THE ALTERNATIVE With Reno Omokri
On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, Bola Tinubu released an eid-el-fitr homily to Nigerians and asked every citizen to “put politics aside” and pray for President Buhari.
But did Bola Tinubu put politics aside to pray for then-President Jonathan during the various eids that occurred during his five year rule?
No. I am a meticulous record keeper, and I recall quite clearly that Bola Tinubu took pains to ensure that he undermined the then President when he spoke during the various eids between 2011 and 2015, and he did not stop there.
Both Bola Tinubu and Muhammadu Buhari even went as far as asking then President Jonathan to resign for failing to secure the nation!
Speaking at an event, which also had General Buhari in attendance, at Ilorin, on November 5, 2014, Bola Tinubu said:
“I saw the sea of refugees caused by the Boko Haram insurgents and the lies coming from Jonathan’s administration. They have exhibited failure, lack of capacity, vision and creativity. The lies of yesterday are what they repeat today and are what they will repeat tomorrow. They are lying to you.
They are lying about the security, toying about the security of this country. I don’t have time to explain the logic of their lies.
But if you control the armed forces and are the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic, why should any part of this country be under occupation? And you give us excuses every day.
In any civilized country, Jonathan should have resigned. But if he will not resign, he should wait for our broom; we will sweep him away.”
I remember very vividly that after Tinubu made that comment, I took him on, and my response was on the front page of THISDAY papers.
That day was the first and only time in my life when then-President Jonathan summoned me and cautioned me, in a fatherly way, and not harshly, but still firmly.
He urged me to remember his doctrine of not having enemies to fight, and instructed me to focus on telling Nigerians about what he had achieved through his Transformation Agenda.
Well, it has been seven long years, and I am no longer a public servant. So, let me respond to Bola Tinubu, albeit belatedly.
Let us go back and take Tinubu’s ‘in any civilised country’ statement into account and do a comparative then and now assessment.
When former President Jonathan handed over power to Muhammadu Buhari, no territory in Nigeria was held by Boko Haram.
In the six weeks before the March 28, 2015 elections, our armed forces had been able to clear out Boko Haram from any territory they held, and elections were held in every Local Government Area of Nigeria between March 28, 2015 and March 29, 2015.
However, today, from the mouths of their own Governors, Niger, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa, have confirmed that Boko Haram hold territory in their states, and have hoisted their flag.
In fact, on the very day that Bola Tinubu was asking us to put politics aside and pray for Buhari, we received reports, and then saw videos of Boko Haram sharing eid-el-fitr palliatives packages to citizens of their Caliphate in the towns they have occupied.
Yet, Bola Tinubu is asking us to put politics aside and pray. No more talk of resignation. His type is what they call munafiq in Islam.
Let us go deeper.
On Monday, May 10, 2013, then President Jonathan held a National Security Council meeting. Those in attendance included:
President Goodluck Jonathan
Vice President Namadi Sambo
Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd)
Admiral Ola Ibrahim
Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika
Air Marshal Alex Badeh
Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba
IGP Mohammed Abubakar, and
One thing you will notice from this meeting is that every geopolitical zone in Nigeria was represented in the Jonathan National Security Council.
Muhammadu Buhari also held a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. In attendance were:
President Muhammadu Buhari
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Bashir Salihu Magashi
Usman Alkali Baba
Yusuf Magaji BichiAhmed Rufai Abubakar
To address insecurity in the nation, and especially in the Southeast. Yet, not one South-easterner was present in that meeting.
That meeting was not a solution to Nigeria’s problem. Rather, it is the cause of Nigeria’s challenges. Nepotism, tribalism, and cronyism. Can you shave a man’s head in his absence?
And this nepotism is a deliberate policy. It did not happen. It was something that was preconceived by Buhari, who on July 25, 2015 said “The constituents, for example, gave me 97% cannot in all honesty be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%.”
And when you consider that Buhari hit his least votes, in both 2015 and 2019, from the Southeast, you will begin to understand why he has shut them out from power, and does not care to hide it or pretend about it.
With Northern Muslim males heading the Executive (Buhari), the Legislature (Lawan) the Judiciary (Tanko), the Army (Attahiru), the Police (Alkali), the NNPC (Kyari), and the INEC (Yakubu), Buhari feels he has locked down government and does not need to care about the feelings of the governed.
That is why he does not hold regular presidential media chats, like his predecessors, and does not bother to hide his bias.
Consider that since he was sworn in for a second term, Buhari, to my knowledge, has not visited Southern Nigeria? Correct me if I am wrong, but I doubt that I am. He shuttles between London and Northern Nigeria. Why is Southern Nigeria a no-go area for Buhari? Is this how to govern a nation?
And ever since Southern Governors met in Asaba to take up a united front against open grazing and the insecurity occasioned by Buhari’s herdsmen kinsmen, the Presidency has been sending its surrogates all over the media to try to undermine their decision.
One of such persons is the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, who on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, went on Africa Independent Television’s Kakaaki morning show and said:
“Southern governors must provide land for Fulani to graze cattle if they want to ban open grazing. Gathering in one hotel and giving a blanket ban is irresponsible”
My response to that nonsense is as follows: If they want land, they should BUY. If they try to take it by force, they should DIE!
Speaking further, Yusuf said:
‘Southern Governors must consult the Fulani before banning open grazing!’
Again, my response to that piece of garbage is this: Did the people who Yusuf represent consult Southern Governors before imposing Sharia?
And then, some other surrogates of the Buhari junta had the gall to say ‘things have improved under Buhari.’
They then went to condemn the Jonathan administration.
After they were done, they now rolled out the big masquerade himself, Muhammadu Buhari, to give a very controlled, a very contrived, and a very short interview on eid-el-fitr, where he claimed that Nigeria of 2021 is better than Nigeria of 2015.
To Buhari and his fellow deluded co-travelers, I say, at least under our administration, there was nothing like the Indigenous People of Biafra or Eastern Security Network, and the southeast was safe.
During our time in government, bandits were not operating nationwide and we arrested the few herdsmen that tried nonsense and jailed them.
Our administration publicly tried and sentenced a Boko Haram terrorist, named Kabiru Sokoto, to life imprisonment, but now this regime rehabilitates them.
During our administration, we never told Nigerians that ‘giving land for ranching is better than death’.
Nigerians also never heard of shootouts at Aso Rock, or robberies at the Presidential Villa.
Moreover, CNN Money rated Nigeria under our administration as the third fastest growing economy in the world. Today, the same CNN, relying on the World Economic Forum data, rates us as the world headquarters for extreme poverty.
Nigerians may also want to recall that under President Jonathan:
– Fuel was N87
– 50kg bag of rice was N8000
– $1 was N150 (N199 in 2015)
– Lagos-Abuja air fare was N10,000
– Bottle of Coke was N60
– Peak milk was N80
In addition to this, we built 165 almajiri schools and 12 new federal universities.
We also built the Abuja-Kaduna super-fast railway.
And when Nigerians voted us out, we went peacefully and quietly.
I am very proud of our administration and I served it with patriotism.
Your parents don’t need your ten cows when they die. They need your ten minutes’ call, your ten thousand when they are sick, and your ten seconds’ text to cheer them up daily. Call your dad and mum today and just say sweet nothings for ten minutes. It seems like nothing to you, but I assure you it is everything to your parents. Every year that they remain alive, their circle of friends reduce, due to death. Give them something to live for. Give them your attention.