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Buhari, Aisha and the Symphony of a Confusing Orchestra

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By Jude Ndukwe

Just like a majority of Nigerians who have come to see the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari for what it is, a weak government of ineptitude coated with stark incompetence and lacking in any leadership substance as a result of which Nigeria is now the worst of many backwardness, wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, confirmed last week that only two people were holding the Buhari government down and stopping it from performing as expected.

This is not new to Nigerians only that it is being given concrete credence by the beautiful First Lady’s outburst which must have come from frustrations owing to the incontrovertibly poor performance of her husband in office contrary to the expectations of those who believed in and voted for him at the last presidential election.

Nigerians have always known that there is a powerful cabal holding the presidency down and forming a cog in its wheel of progress, that is, if there was any will in the wheel at all. The only thing Nigerians did not know until Aisha Buhari made the disclosure last week was that they were only two individuals so powerful they hold not only the president down, they hold the entire presidency down and hold the entire nation to ransom. Although Aisha did not mention the names of these individuals but whoever they are, they must have been so powerful that Nigerians were thinking that those that make up the retrogressive cabal were in their numbers. And that is because they have inflicted serious damage not only to the image of President Muhammadu Buhari whose ratings before he became president were very impressive but also to the lofty credentials APC paraded prior to the 2015 elections but which have obviously dissipated into thin air now.

While the presidency has always insisted that there was no cabal in its fold, Nigerians have always known that there was one. Isn’t this why President Muhammadu Buhari had on several occasions claimed ignorance of weighty occurrences around the presidency even when such occurrences had a stamp of the presidency on them?

Aisha had at a time said that the president does not know 45 out of every 50 of his appointees. In other words, others make the decision for him without any input from him. She had claimed that her husband’s government had been hijacked as “Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position”.

When the pension fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina was recalled and promoted by presidency officials despite being on the wanted list of security agencies, there were fierce exchanges between the presidency and the civil service over who was responsible for the controversial recall and promotion. Yet, before our very eyes, when it became obvious that the bubble of Maina and his collaborators in high places had busted, he was still given a leeway to escape. The alarming thing was that some top government officials gave the impression that the president was not aware all in a bid to shield him from the mess which the saga had become.

Also, on the Benue matter, after repeated and unending attacks on the people of Benue, President Buhari had ordered the Inspector-General of Police to resume in Benue with a view to curbing the rising wave of herdsmen attacks on the people. But few weeks later, the president lamented that he was not aware that the IG did not obey his orders.

If the president were truly in charge, how could an IG of police had refused, neglected and or failed to carry out his orders as Commander-in-Chief until it became public knowledge? Does that not imply that there are people in the presidency, as Aisha publicly confirmed, who have taken charge of the government and away from President Buhari so that recalcitrant staff and aides can afford to routinely disobey him on matters of grave concern to the nation without consequences?

Does anyone still remember Babachir Lawal’s arrogant and infamous “Who is the presidency” question?

Like Aisha said on that occasion, it is quite shameful that those who are supposed to stand up for Nigeria at a time of its unimaginable obscurity caused by a rather rudderless government, those who are supposed to assist the president in saving the ship of state and rescuing it from further sinking, are the same men who go about Aso Rock, in the words of Mrs Buhari, licking the shoes of these men!

Mrs Buhari seems to have had enough. She could no longer stomach the ineffectiveness of her husband’s government and the pitiable state of the nation under him. Surely, when she was out there during the campaigns, in the trenches with her husband, doing all she could to convince the populace that her husband deserved to be president, or rather, that her husband was the best man for the job, tough enough to lead the battle against insurgents in the north, fight corruption to a standstill, and yet remain compassionate to the plight of the people, she never envisaged that her husband would become this effeminate, easily overwhelmed by the nature of the job and overpowered by overzealous aides.

Today, the nation suffers for it, and the woman cannot stand it. All attempts to confine this delectable woman to the “kitchen, the living room and the other room” has so far failed to yield its desired results as she has continued to wax strong in the defence of her husband against those who are holding him hostage.

But then time has run out on him. The damage is irredeemable. Buhari has lost enormous goodwill since he came to power. If he was the kind of leader he sold himself to be in 2015, no other candidate would have had any chance against him in 2019. But as it is today, Buhari’s support base has depleted badly. Those who worked for him in 2019 have since realized that they were sold a beautifully packaged product whose content lacked any substance or value for its users. One by one, steadily and surely, they are all leaving him and his party. Those who are left in the party are lamenting, one can no longer call them “Buharists” as it used to be. Those who are honest enough in his party are telling him the bitter truth. His children, particularly, the daughters, no longer defend their dad as they used to do. The wife has continued to sing but her voice does not seem to be in symphony with the orchestra. The choirmaster is no longer in charge of his choir. The symphony of the orchestra is confusing, the group has lost melody, and the service will soon come to an unceremonious end!

