THE TENDENTIOUS WRITE-UP OF ONE JOSEPHINE SOBOYEJO ON GEN. MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE POLITICS OF ETHNIC IRREDENTISM -

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I must confess right away that I am biased. Yes, I am tendentiously biased in favor of Gen Muhamadu Buhari in the forthcoming February 14, 2015 Presidential Election. And I won't give my partisanship apology away. It is against that biased backdrop I reply to the retrogressive write-up of one Josephine Soboyejo in the Nigeria World inappropriately titled: "13 Reasons Why Gen Buhari Should Be Rejected..." There is plenty to rebut so I don't have the time and space to comment on the hagiographical contour that Mrs. Soboyejo started her write-up about Nigeria's colonial history.

Those jejune historic rehash is known to all, including this writer and several other political commentators that have highlighted such disturbing ethnic political imbalance foisted on Nigeria by the departed British colonizers. In any democracy, elections are about the future and not about past political misses and regrets. Nations merely draw on the past, both the sordid and the enviable by learning from them rather than become hostages of their woeful past, unfulfilled dreams and unmet expectations. I devoted half of my journalism and activism career in Nigeria between 1983 and 1999 to the hackneyed tribal politics people like Soboyejo and her fellow troglodytes are still steeped into a decade and a half in the New Millennium. We need to move on and construct a future contour of new possibilities, fresh ideas and novel resolve to harness the full potentials of our nation's centrifugal and centripetal parts for growth and development. No nation is onerously monolithic and nations with differing tribes and tongues such as Nigeria often use their diversities as sources of strength. Examples are the United States, UK, China and a host of others.

We have blamed, pilloried, traduced and demonized the Hausa-Fulani hegemony for long for Nigeria's underdevelopment. But any perceptive historical observer would come to realize that these have become staple fodders for the likes of Soboyejo and her fellow tribal jingoists afflicted with the same virus of ethnic bigotry. Corruption is not a native of any tribe or ethnicity in Nigeria but a Nigerian cancer. It afflicts and has since become a tumor among Muslims, Christians, pagans, animists, atheists; indeed every creed and in all facets of the Nigerian nation-state. Stealing and corruption have become so tainted with ethnic coloration in Nigeria that when the person from your tribe is doing the stealing and looting, he/she is one of our own, but if it is the other tribesman man or woman, then he/she is the corrupt one. Defenders of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan would shout to high heavens that the Hausa-Fulani minority is all that is wrong with Nigeria but in 15 years of post-military Nigeria (1999-2015), no Hausa-Fulani man has been in power, except for three years, yet the stratospheric level corruption is walking on four legs in contemporary Nigeria benumbs the imagination. Let's look at the objective historic reality of ethnic politics in Nigeria since 1960 as rehashed by Mrs. Soboyejo in her piece.

Nigeria is 55 years old as an independent nation today. Of those years, the Hausa-Fulani has ruled Nigeria for only 15 years: Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa (1960-1966); President Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari (1979-1983), Gen. Muhamadu Buhari (1985-1986) and Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (2007-2010). The remaining 40 years were under non-Hausa-Fulani ethnic stock: Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi (1966); Gen Yakubu Gowon (1966-1975)-Gowon is from Plateau State and doesn't consider himself Hausa-Fulani, but a northern minority. Muritala Muhammad was a Hausa man but not Hausa-Fulani from Kano. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (1976-1979 and later 1999 - 2007), Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (1985-1993), a Nupe man; Gen Sani Abacha (1993-1998), a Kanuri non-Hausa-Fulani man; Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (1998-1999) and President Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015). Soboyejo demonized the Hausa-Fulani because the Hausa-Fulani doesn't own a well-funded newspaper or media outlet as we Yoruba in western Nigeria, the southern minorities of Nduka Obaigbena, Sam Amuka-Pemu and the Ibos. When you repeat the same thing over and over again as we discovered during Nazi War propaganda according to Goebbels' blueprint, people tend to believe you. I fell for those tricks many years ago until I began to look at the facts. So much for Soboyejo's hagiographic narrative! Now let's examine the 13 puerile and embellished reasons Mrs. Soboyejo advanced for not supporting Gen Buhari for the 2015 presidential election.

