If there is one thing Nigerians abhor, it is justice. It is justice not made in heaven but as driven by logic. So, many confuse their careers with the fate of their peoples. A typical example of this wooliness in thinking is the infamous Buhari-IBB tango. We have been wrongly educated by interested parties, trading as moralists, that Buhari was an angel and IBB the evil-eyed one.
There is even the hypocritical belief that Buhari was a disciplined soldier-dictator. Yet the facts Buhari confesses to, carpet him as at best, an over-trading opportunist, who deserves all he got in the hands of his chancers and those he wanted to chance. Simply put, General Muhammadu Buhari was hired by the gun and was also fired by the gun. He confesses to this.
So, what is the bull about IBB being an unjust bloke? Or has the man, who has earned the right to hire, not also purchased the right to fire? And this from a Buhari Sun interview; Buhari solemnly confesses and our Jury believes him as follows; that he never planned or did a coup in his life. That with the Babangida coup, he was invited and hired as the Face of the Coup, FOC, that is as a head of state, he being, he claimed, the most senior (northern) General. The last statement is very important. This is because in the one last historical coup, a certain Ogundipe, a Southwest-Yoruba Brigadier-General, was the most senior officer but northern coup perpetrators didn’t call him in, in fact, dismissed him from service, in real terms. This shows that the Nigerian army, at least, as at the time of Buhari, was probably a rotten, tribal and corrupt army, with variant considerations, depending primarily on your provenance, not your alleged rank.
Next in the course of being the FOC, Buhari arranged to have one General Aliyu Gusau, a key promoter of the coup, dismissed from service and worse from history. Buhari concludes he is still bitter and cannot understand why he was sacked by those who hired him as FOC or head of state of their coup. See Saturday Sun 22-12-12 and also The Premium Times 24-12-12 Now, from Buhari’s own testaments and confessions, it is clear IBB is the injured and sinned against party, the moral hero. Since there are only two principal parties at issue, Buhari must be the sinning and some would say the sinful party. Now, the details; a coup is a treasonable felony and crime. A crime is never a duty. Everybody knows if you are caught as a coup maker you are shot dead like a dog. It, therefore, follows that the logic of a coup’s innocence and legitimacy cannot be tied up in its success. If it were, it, therefore, follows that all evil is good and the only guilt is not in morality but in failing to outsmart a given system.
That is, armed robbery, a close cousin of coup making, is, therefore, divine and even god-purposed. It then follows that Buhari, despite his claim of innocence or being disciplined, was aware he was an accessory to a coup, a treasonable crime and act. His participation may only be interpreted by his logic of opportunistically sharing in stolen or properly, state piratical-hijacking, which is all a coup, is. Just like the kidnappers seize the rich and the powerful, say, a Professor Okonjo, coup makers hijack a whole state, hold our fate to ransom, while pillaging the nation.
A coup is a crime not a duty. How a man who does or facilitates a crime may now be counted as disciplined is a mystery no intelligent man in the world has been initiated into. Immediately this is granted, then Buhari’s innocence, to the extent he ever had one has evaporated. He, therefore, becomes a co-sinner in the treasonable act of kidnapping or hi-jacking the state, whole and entire, to his, or his junta’s composite or several purposes, ala coups. That is Buhari like the rest of them is a man of no innocence. His past is not sacred ground and he confesses to this. This is the first given. Now, a coup is also and more importantly so, a gold hunt, a business transaction. However, a coup is an illegal business, like ritual killing and body spare parts retailing.
And like in all businesses, you have those who (a) own the equity, (b) other-stakes holders, that is, those who are hired to run the enterprises; the managers, technocrats. This whole lot constitutes the stakeholders. The rest of us, with the trees, the city garbage, etc. constitute (c) the environment. That is immediately a coup happens, citizens stop being human and become chattel, like trees, cattle and so on. Therefore, the first robbery and rape by the coup maker is of your humanity. And this is technically worse than killing you, because he keeps you alive only to serve and service a messianic delusion and diseased ego.
