Buhari and his rumoured death

President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari.

An impediment to the quest for the full return of history to schools is our fear of excavating the seamy past of our heroes. We want history to be returned to our schools so that we can learn about our past and its avatars and draw some useful lessons for an effective response to our contemporary challenges. But we are trapped in the tragic paradox of the fear of being confronted with the foibles and peccadilloes of the past heroes who shaped our history. This paradox is amply expressed in the warning not to speak ill of the dead.

We are even forbidden from speaking ill of the living. Fawn on the living, credit them with the virtues they are crassly bereft of and there would not be any problems. But attempt to draw attention to their less than stellar qualities and a kerfuffle is provoked. There is a grimmer possibility of this if the subjects are public office holders. They would deploy all their might to teach the daring offenders the lessons that they should not traduce a big Nigerian. With the complicity of the police, they would throw them into jail where they would be forgotten.

It is in this context that we can situate the developments around the rumoured death of President Muhammadu Buhari. To be sure, it is wrong to wish anybody dead. For neither do we have the power to take the life of someone we did not create nor know when that person would die. Again, we are reminded of Michel de Montaigne’s warning that we should not consider anyone happy until his death. In other words, no human being, no matter his or her station in life is immune from the storms and tempests of life. Thus, we must not be deterred from discussing the rumoured death of the president and appropriating some useful lessons from it. After all, other leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe were said to have died while they were still alive. Even in Zimbabwe, there have been many rumours of death about Life President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe who is amused at the rumours has quipped that he has resurrected more often than Jesus Christ. And just recently, one Pastor Patrick Mugadza prophesied that the 92-year-old Mugabe would die on October 17, 2017. And unsurprisingly, Mugadza has been taken to court. But the joke is on Mugabe as Mugadza’s lawyer has said that the pastor was only relaying a message from God and the police had to prove that God is not its originator.

The reactions of Nigerians to the rumoured death of the president are a mix of genuine shock and barefaced humbug. How dare malevolent persons claim that the president is dead? hollered some. If our president had reacted like this to the recurrent wastage of lives in the country, we would have disincentivised the propensity for willful killing by fellow citizens or through government neglect. We glimpse our president’s lack of respect for human life through his protection of those who allegedly stole the money meant for starving and sexually exploited internally displaced persons. Obviously, these lives are not as precious as the president’s. This is why despite the outrage at the sleaze of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Lawal Babachir, Buhari is begging the Senate to allow him to stay in office.

If the president loved other Nigerians as he loves himself, there would have been better health services. The president would have equipped all the hospitals under his care and made them to function optimally. The staff of government hospitals would have been well treated so that they would not go on strike for months and allow the poor citizens who cannot afford private medical treatment to die. For it is because the president loves his life that he often goes overseas at the slightest threat to his health.

How much does the president really care about the lives of the citizens when he allows them to be slaughtered by herdsmen in southern Kaduna and in other places? Or are those being killed less human than the president? The sense of urgency the president demonstrates in rushing overseas whenever he is sick should have been shown to tackle the crises that have triggered the killings by herdsmen. Or the president values cows more than the citizens’ lives. This is why he can watch as religious bigotry is claiming lives and hundreds of citizens are dying daily because of his mismanagement of the economy. Some are dying out of starvation while others are being wasted by diseases and taking their own lives out of frustrations. Still, others are wasted on our neglected roads and transportation system.

Since the president’s neglect and complicity have made life worthless in this country, some citizens were unabashed as they rejoiced at the rumour of his death. They did not see the vacuum that his death would have created in the polity. Rather, they saw his possible death as what was needed for the development of the country. This is where the importance of being rumoured dead lies. It affords one the opportunity to know how much positive impact one has made on others’ lives. No one wishes dead a person who has been of help to one. They only wish dead a person who is like a plague to them.

As long as our society continues to fail to put in place measures to make life liveable for the citizens, they may not sympthise with any leader who is rumoured or actually dead. In this regard, the president and his friends do not need to curse anybody who wished him dead. What the friends of the president should do is to get all the reactions of the citizens to his rumoured death. Using these reactions, let him weigh himself on a scale and see how much the citizens think he has served them. After this, the president should reinvent himself and plunge himself into the pursuit of those policies and projects that would make life meaningful to all. He could start by acknowledging that he understands the importance of good health to himself and the rest of the citizens. He should vow to equip the public hospitals in the country in such a way that he and other citizens would not need to go overseas for treatment.

If the president does not have confidence in the nation’s institutions how does he expect other citizens to do that? It is because of this lack of trust in our public institutions that is making our leaders to send their children to schools overseas while destroying the ones at home. Yet, we want the citizens to believe that their leaders are serving them and when they are rumoured dead they should only mourn and not rejoice. With the president now knowing clearly how poorly he is rated by those he claims to be working for, we really hope he would return home with better health and renewed vigour to serve the citizens and bequeath memorable legacies to the nation.

In this article:
President Buhari
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  • Ajike Ole

    Good one and I only hope he listens

  • Enyidede

    Fantastic write up. We do not want the cabals in control as it happened during the Yara Adu’s saga. Nigerians should wise up.

  • Emeka

    Please, do not blame the president in totality. Only blame him for accepting this assignment to be the president of a country like Nigeria. The man is getting old and not in perfect health . The rigors of governance is gradually overwhelming the man. The political landscape is also populated with gangsters full of treachery. He also thinks he is young and wants to take most decisions himself so the pressure is now squeezing him up. After the failures of Goodluck Jonathan even though we were still feeding well under GEJ, this is where we have ended up. From frying pan to fire. So sad.

