Dateline 2011: The Buhari/Ribadu 'Deadly' Combination

Majority of Nigerians, at home and abroad, are agreed that our motherland is terribly ‘sick’! Yes, she is suffering from what one could call ‘statehood tumor’, an ailing condition that is similar to the prostrate cancer that has killed many rich men and women. And to combat the malady and save her from imminent death she has been taken to the emergency ward of a teaching hospital where some notable ‘doctors’ are lining up to perform life-saving surgical operation on her. Now the situation is critical and our ‘Mama-Nigeria’ must be ‘healed’ so that we may continue the hard tasking journey of no return!

Among the ‘doctors’ that were jostling to ‘knife’ her back to life are some former military dictators and pseudo-democrats who could be described aptly as quack doctors and amateur doctors. Let us quickly go through their profiles and see who is better suited to perform the surgical operation on our ‘mother’ Nigeria.

We had a certain retired military General called Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB). ‘Dr’ IBB (just before the Ciroma-led northern consensus candidate thing humbled him out of the race) was claiming to be the best doctor qualified to do the operation because of experience having ‘treated’ her before for eight years and abandoned her in a comatose state before running away to Minna! He had left her in the care of the late ‘Dr’ Sani Abacha, a fellow General who while we were fast asleep tried unsuccessfully to ‘suffocate’ her through strangulation. Mother Nigeria survived the onslaught from ‘Khalifa’, a quack doctor who did not even study medicine before he ‘rigged’ his way to become a ‘doctor’. Never mind the Ernest Shonekan ING aberration!

‘Dr’ IBB was the most horrible of all the ‘doctors’ seeking desperately to handle our mother’s life-saving operation for obvious reasons. He had sought to ‘kill’ her during his years in charge of the ‘consulting clinic’ she was first taken where her ailment was wrongly diagnosed. A text message I received from a good friend from South Africa recently read thus: “IBB was the head of state of Nigeria when our teachers were telling us that we were the leaders of tomorrow. Then 25 years later, IBB is contesting for another President. Should I say that our teachers lied to us or tomorrow has not yet come? There will be no tomorrow for Nigeria if IBB becomes another Presidant”. Need I say more on this abominable character?

Dr Bukola Saraki, the current Governor of Kwara State, (another victim of the ‘consensus’ project) should ordinarily have been the most suitable as trained medical doctor to carry out the much-awaited operation but there are many uncleared baggages trailing him, one of which happens to be his stewardship at the defunct Societe Generale Bank. The bank went under when his family were calling the shots and when he was there as a Director. The bank collapsed ‘trapping’ billions of Naira belonging to some unfortunate Nigerians. Up until now nothing has been said about the lost deposits and the reason(s) behind the crashing of the bank. So Dr Saraki, were he to have been chosen by the Ciroma consensus group, would have had a lot of explanations to do if only to convince us that when we put our mother’s medical challenges in his care he would not complicate matters or aid her untimely demise.

We have ‘Dr’ Atiku Abubakar, the great politician from Adamawa State who has floored IBB, Gusau and Gov. Saraki in the race for a consensus northern PDP candidate, who is almost desperate to be the one to ‘heal’ our dear mother. Alhaji Atiku is a former Vice President of Nigeria during the Olusegun Obasanjo imperial presidency. During the last term of their administration OBJ and his Vice were engaged in a brutal show of strenght because the vindictive Obasanjo wanted to lord it over the unwilling Abubakar. Reputed as an organized politician, an ultimate strategist Atiku comes across as one of the brightest politicians in Nigeria even though there are issues of corruption dogging his immediate past. Shrewd, resourceful and rigorous in the political game the Turakin Adamawa may upset the incumbency factor in the PDP primaries. No doubt Atiku radiates a great deal of intellectual confidence and charismatic charm which many people ignore at their political peril.

We have got the present ‘Director’ of the hospital where ‘Mama’ is resting in the person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan. Though there is a prefix of ‘Dr’ to his name GEJ is not a medical doctor but a zoologist, that is, someone who should be teaching how animals in the zoo behave or doing research into the zoo culture in the world. But here he is pontificating his love for our mother and claiming that he has all it takes to bring her back to life. Well, I think the man from Bayelsa should be given the benefit of doubt.

Before Jonathan took over the hospital there was his boss ‘Dr’ Umaru Yar’Adua who ‘treated’ her for two years plus giving her shock-absolving medication that slowed her recovery down and sent us to sleep. As he was on it Allah called him home; in fact it was a classic case of a ‘doctor’ failing to heal himself! The late ‘Dr’ from Katsina was struck by Churg Strauss Syndrome which later metamorphosed officially to “acute pericarditis”. May his gentle soul rest in peace! He did his best to ‘save’ our mother from her debilitating health condition but failed to deliver her.

