By Bala Ibrahim
The history of Muhammadu Buhari cannot be written with relative ease, without browsing through the conspiracies in the geography of the intricate military and political careers that propelled him to the position of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
From a one-star army officer in 1963, Buhari rose through the ranks smoothly to the zenith of the military profession, by becoming a General and eventually the Head of State and Commander in chief, on the 31st December, 1983. Thereafter, he was overthrown on the 27th August, 1985, through a military coup.
At the return of Democracy, after numerous military incursions, Buhari unsuccessfully ran for the office of president in 2003, 2007, and 2011 general elections. It was not until 2014, after wider consultations, amalgamations and party mutations that he emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2015 general elections. He won the election, defeating the sitting President, Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. And precisely that was the beginning of another conspiracy, this time around, political.
The same forces he fought in the past, which toppled him through a military conspiracy, and who are now feeling humiliated with his return to power, teamed up through political transformation, to commence another assault from another angle, including reaching out to break the circle of the strong security men around him. They also found a common shelter under corruption, the scourge he swore to scotch.
In 1983, when he overthrew the democratic regime of late Shehu Shagari, Buhari gave corruption as the reason for intervention, making a solemn promise to his countrymen, that his government would obliterate the vice from the Nigerian system. His first mistake was to announce that, his regime was an offshoot of the Murtala Mohammed regime. The regime of Murtala Mohammed was brought to an end on Friday 13th February 1976, around 8am, when soldiers, led by col. Bukar Suka Dimka, ambushed and assassinated General Muhammed on his way to the office. Murtala Muhammed was killed by corruption at the age of 37 and the conspiracy continued.
General Buhari’s regime was also brought down by forces that connived to protect and promote corruption. The same forces made it a duty to frustrate all his efforts to clinch power in the first three attempts, because of their accord with corruption, despite abundant evidences, that he was winning the elections all the time.
With his victory in 2015, PMB again announced his intention to kill corruption, to the obvious displeasure of his adversaries, most of whom are still around and living on the proceeds of the scourge. He said, to the hearing of corruption, that, “We must kill corruption before corruption kills Nigeria”. And now, corruption is conspicuously and collaboratively conniving, under a complot, to silence or censor the president, through a number of ways, including the use of fake news, bad news and the pathology of misinformation.
Nowadays, political conspiracy theories are often spread using fake news on social media, which happens to be the quickest and easiest means of uploading information.
In this endeavor, such conspiracies may take generalized and wide-ranging forms concerning insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity, with the aim of turning public opinion against the regime.
Whatever the Government is doing to positively reverse the activities of the criminals, would be twisted in favor of the criminals, in such a way that would ridicule the regime or portray it in bad light. Such is the sad, difficult and unfortunate situation the regime of PMB is facing today.
It is sad and unfortunate, because he seems not to be seeing it from such dangerous side of the prism, otherwise he wouldn’t permit the gradual and deliberate depletion of his loyalists, from the security structure of the country. The DSS is ineffective. The service chiefs have exhausted their ideas and the president is not genuinely guided on security.
The best brains in intelligence gathering and internal security have been cleverly, covertly and clandestinely taken out of service, with the ultimate aim of ridiculing the efforts of the president. The repeated attacks on the same places in Borno state and the concurrence of events preceding the attacks cannot continue to be by coincidence. There must be something cynical, which could have been foreseen or forestalled, had internal security and intelligence gathering been in the right hands, or where they used to be.
Given the diversity of the insurgency, and the availability of men with vast and varied experience among the various services, why should we stick to a single, linear pathway towards solving a hydra headed problem? Even the indefatigable Governor of Borno, Professor Babagana Zulum seems perplexed by what is happening. “I am being pushed to the wall to say the truth. Since my inauguration as the governor of Borno State from May 29th to date, Auno town has been attacked for about six times now. And the reason is that the military has withdrawn from Auno town. We have made a repeated plea to the military to re-establish a base in Auno since it is one of the flashpoints of the Boko Haram, but nothing has been done to that effect”
In 1983, when Chadian forces invaded Nigeria in the same Borno State, Buhari then the GOC in Jos, used the forces under his command to chase them out of the country, crossing into Chadian territory in spite of an order given by President Shagari to withdraw. More than 100 victims and prisoners of war were taken in that operation, which brought immediate respite to Nigeria. Why is PMB having difficulty in acting the way he did in 1983?
Could he have been silenced or censored through complot and collaborative conspiracy? The thinking should be over. Please act quick, Mr. President.
Mr. Ibrahim, a public analyst, writes from Abuja