The APC’s Joke of a Scarecrow President


by

Shehu Dikko

shehuspen+paper at gmail dot com,  December 2014

Buba Galadima has given a world record twelve years of his life full time to the ongoing Major General Muhammadu Buhari campaign for president. He has been loud and often bombastic as the most audible voice of the campaign, and you must question his effectiveness, but he has taken on its critics frontally, directly. He has provided loyal support to Buhari: first in the erect ANPP of nine elected Governors; then in the limping ANPP reduced to just four Governors; then in the crippled CPC of a lone Governor; and now in the APC on crutches that has already lost one of its Governors since Buhari showed up there. Scratch that. Galadima is not there alongside Buhari anymore.

In radio interviews in Hausa and in a letter sent to the editor of the Daily Trust and published on 10th November, Galadima has said that “no interlocutor ever stood between him and [Major] General Buhari.” He has revealed that after the 2011 election, Buhari personally informed him that after three failed attempts at the presidency, he was not going to contest again, only for him to hear on the radio that Buhari had gone back on his word. Here is Galadima in his own words:

“Whatever anybody may say, the fact still remains that I contributed my widow’s mite towards the projection and promotion of [Major] General Buhari as a politician at a time when those ‘yan kwanta kwanta [highway robbers who command their victims to lie face down while they rob them] who for personal reasons hover around him today felt that he was an aberration and poison that could not be touched. . . . There are people who worked with [Major] General Buhari when he was in the military, public service, politics and school. Where are they in his political project today?”

They are nowhere to be found. All the politicians that were its publicly visible backers at the commencement of the campaign a dozen years ago, and the many others who gave their all to it in the sincere belief that it held a promise of a better governed country have all abandoned it. Buhari has been unable to lead a political project team and to command and retain the loyalty of its executives. He was unable to do this even as a military dictator. This is why his military regime was short-lived and why his retired military colleagues have not been found near his political project. Now aged seventy plus, it has become too late to transform him into anything other than what he is: proven incompetent as a political leader.

Galadima tried harder than most to stay committed. But it was all in vain for no interlocutor ever stood between Buhari and his zero programme for his cult following.

No interlocutor ever stood between Buhari’s backers and a misplaced hope of leadership by example. Major General Buhari has provided no true inspiration to his frenzied crowd of followers. He has failed to make them disciplined. When they took to violent protest after the last election, he neither took to the vanguard of the protest nor did he call them to order. He fled. He claimed that he too was attacked. Leader? No.

No interlocutor ever stood between Buhari and his zero ideas on what to do about the problem of corruption in a democratic setting. In twelve years of campaigning, he offered nothing at all.

Alas, no interlocutor appears able to stand between those so determined to see to the triumph of proven incompetence sure to lead to disaster, likely to end in tragedy, and the fantasy that all you need to do to make corruption fly away is to erect a scarecrow in the presidential villa. Where has a scarecrow ever scared away dark nighttime creatures like the bat that lies in bed at noon?

All the creatures that belong to the day who have seen the scarecrow president project for the joke it is and abandoned it have been replaced by distressed-project managers and asset liquidators that were its critics and political enemies who have seen in Buhari’s leadership incapacity and in his fanatical following that has been used by many other opportunistic politicians before them opportunity to further their own calculated objectives which, going by their records, are far removed from the blind expectations of the fanatical poor.

As devious distressed-project managers well aware that they would have recouped their investments by the time there is any buyer’s remorse, they have spent so much on imported dangerous stage-managed promotion gimmicks, scrubs, deodorants and washing up liquids in an effort to conceal the fact of his leadership incapacity so as to make him marketable to necessary but hitherto wary buyers, most recently in a scrubbed speech broadcast to a national television audience to conceal a dismal performance in an un-shepherded television interview conducted a couple of days before.

Give them this article to read and they will see in it ways to come up with more stage-managed gimmicks and they will be sure to do so by lunchtime tomorrow, perhaps even show him sporting a tattoo and sagging his sokoto as he rebukes an errant area boy; they are that shameless.

As flagrant as any asset liquidators that we have seen they have also since proceeded to ridicule him and to disrobe him of any pretended garments of integrity. They have done so on the public highway, most recently in getting him face down to issue them a dud cheque and to “just keep a straight face” and ring up his bank manager to honour it after they had left the scene, and in getting him to give a written undertaking that he will employ the resources of persons alleged corrupt in furtherance of his campaign for the presidency.

What more do you need to be able to see that Buhari is a sad joke and that any expectation that he will make a positive and lasting impact as president is fantasy?

Buhari is not a simple man. He is a simpleton. He has spent years complaining that the PDP rigged him out of victory in previous elections. It’s on his bitter lips right now. Give him the office of the president and I can assure you that he will try to kick out at those who he believes did it. Yet the architect of the 2006 PDP plan to use the security forces to its electoral advantage is his replaced Galadima, Nasir el-Rufai, the man alongside whom he cried in 2011 and who made him renege on his verbal pledge not to run again. Yet one of his managers today, Audu Ogbeh, was the Manager of the PDP of President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar men to whose homes he was led, supinely, spent, twelve years late, to beg for a piece of the action.

The desperate Major General has truly been reduced to taking commands from any and all comers. His current commanders are only the most venal of the lot: they are pitiless what’s the polite euphemism for bastards? He will try to kick out without any realisation that his long walk from failing to beat them to joining them has severely damaged his legs.

Waylay him on the private jet tarmac of his commanders and ask him to give you a written undertaking that he will kick out at el-Rufai, Ogbeh, Obasanjo and Atiku with the hard metal crutches you will supply if he wants your vote. Ask him to give you a written pledge that he will issue no cheque nor authorise any payment to any Alpha Beta or Alpha Beta disguised as Alpha Bravo or Charlie Delta if he wants you to echo a clear radio signal around the country that no Foxtrot will be issued a dud cheque either.

If he falls short of meeting these demands just laugh and dismiss the would-be scarecrow president as the joke that he is; but do help massage his legs and tuck him away in bed if, unlike his users, you are apt to pity the scarred and disfigured old man.

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