kanu. This man possesses good command of English and eloquence which pretentiously made his message notoriously captivating. If you are in doubt just spare some time to listen to him on the channel. High-level distortion and manipulation of historical facts, nevertheless, remain the modus operandi of   Kanu’s message to the people of Biafra and by extension people of Niger.

Certainly, Director Kanu’s message bears the credentials of an abusive language, Hausaphobic/Islamophobic romanticism that is driven by anti-Islam paranoia. That Kanu is on a mission to precipitate yet another civil war in Nigeria is not a subject for debate. Inexplicably, his media campaign is anything but peaceful and is riddled with inaccuracies and baseless assertions aim at creating unnecessary chaos targeting poor vulnerable youth. The man has been remarkably consistent in calling his people to arm themselves and wait for clarion call to lunch ruthless war on Hausa Fulani and Yoruba, in what could best be described as the pursuance of legacy of hate and animosity. As we are living in a vast shadow world of complex and diabolical conspiracies, Kanu’s propaganda is too dangerous to be ignored.

According to Kanu, unless President Buhari concedes to their demands of secession, they are ready to obliterate everyone in that “Zoo” called Nigeria and they are not joking. As it is often the case with the conspiracy theories of the media, perhaps the sharpest criticism of Kanu’s narrative relies on unrealistic conclusions. His campaign is explosive and cut against a heroic narrative that defined, in part, arguably one of the most dangerous media propaganda on the rise. Interestingly, he largely based his allegations on distortion of historical facts to pursue his vendetta. For example, he castigates colonial master Governor Luggard, for “handing” his people “over” to Hausa Fulani to smoothen their process of indirect rule and successful amalgamation, something no good student of Nigerian history will accept. Kanu also depicted the most revered Uthman Dan Fodio as Islamic bandit who introduced terrorism into Nigeria.

If Biafrans insist on separation they can do so peacefully more especially now that government is ready to negotiate with terrorists. They should come forward with their terms of reference and define them objectively. If it is feasible, then they are on their own. Many influential voices agree that the amalgamation of 1914 was the mistake of the millennium. You will not converge people of different religion, culture, orientation, ethnicity, e.t.c. and expect tranquility and social justice to prevail. It was a marriage made 100 years ago, but that marriage does not have to be eternal partucularly if marital discord prevails. Mercifully, there is a divorce option especially if all the avenues of reconciliation were exploited and failed to yield positive result. Why do you have to kill your recalcitrant wife rather than simply divorce her? I suggest this option for Biafrans if they had so insisted on separation.

Realistically, it is now Hausa Fulani not Igbos that are paying the cost of aggression of the misrule of their leaders for the country for almost four decades. Hausa Fulani are also incredibly marginalized figures in their own country, prisoners in their own cage and wide-open target of insurgency in the north. So, it could seem unfair to knock someone when they are already down.

Certainly, Radio Biafra educes memories of the tragedy that took place in Rwanda some twenty one years ago. In 1994, a radio station, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC) orchestrated one of the most stunning genocide in the modern world history which left over 600,000 Rwandans dead. The lesson of the Rwandan genocide is one that any good students of history or government can only ignore at their own risk. Media can be easily used to disseminate propaganda, hateful ideology, inciteful speech, violence, prejudices and deep animosity which if allowed to go unchallenged, will soon degenerate into unimaginable proportion.

We are raising this red flag to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to listen to us and appreciate the magnitude of the ‘FIRE’ burning slowly before it engulfs the nation. As a matter of fact, Kanu’s project has a destructive cumulative potential more than you can begin to imagine. Hence, it must be stopped.

A stich in time saves nine.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD

18 August 2015

Mathew Kukah and His shameful Clemency for Thieves !

Mathew Kukah and His shameful Clemency for Thieves !

It is no secret the greatest accomplishment of President Buhari is dethroning Jonathan, chasing him out of Aso villa and sending him back to his village. Even if Buhari fails to deliver on his promises (God forbid), he is still great achiever and he is forgiven. For one, his victory marked a golden opportunity for Nigerians to smell fresh air of freedom and for stopping relentless campaign of human extinction in the North East at least to some degree. Imagine what Nigeria could have been, had Jonathan won that election.  Similarly, Buhari’s victory is a significant milestone for Nigeria’s democratic and governance trajectory.

