BUHARISM, NEPOTISM AND THE PLACE OF PATRIOTISM
By Bala Ibrahim
In Nigerian politics, Buharism is a term that was first used in the first coming of General Muhammadu Buhari as a military Head of State, to describe the economic principles and political ideology of the regime that was led by the General. The popularity of the Government went high, because of the introduction a policy called War Against Indiscipline (WAI). This was achieved through the power of the bullet.
With his second coming, this time around through the power of the ballot, the term Buharism gained a reinforced respect, particularly after his famous statement on the day of his inauguration, that, “Iam for all, Iam for none”. That statement was the beginning of the end of many unpatriotic ambitions.
Immediately he made that statement at the inauguration podium, I told a friend, many people would loose their deposits effective from now, because my mind went back to the 80’s, when I was a reporter with the BBC. Professor Ismail Tsiga of Bayero University Kano, was putting together a book on the life of Mallam Abubakar Gumi, (May Allah forgive his sins and I hope he is now resting in the best part of the heavens, ameen). The title of the book is, Where I stand.
The book was published but never launched, because of the controversies it generated, one of which had to do with General Muhammadu Buhari. Professor Tsiga had contacted me, with a view to getting the book serialized in the BBC Hausa weekend magazine, Taba-kidi-taba-karatu. The producer, Usman Muhammed, had given me the permission to go ahead and collect materials for the programme.
In the book, Mallam Abubakar Gumi had registered displeasure over the refusal of Buhari, as Head of the military junta that overthrew Shagari, to release some people from detention, despite meeting him face to face and explaining to him, the magnitude of contributions the people gave to the Islamic ummah, particularly the Jamaatul Nasrul Islam. For some reasons, I wouldnt mention names.
Mallam Abubakar Gumi died before the book was published, and Professor Tsiga wanted to get a balance from all the people indicted, including Gen. Buhari, who was released from detention, not long ago. All the people indicted, some of whom are now dead, threatened to go to court, if the book is published, except Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, whose indictment was even harsher.
As a reporter, with interest in the book, I met the General in his house at Halliru Dantoro Road, Kaduna, and explained to him the gravity of damage the book would do to his reputation, and the need for him to give his own side of the story, particularly because some are threatening legal actions.
He simply smiled and said, the publisher should not hesitate to publish his book as planned. In any case, Mallam Abubakar Gumi is now dead, whatever I say, cannot be verified from him any more. Indeed we had some discussions, and the Mallam Abubakar that I know, would never tell lies. Tell the publisher to print word to word, whatever Mallam said about me, never mind the damage it would do to my reputation. What I would not do is to give you the details of our discussion, because he is no more, and I stand to gain nothing by disputing the story of a man that I know does not tell lies.
When I pressed further about his refusal to release those who helped Islam, he said, although am not as versed as Mallam in Islamic knowledge, but I haven’t seen in any of the books, where they say, one who used looted funds to support any religion, should be permitted to go unpunished. That was the end of our discussion.
The message here is, with Buhari, don’t expect any return on investment, if the mission is unpatriotic. Most of the people who fell out with him, did so because they felt, having used their resources to help him win election, it is only natural for him to allow them milk the country dry. He would not.
From Obasanjo to Bukola Saraki, Atiku to T Y Danjuma, and to some extent some of the wailers, the essence of their quarrel with him is his refusal to give them what they want, because mostly what they want, is not what the country wants.
A friend, who is a very keen observer, extremely analytical and patriotic in nature, drew my attention to how for three consecutive years, Nigeria is witnessing a fuel queue-free Xmas, and yet people are not commending the Government accordingly. I said its not just fuel queue free, its also roadblock free, and they would not commend, because their benefactors, who were hitherto the smugglers of fuel and the merchants of mercenaries, have been cut off business. So no stipends for them.
Buharism has come to demolish Nepotism, by reversing the old practice among those holding power or position of influence, to give favors to relatives or friends, especially those who feel, the Government came to power through their financial support. Forget the noise of the cabal, its because they were denied the chance of planting killers in the villa.
This group of people would continue to wail, connive with foreign powers to issue threats on the Government. But the good thing is that, their antics are known, their shenanigans are known and no matter what they do, even if they threaten to keep the nation awake till kingdom come, Buhari would never sacrifice patriotism for nepotism.