It is public knowledge that the editorial of The Guardian of Tuesday, June 2, 2020, titled ‘Buhari and his federal character virus’ and the open letter to President Buhari titled ‘President Buhari should belong to all of us’ – Col Dangiwa, all firing bullets unjustly at PMB were not in any way coincidental.
For me, they are planned well ahead as part of a grand plan by all haters of Buhari for self centred, myopic, parochial sentiments to discredit PMB in the eyes of his supporters across the length and breadth of the country.
For most Nigerians who know Dangiwa and his antecedents very well, it’s not suprising that he has been consistent in attacking President Buhari in recent times. His hatred began in 1985 when he led a team of dissident soldiers under the direction and support of their master, a firmer military head of state to topple the military government of General Muhammadu Buhari.
Since then, they have continued to gang up and wage relentless war against him. Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar is part of it. As a politician, they opposed Buhari, denied him victory, just as they did for Chief MKO Abiola.
Overtime, Nigerians saw through their misdeeds. A time came when they lost the capacity to deny him victory.
As President, he has been unravelling their network, cutting their illegitimate access to sources of power and wealth which they monopolized previously. Now pushed to the wall, they are fighting back by inciting the citizens at a time people are suffering from the fear of COVID-19 and the pains of a protective lockdown. They saw this as a good time to strike and ignite mass dissatisfaction and rebellion against the peoples government.
Their allies in the Nigerian media space, notably The Punch, The Guardian and a host of others spread across the print, electronic and social media are playing it up in trust on their behalf. Most responsible Nigerians see Col Dangiwa and his accomplices as nothing but ‘hate metchants’ who are by hook or crook, hell bent on discrediting President Buhari as a person and his adminstration. Nothing more or less.
In its response to Dangiwa, The Buhari Media Organisation, BMO, debunked insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari is a sectional leader while advising Nigerians to be wary of fake news merchants and mischievous individuals and groups.
In a statement.issued in Abuja, BMO noted that the President has been taking deliberate and necessary steps to achieve regional and ethnic balance in his appointments since 2015 adding, “We are surprised that Col Dangiwa had ‘fallen for the antics of purveyors of fake news hell bent on painting the President bad.’
BMO recalls that “these slimy characters are the same people who were part of a scheme cooked up by a British firm Cambridge Analytical, which was confirmed to have been paid £2m by an unnamed billionaire sympathetic to the PDP in the run-up to the 2015 Presidential elections to, among other things, present the then-candidate Buhari as a sectional leader.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, Presidential source while reacting to Dangiwa’s letter which focused on all political appointees including heads of parastatals and Presidential aides showing that the North had a 51% share of appointments in MDAs to the South’s 49% while 52.4% of Presidential aides were from the South compared to 47.6% from the North.”
It is therefore not in doubt that the Presidency has said times without number that just like in his first term in office, President Buhari would also be guided by the principles of equity and fairness in his appointments during his second term. This is not to convince anyone but to buttress the facts we have always insisted on but which hate merchants refused to acknowledge.
If the contents of classified records were anything to go by, the perception that President Muhammadu Buhari’s political appointments have unduly favoured the Northern part of the country is not supported by facts but mrre sentiments.
The classified documents which Daily Trust newspaper of June 1 this year quoted, contain all high profile political appointments made since Buhari came to power in 2015 show that the appointments have been largely balanced with the President’s North-West zone among the zones holding the shorter end of the stick.
Records show that South gets 52.4% while the North gets 47.6% of PMB’s appointments so far. These appointments marginally tilt the balance in favour of the South. A reliable source who refused to be named said: “The President has been severely criticised for so-called lopsided appointments in favour of the North, but the facts hardly support this view.”
Fortunately for Nigeria but unfortunately for the errand boy of coup executors of yore, Nigerians no longer take the Dangiwas, Buba Galadimas, Femi Fani Kayodes, Ango Abdullahis if this world’s views seriously. The elements of sincerity and patriotism, have evaporated into the thin atmospheric air from their utterances of open hatred for PMB.
It is a fact that President Buhari does all that is necessary and deliberately so to achieve regional and ethnic balance in his appointments. He does not tilt to his place. It is common belief now that Dangiwa has been spending too much time digesting fake news infested with a false narrative.
As a matter of fact, the double standards that characterise Dangiwa’s life is in sharp contrast to the radical posture he has been potraying himself to be. He is not a radical crusader but rather he is an opportunistic noise maker out to make a fortune.
It is on record that Dangiwa never for once criticized former President Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure despite the glaring corruption, ineptitude, nepotism, mis governance, insecurity etc that bedevilled his adminstration because of pecuniary gains. Nigerians must resist the narratives of divisiveness such as this. In the words of the BMO, “We are a united people, and the Dangiwas of this world must not be allowed to sell their packages of division among us.”
Dangiwa’s open letter to PMB should be dismissed with a wave of the hand simply because it is not well intended to guide the government but to ridicule it unjustly with all its visible intentions. Not too suprising is the editorial of The Guardian which came down on PMB and his government, further supporting the claim by Dangiwa on appointments in the national government.
According to the paper, which used to be the flagship of Nigerian journalism until recently, ‘the federal system has been bastardised such that most of Buhari’s appointments had no recourse to either equitable distribution or merit’. Nothing can be further from the truth than this.
The Guardian has totally thrown to the dogs all decency and decorum as provided for in Nigeria’s 1999 constitution as amended of being an unbiased umpire to one that had sided with the opposition to cast aspersions on PMB and his government for no reason other than selfish political interests.
It’s very sad that The Guardian has descended so low to become an appendage of the PDP for pecuniary gains in return for doing their biding.
To say the least, The Guardian has lost its prestige in the eyes of the Nigerian public. They have compromised their initial status as a fearless, truthful and unbiased medium that its publishers set out for it.
For Nigerians, no matter the campaign of calumny and hatred, their love for PMB and his government is unwavering, unshaken. For them its not Buhari and his virus but its The Guardian, Dangiwa and their likes that are the virus afflicting the country. This hatchet job by Dangiwa, The Guardian and co have hit the rocks again like they have done so in the past and will do so in the future. They better give up for their devilish plans against Nigeria and Nigerians, own up to their crime and repent.
Ilallah writes from Emeka Anyaoku Street, Maitama, Abuja via [email protected]