DURO ADESEKO writes that, at least, for the providential hand on President Muhammadu Buhari, reasons for his uncommon attainments, and therefore, reasons he must dance to entertain Nigerians as he accompanies his party the All Progressives Congress (APC), to presidential rallies
Buhari’s uncommon attainments
God, Nigeria and Nigerians have been kind to President Muhammadu Buhari. For a man who recently admitted he never knew his father to have risen to become a General in the Nigerian Army, appointed governor of North Eastern state, appointed petroleum minister, emerged military head of state and now two-term elected civilian president can only be attributed to an act of God.
At 80, President Buhari has reasons to dance in appreciation. He has reasons to dance for God and his country. Olusegun Obasanjo and Buhari are the only two Nigerians with such rich CV.
Buhari soon to join league of elder statesmen
In 1997, when late General Sani Abacha was in charge of the nation’s affairs, thugs disrupted the All Politicians Summit at Eko Hotels and late Alex Ibru, publisher of Guardian newspapers, offered to host the summit at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
On one fateful day, late Bola Ige arrived early for a meeting of one of the committees set up by leaders of the summit. As political reporter of the Guardian newspaper, this reporter was elated to have an exclusive interview with a leading politician.“Sir, as an elder states man…” I began.
Chief Ige snapped: “I am not an elder statesman. An elder statesman is a man who has served his people before retirement. Elder statesmen are consulted after retirement. I’m still active in politics. Go and check your dictionary.”
Who am I to dispute what the Cesaro of Esa Oke said? Up till today, I take what Chief Ige said as the true meaning of an elder statesman. By Ige’s definition, President Buhari would become a true elder statesman after May 29 when he would retire to Daura or Kaduna. He would then join the league of former heads of state who ruled his country in uniform and as a civilian.
Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari would be acceptable to the international community as former leaders. Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar would continue to be revered as former military heads of state.
Message of Buhari at rallies
The All Progressives Congress (APC) recently announced that President Buhari has accepted to attend the presidential campaign rallies of the party in 10 states. Recently, Nigerians watched the president campaigning for his party candidates in Yola, Adamawa state and Damaturu, Yobe state.
Nigerians know the position of the president on issues. Nigerians can guess what the president would say at the next campaign rally. In 2015 and 2019, the theme of the president’s campaign was security, economy and fight against corruption.
This time around, the president would be campaigning for his party candidates. The theme of his speech would center on continuity of the good work he has started. Never mind whether Nigerians agree or disagree with the assertion that he has fulfilled his campaign promises. Never mind if opposition parties say Nigeria is in ruins. Nigerians are used to the political gymnastics of politicians.
In politics, don’t expect your opponents to sing your praise. You don’t fold your hands and allow your opponents to rubbish you either. It is your responsibility to claim to have done exceedingly well. When you leave the political scene, you leave judgment to the people and history. But President Buhari owes Nigerians the duty to put smiles on their faces before his departure.
This time, what Nigerians should ask him is not whether or not he has provided dividends of democracy, provided infrastructure or decimated Boko Haram and insurgency in the North east geo political zone. The facts on ground speak for themselves. Nigerians can decide on the performance of the president.
Time to show appreciation
This is the time for the president to show appreciation for what God, Nigeria and Nigerians have done for him. How do you show appreciation to your benefactors? You show appreciation with smile on your face and dance, dance and dance.What Nigerians need from President Buhari at this time is to dance at rallies and make Nigerians happy.
Let Nigerians, described as the happiest people in the world, enjoy watching the president and his dancing steps. Ask yourself, have you ever seen the president dancing throughout his political career? Have you seen the president cracking jokes that would make Nigerians laugh heartily?
He always presents the picture of a man who means business of fixing the rot in Nigeria. He had eight uninterrupted years to do that. He has said he did his best and that he has fulfilled his electoral promises. Nigerians heard him loud and clear.
This is the time for President Buhari to dance at the remaining APC political rallies he would attend. Consider this: President Buhari climbes the podium at a rally, clench his fists in the air as usual and shout ‘APC, APC, APC.’ He then moves swiftly towards the microphone and ask for music. Consider the electrifying effect of the president clenching his fists in front of him and with his babanriga, dance Buga for a minute or two. Millions of Nigerians watching on television at home would be reeling with laughter in their sitting rooms.
The social media will take it up from there. Who knows, versatile Nigerian artists may produce a film on it. Does the President want to know the power of dancing? Governor Ademola Adeleke recently danced his way to the State House in Osun state.
During his official swearing-in ceremony, he was dancing. While on ceremonial motorcade, he was dancing. Dancing has become his trade mark. It could be that he had dancing in his DNA because one of his cousins, David Adeleke, aka Davido, is one of the best professional hip- hop musicians in the world.
Former President Obasanjo wasn’t a very good dancer, but he used to entertain Nigerians with his dance. His successor, Umaru Yar’Adua was reluctant to dance at rallies. Nigerians would remember that Obasanjo dragged Yar’Adua to the dancing floor saying ‘he would soon learn.’Nigerians watched presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abuhakar, dancing many times at rallies. He may not also be a good dancer, but he used to entertain Nigerians with his dance.
It is not as if APC leaders don’t dance. Religious and reserved Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently danced Buga at a ceremony. He even lectured his listeners on the importance of music. He ended up clenching his fist in front, singing and dancing Buga. Bola Tinubu is not a good dancer, but he has learnt the art of trying to entertain Nigerians. Along with Governor Nasir el- Rufai and others, Tinubu danced Buga in London as shown in a viral video. Tinubu also danced Buga at few rallies held recently. Former national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, Kayode Fayemi, youthful Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others sometimes attempted to out dance themselves at rallies.No one can say the same about President Buhari.
Chief Femi Adesina, Mallam Garba Shehu, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and those close to the president should join in urging the president to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians. Nigerian should watch their president dancing.
You don’t ask a man dancing if he is happy. President Buhari has every reason to be happy for going on retirement in one peace after archiving what any man can ever hope for.Mr. President, dance, dance, dance.