With Nigeria becoming the poverty capital of the world under Buhari, the third most terrorised nation under a man who boasted that he would fight insurgency from the front, and our soldiers who have lamented poor welfare and equipment killed at will by these same insurgents, corruption worsening under him according to Transparency International, over 7 million Nigerians becoming unemployed in just 21 months between January 2016 and September 2017 and still counting, among many other gory tales of the Buhari presidency, it is obvious that things have fallen apart in Buhari’s government and the centre can no longer hold.

A presidency that cannot manage its presidency cannot manage Nigeria! There is hunger in the land; it is so palpable that the hand can feel it. No matter how the choirmaster tries to organize his orchestra now, the symphony has gone coarse, and irrecoverably so!

It is on this note that patriotic citizens must commend the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, for taking the bull by the horn and speaking out when men who are supposed to do so are busy lining up to lick the shoes of some two retrogressive elements holding the nation to ransom.

Will Aisha Buhari likely have partners from their circle in this mission of extricating Nigeria from the shackles of strong men? Only time will tell. For now, history will surely be fair to her!

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COLUMNISTS

Sunday Igboho: Free Nnamdi Kanu Now, Group Tells FG

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The Movement for the Advancement of National Transformation, MANTRA, has called on the federal government to set Mazi Nnamdi Kanu free as a major step towards addressing the agitations in the southeast.

The group made the call as a fallout of the release of Mr Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba nation activist, by the Beninese government.

Recall the DSS reported that Sunday Igboho and his lieutenants engaged officers of the secret police in a fierce gun battle on July 1, 2021 at his residence in Soka, Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State after which he was arrested in Benin Republic while attempting to flee to Germany and had since remained in detention until Monday when he was set free.

In a statement signed by the Convener of MANTRA, Chief Jude Ndukwe and made available to the media on Wednesday in Abuja, the group described the release of Sunday Igboho as a welcome development and an indication that the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency is not that of vendetta or vindictiveness and is not interested in persecuting its citizens.

“It is based on this that we urge President Tinubu to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the DSS and free him to return home to his loved ones.

“Anything short of this will strengthen the suspicion of Nigerians that this is a sectional government with a sectional agenda.

“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. We believe very strongly that there was no way Sunday Igboho would have been released without any intervention from the Nigerian government. We hereby request strongly that the same principles applied to Mr Sunday Igboho be applied to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose release will no doubt assuage the frayed nerves of youths of the southeast and help restore peace and security in the region.

“May we remind President Bola Tinubu that he shares a similar sociopolitical trajectory with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as an agitator.

“As a one-time activist, agitator and a leader of NADECO that was once proscribed by the federal government, Tinubu went on exile with several other NADECO members and were not only persecuted but also brutally hounded by the State over trumped up charges.

“Today, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is being made to unjustly pass through the same horrendous process the only difference being that Tinubu and his NADECO comrades passed through that tortuous road under a military regime while Kanu is experiencing his not just under a civilian administration but under an administration led by a veteran of agitation and activism.

“No other person in government today understands the experiences of Nnamdi Kanu better than the president himself who has passed through that route before. He knows better and we believe that he will do the right thing.

“We therefore reiterate our urgent call for Nnamdi Kanu to be released now,” the statement concluded.

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COLUMNISTS

Shedding Light on Unspoken Hardships: The Resilience Amidst Hostility

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In the vibrant city of Lagos, Olaleye Ademola Surajudeen leads a seemingly ordinary life, but beneath his warm smile and compassionate nature lies a hidden truth. He grapples with the fear of persecution due to his sexual orientation in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalized.

Ademola’s life takes an unexpected turn when he crosses paths with Rafael, a supportive friend who encourages him to embrace his authentic self. With Rafael’s unwavering support, Ademola summons the courage to come out to his family and close friends.

However, this courageous decision comes at a cost. Ademola faces discrimination and prejudice from some members of his community, while others stand by his side.

As Ademola navigates the turbulent waters of being open about his identity, the story zooms out to explore the broader issue of LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in Nigeria. It underscores the importance of empathy and understanding in a society where acceptance remains an uphill battle.

The ordeals of fear and understanding his rejections, embodies bravery and hope as Ademola, alongside those who support him, confronts their own biases and learns to celebrate diversity and love in all its forms.

