(Being Our VISION Magazine’s “Editorial Sideswipe”)
It was in June or July, this year that General Muhammadu Buhari went to Sokoto and made a statement to the effect that Muslims should vote for their fellow Muslims, who would enforce Sharia law, thus heightening the sectarian strife threatening the peace of Nigeria.
The condemnation he attracted were enough to drown him although, some sponsored groups attempted to deny, on his behalf, that he ever made such a statement. But, no one was fooled, except the fools themselves.
If Muhammadu Buhari goofed in Sokoto, what else can we say after he repeated himself, even if in a different way two months after? Buhari was quoted to have said that he was ready to die for Sharia to be implemented nation-wide.
By now, Buhari is demystified of the aura of respectability he had before, by his own utterances. Bereft of honour, and not associated with justice, the General from Daura now talk and act, more or less, like a goon. We may not know who hired him or is nudging him on this perilous path. Whoever it is, Buhari seems determined or destined to die, a Sharia martyr. We cannot wish him less if that is his choice.
But just before they pull the shroud over his face – the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund over which he presided for upward of three years was found to be a citadel of corruption and underhand dealings. Even in the projects executed by the Fund, lopsidedness in favour of/or against certain people and sections of the country stood out like a sore thumb.
A probe panel raised to probe him and/or the PTF was faced with a maze of mountainous evidence such that they were submerged under it and needed to be re-probed. Although the probe was halted through political horse-trading, the sweat of millions of Nigerians pissed off is certainly hunting the General. The curses of the wasted youths of the Niger-Delta from whose land the oil money was made are taking their toll on the hapless General; thus, his death wishes.
The likes of Muhammadu Buhari should know that the days are over, when criminals feign repentance after horrendous crimes and then hide under religious piety or go puritanical, just for cover. Buhari may wish to pull down the religious roof so he won’t die alone. That is the way of drowning people.
The expectation of Nigerians was that Buhari would exonerate himself of corrupt charges by calling for a probe of PTF, if he was innocent. That was not to be. Now that he is prepared to die, and since the earth is not known to reject corpses, what else can we say but to wish him safe journey to hell?
Culled from Our VISION magazine, September 2001.