From Buhari’s confession he wasn’t part of the coup. He was flown in and after screening, was hired to manage the business, its resources, assets, that is, the state, which has just been successfully hijacked. There were, we can rightly assume, discussions over his emoluments, designation of office, pension if he survived, etc. Of course, like every employer knows, no inked contract is ever comprehensively complete. There are ellipsis that can’t be reduced to ink and paper. To plug this loophole, clauses are inserted that may read; your duty may include any other assignments duly required of you.
A coup and its dividend, that is, a hijacked state, like most illegal businesses, are run like the mafia or secret societies. And you can’t know everything from the outside or even when you are inside. The more you enter, or are initiated, the more you know the racket going on. In fact, at any one time in illegal businesses or secret societies, like the mafia and coups, there are only a charmed few, often not more than seven, who know all there is to know. The rest are in several shades of penumbra. This allows the princes of the house to execute or cashier them at any one time in justice. It is like the systems the Popes ran during the inquisition. Before the inquisitor, any man can be found guilty, not excluding Galileo. And that is justice in that system.
And doing coups is even more dangerous than mafia business. If you are recruited, as part of the outer rings, nothing is fully stated or state-able on paper; your imagination must make up the rest. There are no full disclosures. It is similar to what happened during the OBJ days. Ministers, who were recruited into the secret society that was Nigerian presidency then, were asked to pre-sign empty sheets, whose contents may later be made up and against them. Even the present so-called Nigerian constitution, which is a rank forgery, was smuggled in, as only coup makers can. You get to know the details only when you are involved, criminalised.
So, the morality of coups is actually as Father Kukah characterised. It is, simply put, not a decent business to be in and claim you are disciplined or honest. And in such businesses as Father Kukah characterised, including, of course, coups, all arguments and wisdom are resolved by and according to the gun. Anyway, Buhari by opportunistically betraying his commission and sharing communion with a grand junta or gang, who made power in illegality, has also acceded to the logic of the bigger gun as the arbiter. So, he can’t in justice or logic, renege, and seek for justice or logic other than in the bigger gun. Buhari’s sack was because he had a smaller or even no guns. And that is fair in the jungle law and logic he had acquiesced to.
And like in all illegal business and acquisitions, the man, who keeps the bigger guns owns the equity. The rest of you are managers, accountants or whatever your glorified or inflated office and designation states. This last point is important and we may have to clarify it a little more. There was a time and a time was when one Dr. Solaya or so, was advertised as the sole owner of a certain bells ringing school in Abeokuta area of a certain country, Nigeria. And later, a jailbird came back from prison and suddenly the same owner, Solaya, was sacked from his job as sole owner. And Kola Animashaun, an old hand at the Vanguard, was beaten to it, so much he wondered out loud; how can an owner be relieved of his job? One may take it that Animashaun is not able to separate the issue of designation and possession, of theatre and reality, of being in power and office.
Anyway the dogs bark but the caravans move on. In fact, there is the anecdote that when Abacha or so, closed up The Guardian, allegedly for national good, the editor, one Adesina, was necessarily out of job. So he had discussion with Obaigbena and they agreed he could take up a desk and earn his pay as a scribbler. But another issue mattered; how was he to be designated? Obaigbena was reported to have assured him he could take up any designation of his fancy, with only one proviso; that it be not Publisher. That is, he was at liberty to name himself and his office, as President and Commander-in-Chief of ThisDay or Emir or even Deity of ThisDay and it shall be well with him.
