- President Muhammadu Buhari is caught in between love. Everyone wants to show they love him.
It is happening everywhere like an epidemic. The EFCC tries to show him love. The NNPC is keeling over with that delicate emotion. The NTA is transmitting it in pictures and words.
Of course in politics, we see it in droves. Bukola Saraki says he loves Buhari. The Owu chief, too, who clobbered him electorally and in snide comments would show only love now.
Atiku, the peripatetic harlot of Nigerian politics, who battled him with war chest after war venom is awash with PMB love.
The first show of love was the staff of Aso Rock who reported early to work in the spirit of the gangling hero of the day. Soldiers in their high and peacock perches are saluting him in lusts of deference.
Let us not forget the walks, the advertorials, the politicians who now know that they only can swear by PMB. The ethnic titans, the religious zealots, the men cocooned in conspiracies against the man whom they thought had no chance to topple the simpering hero who now clucks in Otuoke.
We forget that not long ago, these same persons had the venoms of rhetoric against this man. This is the man who did not have the qualification in the Army. He was the man who was too old, too groggy, too northern, too Muslim, too austere for the times.
Now, we see the love of Buhari. But the love comes in different incarnations. There are those who love in order to keep their jobs. See EFCC has suddenly woken as the moral avatar, dusting up all sorts of revanchist cases. If Buhari is the man who can change our moral tone, so let us go after the so-called bad guys. It does not matter that under Jonathan we only pretended except when we went after his enemies, like Timipre Sylva.
The NNPC felt the shadow of love. The pot of gold is the vault of lies. Many stories of fraud tenanted that institution. Buhari is aware. Fear flew in the halls, screamed in the files, boiled in our crude oil, scarred our ears. They wanted to show love, but how? This was one place that the phrase tough love had a new meaning. It was tough to lie about what was clear thieving of the national treasury. Buhari knew about it and he took a first step and dissolved the board. The list of the board members told us what sort of men presided over the kleptomaniac bazaar of our resources.
Like the denizens of the DSS. No resources of wit to tap in order to show love. Now the president does not want them near him, at least for now. But he will have to use them. In a democracy, the secret service is the fulcrum of security. He knows that. But he is confronting an irony. The bastion of love is the secret service for a leader. But it’s like what Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet, love has become the hate. The bard called it “fiend angelical.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, now says he loves the President. He says he will work with the President. But he is at odds with the President’s directive and his party. He loves the President but humiliates his party. He benefited from a moral sewer of a process that installed him as president. He won a battle, and when his party with the President’s nod said he should conceded offices, he defied. Wasn’t that love, Saraki style?
He loves the President and he is lying that he gave up his ambition for Buhari as though we were not in this country when he bowed out of the race. He knew better than Atiku that he did not want the humiliation and disaster of primary defeat. He bowed away from public disgrace, not for Buhari’s ambition. How does the PMB, whom he loves, implement his programmes when he, Saraki, cohabits with men who confess antipathy to the landlord of Aso Rock?
He worked with Atiku, the man who now wants to play bee to Buhari’s honey. He spearheads mutiny so he can be the power Trojan of the APC. How does he explain his actions to his latest hero of today? That he undermines him in order to love him?
If he loves him, he should tell his co-conspirator Saraki to yield to the party rule. Both are fair-weather men. They have always been. Within the PDP, or outside. As for Atiku, he never saw an opportunity of self-aggrandisement he did not embrace, even if it meant kissing Lucifer.
As for the Owu chief, we saw him make a colourful act of tearing his PDP card in public. I hope we do not see, in the near future, another enactment of return. He would brandish a new card as the prodigal come home in a flourish. He did not tear PDP in his heart.
He worked, in underhand shadows, with PDP men and Atiku to undermine Buhari. They plotted to make PMB’s early days a tempest. Is that not love, the Ota way? We know how he showed love in the past. Dance with the man’s wife today, oust him tomorrow. Dine pounded yam today, his office dies tomorrow. Remember Okadigbo, Ogbeh, etc.
PMB will be taking a class in love these days with Judas’ silhouette in the background. He must feel special now that all those who knew him as enemy now bedeck him as the emblem of affection.
He reminds me of a character in the most ambitious of all novels, War and Peace. Leo Tolstoy’s character was mocked all the time. No one laughed at his joke. He did not belong to the royal class. He was adopted by one of the mainstays of the upper class.
He was renounced in love and society. But suddenly he came into a big inheritance. Suddenly Pierre was the most sought after in Russian society, anything he did made men cringe and any joke made them laugh. They craved the largesse of his purse if they sneered secretly at the large heart it came from.
His new power became a lesson in understanding people. He eventually knew who loved him and who did not, but he learned later that the world was full of love, if in counterfeit expressions. United States President Harry Truman once said that if you wanted a friend in Washington, “buy a dog.”
Graham Greene, in a short novel, titled ‘The Third Man’, shows how a man can be two at the same time. A man is buried supposedly and all mourn him as this great guy. But he is killed eventually after his lover knew him to be a fraud, the police know him to be a liar and his best friend know him to be a traitor. He dies once but mourned twice. The first fake burial calls him hero. The second knows him as villain.
So, Buhari will worry who is real or fake among those brandishing love. But the real lovers are those who voted and who fought for him when he was mocked as a gangling zealot of tribe and faith.