Between Mohammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu

  Between Mohammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 6:52 am

Dr Promise Adiele

Dr Promise Adiele

                                       Promise Adiele


                            And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke,

                           I will add to your yoke:

                           my father hath chastised you with whips,

                          but I will chastise you with scorpions. 1 Kings 12:11


The supremacy of the Holy Bible as a manuscript of revival, renewal, prophecy, and hope has never been in doubt. Although many disoriented individuals easily locate in the Holy Book instances that enable their dubious manipulative inclinations, it does not detract from its overwhelming spiritual and apocalyptic symbolism. Every contemporary event correlates with another event in the Bible. This justifies the Bible as an everlasting reflexive mirror of the human condition. Look around you and check the Bible for a corresponding event with any issue in contemporary times. You will be amazed at the level of exactitude. Many Biblical characters have reincarnated in real life more than we can count. Still, they continue to reincarnate. Please, let us understand reincarnation in the context of replicating a phenomenon and not necessarily from the ‘abiku’ or ‘ogbanje’ prism. The quote at the beginning of this essay echoes the mindset of Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s maximum ruler extraordinary. To be sure, the Nigerian president has not uttered the words at the beginning of this essay, but his inconsiderate, sadistic economic policies anchored on taxing impoverished Nigerians contain all the trappings of the above quote.

According to Biblical accounts, Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son, uttered the quote at the beginning of the essay. After the death of King Solomon, his son Rehoboam became the king of Israel. While King Solomon was alive, he burdened the Israelites with taxes and heavy labour that made the people groan endlessly. When Rehoboam went to Schechem to be crowned as the king of Israel, the Israelites, led by Jerobaom pleaded with him to reduce their heavy taxes and labour King Solomon laid on them. Rehoboam sought the opinion of the elders of Israel. They advised him to reduce the heavy taxes of the people. Also, Rehoboam consulted the young men of Israel who grew up with him. The young men encouraged him to increase the labour and taxes of the people. Rehoboam rejected the wise counsel of the elders and took the advice of the young men. He increased the people’s taxes and labour. His pronouncement is captured at the beginning of this essay. Students of Bible Knowledge will understand the tradition of “who said it, to whom, and where was it said”.

There is a popular saying that nothing is too big or too small, too bad or too good, too strong or too weak except by comparison. Lady xyz is beautiful but when compared to lady abc, she is ugly. A city is sophisticated to the extent that it has not been compared to another city. Ronaldo is a wonderful footballer but compared to Messi he pales to insignificance. (hehehehe). Sanni Abacha was a monstrous dictator but if compared to Idi Amin of Uganda, he would be a kind ruler. If you compare Idi Amin to Hitler, Amin would be the best thing to happen to humanity. Justifiably, we can say that although Mohammadu Buhari was clueless and divested of all the cognition of governance, compared to Bola Tinubu, he is a much-desired president. How much do Nigerians miss him? It is the tenth wonder of the world that Mohammadu Buhari, the vilified former president of Nigeria, in all his intransigencies, could be better than any leader. That demonstrates the abysmal levels to which Nigeria has fallen under Bola Tinubu. Perhaps, this comparison is necessary to underscore in real terms the extent of psychological damage the current administration has inflicted on impoverished Nigerians just after a year.

One of the inexplicable enigmas of Nigeria’s current political dispensation is the maniacal, morbid posturing of the current administration’s apologists who hound and attack any demand for good governance as opposition or a victim of election loss. The attack dogs are everywhere. The moment you identify any criminality in the corridors of Bola Tinubu’s political architecture, the attack dogs pounce and defend what is indefensible. They shamelessly conceive Nigerians to be stupid and expect them to swallow all the acrid contents of the current administration without a squawk. Of course, Bola Tinubu is the luckiest president Nigeria has ever had because it confounds every smidgen of reason that Nigerians would keep calm in the face of all the economic rape and hardship which admits millions of people to the penurious clan every day. Goodluck Jonathan was not that lucky. Perhaps, one of the conditions of propitiation which Nigerians must carry out to exorcise the demon of hardship and initiate good governance in Nigeria is to collectively apologize to Goodluck Jonathan. Some Nigerians, in complete desecration of public decency, made a coffin for an elected president and wrote RIP on it. Compared to the conditions in the country now, Nigerians were in paradise under Goodluck Jonathan. But my interest is to compare Mohammadu Buhari and his successor Bola Tinubu.