Recent days have reminded us just how ungodly some people are when it comes to safe guarding their selfish interest. The position taken by former head of state General Abdussalami and Reverend Matthew Kukah is unfortunate. The measure taken by their “peace” committee to plead for clemency for the corrupt officials of the past administration, especially Good luck Jonathan, appears increasingly improvised and desperate.

It is quite shameful to undertake that risky venture. If anything, this opens up a debate into intellectual inquiry into the compatibility and desirability of democracy for this type of country. Are Abdussalam and Kukah doing that because they have skeleton in their cupboards or what? Ostensibly, Goodluck is panicky and fearful and he is uneasy especially after the determination of Buhari to probe him and his ministers.

By asking for clemency, Abdussalami and co are only abusing the sensibility of 180 million Nigerians. All vanguards of change agree on one thing; CHANGE has come to stay. The journey of this change is incomplete, however, unless all thieves who raped the economy of Nigeria are brought to book and ruthlessly face the wrath of law. Unless of course democracy is not meant for Nigeria and Nigerians.

Now that their hope of providing safe landing for thieves has vanished, Buhari must intensifies his security and remain on alert because those thieves will fight back. Fighting corruption, indeed, is a gigantic task because it involves targeting all corrupt ex-generals, ex-head of states, ex-governors and so on,  who have historically benefitted from the system because they will not easily allow their influence to be diluted. That is why Buhari needs prayer now more than ever before to deliver and successfully complete his term.

God save Nigeria, God save Nigerians, God save the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD

14/8/2015

Nigeria: A Country without Conscience

 

My library

Nigeria:  A Country without Conscience

Ibrahim Ilyasu

abunauwas2012@gmail.com

IIUM, Malaysia.

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that sometimes even fools are right”

Winston Churchill

Perhaps the phrase might sound too simplistic, and the conclusion might seem more or less spontaneous but the unfolding events in Nigeria are only conspiring to prove me right.

Indeed, Nigeria is a country that is literally crumbling one step forward and three steps backward. Nigerian is a state whose conscious disappears into a thin air, or it is on “leave” (to borrow Adamu Adamu’s phrase). Put simply, Nigeria is a country without conscience. Or does it really have one? Definitely no, and here is why:

In Nigeria thievery, illegal possession of wealth, armed and pen robbery, stubborn looting of public funds, squander mania, corruption,  political opportunism and Godfatherism/motherism has become the order of the day. In Nigeria any attempt to remove corruption will be fought by those who have historically benefitted from those arrangements. Criminal family enterprises and business oligarchs will not willingly allow their influences to be diluted something which will almost certainly overstretch the mechanism of the government to maintain control. This is the reality very hard to ignore.

Security is not only a constitutional requirement but also a necessary infrastructure for the development of a modern economy. In Nigeria insecurity persists and it becomes the norm. Injustice and evil practices which naturally be vehemently resisted in civilized and healthy societies where sanity of consciences prevails do not seem to worry Nigerians anymore. Sure enough, rather than condemning corrupt political opportunists we celebrate, dignify and glorify their evil practices with deep complacency, contentment and self gratification. In other words, Nigeria is a country where anything goes and jungle justice reigns since criminality is no longer despised by people’s collective conscience.

Past week, Good luck Ebele Jonathan was unanimously endorsed by his party at all levels; the Board of Trustees (BOT), the Governors’ Forum and the national executive council (NEC). Of course, this selfish, deceitful, shortsighted and inconsiderate decision made by some unscrupulous bad eggs of our society is a disgrace not only to Nigeria but to the world and humanity at large.

It is incredibly unfortunate that this decision was made at a time Nigeria was passing through one of its deadliest moments since its post civil war era. Remarkably though, the decision was made barely 24 hours after gunmen stormed Federal College of Education (FCE) in Kano killing and injuring scores of individuals. And the president is yet to visit the scene of the carnage. In the United States, the mother of the democracy, this could have been impeachable offence that could drag the president down. Only in a street called Nigeria a president will make away with it.

