Buhari’s Apology Not Accepted

Northern Nigeria Education

It is human to err. No mortal man, born of a woman can claim to be without blemish. Anybody who lays claim to being righteous is the biggest jester you can find anywhere on this planet earth. Therefore, when people err and beg for forgiveness; it’s to be expected that they be given a second chance. But when a man makes the same mistakes over and over again and begs to be forgiven then the joke is no longer on the man but he that forgives and forgets, especially when the atrocities of that fellow are outrageous.

President Muhammadu Buhari, ranks as one of the two most fortunate Nigerians from whom this nation has invested so much on and from whom much more is expected. The nation has taken care of virtually all his needs in all his working lives. He was a minister of this nation, at a time when many of those who are reading this had not been born. Served as military governor and headed various military formations. And as he lives after the end of his second term on May 29, 2023, he remains a minister after over 40 years.

The only other Nigerian who has been as fortunate is Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who like Buhari, enjoys the rare privilege of having served this nation twice as military heads of state and president for two terms of eight years each.

With all the sins you may want to blame Obasanjo for, one of them will never be that he slept on his duty or prevaricated on issues of national importance as president. Some of those decisions could have been better handled, but that he took them decisively when he did simply sent the right message to others not to dare to venture.

However, under President Buhari crimes are treated differently depending on what part of the country, they are committed. Under Buhari corruption cases are treated differently, depending on who has committed that infraction. Hence, the famous assertion by the inimitable Senator Shehu Sani, that Buhari uses deodorants to fight corruption when his cronies are involved but uses insecticides when those who are not in his camp are the culprits.

Last week, President Buhari called for forgiveness by Nigerians for whatever his shortcomings may have been while in office. Buhari was speaking penultimate Friday to mark the end of Ramadan. The outgoing President of Nigeria made this remark, which ordinarily should have been commendable, but perhaps because of the total letdown that his administration has been, he has continued to receive a lot of flak than kudos.

The President stated that he decided to retire to Daura, which was far away from Abuja in order to get some respite, after years of work, adding; “I can’t wait to go home to Daura. If they make any noise to disturb me in Daura, I will leave for the Niger Republic. I deliberately arranged to be as far away as possible. I got what I wanted and will quietly retire to my home town.”

From the comments of the President, it is obvious that the reason he so fervently pursued his interventions in Niger Republic is because he ultimately sees it as an alternative and is prepared to relocate there when the criticisms begin to come. It is obvious that these criticisms will come because the President having sowed the seed of discord, disunity and division in the country he would finally have to settle in Niger. But my question for the President is; for those of who do not have alternative countries to run to, what will be our fate?

If you are still wondering about Buhari’s obsession for Niger and his Big Brother’s role in the West African country then you need wonder no more. This is it.

Some time in March, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari, obviously aware of criticism over his interest in the West African country took his time to explain why he cannot afford to allow Niger Republic to be without interventions from Nigeria.

According to President Buhari, his administration has shown so much interest in Niger because it has more than 1,400 kilometres of border with Nigeria, making it a necessity for Nigeria to pay serious attention to any development within the country, especially its stability.

He was speaking while receiving former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, as the Head of Mission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Niger Republic Election, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Nigeria can only be genuinely interested in the stability of its neighbours if the country is stable.

How genuine is the president, when it’s common knowledge that it is Nigeria that has continued to pose a threat to the stability of these African countries that border her? Boko Haram and its splinter group, ISWAP had their origin in Nigeria but have made violent incursions into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, causing instability not just along the borders but deep into the countries.

Recall how the late President Idriss Déby of Chad had chided the Nigerian government for its lack of commitment to the fight against Boko Haram. Deby was speaking after an operation, which took place in the Goje-Chadian area of Sambisa forest, a stronghold of Boko Haram, led to the capture of an arms store believed to be the largest owned by the insurgents. That offensive happened five years after the Chadian president accused Nigerian troops of not coming forth in the war against Boko Haram.

He told the New York Times in 2015 that the Nigerian military was defaulting in the war, forcing Chadian soldiers to operate within Nigerian territory. Déby had lamented that his soldiers were stuck in Damasak, a town in Borno state, while waiting for Nigerian troops to take over the onslaught against the insurgents in the area.

“We’re wasting time, for the benefit of Boko Haram. We can’t go any further in Nigeria. We’re not an army of occupation,” he was quoted to have said.

Place the frustration of the late Deby side-by-side the federal government’s questionable de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration (DRR) programme right in the thick of the battle to so-called repentant insurgents, then you will understand why insecurity has remained intractable under the Buhari administration.

A president who is willing to offer this window to a heartless group that have killed in thousands and made many fatherless, motherless, and yet does not deem it fit to offer such opportunities to other non-state actors in other parts of the country, certainly cannot be interested in promoting unity, justice and equity across the country.

How is it that President Buhari can go home and sleep knowing that he has incarcerated Sunday Adeyemo (aka Igboho), in Benin and continued to refuse Nnamdi Kanu court-granted bails while at the same time placating killer-herders and bandits? Is it a coincidence that no killer-herder or bandit is in court let alone in jail?

Now that Buhari has succeeded in balkanising the nation along ethnic, religious and clannish lines, how does he now expect to have peace after leaving office? How can a president who sent tanks and troops to raid the palace of Kanu’s father in the east: sent similar squads to kill innocent people while raiding Igboho’s residence in the west only to be encouraging negotiators to offer DRR programme to bandits and insurgents in the north ask to be forgiven?

How can the president hope to have peace despite the lies by his government that appointments have been based on merit when his clear bias in appointments to favour certain parts of the country is clear even for the blind to see? This is delusional.

We wish him a peaceful retirement but we cannot forget how he prodigiously wasted the opportunities before him to etch his name in gold in the folklore of this nation.

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