Femi Adesina: If 'no confidence' votes could sack Buhari, heroes would have been made

By Sunny Igboanugo on 08/05/2021

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Femi Adesina

I must confess that I’m one of the original wailing wailers, the group of Nigerians Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, derisively tagged early enough in government with that sobriquet to depict their aversion to the emergence of his boss as the President of Nigeria. I must confess the day Goodluck Jonathan, his predecessor made that famous call to throw in the towel in the contest for 2015 presidential election, was one of the saddest days of my adult life.

I’m no longer a football fan these days. But in those days when I used to be an ardent fan of Rangers International of Enugu, I could go for a full day without food when the club lost a match. I notice these days of European football, some diehard fans still feel that way. Now I’m into tennis more than football, I might habour the same emotions were, say, Roger Federer lost to Raphael Nadal. Or even in football if Nigerian Super Eagles lost to the Indomitable Lions of Camaroun. Imagine that feeling, if you’re an initiate.

Yet, such extreme emotion, pales into insignificance with my 2015 presidential election feeling. I was completely devastated. Let me put it on record also that I’m a bad coin for any contestant in an election, both local and foreign. Virtually all the candidates I backed in any election, lost over the years. Donald Trump, is the latest. Before then there are a streak of such losses both in Nigeria and elsewhere, with just few exceptions. Perhaps, it is because I stand with the dark horses or underdogs at all times.

In 1979, the first time I really understood the concept of elections, I backed the late Owelle of Onitsha, Namdi Azikiwe, not because of any ideological reason, but everyone else in our compound at Ajegunle, populated by the Igbo people, toed the same line. Though I had no voters’ card, because I wasn’t of age, I was in the street making the noise as many others. Of course, Zik failed. By 1983, when I was of age and again voted for him, he failed again.

In 1993, I was a passionate supporter of Mosshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO), who won the June 12 presidential election. Though he won the election, he lost power and his life in the process; I supported Olu Falae against Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, Obasanjo won; I supported Buhari against Obasanjo in 2003, Buhari lost; I supported the same Buhari against Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, Yar’Adua was triumphant; I supported Buhari in 2011 against Jonathan, Buhari lost again. But in 2015, I noticed that Buhari was no longer the man I used to know, I switched camp. I couldn’t stand my hero dining with the devils of Nigerian politics. I couldn’t take in the half-truths, outright lies, mischief subterfuge and propaganda that suffused the air at that time, as it activated my antennae for detecting evil.

In fact, that was the beginning of my adoration for Ayo Fayose, then Governor of Ekiti State, who seemed the only one pricking the boil at the centre to release the smelly puss. I was on all fours with him about everything he said of the then General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB), now PMB. That sentiment still subsists today, because the former governor, though heavily chided then, and called all sorts of unprintable names, has turned out a modern-day prophet. Everything he said about Buhari – his health, age, capacity, have all turned out prophetic.

So, I’m a certified wailer. It is important to point this out, so that it be known that though a fan of Buhari in the early days, I jumped out of the boat early enough not to be bespattered with the paintbrush of shame that has become the lot of the new converts and passengers on the same boat.

The point is made therefore to underscore the fact that even before Buhari, I had been a wailer, a serial wailer at that. I wailed against Obasanjo, I wailed against Yar’Adua, I wailed against Jonathan and I’m wailing again now and I’ll probably wail against any other person that might come in tomorrow. Wailing is therefore, my comfort zone, you might say.

Let me emphasise again that I was never happy that Buhari became President of Nigeria – not the Buhari of old, who hosted me in his house in Kaduna and for whom, as a reporter, I devoted a full page to introduce before running his interview – yes, a full page for what ordinarily would have taken less than three paragraphs, to describe, not only his personality, but what I saw of how he lived  – but the new Buhari, who left his natural habitat of simple, Spartan, truthful life to join the club of political bandits, the worst ever know in Nigerian history.   

Yes, this is a man I had sat for hours with on occasions discussing Nigeria. Hero-struck, I had, after our first encounter, made it a point to bring the world close to my idol whom I met face to face, some three decades after joining a swelling crowd to wave at his saintly figure sitting daintily inside his official car, then as Military Head of State, as it zoomed past the Upper Iweka end of Enugu-Onitsha highway. I had described the ornamental birds perching on the walls of beautiful ambience, of peace, quietude and love, trying to not leave out anything, even the sound of his breathing to capture that moment. That was the old Buhari, who enchanted me as he enchanted many others.

So, what hate is Femi Adesina always alluding at whenever he talks about the voices rising against his principal? Who really hates Buhari? Are they those, like yours truly, praying that by a sort of magic or providence, Nigeria could return to the era of the erstwhile Mai Gaskiya, whom Nigeria was once blessed with or the new Buhari being goaded on to the road of perdition, where history would record him as the worst leader that has ever been punished with by the Adesinas of this world and other insensitive aides believing that lying and twisting the true picture is the best they could offer him? How long does he have remaining to get to that point, given that it just two more years before he gets to the exit door of the Presidential Villa?

Have you read They should let us breathe - his latest attempt? What, for heaven’s sake is Femi playing at in this particular outing by blaming everybody else but his boss for the current tension in the land, occasioned by the parlous and perilous security situation Nigerians have been going through in recent times? Does he think all his job begins and ends with is skillfully stringing words together in an attempt to hoodwink the unwary? When have Nigerians become so inane that they do not understand that things have degenerated to a life and death situation?

