by Sam Nda-Isaiah
It is now incontrovertible that someone somewhere really wants General Muhammadu Buhari dead. The event of July 23, 2014, must not be taken or treated lightly. If we had a serious government in place, then, setting out to uncover the mystery would have become a major national assignment at this point. General Buhari is not just another Nigerian. He is a former head of state and he is also the leader of the Nigerian opposition, whichever way you choose to see it.
Buhari himself has rightly called it an assassination attempt. But the government and their friends said if it were an assassination attempt at all, then, the searchlight should start from his own party, All Progressives Congress (APC). Some have even gone further, if preposterously, to directly point fingers at presidential contenders within the party. But it gets curioser and curioser; our own Mujahid Dokubo-Asari has said Buhari actually stage-managed the attack on himself so as to give his (Asari-Dokubo’s) paymaster, Goodluck Jonathan, a bad name. I didn’t know this man is so brilliant. How ingenious!
But Buhari’s well-wishers think those who want him dead are closer to Jonathan than to him. Just within hours after Buhari had said that Jonathan had declared war against Nigerians, that direct attack on his person, as if to confirm Buhari’s statement, occurred. Nobody has directly accused Jonathan himself of trying to kill Buhari – at least I have not heard that publicly – but there are some facts that are very difficult to ignore.
You may not like former president Obasanjo and I am not exactly his fan – but you cannot take things he says about this government lightly. After all, are both the Jonathan and Yar’Adua governments not an offshoot of his own? Obasanjo said in that defining letter he wrote to Jonathan recently that he was aware that hitmen and killer squads were being trained for President Jonathan in preparation for the 2015 elections. And nobody should tell me not to take Obasanjo seriously on this one please. If there are 1,000 people on the so-called hit list, as Obasanjo said, it will make sense to assume that Buhari’s name would be among the first. So this is one possibility. The snipers were probably very upset about Buhari’s assertion and they just decided to start their assignment from him.
Another possibility could be that, yes, Boko Haram wanted Buhari dead. The mass murder of that day in Kaduna bears the signature of Boko Haram all over it. It would be plausible to link the suicide bomb attack on Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, the Darika sect leader, to the one on Buhari only minutes apart on that same day. Dahiru Bauchi’s message to those who wanted him dead is that they should be a little more patient. At his age, 89, they wouldn’t have to wait much longer. Why did they spill the blood of scores of innocent people just to reach him? he asked. It’s just simply outrageous.
Could it be that Boko Haram wanted to kill Buhari because he has been critical of their activities? If this one is the case, then, it should be clear to those jesters who have been desperately trying to force the label of “sponsor of Boko Haram” on Buhari to go and find something else to do. If Boko Haram wanted to kill Buhari, then he could not be their friend. It is not that anyone needed this proof in order to make this point in any case.
Now, let’s go back to the theory being bandied by the PDP and their friends. My friend, Akin Osuntokun, hinted in a write-up that the fact that the bullet-proof vehicle that Buhari was travelling in on that fateful day was given to him by Jonathan was enough proof that Jonathan could not be behind the failed assassination attempt. He said that it was Col. Dangiwa Umar who told him so. I think Akin did not understand what Col. Dangiwa told him because I placed a call to Col. Dangiwa myself after reading Akin’s piece. I do not think that Akin was lying. I just think he simply misunderstood Col. Dangiwa because I know the president did not give Buhari that jeep. It was in fact given to him by an APC chieftain. I know that as a certainty. So that’s settled.
PDP’s publicity secretary, a certain Olisa Metuh, insinuated that those who attempted to kill Buhari could be his fellow APC presidential aspirants. I don’t know whether that makes sense at all, but listening to those PDP people, I know that there is nothing the human mind cannot contrive. If anyone in APC wanted to kill Buhari, would he use a bomb or a suicide bomber?
Anyway, whether it is Boko Haram or PDP people or even Buhari’s APC competitors that desperately wanted him dead, is it not still within the métier of the Jonathan government to protect the people and unravel the mystery and save us all? Or has Jonathan and his people forgotten that elementary responsibility of government? Even if it is APC members that wanted Buhari dead, is it still not the duty of the government that Jonathan heads to protect him? Why are they talking as if the president is totally excused, if it is Boko Haram or APC members that wanted to kill Buhari? The way some of these PDP chieftains are talking about this their brilliant idea of an intra-APC murder conspiracy against one of their own, you would be forgiven to think that they were part of the assassination plot. These people do not even understand the first thing about the workings of government. Is it not the duty of their government to keep everybody safe? People who accuse those in government of such criminalities do so because of the Jonathan government’s body language. Why, for instance, does the government conduct all Boko Haram suspects’ trials in secret? Who does the government want to protect or what are they hiding? Why is it that nothing has come out of all the several discoveries of bomb-making factories we constantly hear of? Or several shiploads or truckloads of arms that have been impounded by the customs and other security agencies? Why is it that, in all these years, no serious Boko Haram suspect has been arrested and tried by government? Is it possible that the government would not know the financiers of these hoodlums? Government? Is it indeed possible that any government at all would not know the financiers of criminals within their land for this long? Does this make sense to anyone? If it is indeed true that Jonathan’s government still does not know those arming these terrorists, why are they still in power? Is it by force? There are several unanswered questions and many things are not adding up.
The matter is even getting more complicated. Some followers of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi are beginning to say that the attack must have been masterminded by some members of the Izala sect with which they are in perpetual enmity, even though no one has any proof of that. I hope some of these members of the Darika sect do not go on a groundless revenge mission thereby spilling more blood unnecessarily.
This is just the time that Nigeria needs very strong and competent leadership. We certainly do not have one at the moment. The situation is getting scarier and scarier by the day.
…And More And More Bloodletting
Who’s feeding on all this blood that’s being shed in Nigeria every day? Last Friday, soldiers needlessly killed 35 unarmed Shiite sect members including three sons of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, during a peaceful demonstration in Zaria. Was there no way that bloodletting could have been prevented? What danger did these Shiite sect members, who were unarmed and are ideologically opposed to Boko Haram, pose to the peace of Zaria and the country? Yes, I am aware of their occasional excesses and peskiness, but is that worth 35 lives especially since many of them were arrested alive? Maybe I don’t know enough, but when did peaceful protests for whatever reason become so much a crime that 35 people have to be killed? Is Nigeria losing its soul?
The leader, El-Zakzaky, has so far called on his members all over to show restraint. This should be commended but there must be consequences for the murder of 35 innocent souls even if the murderers were those in authority. The government must not mismanage this one again and create another Boko Haram on our hands.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Sam Nda-Isaiah/Leadership