First, Buhari is a hypocrite, because he was appointed as chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) by the late Gen. Sani Abacha between 1993 and 1998. Mrs. Soboyejo stood logic on its head when she wrote that Buhari should have resigned when he found out that the deceased murderous military cretin was corrupt. For someone who spent two agonizing years under Sani Abacha's Gulag between 1997 and 1998, I am the last person to say anything good about that bestial regime. But it pains me when one who supposedly called herself a Dr-whether a medical practitioner or a member of the intellectual academy I do not know-to suggest that Buhari should have resigned from the Abacha military junta as chairman of a task force with 30 other Nigerians as members majority of who were southerners. This demonization by association is even ludicrous when Soboyejo's kinsmen like Lateef Jakande, the late Olu Onagoruwa, Ebenezer Babatope, Wole Oyelese and many other so-called pro-June 12-ers and Yoruba leaders went and served in that bestial regime at a time the Yoruba people felt oppressed and shortchanged by the military aftermath of the treasonable annulment by Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. of the landmark election victory of the late Chief MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993 Mrs. Soboyejo's fellow Ogun State kinsman, Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan, accepted the headship of that useless contraption called the Interim National Government (ING) to the bemusement of all genuine Yoruba sons and daughters after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election of late Chief MKO Abiola. You-Soboyejo- scored a cheap shot at Gen. Buhari when you said he was a corrupt man for marrying the classmate of his daughter. You-Soboyejo-also failed to tell Nigerians that President Goodluck Jonathan who you are his amanuensis is more morally debased for marrying a second wife who has children for him outside his marriage to the so-called First Lady, Patience Jonathan while the First Family continues to deceive Nigerians. If you want to know more, I will refer you to my co-authored book that will soon be released to the reading public titled: "Jonathan, the Squandering of Goodluck: The Unauthorized Biography of Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief, Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria" so you can compare between a sitting president who lies, hides his private life from Nigerians and deceives majority of Nigerians in a democracy and Buhari, whose life is an open book.

Mrs. Soboyejo the ethicist didn't raise a voice when her fellow kinsman slept with virtually all the women in his cabinet when he was president for eight years and sire bunch of babies from numerous Nigerian women across the country and yet came back from prison to power for another 8 years. General Buhari lost his first wife, Safinatu Buhari of nearly 20 years and remarried like any widower to a lady that is matured and an adult who was a friend to her daughter. There is no moral flaw in that anywhere in Nigeria and certainly not even here in America or anywhere in the Western civilized world. Over and over again, the Justice Ayo Irikefe panel on missing N2.8 billion oil money from the NNPC account in the 1970s that you referred to has become the staple of scuttlebutts in Nigeria's gonzo media world, which people like you continue to parrot, because it serves their superficial agendas. You will expect a supposed former lawmaker and a state commissioner to know these facts instead of descending to the nadir of low-lifers who are unable to tear apart fiction from facts in Nigeria.

Again, Mrs. Soboyejo descended rapidly to hagiographical level without knowing that there are many Nigerians and Yoruba people who are matured and knew exactly what went wrong in the various military tribunals set up by the Buhari military regime to try the Second Republic politicians, aftermath of the overthrow of the Shehu Shagari Administration on December 31, 1983. Does Soboyejo think all Yoruba nay Nigerians are suffering from collective amnesia like herself and ilk on the concatenation of events that led to the overthrow of the Shehu Shagari Administration in 1983? According to the late Pini Jason in a piece for the defunct Africa magazine in London on the coup that toppled President Shehu Shagari and I paraphrase, if the Nigerian military had lined up the politicians of the Shagari regime and executed them, majority of Nigerians would not have shed tears for the Second Republic politicians. It was that bad! Go and read the proceedings of the tribunal that tried all the governors of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria-UPN-in the former Southwest and Midwestern parts of Nigeria. They were found guilty for making illegal donations to the defunct UPN contrary to the Federal Electoral Commission-FEDECO law chaired by the late Justice Victor Ovie-Whisky. Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande is the only UPN governor still alive and can confess that the late sage, Papa Obafemi Awolowo himself was the one that disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos and also before the military tribunal which nailed the governors. The Tribunal didn't find anything incriminating against the UPN Governors of Kayode Jakande, Bisi Onabanjo, Adekunle Ajasin, Bola Ige and Ambrose Alli of the defunct Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Bendel States respectively. As for Alhaji Shehu Shagari who was president, the Buhari military regime appealed to all Nigerians who could prove with facts that President Shehu Shagari had stolen public money to come forward but no one came forward thus stalling his trial. Every living adult in Nigeria during that tempestuous period of Nigeria's history would confess that, in spite of the rot in the public space during the torrid administration of Shehu Shagari, President Shehu Shagari himself didn't soil his hands, but the Buhari regime still kept him in goal anyway until he could prove his innocence. President Shehu Shagari was not let go until their man; Gen Ibrahim Babangida, who was sponsored by America's Central Intelligence Agency-CIA and their agent in Nigeria, the late Chief MKO Abiola came on board on Saturday August 27, 1985 and put kibosh to the war on corruption began by the patriotic Buhari Administration. I Moshood Fayemiwo had to lead the students of the University of Lagos out into the streets in Lagos in 1985 on demonstration against the Babangida regime and also spoke to the BBC in my office at the University of Lagos in my capacity as the President of the University of Lagos Student's Union (ULSU). These are documented facts and Mrs. Soboyejo and her bedfellows should stop re-writing history. On the 53 suitcases, Gen Buhari has explained over and over again on how he was unaware of the sordid episode. Major Mustapha Jokolo is alive and is now the Emir of Gwandu whose late father; Emir Haruna Jokolo was the center of the whole controversy. It was later found out that Gen Ibrahim Babangida who was then the Chief of Army Staff was the fifth columnist in the regime that ordered a raid on the house of late Papa Awolowo at Park Lane Apapa, Lagos to embarrass the revered sage.

