He should have known that it was a trap. Something kept pushing him to seal a date with history. He tried the first time. He failed. He tried the second time. He failed. He became desperate because time was not on his side. He tried the third time and failed. Then he broke down on national television and cried. He wanted it so badly – the presidency of Nigeria.
He was the only one that had struggled to become the president of Nigeria. But when the time came, he was not ready. All the others assumed that office by accident. Shehu Shagari was getting ready to go to the Senate in 1979 when he was told by the powers that be to run for president. Obasanjo was in prison, waiting to die, like his late Chief-of-Staff Musa Yar’Adua who was allegedly killed in incarceration by the Abacha junta. A stroke of luck, and perhaps, answered prayers, brought him out of prison and took him straight to State House as president of Nigeria. As for Shehu Yar’ Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, fortuitous circumstances again determined their fate as they ascended the throne as number one citizens of our country, succeeding each other in the process.
Luckily, the man who had contested the presidency three times previous, was lucky the fourth time of asking when a group of power hungry elites and politicians, gathered together to give him the extra support he needed to coast home with the big price. Mind you, they were not better than the people and government they replaced, but Nigerians rooted for them, based on the propaganda of the new comers as they desired to see the back of the former landlords.
Dripping with deceit and malice, for Nigeria and Nigerians, the new landlords embarked on a systematic repudiation of the promises they made to the people of Nigeria, inflicting more and more pains on our people. They destroyed the economy completely, became the chief promoters of corruption, and unleashed the greatest security challenges ever known in the annals of our country, through mind numbing ineptitude, crass nepotism, and unrivalled wickedness. Under their tutelage, Nigeria has continued to drift alarmingly and has now become a failed state as unknown gunmen, bandits, armed herdsmen, terrorists, and kidnappers roam the country by day and by night, killing, raping, maiming, burning, and abducting. Threats of secession have magnified across the land even as the president surrounds himself with his kinsmen, civilian, and military, as guardians of the Nigerian state.
But it has all been a trap for Muhammad Buhari, president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A grand conspiracy of Time, Nemesis, and Karma have launched a combined and spirited attack to expose him for his intellectual vacuity, patriotic opacity, and empty nationalism. He is neither a statesman nor a unifier of our peoples north, south, east, and west. His disdain for the rule of law and conscentious dissent, which are the hallmarks of our constitutional democracy were once legendary from his days as a military dictator. Sadly, that inglorious past has been brought to the present, as the spectre of full blown civilian dictatorship under President Muhammadu Buhari stares us all in the face.
If only he knew that time was playing a trick on him, goading him, cajoling him, to the presidency of our country in other to demystify him and destroy forever, the erroneous impression Nigerians had of him as a Messiah and liberator.
What will he be remembered for – our president – the last president of the once potentially great, but never realised Federal Republic of Nigeria, or the worst president ever, in the history of our country, or perhaps, the president under whose watch Nigerians grew in their hatred for one another as fear, uncertainty, and trepidation assail the citizens day by day?
How will President Muhammadu Buhari ever redeem himself from the cesspool of political morass and economic degradation he rulership has dragged our country into? How can we ever recover our country from the ubiquitous bandits, terrorists and kidnappers that cut short, the lives of our people whenever they want, and however they want, how can we ever give renewed confidence and hope about Nigeria to those who, feeling cheated, believe that separation is the only and right way to go?
Perhaps there is a way. President Muhammadu Buhari can address Nigerians. He can tell them that he has failed them so badly, and that he is sorry and needs the help of Nigerians to begin to rebuild our nation anew. That singular action will unleash a set of new dynamics that will see Nigerians from all works of life begin the process of coming together, healing together and working together to rebuild the Nigeria of all and for all. It will not be easy, but to do something will always be better than to do nothing.
A resort to full blown dictatorship will never work and will ultimately bring about the ruin of the dictator.
Ask the late Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of the former Zaire Kinshasa, Samuel Kenyon Doe of Liberia, or the butcher of the Central African Republic, Jean Bedel Bokassa.
May God bless our country and her citizens at this trying time.