As it me alone or it is visible to all the discernible? The ruling party, PDP, is clearly desperate. Very desperate. Power is slowly slipping away. Naturally there is panic. It is using all means possible to avert this predictable end. The police and the DSS appear to be willing tools. I am worried that the Nigeria Army too, is behaving like the militia arm of the ruling party. Two short days ago, its Director of Public Relations, a one star General, Olajide Laleye, addressed a press conference to expressly make a mountain out of a molehill. He averred that General Muhammadu Buhari, the foremost challenger to the presidential throne currently occupied by Goodluck Jonathan, was economical with the truth by claiming to have his certificate with the military authorities. According to him, not such a thing could be found in Army records.
I am bewildered. Since when did the Army start to willingly give information to the press? On Tuesday? Ok, I would want the Army for instance, to make public how much is being spent on the counter insurgency for instance. I would want the Army to make public who authorized the allocation of plots meant for Barracks to certain Generals, serving and retired.
By getting involved in the politics of Buhari’s lack of certificate, the Nigeria Army has confirmed suspicion that it, too, is in dangerous alliance with the ruling party. The press conference two days ago expressly to dispel the claim by Buhari is below the belt for a professional institution like the army.
There has been, lately, a lot of hullabaloo about the certificate or lack of thereof, of one man- Buhari. Since the “scandal” broke, there has been no “let off”. It has been bedlam. Finally they (Buhari’s enemies) have “got’ him. They were jumping for joy. “Boys” like FFK who, at the site of ‘amala’ will call a spade, wheelborrow, have gotten a full time job. Buhari has been ‘slippery’. Getting him was tough. All the labels stuck on him had been as effective as asking Femi Fani-Kayode to remain loyal to a cause. But the shout of joy would appear now is stuck in their throats. Buhari himself burst their bubble yesterday. He asked his Alma Mata to make public his WASC result. It’s out now. I doubt though if it will rest the hoopla. Until the fading order is sent packing, Buhari should be prepared for more personal attacks. I won’t altogether be surprised if tomorrow, the PDP says Buhari doesn’t have a marriage certificate or that he is from China!
Among the medals uncharitably hung on the neck of the gangling General was “fundamentalist”, “bigot’, “iron-fisted” ruler,” dictator’ etc. Before his foray into the political grazing field, his peers in the military when he was Commander-in-chief labeled him “rigid”. He probably attracted more of these labels, the moment he threw his hat into the political ring 13 years ago. Owners of the game see him as an “intruder” in politics. They didn’t foresee him swimming in the murky waters of politics.
In all the labeling, none described him as ‘corrupt’ or a thief. This is incredible in a nation where public service is seen as an easy passage to Eldorado. A nation steeped in warped values in which notorious crooks are celebrated and given chieftaincy titles. A nation in which the upright are denigrated and tagged “cursed” for not stealing the common patrimony.
First to probably fire the proverbial salvo was the ruling party’s national scribe, a certain Professor who bears the name, Wale Oladipo. He, it was who described Buhari a “semi illiterate” jackboot. It was a veiled reference to the ‘discovery’ of the millennium-“Saint” Buhari, after all, has a chink in his overtly fortified armour.
What is Buhari’s armour? An incorruptible public record of service. An unblemished personal morality. A cast iron reputation of accountability. These are the virtues lacking in Buhari’s traducers. And they are bountiful. It is not an accident that his harshest critics are among the tribe of thieving elite. Men and women entrusted with the public till and abused it. Who at one time. Countless inquisition into his public record of service returned a not guilty verdict. This, I dare say, makes them uncomfortable and secondly, green with envy.
His gangling frame too, is unsettling. Say what you may, Buhari engenders mixed emotions. Ordinary folks see him as an upright. Thieving elite sees him as too “puritanical”, so they demonize him. The meticulously observant, see him as very naïve. His ‘assumption’ that his certificate was in Army record, is an example. He demonstrated this naiveté some 31 years ago in 1984.Asked about press freedom, he swiveled in his chair as C-in-C and affirmed that “I will definitely temper with that”
Linguists like Dr MK Hassan, a lawyer of excellent pedigree, matched Oladipo ‘grammar’ for ‘grammar’. He said no such word, as “semi-illiterate” exists in English. According to him, the right expression would be “semi-literate”.By describing Buhari so “illiterately’, Professor Oladipo came across as “semi-literate, Dr Hassan insists.
A parody of the hit song ‘’Pull over, show me your particulars’’ by KCee which featured Wizkid, was cobbled together and named “Buhari Pull over, show me your certificate’. It made the rounds in social media. It was an instant hit in the ‘bad taste genre’
Since then, a cacophonous “Buhari-show-me-your-certificate” campaign was mounted. An educated guess may help explain the brouhaha about Buhari’s certificate. This is even more so considering the man has ran for the same office a record three times. The campaign, to me, was designed by a desperate sinking order. It reminds me of 1993 election. Abiola was coasting to victory and suddenly a chink was found in his armour-his bags of money. Achilles had his heel. Goliath had his forehead. And Buhari? Certificate? Nope, he is more than qualified to run even without the certificate.