Mrs. Soboyejo failed to highlight the shortcomings of Goodluck Jonathan in his fight against corruption, who pardoned a looter like DSP Alameyeseigha for pilfering Bayelsa State treasury as governor to the consternation of the British and American Governments. It still befuddles the imagination how Nigerians would continue to telegraph this tommyrot and nonsensical propaganda about Gen Buhari not believing in a secular Nigeria. When he was a military head of state, he didn't promulgate a decree to introduce the Islamic Shari'a law in Nigeria. He didn't decree that Nigeria should join the Organization of Islamic Conference-OIC- . It was Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida that took the Federal Republic of Nigeria into that august body in 1986 after he toppled Gen. Buhari. Of course, Babangida was supported and egged on by the likes of the late Chief MKO Abiola, late Dr Lateef Adegbite and others. Majority of Yoruba and all Nigerians, Muslims and Christians overwhelmingly voted for Chief MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993 as president. Nigerians and certainly most Yoruba people didn't hold this against the late Chief MKO Abiola. Why are some people shamelessly hypocritical? I am a born-again Christian and Holy Spirit-filled child of the Living God. I detest with passion anyone who pretends to be a Christian like Goodluck Jonathan and the Soboyejos of this world, but see a fellow human being and hate them because they happen to hold contrary views or belong to another tribe or ethnicity. What have Nigerian Christians benefitted from the atrocious Jonathan Administration in five years? Nigerian Christians are being slaughtered every day all over the country and a supposed Christian president looks on goofily without lifting a finger? Majority of the 276 girls kidnapped at Chibok Secondary School in northeastern Nigeria last year were Christians but what have our so-called Christian president done about them? This is insane! Look at the so-called Christian President Goodluck Jonathan and all those old men and women who say they are Christians that surround him? How many of them live exemplary Christian lives and project Christ like values? They are old and worn-out yet they continue to marry and have sex with young and underage girls, as young as their grandchildren and Mrs. Soboyejo hasn't preached her brand of ethics to these "old cargoes." Your mentality sucks, Mrs. Soboyejo! Go and read the Parable of the Good Samaritan and Who is My Neighbor that our Lord Jesus Christ taught the Pharisees and the religious hypocrites in Luke 10: 25-37. When did Goodluck Jonathan begin to identify with Nigerian Christians? Because the 2015 presidential election is near, he went to Israel on Holy Pilgrimage to deceive us. So much for Jonathan's Christian hypocrisy! This bugaboo of Gen Buhari being an Islamic fundamentalist will not work this time around. Genuine born-again Christians and Holy Spirit-filled children of the Most High Lord God Almighty in Nigeria aren't stupid.

Gen. Buhari was and still is the only head of state in Nigeria who insisted so far that public money should not be used for all forms of pilgrimages either to Mecca or Israel. He stopped it during his administration in 1985-86. Go and find out the value of the Nigerian Naira to the British Pounds and the American Dollars between 1985 and 1986 when Gen Buhari was head of state? He left the exchange rate at 60 Kobo to the American $1.00. There was no black market for the nation's foreign exchange and oil bunkering was not attractive, because if you were caught and apprehended, you were a goner. All the cocaine boys knew a new sheriff was in town and either they went underground or fled overseas. Discipline which was and still is lacking in Nigeria was the order of the day. The looting and pilfering stopped and the politicians who were doing the stealing fled overseas. Then Babangida came in and reversed all the gains of that brief spell in our nation's life. Soboyejo and Co hate a Buhari Presidency, because you and your ilk are afraid. Anyone who is interested in honest work and belief that no nation can continue like the way Nigeria is under the directionless and clueless President Jonathan would support Gen Muhammadu Buhari. A man's passion to cleanse his nation is what Buhari is doing and well-meaning Nigerians should support him in the forthcoming Nigerian Presidential Election come Saturday February 14, 2015.

