Nigeria’s shilly-shally government Wednesday ,announced that it was “suspending the RUGA Program”. The project ,if seen to its end, would have created Fulani towns in all the states of the flailing nation. And because of herdsmen terrorism, Nigerians who are in the main, docile ,loudly rejected it. In one of a flurry of vitriolic tweets, Femi Fani-Kayode, writer and politician said:
…”The truth is that RUGA has little to do with ranching and everything to do with a clandestine, surreptitious and subtle attempt to establish and foist new Emirates on an unsuspecting and oftentimes naive and gullible Middle Belt and south, over a period of time”
In suspending RUGA, two things have become clear . The first is that the president is not invincible.
With all his many failings, President Mohammadu Buhari has millions of worshipers. The thing that draw them the most is a misplaced theanthropic aura first created when he was military head of state. As man and god, Mr Buhari can do no wrong and must not be criticized nor his policies challenged. Even when he acts human,that is, make mistakes, his followers see those as divine. Mr Buhari has done exactly the opposite of what he promised he will do. But being god and man,he can’t be wrong. Or can he?
Well, in trying to legally change the social anthropology of Nigeria by the “transplant ” ,Mr Buhari finds out quickly that he is a man. Nigeria’s South West, those he takes for granted as his natural followers told him they don’t have land to spare. The chairman of the governors’ Forum, Feyemi would not even give a yard, as is Edo state governor.
Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, said he in contemplating RUGA, Mr Buhari shouldn’t have been president, to start with. He wonders, like millions others,why cows should take precedence over humans. A section of Nigeria ( South East) sent a bill to Nigeria’s National Assembly about their intention to leave Nigeria. Even Mr Buhari’s media machine was in coma in comparison with the outrage. But Mr Buhari has done very many outrageous things and nothing happened. And so what changed? Like I said, when push comes to shove, the most basic human instinct is survival. Even if that means renouncing a god.
And this is not a good thing for Mr Buhari’s godlike image among his worshippers. And a far worse thing for him among his army of enemies. For the former, there is an air of calm. A collective sigh of relief. This means that Mr Buhari is just another president, not even remotely close to a deity. For the latter, they are emboldened to challenge Mr Buhari’s next move. Or even previous moves.
Myetti Allah isn’t happy with Mr Buhari.But what can a man do? How is the group to know that their patron saint is a man?
“Ruga was a collective effort and collaboration to put an end to the unending clashes between our people and farmers but was suspended unreasonably by FG. We won’t take responsibility for any attack or honor any meeting concerning insecurity henceforth”- Miyetti Allah. One can understand their frustrations. These are those who said that ” cows are happy that Buhari won “.And now he’s just an ordinary man?
Reports dating back to Tuesday afternoon said that the president was not aware of RUGA when the “presidency” found out that the scheme would not fly. That, as a matter of fact, Mr Buhari was losing support even amongst his most ardent followers in the South. And with an overarching petition challenging his elections victory, an overt mass disapproval is the last thing Mr Buhari needs. And so, for the purpose of his political survival and for the interests he serves, Myetti Allah will have to look elsewhere for accommodation. Sambisa Forest, for instance, as some have recommended.
Also, for his political expediency, he is ready to be accepted as a man. Not God.
But it is a problem if Mr Buhari isn’t able to carry the image of a god. For that image is the only reason he has been able to carry on even with all his blunders.
Taken together, now that the myth about his nature has been unravelled, that he is a man who make mistakes, former worshippers will begin to count his mistakes. It is very much like finding out that Father Christmas is Uncle Caleb .
The recently convocated national assembly that was not even consulted about RUGA will like to grow some teeth. Afterall, the President isn’t Nigeria’s king as RUGA has revealed.
And in the RUGA debacle, Mr Buhari has also played into the hands of his arch nemesis: President Olusegun Obasanjo. Two months ago , the former president said that Mr Buhari “plans to Fulanize Nigeria” . Mr Buhari’s thinkers should have thought of the I -told-you -so factor. Mr Obasanjo is ,once again, justified and Mr Buhari, caught in the act and or demystified.
Secondly and finally, Nigerians have found out that, they could change things they don’t like. That they are no longer the sheep they were since 2015. Now, they know that you don’t only take to the streets when a pastors takes of his pants or a senator hits a woman. That they can do much more to change the ghastly lot that is current Nigeria