Over the last 24 months thousands of people have been killed, thousands have been maimed and thousands have been displaced unlike any other in Nigerian history. Needless to say, Good luck Jonathan’s tenure is characterized with tribal and religious conflict, endemic corruption at all levels of government, poor national planning, uneven development, abject  poverty, social and moral disorder, rampant criminality, violent insurgency and terminal week governance.

These factors provide an environment that could portend imminent collapse and failure. And for this reason now, Nigeria is fragmenting and sliding gradually but systematically into a multipartite civil war. It might not be exaggeration to conclude that Good luck’s tenure remains the deadliest era Nigerians have ever known.

Indeed it is distressingly insulting to endorse GEJ at a time when Nigeria is facing highest level of insecurity, genocide, massive internal displacement of people, biggest refugee crisis; enormous destruction of property and means of livelihood, highest proliferation of illegal weapons in the hands of militia and criminals, ethnic and religious crisis, corruption, financial scandal and Impunity unlike any other we have ever seen.  Remember, the monumental scandal of $9.3 million dollars involving Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor  and Federal Government has not yet settled down.  Therefore, to take all this issues for granted and endorse GEJ for yet another 4 years is an insult to Nigerian people and humanity.

It is a wake-up call to all Northern Youths, Northern elders, religious and political leaders, lawyers, social activists, academicians, traditional leaders, business men and women to  unite themselves and say NO to this mother of all evil.

Certainly, to suggest that GEJ is the best choice for Nigerians in 2015, is to bet the lives of Millions in a reckless gamble and this is the risk we must not take.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, is human right activist, Islamic cleric, leader and entrepreneur.  He is a PhD candidate specializing in Islamic law, gender justice and modern Quranic exegesis, in the International Islamic University Malaysia. He is currently a part time lecturer in the same university. He could be reached at abunauwas2012@gmail.com, or his official website www.ibrahimilyas.wordpress.com

Why General Buhari Should Be Cautious

Why General Buhari Should Be Cautious
Ibrahim Ilyasu
abunauwas2012@gmail.com

“Perhaps a man’s character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln

Let me to start by congratulating Nigerians around the globe over this historic victory. I equally congratulate General Muhammadu Buhari for getting something he has worked so hard to achieve. After three consecutive and unsuccessful attempts, at last he has become the next president of Nigeria. By so doing, he has successfully proved the PDP wrong which arrogantly boasted to rule the country for the next fifty years no matter what. This myth has been finally laid to rest. Buhari’s victory is also the victory of Nigerians who have stood solidly behind him for over a decade until truth triumphs. I cannot thank them enough.

Indeed, General Buhari’s name will be written in gold in Nigeria’s political history as being the most committed, dedicated, resilient and by far the most popular politician who ascended power after 12 years of relentless struggle. If anything, this goes to show that the labor of our past heroes shall never be in vain, so to speak. Sir, younger generation of Nigerians thank you for every single thing you have done and are always proud to have grown in a society where they always have people like you to look up to.

General Buhari’s narrative resonates with Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) success story, the 16th President of the United States who led the country during the American Civil War. Lincoln, we are told, had tried many times unsuccessfully to become president but eventually became one because he walked “slowly” but never “walked back”. This also confirms that the house divided against itself can not last. Buhari has also confirmed that any people have the right to rise up and shake the existing government and form a new one that suits them in a better way. Indeed, this is the most valuable aspect of democracy.

While it is a period of jubilation for Nigerians, it is equally important time to retrospectively reflect on what transpired during Buhari’s electioneering campaign that culminated in his historic victory. It is no secret the campaign was windy, gusty, bitter, dirty and rancorous. The PDP saw him a potential threat that must be incapacitated by all means and for this reason they made him main subject of attack. In the process, PDP maliciously concocted, fabricated lies against Buhari’s person portraying and taunting him as a failed demagogue, ethnic/religious bigot and hard-nosed dictator who can dishonestly forge certificate in a desperate bid for power. Thankfully, his certificate has now been miraculously found. (Ridiculous!). Now that that General Buhari has won, some politicians from the ruling party started decamping like Hell to APC without any sense of shame, purpose or principle. Thus, GMB should remain on alert.