On Decrees 4, it's on record that no single Nigerian journalist died or was assassinated throughout the time Gen Buhari was head of state. Nigerians know the number of journalists murdered during the administration of Babangida and even those harassed and killed under the current Jonathan government. Mrs. Soboyejo attempted a dig at old age by ludicrously suggesting that at 71 years old, Gen Buhari was too old for the presidency. This woman needs basic knowledge of world politics. Mr. Arthur Neville Chamberlain was 71 years old when he was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1940 and died in office. His successor, Earl of Spencer, Winston Churchill was a cough away from 70 years old when he led Great Britain throughout much of WWII as Prime Minister. He was again returned into office at the old age of 80 years between 1951 and 1955 as Prime Minister. Harry Lee Kwan Yew, the architect of modern-day Singapore was Prime Minister in the Straits for 30 years relinquishing the post at the age of 91 in 2011. I recommend his autobiography titled; "From Third World to First: The Singapore Story" which, unarguably is the blue-print for any leader that is nationalistically-committed to transforming a developing nation into a First World. President Ronald Reagan was voted into office as the 40th President of the United States in 1981 at the old age of 71 years and he served his two-term in office without any medical problem. Back home in Africa, the late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin became the first executive Governor of defunct Ondo State at the old age of 71 years in 1979 and did well in office. In 1982 when I went to Akure to see him, he gave me an appointment at the Government House Alagbaka at 12 midnight and I had to wait till 1.00am to see him, because of other visitors waiting to see the "old man." The indomitable Nelson Mandela became the first democratically-elected President of a multiracial South Africa in 1994 at the age of 76 years. In the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC-Mandela assisted the late Mobutu Sesezeko to his feet as the 57-year old dictator was about to fall during peace summit between Mobutu and his political rival, the late Joseph Laurent Kabila in 1997. President Abdoulaye Wade was 74 years old when he was elected as the president of Senegal in 2000 and went on to administer the West African nation for 12 straight years before he ceded the stage for Macky Sally in 2012 at the age of 86. Tunisia has just elected an 88-year old lawyer, Beji Caid Essebsi as its new prime minister billed to take office on January 14, 2015. The list is endless. You expected a former lawmaker and state commissioner who prefix her name with the title of "Dr" to know all these facts or is this another Port Harcourt Degree-PhD- like Mr. Goodluck Jonathan? Or if Mrs. Soboyejo is a medical doctor, you expect her to know that age has nothing to do with adroit and able leadership. Many of the aging warlords in the PDP that President Jonathan referred to as his political godfathers have just married young girls the age of their grand-daughters like Mr. Fix-It and Baba Clark in their 80s. I am sure medically, Soboyejo knows as a woman or should know, if she is a medical practitioner that it is medically dangerous for men that are 80years plus old to make love to 18 year old girls than Buhari who is 71 years old. Buhari is even a retired military general and nothing, absolutely nothing stops him from discharging the duties of the office of president of Nigeria. Those APC delegates that shouted at Teslim Balogun Stadium "Arugbo Lafe" (meaning, we want a matured old man) got it right at the APC Convention on December 11, 2014.

President Jonathan is not only a non-performer; he has on numerous occasions brought low the exalted office of the presidency of Nigeria. He goes about kneeling down for every person like Mrs. Joy Banda thinking that is a demonstration of humility. He speaks and opens his mouth wide, his diction and syntax are horrible and you begin to wonder if he actually defended his PhD degree. In virtually all the media houses here in North America, President Jonathan has become butts of joke, especially on the highly-rated The Rachel Maddow Show on NBC. I can't stand that his useless fedora hat, which his media handlers should have told him to remove each time he meets other world leaders. Administration officials here at the White House do not want anything to do with the Jonathan Administration right now. The embarrassment is too much. Americans often ask us if this guy is the best Nigerians can present to the world. It is time to let him go. I have NEVER met General Muhammadu Buhari in my life; neither have I met Prof Yemi Osinbajo, his running mate. The meaning of madness is doing the same thing the same way all over again and you expect a different result or outcome. President Goodluck Jonathan is a Christian mouther. He has done his best for Nigeria and Nigerians for five years but his best is not the best for Nigerians. It's time to turn the page. We can't continue like this as a nation and as a people. The likes of Soboyejo want Nigeria continually prostrate but overwhelming Nigerians should resolve and say, No, not this time. The Peoples Destructive Party -PDOP-of Nigeria has failed Nigerians and President Jonathan is the embodiment of that failure. He and his amanuenses cannot be allowed to be exploiting divisive politics of religion and ethnicity to retard the nation. President Jonathan has messed up and the next presidential election is a golden opportunity for Nigerians to send him and his Okrika Hippopotamus back to Otuoke so Nigeria can progress and move forward. The PDP and Mr. Jonathan have played these games for 15 years. Nigerians have moped for the past five agonizing years under Mr. Goodluck Jonathan's state of arrested development. Now they must wake up and take their destinies into their hands and change course by delivering the greatest political shellacking on Mr. Jonathan and his heifers on Saturday February 14, 2015.

By Dr Moshood Fayemiwo

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