But before ‘Dr Umoru’ we had another ‘Dr Baba’ who was spirited from prison to save his constituency, the military, from an embarrassment that arose from the annullment of the June 12 presidential election won ‘fair and square’ by the late business mogul Bashorun MKO Abiola. As ‘Dr’ Obasanjo began performing the operation he soon forgot that there was a difference between being a farmer and being a doctor. Instead of doing what he was sent to do OBJ turned round and ‘raped’ our indisposed mother silly and invited his friends and other criminals to join him in the raping spree! In the end mother was left in a paralytic state having been ‘gang-raped’ by the OBJ raping machine.

Now we have a certain ‘Dr’ Muhammadu Buhari, a retired decent General, who had commanded the national house before for close to three years before Babangida betrayed him and perfidiously organized a coup d’etat that toppled the lanky man and his strong deputy the late Tunde Idiagbon. ‘Dr’ Buhari had sought twice to be given the opportunity to rescue the mother-Nigeria from her malaise but he was cheated out. His opponents in the ruling party were afraid that if he was handed over the instruments to perform the operation he would not only succeed where others had failed but will most likely seek to probe why others before him had failed to apply the right medication.

Another ‘Doctor’ angling for an opportunity to heal our dying mother is a young man who was a former policeman. ‘Dr’ Nuhu Ribadu used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to instill some fiscal discipline on rogue politicians who were experts in high-wire corruption that stinks to high heavens during the Obasanjo era and even now. Many Nigerians are convinced this ‘mafian’ (in the positive sense) will rescue the motherland as he had proven in the past to be both intrepid and patriotic.

Though I like President Jonathan as a person I dislike the political party he belongs. I am his fan but detest the PDP because the party has done a lot of damage to the Nigerian people’s psyche. Since 1999 this behemoth (that has in its ranks criminals, thieves, election riggers, murderers, ritualists and fraudsters) has done incalculable damage to the overall health of mother Nigeria. So President Goodluck Jonathan must know that he is still an ‘establishment man’ with many competing interests. Forces opposed to the full recovery of our mother are pulling GEJ in different directions — all never in the best interest of mother Nigeria! So his defeat in the polls of next year under the PDP banner will not surprise me unless the election like many before it proves to be less free and fair and credible than Prof. Jeg

a and the GEJ camp are presently assuring us.

That brings me to the opposition chances come next year. What should be done by the disorganized opposition forces to wrest power at the centre from the ‘jaws’ of the PDP? I am persuaded to believe that a united opposition fielding a credible candidate could beat the PDP in the polls. And what comes to mind against this background is the ‘deadly’ combination of Gen. Buhari and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. If the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) can merge and bury their egos and differences presenting the formidable duo of Ribadu and Buhari there is no way the PDP can win next year’s election unless of course the ‘Iwu magic’ is introduced by Prof Jega to favour the ruling party.

Though one is not unaware of the fact that Gen. Buhari and Mallam Ribadu are both moslems from the northern part of the country. But the truth remains that majority of suffering Nigerians do not give a damn where the President comes from or his religion as far as the dreadful situation in the land changes for the better. I say so convinced because we had tried it out in 1993 during the June 12 presidential poll. The defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) had then paired two distinguished moslems, the late Bashorun Abiola and Amb. Baba Gana Kingibe. And the duo trounced the NRC candidate Alhaji Bashir Tofa and his running mate, the Igboman Sylvester Ugoh. Abiola won all over Nigeria from the east to the west, south to north!

If not the dictatorial masterstroke from Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who in a fit of dictatorial madness annulled the outcome of the election by now Nigeria should have taken her rightful place in the comity of nations. Yesterday this same bloody tyrant was insulting our collective democratic intelligence by mounting a come-back bid! But Mallam Adamu Ciroma and his northern ‘wise men’ saw through the Babangida muddle and decided to dump the national political liability. We would have dealt with Babangida and sent him to his grave if only to do justice to the memories of thousands of Nigerians killed (including the June 12 winner himself) during the IBB June 12 debacle.

The point one is making here patriotically is that the opposition should put its house in order for the benefit of approaching the 2011 general elections on a wider platform. The integrity of Gen. Buhari and Mallam Ribadu is beyond reproach. If Gen. Buhari could ‘crate’ Umaru Dikko from London where he was hiding to come home to answer to charges of grand corruption then the lanky Daura man has got the guts requirred to pull Nigeria from the brink. Fielding the incorruptible man with Ribadu as his Vice will definitely do the magic of trouncing the ruling party in the poll. The ‘deadly’ combination will reposition Nigeria and tame corruption.

Though no living Nigerian politician can boast of any veritable template of righteousness we still have a few who see politics and power as vehicles for the empowerment of the people. Our collective political depravity ought to be frontally challenged in the 2011 general elections. The Nigerian salvation ought to be in the hands of the opposition with better manifesto and better programmes aimed at defeating the anti-progressive forces hell-bent on keeping her in her prostrate state. We must be concerned about creating a synergy that is unbeatable.

The time to start organizing and strategising is now. So let’s get cracking!

Written by
SOC Okenwa
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