Mohammadu Buhari came to power riding on the mantra of integrity. While interviewing Ibrahim Babangida inside his Minna mansion in 2016 with Professor Hope Eghagha, he told us in unambiguous terms that Mohammadu Buhari is an honest man, in fact, honest to a fault, although he outlined his flaws too. Therefore, one can say that one of the things that swayed the emotions of millions of Nigerians to vote for Buhari was his honesty and integrity. Whether he proved these character traits as president is a matter of infinite conjecture. However, Bola Tinubu’s only claim to power was hinged on ‘his turn’ and nothing more. Amid all the speculations and contentions regarding his genealogy, educational background, and business dealings in the USA, he emerged as president all the same. One would have expected that given his tumultuous journey to Aso Rock, he would endear himself to the people with people-oriented policies. Unfortunately, the Buhari days, compared to Tinubu days, have become the good old days. Currently, Nigerians recall the Buhari days with nostalgia, wishing that he is still in power.

Although the Daura retired army general was referred to as clueless by many Nigerians, he vehemently refused to remove fuel subsidy or float the naira. Before he became the president of Nigeria, he agreed that subsidizing fuel was criminal and had pledged to remove the subsidy upon ascension to power. However, when he became president, he could not come up with any effective prognosis that would ameliorate the effect of removing fuel subsidy on Nigerians. Therefore, he refused to remove the subsidy. The World Bank pressurized him to float the naira but he refused because he saw the end from the beginning. But Bola Tinubu, from the first day of his tenure tactlessly removed fuel subsidy with a wave of the hand. He did this without considering the harsh economic realities on already impoverished Nigerians. “Fuel subsidy is gone”, the newly sworn-in president declared and since that day, Nigerians have never been the same. Apologists of the government pushed the stale narrative that funds saved from fuel subsidy will be ploughed back into infrastructural development. Alas, the IMF has alerted Nigerians that Tinubu is secretly paying for fuel subsidy.

The question is, if the government is paying for fuel subsidy, why is the price of fuel and other petroleum products so high? How much has the government saved from fuel subsidy? Unfortunately, when concerned Nigerians ask these critical questions, attack dogs, depraved on all fronts, bereft of all intellectual gestation, bare their fangs and bleed idiocy from all pores. It was fine for Nigerians to criticize Goodluck Jonathan. It was fine to criticize Mohammadu Buhari but it is an anathema to criticize Bola Tinubu. Such double standards and impish posturing are redolent of people with defeated, timid consciences. Buhari’s economic policies were not the best but today, Nigerians will accept the conditions under him than the conditions under Tinubu. The naira, under Buhari struggled, but under Tinubu, the naira is almost useless. Buhari showed an aversion to the freedom of expression and free press. Tinubu is towing the same line. Both men relied on propaganda but Tinubu to a higher degree. It does appear that while Buhari presided over the bludgeoning of Nigeria, Tinubu is poised to supervise the country’s swansong.

When he was campaigning to be president, Tinubu unequivocally declared that he would widen the tax net, cripple the economy and reduce the purchasing power of the people. I recall that the audience sheepishly applauded him the day he made that tragic comment. Buhari borrowed money from China, the World Bank and other countries of the world but Tinubu is positioned to surpass him. The Igbo have a proverb that a man urinating cannot confidently declare that his two hands are completely free, he must be holding something. Bola Tinubu’s hands are not free, he is holding something. He is holding the fortune and lives of millions of people. He is holding marriages, the future of millions of children, their education and total well-being. Tinubu is holding the air we all breathe, he is holding us by the jugular and we beseech him, as free, bona fide citizens of this country, to listen to wise counsel and reduce the burden on Nigerians. Nigerians are suffering under him more than they suffered under Buhari. Suddenly, Tinubu has made Buhari a saint. While Buhari chastised Nigerians with whips, Tinubu is chastising Nigerians with scorpions. And Nigerians cry, Tinubu lessen our burden.

Promise Adiele PhD

[email protected]

X: @drpee4


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