Hear him: “Some past and present political leaders, disgruntled religious leaders, and ethnic champions are in cahoots, to exacerbate the situation. They are plotting to hold conferences, which would pass vote of no confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari, a man they so much love to hate.

“These agent provocateurs were the first to sow the seed of evil, disharmony and suspicion in the country, through the war of tongues they have deployed against the government of the day for many years. In their estimation, nothing good is happening in the country, except killings and bloodshed. And the only way out, in their narrow minds, is a removal of the constitutional order.”

Flowing from this, the question should be, what other good things is he talking about that the Buhari years have bestowed Nigerians outside, pains, sorrow, tears and blood? What are the good things he’s talking about?

Okay, let us agree that: “Incidentally, while combating insecurity, and myriads of other challenges, President Buhari is making conquests on other fronts, particularly infrastructure. Roads, bridges, rail network, airports, gas pipelines, other massive projects are ongoing.”

Is it also tenable that: “They are telling themselves: unless we stop this man, he will still become the authentic Nigerian hero. So they are throwing everything against him, including the kitchen sink.” Is that really what is at stake in the estimation of Femi Adesina or is he merely playing on words? Is he this childish, indifferent and mindless to the suffering in the land? Buhari, a hero? Pray! Whose hero?

Could Femi Adesina mention another country in the whole world where the price of critical commodities as strategic as petroleum products and electricity tariffs were increased by government immediately after exiting the COVID-19 pandemic threat and accompanying lockdown? Just mention any other country.

What would you tell a housewife who was buying a bag of rice for N6,000 before Buhari, having to cough out N25,000 now for the same bag, who instead of N200, now has to spend N1,200 to buy a tuber of yam, or a bottle of palm oil for N200, now N1,000, all within the same income bracket? What would he tell a middle income man, who used to fly from Lagos to Port Harcourt for N19,000 before Buhari, having to spend N70,000 for the same trip today? How would building the best of roads painted in silver and gold change the mantra of such a person, assuming, but not conceding that any of such roads are being built?

Regardless, Nigerians, the resilient people they are could still have made due with this gory situation if only they would be spared their lives, even if they went to bed on empty stomach. But, that has also become a luxury. Before now, kidnapping was reserved for the high and mighty. But today it has become the worry of even the poorest of the poor. The poor farmer at Okitipupa with a hoe hung on his shoulder could easily be spirited away into the bush and wantonly wasted if his relations do not cough out N10million, an amount he had never seen in his life. Today from Zamfara, to Katsina, to Niger, Oyo, Ondo, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Kogi, Benue, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano, nowhere is spared. Everyone is holding his heart in his hands and sleeping with both eyes open.

So, where will all these be happening and the victims would be kissing the ground on which the leader, the person the buck stops on his table, walks? Where does that happen? In fact, all some Nigerians have asked these past six years is for the man in charge to show a little concern - something as common as personal visit or even appearance on television to say sorry. Something as basic as such little concern is even denied them. And anyone who says anything, hates Buhari and is plotting to end his government. What insidious insensitivity! What animal talkHow many obas in Yoruba history committed such gross atrocity against the people through sheer incompetence before doing the needful?

Hear him again: “One funny fellow at the National Assembly, who is always using foul words against the leadership of the country. The more uncouth the words from him, the happier he seems to be. He has, to a large extent, poisoned the minds of people in his region of the country against the government. Evil words inexorably germinate, and bear bitter seeds.” Everyone knows he’s talking about Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe.

What is baffling is why he decided to use innuendo and euphemism to speak about the Abia Senator, the battle-axe for the war against injustice in the land. Yes, Abaribe, as is expected, speaks for his constituency and by extension, “his people,” Ndigbo. Yet, everything he says, resonates across the country. He speaks for the Oni Girisi in the street of Agege, the Mai Shai at Kaduna Motor Park and Onye Buru in Ochanja Market.

It is totally laughable making the asinine boast about Buhari winning elections and being elected by Nigerians. Has he forgotten that the late Robert Mugabe continued to win Zimbabwean elections even well into his 90s when he could hardly walk? Till date, Paul Biya has continued to win in Cameroun. Yuweri Musaveni, has just won his sixth term in Uganda? So, even if crawling on the ground, Buhari would still win elections for as long as Nigeria has INEC as presently constituted and with the elements manning it, if he puts his mind to it. That Jonathan did not “win” in 2015, is because he took a different route by declaring that his ambition was not “worth the blood of any Nigerian.” So, there is really nothing to boast about winning those elections.

Indeed, if a Vote of No Confidence, is potent enough to remove Buhari, those who would make it happen would instantly become heroes. For they would have saved Nigeria, not only from the current odious situation they find themselves, but the impending doom knocking at the door. They would have succeeded in seizing the moment from the current inept, incompetent, underwhelming and insipid National Assembly, the worst Nigeria has been cursed with in history.

But it doesn't have to be! Who knows, if Femi Adesina, could as much as dedicate a minute fraction of the energy he devotes in his puerile attacks on the segment of Nigerians, trying to reverse the calamity that has befallen Nigeria in the Buhari years to advising his principal rightly, something might be salvaged and the nation saved before the impending doom. That's what he should be working at. But that would be asking for the impossible for a man who would rather drive on the blood-soaked soil to his village rather than lift a finger to save the victims, many of them, his own people. TRAGIC!

 

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com.ng

Posted on May, 8 2021

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