Nigeria Mad Mullahs and Historical Revisionism

by Olusegun Fakoya

It is an interesting period in the history of Nigeria, the era of “negationism”. This is illegitimate historical revisionism with perpetrators seeking to distort history by simply denying, distorting or ignoring essential facts. They employ different techniques to achieve this goal. Sometimes it is senseless denial in the face of brazen facts. Just like the clean bill of health recently given to the regime of Abacha by the trio of Buhari, Babangida and Abubakar, the triangle of evil comprising the Mad Mullahs of Nigeria. Negationism is a very powerful tool in the hands of despots as it can sometimes be used to perpetuate their hold on power and to justify their existence in history. Unfortunately, it is a time-worn technique which has been thoroughly discredited. It is thus surprising that the trio could result to this cheap tactic in ganging up against the Nigerian people.

It is tempting to view the term “Mullah” as an adaptation of the corrupted Yoruba expression for Mallam, which is “Mola”. But this is not the case as there is no relationship between the two. The term Mullah is a reflection of the excessiveness and atrocities associated with fanatics in the likes of Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts, the Ayatollahs of Iran, and the Talibans of the recently deposed Neolithic regime of Afghanistan. These notorious characters of history share a very common trait. This trait is nothing but madness. It only takes insanity to explain the level of insecurity unleashed on mankind by these agents of retrogression. It is also significant to state that these characters have also given an unwarranted notoriety to a supposedly peaceful religion – Islam. However, we stand a terrible risk of unpardonable neglect in seeking for faraway Mullahs when under our very noses are our own uncultured and apparently mentally unstable men of power (or former men of power).

Men who collectively or individually have antagonised the secular fabrics of the federation (remember OIC debacle?). Men who have abandoned their pretence to national leadership on the platform of parochial ethnic sentiments (remember Buhari arguing the case of the violent Fulani cattle rearers in front of late Bola Ige at Ibadan?). Babangida’s claim to this title needs no further elaboration as in the words of Akintokunbo A Adejumo in the Nigeria Village Square (Hypocrisy in the Face of Truth – The Abacha Verdict) – Babangida is widely held to have institutionalised corruption in Nigeria. He totally decimated the middle class in Nigeria, and through him, a lot of his cronies made serious money stealing the country blind.” For Abdusalam, we are entering a period of history where details of his contemptuous and murderous regime are gradually coming out. His roles in the death of MKO Abiola would still be a cause for public discourse. Here is a man who cared little about history. Not to leave anyone in doubt about the determination and intent of the trio, a few days after exonerating Abacha, he boldly called for a total amnesia on June 12, so that “Nigeria can move forward”. Abdusalam Abubakar was the first of this evil triangle to actually signal the dawn of the Mad Mullahs, when shortly after vacating power, he decided to assume the now notorious look of the Mullahs, what with the over-flowing beard and all!

Psychosocial analysis of power emphasises the connection between power and disinhibition. Disinhibition is that selfish state of heightened sensitivity to one’s internal desires with little care for others interests and experiences. In short, it is acting on one’s desires in a social context without considering the resultant effects. It is a serious symptom, being present in most acute and chronic mental illnesses. Relating this to power, it is known that excessive power provokes disinhibition. This often happens when there are no curtailments for power. Currently, the lopsided power equation in Nigeria could have been the liquor intoxicating these power-corrupt individuals who decided to throw caution to the winds in their unwarranted defence of a discredited regime. Disinhibition was taken to another level in this much maligned attempt at sanctification of the evil regime of Sanni Abacha.

So much has been written, so much has been said about this latest stunt from the triangle of evil comprising of the three generals. It is not the purpose of this discourse to analyse the correctness or otherwise of the infamous statements accredited to the ex-generals. However, my concerns stems from trying to understand the rationale for this sudden new-found unity amongst erstwhile sworn enemies. The animosity between Buhari and Babangida is an open secret. We are all living witnesses to numerous attempts made at reconciling these sworn enemies. Then all of a sudden, they are now the best of team mates, in pursuit of a common cause, trying to justify the unjustifiable. Abubakar Abdusalam has for one, never hidden the fact that his brief reign was to complete an assignment in ensuring the continuity of the hegemony. That of handing over power to a suitable Yoruba man, one that would be complacent and malleable to Northern interest. His role in the scheme of things leaves no doubt. It is the sudden re-approachment between the other two that probably signifies the sudden turn of things and the dangers inherent in not challenging the unfettered Northern domination of Nigeria.

Collectively, these men of yester – years threw us back as a nation by several decades. In their submission to warped ethnic agenda and contempt for the wishes and desires of the masses, they assiduously worked for the retrogression and economic impoverishment of our dear nation. One burning question is why the sudden gang-up of the trio of the Mad Mullahs? Could it be that a threat to their common interest was perceived? Thinking along this line, answers are not far-fetched. Never in the history of Nigeria has there been so much agitation for control of resources and self-determination. Previous attempts at utilising arms in the struggle to achieve equitable political and economic solution to the Nigerian quagmire had resulted in unmitigated disaster on the part of the agitators. The civil war and the attempt by Isaac Jasper Boro are sharp reminders. However, what is happening in the Niger Delta is of a different dimension and has refused to be submerged. It is combustion of indeterminate consequences and rightly, should be frightening to the status quo. Another possible view point for the disgraceful performance by the discredited trio is that possibly, the handwriting is on the wall about the inevitable and impending demise of their much protected hegemony. No nation can continually go through cataclysms without eventually breaking down. Nigeria is a nation in cataclysm, it is bound to crumble – sooner or later. It could be a case of foresight on their part, hence the organised resistance and hence attempts at historical revisionism.

The folly of the criminal revisionism on the part of the Mad Mullahs has been dealt with extensively by various writers. And I am quite sure that the last has not been heard of this sanity on the part of our ex-Heads of State. In an ideal state, a suggestion would have been made on the need for a form of psychological and mental evaluation for our would-be leaders. But Nigeria is not an ideal state, hence this suggestion, though appropriate, is not tenable and of course, would not be accepted. The alarming thing is that there are too many mad men in positions of authority in our motherland. The consequences include the state of inertia in which the country is, with persistent retrogression and little forward movement. Reassessing the years spent in office by the trio in the light of their publicly declared stand on corruption is like an assessment of the years of the locust. The complete sham of the so-called War Against Indiscipline (WAI) by Buhari becomes evident. We were only taken for a ride. A sampler of this is the case of the fifty-three suitcases belonging to a powerful Emir that by-passed the strict rules existing then. Buhari has always been living a lie.

It is relevant that this discourse ends with a little look at the recent statement credited to the bearded Mullah – Abdusalam Abubakar. To him, June 12 remains like an ogbanje who refused to desist from his earthly parents. Having completed the assigned task of killing Abiola in the hope of consigning June 12 to history, it remains a wonder to him that Nigerians refused to forget. And because political madness entails a high degree of disinhibition, Abubakar decided to shoot filth from both sides of his mouth. He even went a step further than the other two mad Mullahs! Nigeria, with her chequered history is now in the throes of the conspiracy of the Mad Mullahs.

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