On September 11, Busola, Yoruba ,who used to tell me that she had no interest in politics sent me two items on WhatsApp, a social media. The first was a message to the effect that Buhari won at the tribunal! The second was an unusually creative “Atiku left”, a reference to the display when a member exits a WhatsApp group.
On Thursday, September 19, Busola didn’t like two bits of news. The one was that she is being forced to eat Nigeria Rice, and “It is not even cheap”, She gripes. “That man is wicked” . She doesn’t say who. Instead, she types the second bad news: “I don’t like what they are doing to Osibanjo. Nigerians voted for him because of Osibanjo”.
“Oh, you mean Buhari”? I gloat. “What’s wrong with Nigeria Rice “? I ask,gloating more. “And for the record, Some Yorubas voted for Buhari because of Osibanjo, not Nigerians”. Busola absorbs that and agrees. “I won’t vote for him again “, she types in despair. ” People are suffering and complaining “.
“Well, your regret is too late”.I tell her. And she doesn’t know why and how.”Before the elections, didn’t it occur to you that this was Buhari’s second, and thus, last ternure? That after the elections he won’t give a damn what happens to you? Why do you think his men have reduced Osibanjo to nothing”? And she says we should change the topic.
My friend Busola, typifies those Nigerians whose ability to do a cost-benefit anaysis is in very short supply. Even when the cost is hugely greater than the immediate benefit ( a few Nairas, a handful of rice, etc) they proceed with the process. Like “re-electing” Buhari, for an example.
Nigerians, broadly speaking, don’t pay nheed and hardly ever learn from previous experiences, however unpalatable. It’s a strange trait and the grief it causes them is incalculable.
“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.”– Williams Haztllit said but in today’s Nigeria it looks like the Yorubas can only weep;not laugh. Today, they are rudely reminded of what is ( that despite voting Buhari, they will be worst for it). And not what ought to be( a good life).
Here are a few examples of how the ethnic card was played by Bola Tinubu and how it has backfired.
A) Waiting for Buhari to die.
The rumour persists that the reason Mr Tinubu chose Buhari was because he knew the dictator’s medical history. He won’t last the first term and Osibanjo, his boy, will step in. That was the theory. And so, every machine was put to work. Obasanjo, Soyinka, Bakare,etc. They hacked at Jonathan. He was at once clueless and drunk. It was the ethnic card being played.
Well, Buhari ( the man has said he was not a clone) is in a second term. He won’t need Yorubas anymore.
And so, the revenge is Osibanjo. Last year, Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun was forced to resign as was the head of Nigeria’s Intelligence Agency ,Ayo Oke. Both slots have been filled by the North. Osibanjo’s replacement will be a Yoruba lackey or ,as I hear, Adams Oshiomole, but a questionable education makes that doubtful. But again, anything to spite the Yorubas.
B) Nobody listens to Femi Gbajabiamila.
Two days ago , Nigeria’s ineffectual speaker of the house representatives, a useless debating society, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he’d report the “service chiefs to Buhari “. Their offense? They avoided a security meeting called by him. And why shouldn’t they? You see, Mr Gbajabiamila was an Elder in a posh church in Lagos Lekki, House On the Rock. But in order to become speaker, he became not only an apostate but actually converted to Mr Buhari’s religion: Islam.
And so, the speaker is a paper tiger, if that. I also hear that the account of the national assembly is being “probed ” by Mr Buhari’s men.
C) Babatunde Fowler is in a mess.
Two month ago, Abba Kyari, Buhari’s main man, gave a query to Nigeria’s Chief tax collector even when he didn’t have the right to do so. And Mr Fowler? Of course he replied to the query in 3 pages. And to make the North happy, he is jacking up VAT to 7.5% to the utter horror of Nigerians. But even all that servitude has not helped him.
Mr Fowler was said to have given Mr Yemi Osibanjo 90 bilion Naira for the elections. The story goes that the money was not well spent. That is , the cabal didn’t get their own share. Mr Fowler’s office is denying this but I don’t think that cuts any ice with the shadows in Mr Buhari’s cabal.
Because it would appear that the Yorubas are more governed by instincts than reason, they didn’t get it when news came that ” Buhari intends to fill all financial jobs with women”. What that means is that Mr Fowler’s replacement will be a Fulani woman.
C) Put and end to Tinubu’s influence.
Mr Tinubu is no longer counting on Mr Buhari to die. Or, Mr Buhari’s possible demise is no longer Tinubu’s only option. Now he wants to be president by 2023. Tunde Bakare, Buhari’s running mate in 2011, also wants to be.
Nasir El Rufai, Kaduna state governor and Mr Tinubu’s nemesis ,has asked Adams Oshiomole to join the race. By the way, here is a tweet from the truculent governor.
SATURDAY WISDOM: “The moment the masquerade begins to think he is the God, the masquerade will be unmasked and reduced to be a laughing stock that is lower than a human being.” – Yoruba Proverb.
Reno Omokri, everyone’s nemesis, is offering money to anyone who knows the object of Mr Rufai’s tweet.
We hear( conspiracy theories mostly, to be clear) that Akinwunmi Ambode, the guy whose career was abbreviated by Mr Tinubu is being ticked to replace Osibanjo. And Mr Tinubu knows what that means. First, MC Oluomo,Tinubu’s mafia boss who really runs Lagos, will have to relocate. Or worse. At that point, Mr Tinubu will really have to watch his blood pressure.
D) Finally, a Yoruba Army General under a court martial.
Hakeen Otiki, Major General, is being tried for stealing billions of Naira. What really happened was that Mr Otiki’s boys helped themselves to the money theu were meant to “escort” to a safe place. The practice to ferry large sums owned by General Officers, Commanding, GOCs, is routine. But Mr Otiki is Yoruba and which tribe makes for easy target without complaining!
In the grand scheme to accumulate more power, the Yorubas only increased those of the North and diminished its own. Under Buhari, at least for now, Yorubas are an endangered species of sorts.
Yorubas are eager to forget and also have an infinite inbuilt capacity to endure pain. Lest history is full of appropriate examples of how they lose each time they band with the North.
Incidentally, the message from Busola today on WhatsApp simply says “I am not happy”. Why? I didn’t ask. It could be the Nigerain Rice that Mr Buhari forces her to eat, the harassment of her people, etc. Nobody is happy to lose. Even when ethnic cards are used.