That is, designation doesn’t mean everything it says or even anything at all. What is important is who holds the dominant equity, and in coup business it is who holds the bigger guns. And in that, in the dominant equity, in the bigger gun, is justice, is wisdom, is compassion and not outside it. So, by pretending or attempting to want to sack his employers, like General Gusau, all what Buhari was trying to do was to plan and execute a palace coup or instigate mutiny and overwhelm his superiors; that is fire those who hired him. And this is as mortal a sin as can be. In coup-speak, it is like the sin against the Holy Ghost, you are forever damned and unforgivable. And the life and times of Sankara is a cautionary tale. Buhari ronu. In a related matter Haruna Mohammed, a great columnist wrote…
General Babangida (his army chief, who overthrew him in a palace coup in 1985), The choice of words is an error. It is a category error, of mistaking semblance for equivalence. Whales, sharks, dolphins, all big water creatures, share semblances but are not all fishes. A whale is not a fish despite its habitat and fish-like features. The coup against Buhari is not a palace coup. In fact, it was not a coup at all. It was a summary dismissal and disciplining of an aberrant, overambitious appointee officer, not aware of his limitations and, therefore, adjudged as unruly, and grossly incompetent. Palace coups happen when men of lower power, scheme and overthrow those in higher authority and power.
Kings don’t overthrow princes. They dismiss them. Buhari as FOC, was strictly speaking an IBB boy or flunkey, and even if he doesn’t know, that however is the reality. And this is in power and even in office terms, since it was IBB and junta that created the office that Buhari, was luxuriating in. It is always important to get the categories right, otherwise we analyse in vain. In coups and roforofo systems, epaulet is not power. Ask Brigadier-General Ogundipe and northern soldiery, a conundrum Buhari is a beneficiary of. So, why shed tears now it is your turn to drink of your own self-brewed kunu? And there is also the ill considered cant, of Buhari being non-corrupt or incorruptible. And that is why he stayed poor or impoverished. That is just ignorance being retailed as gospel.
Truth is that the myth of a Buhari being and remaining allegedly poor, is not only expected, it is accountable in rational inquiry and economics. There is not one iota of mystery in it. First, his poverty cannot be explained as has been needlessly preached by his alleged morality to be and remain clean, not to steal a kobo. It just can’t be. Already a coup itself is the biggest robbery or scam in town and Buhari acquiesces to, approves of and submits to it, in remunerated service and promotions. That is all tales of a coup maker being moral, disciplined is actually a contradiction in terms, save it is a page of a badly written science fiction. Buhari is poor ala coups, simply because he never played in the equity market for coups. All his coup lives he was an independent pop and mom subcontractor to coup makers. He confesses to this.
Now, all those who invested in the high-yield, high-risk coup equities, necessarily turned up Dangote-rich without ever owning a shop. And they have hill top palaces and valley deep Naira vaults to show up for it. With Buhari, all he did was to offer his Dimaragana services and was remunerated as such. Shikena. Now, if IBB’s coup bid had failed, the dude would have been shot like a stray dog. And Buhari would have remained innocent, not even a suspect, as he had no inkling or hand in it. He simply had no risk investment in the coups and so, can only be remunerated as such.
So, why won’t he be poor, am I rich? In businesses, not excluding coups, you make returns upon risks, not upon risk free prudence. If in doubt you may make reference to Freaknomics, a seminal work by Steven Levitt, the Chicago school professor, with specialisation on the economics of crime, which, of course, will include coups, their remuneration patterns, etc. The work makes Buhari’s alleged impoverishment or poverty less mysterious than that dogs eat shit. Of course, any day a Buhari promotes and does his own coup, he did turn up richer than the devil, like the rest of them. Or is there anywhere in the world where you can find a holy sinner or an impoverished coup maker, and not just Dimaragana coup service provider? In fact, the last time I was at a Maiduguri mammy market, we were bantering jokes over kegs of drinks.
And one cheeky fellow asked, what is the easiest way of becoming a Forbes rich-list Colonel? One respondent said it was to be in anti-bunkering squad, another said it was to let your wife run cocaine, while you provided safe passages for her. And a third, rather sober, he sipped only zobo, declared; are you guys fools, or cowards? There is only one way. It is to do a coup. Ahiazuwa.