    • Ayo

      He contested for 3 times so for me, he should have known what he was getting into. No excuse for age or the likes after all Trump is 70+ and very vibrant

  • Iskacountryman

    i saw president buhari about 6 hours ago…he was drinking kunu in germany…reading the guardian…

  • clifford

    Nigerians and Nigeria are tired for such situation in Nigeria. No body is talking on how to get things done only the richer continue to rich while the poor become more and more than poorer. See where we are heading to Egypt

  • Fatai

    I love this write up. Its a wakeup call for the President’s handlers

  • sam yam

    Stupid article written by someone who spend his life learning to speak English!…. it is filled with anecdotes, long wordy and useless. Get to the point moron.

    • Trueman

      I think you are the moron here for not being able to read and understand this simple article .

    • samuel gabriel

      Sam sorry i just have to tell that you lack understanding . Before you comment to valuable piece like this next time , read and fathom it

  • Emmanuel Omughele

    There are some sense in this article that should be considered by those who are concerned. How would you like to be remembered when you are really dead and cannot see what is happening after you?

  • sam yam

    Stupid article written by someone who spend his life learning to speak English!…. it is filled with anecdotes, long wordy and useless. Get to the point moron.

  • Habaa

    Very well said

  • tunde008

    Good write up.I agree entirely with you.He is not patriotic to be our president, he has failed on many fronts .Not visiting SE and SS.I don’t care if dies abroad since they refused to take care of the poor in Nigeria.Very very sad that our leaders take pride in going abroad for medical check up.Those days in the 80s and 90s Mike Ibru used to do his check ups in Nigeria before travelling outside Nigeria.



    “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.” – Buhari (Thisday, August 27, 2001)

    “If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon will all be soaked in blood.” – Buhari (Vanguard May 15, 2012)

    “The last general election was anything but free and fair. The only political parties that could complain of election rigging are those parties that lacked the resources to rig.” – Buhari (First Speech after Military Coup, 31 December, 1983)

    “No, no, no; Abacha did not steal Nigeria’s money.” – Buhari (10th Anniversary of Abacha’s death)

    “The declaration of state of emergency in three Northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is a grave injustice against the North.” – Buhari (Liberty Radio, June 2, 2013)

    “I live on borrowing. I borrowed from the banks to build the house in Daura and the one in Abuja and Kano. The bank then was Barclays, now Union Bank.” – Buhari (The SUN Exclusive Interview, December 24, 2012)

    “When the Niger Delta militants started their activities in the Southsouth, they were invited by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. An aircraft was sent to them and their leaders met with the late President in Aso Rock and discussed issues. They were given money and a training scheme was introduced for their members. But when the Boko Haram emerged in the North, members of the sect were killed, this is unfair”. – Buhari (Liberty Radio, Kaduna May 14 2012)

    “Muslims should only vote those who will promote Islam. We are more than the Christians if you add our Muslim brothers in the West.”- Buhari (Liberty Radio Kaduna, 2003)

    “This campaign is the third and last one for me; since, after it, I will not present myself again for election into office of the president.” – Buhari (April, 2011 at the Int’l Conference Centre, Abuja)

    “I’ll stabilize oil market if elected.” – Buhari (Channels TV Interview, 2014)

    “Why should Christians be concerned when Muslim cut off their limbs? After all, the limbs that are being cut off are Muslim ones and not Christian. So why should Christians bother about it?? – Buhari (Liberty Radio, Kaduna 2003)

    “If there is a repeat of the Civil War again, I will kill more Igbos to save the country.” – Buhari (BBC Hausa Service, 2015)

    “I can die for the cause of Islam if necessary. We are prepared to fight another Civil War. We cannot be blackmailed into killing Sharia.” – Muhammadu Buhari (Freedom House, 2000)

    “I’ll make Naira equal in value to dollar.” – Muhammadu Buhari (Vanguard, March 23, 2015).

  • sola dave

    Thanks for your piece. Some people would not note the lessons contained therein. The situation of things in Nigeria is disturbing. The country is drifting but the leaders and their hangers-on keep living in a fool’s paradise. Given that the PDP government was enmeshed in corruption, it was expected that an incoming government would be prepared for all the challenges of governing. When Obama became president in the US, he inherited a sinking economy with great slides in stock prices and disarray in the financial sector. Large banks such as Lehman Brothers went under. But Obama went to work. Enacted policies that turned the system round and by Jan. 2017, the Nasdaq clocked 20,000 points for the first time in history. They did not keep Americans in misery while their families would enjoy. They did not provide preferential treatment for any class in economic management except policies designed to stimulate sectors like the auto-industry. But in Nigeria, two years into the Buhari regime, there is no improvement in electricity, fuel price is up, roads are still bad, hospitals lacked good facilities and the education sector is dying. Yet Buhari is not expected to take any blame. We are told that he is working hard without results. Even the corruption the government claimed to be fighting has been found to be prevalent among their members. Are we to believe that many must die before the situation is redeemed given that the the rate of suicide is now high. Lovers of the government must be worried that this government has not only failed to deliver, it does not have the set-up that can bring positive change. There is no sector that we can identify as doing well yet the government does not tolerate criticism. Time will tell if the country will continue in this way. The sufferings and miseries of the masses have reached an intolerable level and urgent steps are needed to put things right. The joyful reaction of many to the rumored death of the president, it is like a child who was joyful on hearing the news of the demise of his father claiming that dead or alive it makes no difference to him. While I wish the president well, i urge that the ship of the nation must be rescued of imminent wreck.

    • Aristotle

      “There is no sector that we can identify as doing well yet the government does not tolerate criticism”
      Not entirely correct my brother, the herdsmen sector is doing very well, The religious genocide sector is doing marvelous as well. And according to our honourable sports minister Dalung, all the money to be spended have been well spended!

      I honestly weep for this nation