19th January, 2015
By Peter Claver Opara
In the process leading to the plot against the Roman leader, Julius Caesar, Cassius, the arrowhead of the conspiracy, was struggling to convince Brutus, Caesar’s bosom friend to join the plot and in one meeting, both of them excursed into Caesar’s stupendous rise to fame and strength and suddenly Cassius wondered; ‘Of what meat is this our Caesar fed?’. He enumerated the frailty of Caesar and his weaknesses, just like those of any average Roman and wondered how the same Caesar had grown so powerful as to bestraddle Rome like a Colossus while he and other Romans must stoop to pass beneath his giant frame.
Ever since the redoubtable Gen. Muhammadu Buhari indicated interest in the ensuing presidential race, the rank and file of the PDP has been ill at ease to handle his challenge. They have been worried, distracted and disoriented on how to handle the Buhari challenge especially with the manifest failures and disappointments Nigerians have experienced in the hands of the party for the past fifteen years. They leave nobody in doubt that Buhari is their biggest headache, their gargantuan problem, their unrestrained nightmare and the tsetse fly perched so inscrutably on their scrotum. They say it, even when they struggle to pretend otherwise. They sing it, they breathe it, they drink it and they ooze it from all pores.
With his emergence in a very spectacular APC presidential primary in Lagos, there is no doubt that the fear of Buhari has become the beginning of wisdom for all members, supporters and enablers of the PDP. From the president to the space filler at PDP’s waning rallies, the issue, the subject, the term remain Buhari. We are not getting to hear of the grand vision the PDP wants to employ to navigate the country from the doldrums where it had crashed it. We are not hearing of what the PDP did with the hundreds of trillions of Naira harvested in sixteen years of unflagging oil boom. We are not hearing of what it will do differently to stop the carnage of unending human wastage, the ravaging pangs of poverty, the wildfire of corruption, the inferno of mass unemployment, unrestrained inflation, infrastructure decay, insecurity, which have been the negative democracy dividends the PDP has left Nigeria with in sixteen years of disastrous leadership. The PDP is not making any efforts to show us what they did in the past sixteen years that will provoke any Nigerian, with love for country, to vote for it to continue in power. They are fixated on the person of Buhari and have gone to manufacture tons and loads of inanities and laughable fictions to further their obsession of hacking Buhari from the Olympian heights he occupies among Nigerians.
For Buhari, the PDP has migrated to the mud to retch up all imaginable scoot to tar his inscrutable persona. Yes, and strangely, the party is not making any effort to brush up its own well-known notorious image. It is rather consumed, like the pig, in ensuring that everyone is soiled and tarred so as to bring them at par with it. That is why when the campaign should be on issues, the PDP is desperate to rake muck and haul about. Like shit that has hit the fan, the PDP doesn’t mind if its cause – whatever it is – is helped by such self deprecating actions. Its singular target today is Buhari and its mission is to smear his unimpeachable personality but it is worried also that its message is not catching on with Nigerians. Nigerians are not bought over by PDP’s less edifying resort to tantrums, lies, abuses and blackmail. They are demanding that PDP account for its sixteen prodigal years in power. The failure of the PDP is the singular most important factor that is buoying the Buhari candidacy today. His own spectacular performance in the eighteen months he was in power, his towering incorruptible personality; all combined to make him a folk hero, a cult personality of sorts among distraught and tempest-tossed Nigerians trying to navigate away from PDP’s banal misrule.
Nigerians are not paying any heed to the smear gospel of PDP against its nemesis, Buhari. They want a change from the mangled present they are meandering through with fear and trepidation written all over the landscape. They want a change from the organized banditry the present government queerly presents as governance. They want change from the vacuous and purblind leadership with which PDP is currently prosecuting the internment of an endowed country. They want change from an inept and clueless government that has stretched the bounds of decay to unimaginable levels in six harrowing years.
All these feelings of frustrations and desire for change find expressions in a Buhari that has occupied many lucrative offices in Nigeria without getting stained by the blights of corruption and public stealing. They find expressions in a Buhari that has cut the image of a stickler for discipline, integrity, honesty and character. That is why PDP’s campaign of mudslinging is not cutting any ice with determined Nigerians, well used to such desperate tactics aimed at domesticating power for the purpose of selfish aggrandizement and mass pauperization, as we are seeing today. It is the reason why no one is paying heed to the desperate PDP project of trying to pull Buhari down their level. Nigerians know better and are irrevocably committed to changing the thieving odious order the PDP has striven to impose on Nigeria for sixteen better-forgotten years. In its confusion, the rank and file of the PDP is wondering today, “Of what meat is this Buhari fed?” This is a pertinent question that may be difficult for the PDP to answer but not difficult for Nigerians to answer.
Nigerians know Buhari, not for the amount he stole while in power but for the huge resources he refused to pillage. Nigerians know what a Buhari presidency means in a land, taken over by pests and rodents. Nigerians know that a Buhari will stop the haemorrhage of public stealing which the present government has made the cornerstone of its uneventful rule. Nigerians know that a President Buhari will not cavort with known thieves and reprobates, will not form the company of raiders, pamper them and dishonour our national honour by giving it generously to their economic raiders, as we are seeing today. Nigerians know that a President will not watch our infrastructure crumble so badly, as they are today while looking for whom to blame for his failings. Nigerians know that a Buhari will not preside over the wanton freeloading of common resources to feed a few sybaritic eunuchs that live at the pleasure of the mandarins of Aso Rock.
Nigerians know that a President Buhari will not subject Nigerians to unending threat of increment in fuel, kerosene and diesel prices when Nigeria can refine and sell to Nigerians at almost no price. They know that a President Buhari will not approve of the mass extortion of Nigerians through unavailable light and subjecting virtually every sector to tools for extorting Nigerians to feed the array of locusts that profess ambience to the sitting government, as we have today. Nigerians know that a President Buhari will take on insurgency and insecurity just the same way he dealt with a fiercer Maitatsine uprising in 1984. Nigerians know that a President Buhari will lead the charge for the restoration of the mores and norms that ennoble live; virtues that have been interred in the present regime’s expedient search for relevance in the comity of looters. They know that a President Buhari will be a man whose words are worth treasures, who will be firm and decisive on issues that affect Nigerians and not play tricks with critical issues to satisfy base political interests.
Buhari will not be a president whose words and pronouncements look like wry jokes as we are seeing today; he will not be one who will for instance, tell policemen to quit harassing travellers and it would be laughed off and followed up with more audacious harassments. Buhari will not be a president that will allow indiscipline, wild and ravenous behaviour by his aides, untoward shenanigans that compromise integrity and good conduct. He will not be one to get lost with the temporary trappings of office that he becomes completely disconnected from the reality in Nigeria. He will not be a president that does what he doesn’t believe or mean and does not do what he believes or pretends to believe. Buhari has connection with Nigerian people through the deliberate acts he did while in previous public offices. These are the meat our Buhari is fed of. This is the sustainer to his raging candidacy, the driver to his immense acceptability, even with the desperate efforts of those run ragged by the prospects of his second coming to power. This is the grease that oils his present pan country quest for the presidency and the reason for which Nigerians will massively vote him to power on 14 February with the expressed task to rescue what is rescuable about this farcically wrecked country.
•Oparah wrote from Lagos. E-mail:[email protected]