By Jude Atupulazi
If there is anyone to be wary of, it is a man or woman who is desperate. In fact I grew up hearing that a desperate person can do anything to survive. Such a person is very much like the proverbial drowning man who can clutch at any straw to stay afloat. Our president, Muhammadu Buhari, paints a lucid picture of both a desperate man and a drowning man. The reason is not far-fetched: Nigeria is on the threshold of general elections that will open windows of opportunity for her people to choose their servants (are they really servants?) or leaders (more like it).
President Buhari, being an incumbent, already has an advantage, or should have an advantage, in that, while his challengers will be telling us about what they WILL do, Buhari will be pointing at what he HAS done; and being that seeing is believing, as they say, people will most likely go with the devil they know.
But being that you and I have been around in the country these past three and a half years, it is pretty obvious that Buhari hasn't much on his scorecard to show and convince anyone to suffer his calamitous governance for another four years.
How indeed can anyone forget what they have been experiencing under the Buhari era? Is it not under Buhari that the country has reverted to the old, divisive situation of the past? Is it not under Buhari that the country is threatening to be most divided along ethnic, religious and political lines? Is it not under Buhari that human life matters less than that of a cow? Is it not under Buhari that a bunch of ruthless and evil minded killers are still roaming the bushes of their host communities, planning for their next killing spree unchallenged by the law?
While these killers are still on the loose, the president declared another group that only wants liberation from this contraption called Nigeria, terrorists. Can you beat that?
Still, it is under Buhari that all the people in his party, regardless of their past, are angels; while those in opposing parties are devils. We have been witnesses to how to talk has become to ''die''. Once anyone of note opens their mouth to criticize Buhari's Government, the presidency will suddenly discover that the person looted at one time or the other and set its EFCC snoop dogs against the person.
Meanwhile all those in Buhari's party who stole the country blind in the recent past are offered protection. Let's clap for him.
Because of Buhari's autocratic/Gestapo, unfeeling and biased style of governance, a growing number of Nigerians are becoming (if they haven't already) fed up with him and only living for the day they will have the opportunity of flashing him their red card.
To say that Buhari has proved to be the antithesis of what he promised before coming to power, is to say that it will rain in the rainy season. He has succeeded in making Nigeria a one huge time bomb waiting to explode. He has wronged those who were his allies before and aggravated the pains and anger of those who he had hurt before.
Having accused his predecessor, Jonathan Goodluck, of being clueless, Buhari is today cluelessness personified. His has become a government of lies and pretension which doesn't even care if its lies are found out. It is also a government that has succeeded in ridiculing the country by its utter failure to grasp the rudiments of governance.
It is therefore no great surprise that he is embarking on desperate measures to turn the tables by bamboozling the electorate with make-believe achievements and sudden display of kindness, the latter disposition seeing him recognizing what Abiola stood for, some 25 years after; thus the posthumous award of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR.
It has come to a stage where if anyone wants to have a good laugh, they talk about Buhari and his government. From belatedly identifying with Abiola whose mandate his brother, Babangida, thwarted, Buhari is now also claiming glory for what others did.
I came across one such attempt and had a good laugh after the way the author put it across. It was about the convictions of former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye and former Taraba State Governor, Jolly Nyame, both PDP members. It was written by Reno Omokri.
You see, the point that Omokri tried to make is that under former Presidents Umar Musa Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, they did not spare their party men found to have run foul of the law unlike what Buhari's government is now doing. That was how the two former governors in question came to be tried and now convicted.
But soon after that, Buhari's men appeared to use the convictions to flaunt their anti-corruption fight as if they had anything to do with the cases that were instituted before their government came aboard.
I'm therefore sharing Omokri's piece with you here so you can laugh with me.
Dariye and Nyame's Convictions Is The Handwork of the PDP Administrations of Yar'adua and Jonathan, Buhari Wants to Reap Where He Has Not Sown
My attention has been drawn to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claiming that the recent convictions of former Governors Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, has vindicated them from the oft repeated accusation that the EFCC, under Buhari, is lukewarm in prosecuting chieftains of the ruling All Progressive Congress, for corruption.
Nothing could be further from the truth and the statement only serves to show the dishonesty and lack of integrity of the current leadership of the EFCC.
The fact is that Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, the two former Peoples Democratic Party members recently imprisoned for fraud, were charged and prosecuted by the PDP administrations of Umaru Musa Yar'adua and Goodluck Jonathan and not by the All Progressives Congress led government of Muhammadu Buhari.
Joshua Dariye, for instance, was charged to court by the EFCC on July 13, 2007 by the EFCC under the leadership of Malam Nuhu Ribadu who was then serving under a PDP led administration headed by President Umaru Musa Yar'adua.
He was arraigned on 23 counts, his plea was taken but his defence lawyer challenged the court's jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal threw out that application and the case went to trial on Oct.27, 2010.
By May 29, 2015 when former President Goodluck Jonathan handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari, the case had already reached the point where a verdict was to be given but the current EFCC headed by Ibrahim Magu began dragging its feet, most likely because by then Dariye had decamped to the APC.
In the case of Reverend Jolly Nyame, he was arraigned in 2007 on 41 counts. His plea was taken and his trial began after all applications filed by the accused to stall the trial were dismissed by the Supreme Court. Trial fully commenced and was on-going at FCT High Court by 2008.
From the above, it is now clear that the convictions of Dariye and Nyame were anti corruption feats of the PDP administrations of Yar'adua and Jonathan and the Buhari government is trying to reap where it did not sow.
Former President Jonathan in particular, was noted for firing erring PDP ministers and handing them over for investigation by the EFCC. Nigerians should ask themselves if it is possible for Buhari to do to APC members what Jonathan and Yar'adua did to PDP members.
Babachir Lawal was caught red handed stealing. When is the Buhari led administration going to arrest and try him for fraud? Abdulrasheed Maina was dismissed for fraud and theft of pension funds by the PDP administration of Goodluck Jonathan only to be recalled, reinstated, double promoted and given armed guards by the Buhari regime. The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme who was indicted for misappropriating ₦10 billion was restored by Buhari.
These and other instances of hypocrisy is why Transparency International said that Nigeria was more corrupt under Buhari than it was at ANYTIME during the Jonathan administration. Whereas, Nigeria made her highest improvement on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in 2014 under Jonathan, where we moved eight steps forward from 144 to 136, we have moved 12 steps backwards from 136 to 148 in the CPI under Buhari.
The Buhari administration is so desperate for achievements and because it has none, it continues attempting to steal the achievements of others like the convictions of Dariye and Nyame, which was initiated by the PDP which charged them to court in 2007 and the Abuja-Kaduna rail which was designed, built and completed by PDP administrations.