FEATURE ARTICLE

Hakeem BabalolaWednesday, October 4, 2017
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Budapest

HURRAH! PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI IS 57

elebrating Nigeria is celebrating Muhammadu Buhari because Muhammadu Buhari is one of the owners of Nigeria - take it or leave it. Oh, Muhammadu Buhari! Nigeria celebrates you. Patriotic Nigerians celebrate you on this occasion of yours.

Like Nigeria, your adversaries have proclaimed you dead, but here you are today standing with dynamism and militarism of a lion. Though it is said that you're 74, you look 57 with the pizzazz to perform - even in the other room. You're the best and the greatest to happen to your land. You have answers to all the problems and challenges confronting your country. You have come up with tangible solutions to revive the economic strangulation killing your compatriots one by one.

Sai Baba, I have since known that Nigeria belongs to you and your gangs of patriotic adventurers who have and still using our commonwealth to make sure Nigeria's unity is non-negotiable. You're on the right path mainly because you and your fellow patriots have been dealing with every section of the country in a fair approach strategy where justice is your watch-word. Don't mind those revolutionary thinkers saying or writing silly things against your oratorical skills and maverick nature. Sir, just dey look at them if they call you a bigot or any provocative appellation! If they call you a nepotist intent on continuing the power of your own dynasty, just dey look at them. Baba, let me tell you this: they will do even worse were they in your shoes. Na jealousy dey worry them - all of them.

Baba, you have done well sir, regardless of what the rebels think. It is their wahala! Under your able leadership sir, (unpatriotic ones will say ruler-ship - it is part of the envy) Nigerians lives are now better than ever before. Prices of essential commodities have relatively come down. In fact, the recession is fake news. There can never be a recession as long as you are at the helm of affairs. Your regime has helped create millions of jobs for the youths. Our schools are now among the best in the world. Federal roads are now accident-free due to adequate maintenance. Our hospitals are so well-equipped attracting presidents and prime ministers all over as they're having a medical vacation in your Nigeria just as you did a while ago in their England.

Baba sir, when you spent almost 100 days in England for medical vacation to attend to your failing health, I told the world that you knew what you were doing but nobody listened to my small voice. Your critics maintained that it was unpatriotic for a president of a Sovereign State to spend up to three months in another Sovereign State - for any reason. It turned out that you did it to appease foreign investors who are now trooping to your Nigeria. What a strategy! Thank you, Baba. Eni ti o dun mon, ko fori sole, ko ku (If you're not happy with that, just knock your head against the ground and die). You see, this is what your critics don't understand. What do they know? Sir, continue your good work and never change your style. Just neglect them, for you're the power.

As for the proscription of IPOB and labelling it as a terrorist organisation, it is within your leadership nature to disband anything disband-able. I say you don do well sir. IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu is a terrorist. Mandela was also a terrorist. And so was Yasser Arafat! Let's celebrate your birthday with fanfare and never mind that yeye country called America whose government doesn't agree with your government that IPOB is a terrorist organisation. Your army will soon deal with the Yankees as it dealt with IPOB.

Sai Baba, I repeat you're the greatest Nigerian dead or alive. I am sure the Ota farmer will be green with envy regarding your unequal achievements. You know, he always thinks he is the best that has ever happened to Nigeria. No, he is not! You are. Period... Congratulations sir. But if you think I am just flattering you, sir why would that eminent professor endorsed your presidential aspiration over all other contestants in 2015! That endorsement was all you needed and you got it. The rest, as the y say, is now history.

Baba, even though you backdated the law to execute in a harsh, tyrannical and inhuman the trio of Bartholomew Owoh 26, Bernard Ogedengbe 29, and Lawal Ojuolape 29, for possession of cocaine amid serious protest from Nigerians, I hail you. Judicial execution is part of the change you and your party chew like kola nut. I celebrate you, sir. Well-done sir! I know your critics will label me a sycophant, crawler, toady, bootlicker, ass-kisser and so on, but all the same, I celebrate you. They may say that highly placed people especially those involved in the Gloria Okon drug scandal are still roaming your street with pride of a locust. Why didn't you execute them by firing squad like the trio? Don't mind them o jare. All that ones na rumour. By the way, there are different justices for different people. Sai Baba!

The point is this: you simply like doing things in your unique way. What of decree 2 & 4 which you and your deputy, Tunde Idiagbon, enacted to gag the press and suppress freedom of expression and thought! But then it was reported that one of the two Guardian journalists you jailed for failing to disclose their sources - Tunde Thompson - coordinated the media activities of your party (APC) in 2015 presidential elections. What else can I say? I say you remain an enigma.

Your critics are still talking about the 53 suitcases that were allowed to pass unchecked at the Murtala Mohammed airport under your strict instruction in those brutal days. When you usurped power by terminating the elected civilian government in December 1983, you jailed so many politicians including the vice president Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme while you put the main man, the president Alhaji Sheu Shagari under house arrest. Now, they are using it to call you all sort of unprintable names. For the record sir, actions like this do not make you a tribalist or hypocrite or bigot. It is just your unique way of reasoning. Ranka dede...

You can do anything because Nigeria needs you to save her from corruption. No Nigerian - dead or alive - can tackle the monster better than you do. Even though many Nigerians see your tactics as a hounding message against your opponents rather than the sincerity of purpose, I still celebrate you. I salute you, sir. Some would cite the example of Rotimi Amaechi and Bola Tinubu, two of your party members who either financially or strategically contributed immensely to your victory as unfairness in your approach. Ask your critic sir, has any court found them guilty? I know they will reply you saying neither do Dasuki and others who belong to the opponent party. But then tell them: that's politics.

I repeat you're the greatest sir. Just dey look at them! Let them say. I am convinced that your "baboons and dogs will be soaked in blood" threat while you were in the opposition is a patriotic pronouncement. You cannot do any wrong, sir. They are saying the party you rode to power has in its manifesto the devolution of power at the centre or restructure, but you have said time without numbers that Nigeria needs no restructure. There's nothing ironical in your actions and speeches. See, that's the difference between a patriot and a rebel.

I can go on and on listing your achievements sir but I will stop here before the enemies start accusing me of being sentimental. You fought the civil war; you killed the Second Republic - all because of patriotism. Una do well sir. If they're not happy about the fact that you're being celebrated at 57, then let them go jump inside the lagoon. Sikenna.

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