July 29, 2014
by Joe Igbokwe
The latest attempt to bomb a prominent leader of APC, General Buhari, out of existence, portents grave danger for the survival of democracy, as well as Nigeria’s as a political entity. Whoever muted the idea to lie in wait to kill General Buhari as he rode in his car on a Kaduna road does not wish this country well. Whoever planned this dastardly act does not wish Nigeria well and he remains Nigeria’s number one enemy.
If those who planned the mass murder had succeeded in killing General Buhari, the political equation and the socio-economic equilibrium in Nigeria would have damaged beyond repairs. If the plotters of this dangerous war had succeeded on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, we would have played into the hands of the known extremists in Nigeria. President Goodluck Jonathan has himself admitted that the country would have been plunged into a war zone if General Bahari had been killed. One was glad that the president did not go into petty and silly politics of looking the other way as the country burns. This time President Jonathan rose to the occasion and at once admitted that we have a big problem in our hands. For once the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh has maintained a dignified silence on needless partisan politics and consequently sympathized with the retired General.
One hopes that by now the PDP-controlled Federal Government would have returned to the drawing board to rethink about their perception on Boko Haram. It is expected that the Federal Government will go extra mile now to unravel the mystery behind the Boko Haram insurgents. It is also expected that the blame game will now be put to rest. One is led to believe that the kid gloves would have been removed for now and concrete actions put in place to save what needs to be saved of Nigeria.
From what we all know and the information available, some concerned Nigerians have asked the President Goodluck Jonathan and his team to look inwards. Mr President and his team should as a matter of urgency go back to the late General Azazi’s report on Boko Haram. For the record purposes, General Azazi, as the President’s National Security Adviser had wriiten a copious report that Boko Haram is a product of struggle for power within the ruling party, PDP. Instead of looking into the report, they conspired and sacked General Azazi with ignominy. The General later died under mysterious and questionable circumstances.
If they had listened to General Azazi, probably things would have been different today. If they had been wise enough to read between the lines, the events of today would have been different. The report was put into the waste basket. Today Nigeria has gone full circle. Now that the chicken has come home to roost, one hopes that President Jonathan and his team will call a spade a spade. The President must now think like a President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If we must dislodge Boko Haram, we need fresh ideas, new thinking, new approach, new strategy and new plans. I think time has come for real stakeholders’ conference on national security. This time we need to come clean, no rhetoric, no partisan tendencies, no name calling, no kindergarten ideas, and no cock and bull stories. We just have to reclaim Nigeria before talking about ruling Nigeria.
I am running away with the thinking that the crisis bedevilling the nation cannot be divorced from President Jonathan’s ambition to rule Nigeria beyond 2015. While this inordinate ambition is being pursued left and right, front and back, up and down, the nation is left bare at the mercy of insurgents, and mass murderers. If the truth must be told, Nigeria has to remain a political entity for somebody to become the President. President Jonathan should look inwards pronto. Those who targeted Gen Buhari may be playing real politics for President Jonathan’s 2015 ambition. It may be right to push the blame to Boko Haram but nobody is a political idiot here. All things considered General Buhari remains the greatest threat to President Jonathan’s ambition in 2015 and the handlers of Mr President know this very well. Once Buhari is out of the way then it is walk away for the President. But one basic truth is self evident here: General Buhari of 2003, 2007, and 2011 is no longer the same Buhari. Time, space, and history has strategically positioned the man differently today and woe betides anybody who will not see the difference. He has seen it all in the political landscape. He has fought the good fight. He has endured for too long. A labourer deserves his pay.
Now, my honest advice is this: President Goodluck Jonathan must thank God for his life, for moving him from nobody to somebody, from grass to grace, from nothing to something, from nowhere to somewhere, from the back seat to the driver’s seat ,determining the direction, setting the agenda and call all the shots, and from the back waters to the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What else does the president want? President GEJ has been a Deputy Governor, a Governor, the Vice President, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. What else does he want? The greedy lots from the South South like Govs Akpabio, Dickson, Chief Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo, Tompolos, and others should help President Jonathan to think. Only those who are alive talk about oil and dollars. The dead stay dumb. We must jettison our ambition now and think Nigeria first. Buhari must live and Nigerians , East , West, North and South must live.
Joe Igbokwe, Lagos