Who wants Buhari dead? This is the billion-naira question. The very idea is morbid. I dread to ponder. Muhammadu Buhari killed by bomb blast? Macabre. But for the sheer streak of providence, the story will have been precisely so. This idea gives me goose pimples alright. It makes my skin crawl with soldier ants.
We all should be afraid. We should be very afraid. We are in dark era of waste of our finest and bravest.
I am numbed. My fingers were lethargic as I punched the keyboard of my computer penning this piece. Yesterday, twin blasts rocked the city of Kaduna, the political capital of the old northern region. One of the blasts narrowly missed Buhari. The first that went off barely two hours earlier similarly missed its purported target, the venerated Islamic cleric, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.
Eyewitness accounts said the bomb-laden car single-mindedly targeted the vehicle conveying the gangling APC chieftain to Daura, his ancestral home from Kaduna. It hit target but the bulletproof construction of the SUV miraculously saved the day. It was badly damaged. Cheeringly, the man escaped unscathed.
Had the accident been fatal, the number one suspect will be the federal government led by Goodluck Jonathan. The talk of evil men called Boko Haram as the ready bad guy is cheap. It has been a bogeyman routinely deployed to perpetrate evil by evil men. If the blast had claimed Buhari, it would have been clearly seen as assassination engineered by hawks in the current regime. No more, no less.
The question again. Who wants Buhari dead? I hazard an answer. There are too many suspects. Top on the list would be hawkish elements in the federal government led by Jonathan. The president may be blissfully unaware of the antics of 5th columnists in his government. I won’t, altogether, be surprised.
As Head of State, 5th columnists that conducted certain unauthorized operations undermined Buhari’s iron fisted rule.
He was roundly blamed. Years later, it emerged who was actually responsible for the illegal operations.
Our current president is a nice dude hurled into the saddle of bad guys. Anybody with the vaguest idea of running a mega complex country like Nigeria knows being president is not for Nice Guys. A lot of people maintain Mr. Jonathan is a nice guy.
This may, indeed, be so. A nice guy with disturbing capacity to lead from the rear.
Lets just see how Buhari’s death could benefit the status quo. In the 2011 presidential elections, the man got over 12 million votes. His party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was materially the poorest. But Buhari’s enormous star power earned it a couple of senators and a state governor. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state is currently embattled. The hawks of Abuja are bent on giving him the Nyako treatment.
The state legislature yesterday under heavy police protection ordered an investigation panel preparatory to impeachment.
Just two days ago, Buhari’s timely public statement about the parlous state of the nation ruffled presidential feathers. He drew the men temporarily controlling the levers of power to the looming anarchy.
How did they react? They called him names. They hit below the belt. They reminded him of his past as military head of state. Curiously, they couldn’t answer the issues raised. They resorted to name-calling because truly, they are clueless.
And two days later, a bomb missed him by whiskers. A coincidence? In November 2012, General Shuwa, a civil war veteran was mindlessly wasted in his Maiduguri abode while soldiers enforcing a state of emergency watched. The bad guys fingered were expectedly-you guessed it- Boko Haram. Had Buhari suffered a similar fate, the franchise Boko Haram would have been handy.
Make no mistake about this. Buhari is not a very popular person among the elite. They dislike his politics. And what is his politics? Love for country and orderliness. It has been the story of his life.
His unassailable integrity gives them nightmare. Because he is not a thief, kleptomaniacs dread him.
Several military postings including governor, oil minister and Head of State have not soiled his fingers with stolen wealth. Countless inquisition into his tenure in office as head of PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund) only validated his cast iron reputation of accountability.
Unblemished, his traducers had to find a label to hang him. So he was variously called a fundamentalist, a religious bigot and lately “un-statesman” just to erode his electoral value.
The bandits, current and past, superintending the common till are smart enough not to call him a thief.
He is even more unpopular among a section of the military elite retired and active. Most of them, hypocrites and sophisticated crooks hate his guts. He is everything they are not. I strongly suspect some of them deeply yearned to be like him. They yearn to have the genuine affection of the ordinary masses just like the man they so passionately despised.
They too, like the hawks in government would wish him dead. The final categories of those who will want him dead are crooked businessmen strutting the land as “moguls”. These are the tycoons who cut corners and deals to short-change the country. Men who take front row seats in donating hugely to the ruling party in return for uneven business playing field.