By Lukman Olabiyi Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed October 16, to rule on whether or not to discharge a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA ), Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was charged with N2.6bn fraud. The court fixed the date Friday after hearing…
All these actions and inactions are not for nothing. They are becoming clearer by the seconds. The different body languages point to the same and one direction. We can no longer mistake their motive; it is all about 2019 polls.
They are not mincing words, neither are they mixing them. They are dead serious on target. They have emboldened themselves and are bolder than ever before. No more hide-and-seek game.
They are damning the consequences with all the strengths in them. They are going more than extra miles to pour out their bottled-up minds. None of them is taking things for granted any more.
They are daring and dazzling. They are prepared to take whatever risk, no matter how enormous and huge. They have resolved that the ends must justify the means.
Aisha Jummai Alhassan is a cabinet minister. She holds sway in the Ministry of Women Affairs in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Bet, that is not enough to deter her from speaking her mind. She was bold enough to bell the dreaded cat. She opts to tread where the powerful and mighty dare not tread.
She went all out. She was prepared and knew what she wanted. She had no iota of doubt as she poured out profusely. Her choice of forum was also a masterstroke.
Nobody ever did it the manner she did it. The cat has been let loose; ravaging. Its effects are reverberating across the land. She stoked the fire and it is a spreading not like any other.
She looked straight into the lion king’s face and declared: “I am not for Buhari.” The sycophants, hangers-on, bootlickers, do-gooders, praise singers, et al could not believe their dirty ears. But that is her gospel truth.
She refused to be cowed: “In 2014/2015, he (Buhari), said he was going to run for only one term to clean up the mess that the (previous) PDP government did in Nigeria. And I took him for his words that he is not contesting in 2019.”
Should Buhari fail to walk his talk, this is what Aisha has up her sleeves: “If Baba says the is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him; ‘Baba I’m grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister. But Baba just like you know, I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather.’ That is if Atiku says he is going to contest.”
She is clear in her mind: “If I say I am not with Atiku, Buhari will not trust me, he will say I am a hypocrite.” What if her outburst earns her sack? She cares less:
”If I get sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah that my time has elapsed. And do you think Baba is a madman like those calling for my sack?
“For those saying I will be sacked, they will be shamed. And even if I am sacked, I believe it is my time as minister that has ended. I never asked for it, Allah gave it to me.”
There and then, she temporarily closed her case. But certainly her uncontrolled tongue roughened dangerous feathers. It stirred the hornet’s nest. It unarguably upsets the lion king’s camp. And the waiting and watching cabal, sorry, the camp could not hide its serious misgiving.
The weird characters of the camp could not tolerate her uncommon guts. Aisha has practically called them out to war. And it has sure become aRoforofo Fight, eternal apologies to Fela Anikuluaapo-Kuti, the legendary Afro Beat King.
Aisha’s role model, ex-Vice President Atiku Abukakar decoded the utterances rightly. The message was not lost on him. So, the godfather took it up from there. He was encouraged and fortified by his goddaughter.
For grassroots effect, Atiku opted for a similar medium used by Aisha. While she chose Hausa Service of the BBC, Atiku settled for its Voice of America (VOA) version.
Listen to him: “I was part of the processes including campaigns until success was achieved.” Then what went wrong? He volunteered:
“But sadly, soon after the formation of government, I was sidelined. I have no relationship with the government; I have not been contacted even once to comment on anything.”
And so? He took his flight: “In turn I maintain my distance.” Atiku was bitter and he graphically showcased it: “They used our money and influence to get to where they are, but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”
And he wisely did a timely and a clever follow-up. He took on his detractors both real and imagined on corruption:
”It is sickening to continue to regurgitate allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office.”
He sees his accusers as “people who are bereft of ideas about entrepreneurial spirit always think that everyone else is a thief just like them.”
The Wazirin Adamawa was bitter. And he said so in clear terms: “Despite previous desperate efforts to link me with corruption, the William Jefferson trial in US ended in 2009 without indicting me or linking me to corrupt activities.”
Atiku must not go scot-free. He should not be allowed to have his way so easily. Mohammed Lawal was deputy director, Buhari Presidential Campaign Council. He tried hard to cut Atiku to size:
“We know that right from the time Buhari was sworn in, Atiku started plotting to cause problem, to ensure that this administration does not succeed.”
His reason: “He spent all the money he thinks he has to ensure that Buhari did not win. He did not campaign for Buhari. He promised to campaign and to contribute to the campaign. He did not contribute anything meaningful.”
He insisted, Buhari is fair to Atiku: “There are many Atiku’s loyalists in this government that he is saying he has been sidelined.”
Now that Aisha has opened the floodgate, may the road be rough, harsh and hard for politicians going into 2019.
The beat has started and there is no stopping it. Nobody dares stick the neck out for it. The beat must go on unhindered.
And we are not in a hurry to dance to the beats. We also want theroforofo fight continue unabated. That will bring the best out of our selfish leaders and politicians alike.
So? May their road be extremely rough, tough, harsh and hard for the dubious politicians going to 2019. We are getting the inkling of what they have in stock for us.. `