Fighting corruption has been one of the sources of Buhari’s cardinal strength, this is who he is and that is his character. Of course, eliminating corruption has been one of the three building blocks of his campaign. As he becomes the next president, let there be no discrimination in his fight against corruption because “unless you fight corruption” as he rightly said during his interview with CNN, “corruption will kill Nigeria”. I am emphasizing on this because I have noticed that he is surrounded by some people whose integrity is at best questionable and their record as far as corruption is concerned is by no means clean. Most of those people were, at one time in the past, part of the regime that had created the problem he has come to solve.

Well let’s face it, Buhari cannot single handedly eliminate corruption, in fact no one can do that. Realistically though, he can only do his best to reduce it to bare minimum. I heard that General will draw a line and move forward without checking financial recklessness of the past. I hope this is not true. As future of the next generation is stolen by corrupt people in power, it will only be right if he checks the past. This is what Nigerians are expecting from him. Nonetheless, this should not distract him from his primary task. Letting them go scot-free will be too much to bear for Nigerians.

Similarly, General Buhari should be careful of jesters and clowns who always almost surround every number one citizen and hold him hostage. These buffoons and jesters surround every president and keep him out of touch with the reality. If he allows these professional sycophants one day he will pay for the price. Certainly, these evil characters are always there haunting the corridor of powers, seeking whom to mislead and potentially destroy. Those people are professional for they have been in the system for too long. As a matter of urgency, Buhari needs to do something to counter any inescapable attempt to ring-fence him from the reality.

I congratulate Buhari for winning the election but at the same time I sympathize with him because he came at a time Nigeria is broke economically. Nigeria is a wealthy nation and undisputed booming economy in Africa but the economy is poor. Despite unprecedented booming in the oil industry, his predecessor has not saved for the rainy day. Nevertheless, if our experience of Buhari’s past governance is anything to go by, then I still have every reason to be optimistic, though. In the early 1980s, for instance, Nigeria entered the beginning of its painful recession, triggered by decline in the oil price at the global scale. Nigeria started learning it the hard way; foreign reserved decline from $10, billion to $1 billion. By 1983, foreign debt rose to 15 billion. Inflation was high as 50 percent. Even middle class started feeling the pinch.

Meanwhile, the oil rich Nigeria had become a beggar state. It owed foreign creditors more than $ 14 billion and unemployment was rampant to the extent that some civil servant worked without pay. That was too much for the military who soon realized that Nigerian politicians were not only incompetent but corrupt. In those circumstances, General Buhari came to save the nation. Thus, their military coup was perfectly justifiable.

When I heard that President Jonathan was conceding defeat prematurely I felt exhilarated and couldn’t help but interpret it as a withdrawal strategy from a loser who prophesied imminent defeat . While many amplify this ‘statesmanship’ I still see it as apologetic. What else do you expect from a drowning man deserted/betrayed by his own closest allies? Remember, the man was defeated in Villa. What a betrayal.

Now that Jonathan has been hailed as the “New Mandela” of Africa is everything now alright? I mean just because you say “sorry” or “congratulations” it makes everything alright? This question begs answer from anyone who sees this as the only way to recover the spirit of national reconciliation, harmony and love.
My question is what is odd about it. Why it is so strange, when did concession of defeat become symbol of heroism? You contested and lost, why it is so extraordinary in this case? This U-turn in political posturing represents yet another heinous desperation to perpetuate self-centered praise-singing. Or, is it wave of recants demonstrating political flexibility to forget the ugly past and move on quickly? Either way, this symbolizes embodiment of self-serving inferiority complex that Africans will never conduct peaceful election and Western world will never expect “high standard” election from us that is why Jonathan’s case becomes a bizarre.

Bearing in mind that the beneficiaries of corruption will fight back with all tools at their disposal, General Buhari should remain vigilant and be firm with them. It is no exaggeration that Buhari’s accession is an opportunity to create stability and recovery but If he fails he will leave not only Nigerians but also West Africans with little hope for the future.
It is my prayer that he will be guided by Allah the Almighty and His divine wisdom to lead this great nation for prosperity and success.

Ibrahim Ilyasu, PhD
www.ibrahimilyas.wordpress.com
https://ibrahimilyas.wordpress.com/youtube/