2nd February, 2015
By Peter Claver Opara
As the Jonathan administration and PDP frantically work to parry questions from its conduct in power for the past six years, especially as it involves the monumental elevation of corruption and graft to driving shafts of statecraft and how this has devastated governance and the lives of Nigerians, one of the cheap propagandas they bandy about is the one that says that Buhari is a religious fanatic, with intent to Islamise Nigeria. For this, they have recruited all manner of propagandists and religious zealots to spread bigotry and work on the emotional glands of the people they have largely misruled and impoverished. In a country where the religious antes of citizens have been deliberately worked up most especially by the Jonathan regime in its desperate desire to continue in power, this has the potency of driving wedges between Buhari and Christians in a multi-sectarian and multi-cultural country as Nigeria as well as dangerously worsen the spate of sectarian intolerance, suspicion and warfare among Nigerians.
This propaganda has endured and is fed with more egregious lies, forgeries and hacks. The peddlers of this lie know it is nothing more than a huge lie meant to mislead the uninformed and the simple minded and con another term in office. It is a deliberate act of mischief by a party and government that have failed woefully to justify the use of six years of unprecedented oil windfall to better the lots of Nigerians. Having failed in all spheres of governance and still nursing the desire for continuity, it is just obvious that such lies should be invented to shoot down the single most dreaded threat to a continuation of that purblind governance. The lie of Buhari’s Islamic fundamentalism has been bought by those that still shower confetti on the Jonathan’s government and those that are not enlightened enough to appreciate the importance of proof on such allegation. Among these are ready-for-hire hustlers who masquerade as pastors, then unrepentant bigots and ethnic zealots and those who have been shut off from civilization by the deliberate policy of the same Jonathan government not to improve life with the hundreds of billions of petro dollars it had earned in its six uneventful years in power. The political desperados behind these lies and cheap propaganda stay at the background, feeding these tongs of mischievous fire and praying that once again, they will get a fresh license to dupe and pauperize the people, as we are experiencing in their hands today.But beyond all these gales of plain mischief, the apt questions Nigerians should ask and seek answers to remains; is Buhari a religious fanatic? Is he ruled by the craze of religious dominance? How come he learnt fanaticism at old age and not when he was wielding untrammeled power? What exactly is President Jonathan doing, traversing every Church with incendiary message of being the only Christian avatar in sight today? What proofs exist to suggest that General Buhari is a religious fanatic that is dominated by the singular desire to Islamise the country apart from the desperate campaign propaganda of the flailing Jonathan government seriously dodging questions about its scruples and its handling of statecraft in the past six years?Yes, Jonathan and his PDP have told us that Buhari said in 2011 that he wished that Sharia is implemented all over Nigeria, which Buhari has categorically denied making stating that he, at no time wished Sharia for non Muslims, as the PDP would like us to believe. But even if we are to agree that Buhari called for total implementation of Sharia across the country, does that translate to forcefully subjecting Nigerians of other faiths to Sharia? The answer is a capital no. Even at that, the truth is that Sharia was introduced under a PDP government and it never lifted a finger to stop it. At the last count, as many as ten states in the north are purportedly implementing Sharia under a PDP government; pray had this translated to a forceful subjection of Christians to Sharia precepts? The answer again is no so why is the PDP desperate to hang endlessly on this straw if not that its lies are collapsing so badly, as recently affirmed by Governor Adams Oshiomhole?
Has anyone tried to find out the true state of Sharia even in the states where it had been adopted? Another lie that is desperately hawked by storm-tossed political predators is that Buhari will Islamise Nigeria. As baseless as this lie is, the PDP and the Jonathan presidency hang on it like an assured life saver. But let us think about it. Buhari governed Nigeria for eighteen months, as a military ruler whose decree is law and with a Muslim deputy. There was no where it was recorded that Buhari attended or took Nigeria to any Islamic body for forceful enlisting. There was no where it was recorded either in recent or distant history that Buhari ever took any move to islamize Nigeria. It was a known fact that Buhari rebuffed intense pressures to enlist Nigeria in the Organization of Islamic Countries for the period he was in power.
It was the Babangida regime that enlisted the country to the OIC and curiously, during the Yar’Adua/Jonathan regime, Nigerian membership of OIC was renewed on April 12, 2012. Jonathan himself was to attend the OIC Islamic Summit held in Cairo, Egypt in 2013! Come to think of it, how can a Buhari that resisted the pressure of smuggling Nigeria into any Islamic body when he was like a maximum ruler now manoeuvre his way through the legislature and a mixed executive to force Islamism on Nigerians? A pure hogwash that can only appeal to rain soaked political rent seekers.
Coming to Buhari’s domestic household, it till shocks some who have gulped the frenzied lies of the Jonathan/PDP administration that Buhari’s cook for many years is a Christian and which religious zealot in recorded history has put his life in the very hands of the same religion he plans to exterminate? Yes, a cook holds the life of his master. Before they come hurtling down with suppressed fury at how Buhari put his life in the hands of his Christian cook, Buhari’s driver is a Christian and so are most of his domestic staff and which Muslim bigot anywhere in the world will allow Christians so up close to him? And another incontrovertible fact: Buhari allows Sundays as work free days for his Christian staff, an act which the pretending and hypocritical Christian bigots now thumping up and down in the name of religion don’t even do!
Another tepid mischief by the desperate mongers is that Buhari is behind Boko Haram yet he was providentially spared from a bomb attack from the same ghouls recently. It is a known fact that General Azazi who was Jonathan’s cousin and his former National Security Adviser made a stunning revelation at a South South Summit in Asaba that Boko Haram remains a fallout of the do-and-die politics in PDP. He was quickly removed after this revelation and he was to die along with Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, shortly after in a mysterious plane crash. Today, the human face of Boko Haram, Alli Modu Sherrif is warmly in bed with Jonathan and PDP, while the PDP sees the miraculous rejuvenation of its potency in proficiently recycling the lie of Buhari being behind Boko Haram. Again, will a soldier who has a reputation for straight talk and decisiveness and who crushed a fiercer Maitatsine religious uprising when he was in power condone such silly antics as Boko Haram and its sponsors purvey?
But let us face the reality of the Nigerian situation. Since when did Jonathan/PDP become the face of Christians that some so-called Christian leaders are dancing so shamelessly naked to appropriate the many shortcomings of this government? Since when did Christians begin to bandy and hand-clap for a corrupt and ethically-wrecked government just because they claim the head of such cartel adheres to their religion? Since when did Christians begin to covet the shenanigans and follies of government on the pretext of fighting a pseudo-religious war that exists in the mercenary minds of the promoters? Since when did Christians openly start hugging dirt and other corrupt manifestations of political wayfarers in the name of promoting its own agenda- whatever that is?
Since when did Christians start tagging along mendacious atrocities committed by politicians and their cahoots and dragging the hallowed institution of Christianity in the mud? Since when has Christianity become an appendage of a corrupt PDP that we are being blackmailed to support its quest for eternal power without responsibility? These are pertinent questions Christians must start to ask as PDP’s many lies and desperation add as a fillip for the well expressed desire for change in Nigeria.
Buhari, unlike the leaders, most members and supporters of the PDP, lives a verifiable life of honesty, integrity, discipline. This is his badge of honour which no failed government, its corrupt supporters and desperate enablers of official rot can impeach. He remains the change Nigerians have yearned, prayed and worked for and Febuhari 14 remains our date with history as duped, shortchanged, robbed, raped and despoiled citizens of an unfortunate country whose leaders have raided the common ban and left us pining with the shortest ends of the stick.
•Oparah writes fromIkeja, Lagos. E-mail: [email protected]