Ademola coming out as gay in Nigeria, a country where same-sex relationships can lead to 14 years of imprisonment, exposes him to significant risks. News of his revelation spreads throughout his community, yielding a mixed bag of reactions.

While Rafael and a handful of close friends steadfastly support him, others distance themselves, and some openly express disapproval. Ademola grapples with the stark realities of stigmatization and discrimination that accompany his newfound honesty.

One fateful evening, Ademola faces a confrontation with a group of hostile individuals who subject him to verbal abuse and threats. Within a memoir of his escapade was when he narrowly escaped police raids during a gay community marriage in Delta state, the encounter leaves him deeply shaken and fearful for his safety.

However, despite the daunting challenges and the looming shadow of Nigeria’s severe laws, Ademola stands unwavering in his commitment to live authentically.

As Ademola journey unfolds, he forges unexpected alliances with dedicated activists tirelessly working to challenge the discriminatory laws.

Nevertheless, the path to change remains laden with obstacles. Some political leaders and conservative religious groups staunchly oppose any reforms. Ademola faces renewed threats and hostility, but he remains steadfast, recognizing that his journey has transcended personal struggle and has become a beacon of hope for many. As the story concludes, Nigeria’s legal landscape for LGBTQ+ individuals remains challenging.

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COLUMNISTS

NIGER: A WORD OF CAUTION TO THE DOGS OF WAR!

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By Femi Fani-Kayode

I am on record as saying that if Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali or ANY OTHER country, attacks Nigeria, violates our territorial integrity or attempts to take one inch of our nation we must & will fight them to the last man.

I have also said that Nigeria’s defence budget is FAR higher than all the other 14 countries in West Africa PUT TOGETHER & that there is no nation in our sub-region that can defeat us in a military conflict despite our many challenges.

I stand by these words.

I am however constrained to add the following as a word of caution to those who seek to “cry havoc & unleash the dogs of war” & as a piece of unsolicited advice to the advocates of military invasion.

It would be imprudent & unwise for Nigeria to attempt to clean up France’s mess in Niger Republic.

The French are the most rappacious, greedy, vicious, pervasive, destructive & unrelenting neo-colonial foreign power on the African continent.

They have done nothing for Africa other than pillage, rape, undermine, plunder & take advantage of her.

To deploy our military, go to war & allow Nigerian blood to be spilled just to help her to continue to gang rape the Nigeriens & subject them to slavery would be unjust, wicked, short-sighted, stupid & counter-productive.

Worse still it would have implications for the stability of our nation, our entire sub-region & our increasingly fruitful relationship with President Putin & the Russian Federation who are slowly emerging as Africa’s best friend &, together with the Chinese, appear to be the only foreign power that truly seeks to assist & support the growth & development of African countries.

To those who believe that Nigeria ought to continue to be the poodle, local enforcer & hatchet man of the French, the Europeans, the British & the Americans in our sub-region, I ask the following: who do they think is behind Boko Haram & ISWAP and why did these so-called Western allies refuse to sell us arms to fight those two terrorist organisations until Trump came along? And of course since Trump left we have been given nothing.

Not one of them truly cares for Nigeria in the way the Chinese or Russians do & to them we are nothing but a source of mineral resources and a local sheriff.

They want us to go & fight a war against our African brothers just to further and protect their own economic & regional interests and they want us to throw the West African sub region into a theater for a horrific, brutal & never-ending proxy war between them & Russia which would result in turning the whole of the West & North African sub region into a cauldron of fire.

Worst still they want Northern Nigeria particularly & the entire African Sahel region & all the countries in it to be burnt to ashes & go the way of Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya & Afghanistan whilst they sell their arms, test their weapons, pillage our resources, turn our people into homeless destitutes & penniless refugees, destroy our collective future & serve our flesh & blood, on a dark satanic alter to the sinister forces & the blood-lustng vultures & demons that they work for & serve.

We must never allow this to happen & if the truth be told the biggest mistake that ECOWAS made in the first place was to threaten Niger with military action if the coupists refused to step down & restore President Bazoum to power.

I say this because once a threat is issued & it is not followed up with action you look weak, ineffectual & pathetic.

That is the quandry we are now in & the wisest thing to do at this point is to step back from the brink and rhetoric of war and engage in diplomacy.

Deploying our troops into our neigbours country in an attempt to effect regime-change on behalf of a bunch of butt-f*cking, cunt-struck, power-obsessed feral psychopaths like the French whose primary dream and fantasy has always been the dismemberment, destabilisation and destruction of Nigeria is asinine and unacceptable.

(CONTINUED👇👇👇)

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