By Buki Ponle,
Certain people still can’t come to terms with the reality that President Muhammadu Buhari is alive, after Nigerians have vehemently dissociated themselves from the death-wish message.
But for them to continue to want him dead, apparently because he is a blockbuster to corruption, is the highest point of callousness, viciousness, satanic, social and political irresponsibility, as well as exhibition of deep-seated ill-feeling.
Few weeks ago, when the President announced he would proceed on a short vacation, the harbingers of destruction went to work, and hardly had he begun his rest when they falsely broadcast his death which they claimed occurred in a British hospital.
The conclusion of these subversive adversaries is that the President has travelled for medical treatment abroad, and as usual, he must be pronounced dead, a wish always associated with some of our Presidents, right from the era of Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Owelle of Onitsha.
The Presidency has not said President Buhari went for medical treatment, but that he would use the opportunity of his vacation to undergo a routine medical check-up. Now, what sin has he committed by doing that?
Wait a minute, let us inspect closely the motives of the naysayers all along? A professor of psychology, Chinyere Okafor, offers some explanations:
”Their aim is to cause anarchy, disunity, confusion, and, ultimately a war in the country, knowing full well the fragile nature of our politics, interwoven with ethnicity and religion. However, this
political miscalculation will not work, for Nigerians are more knowledgeable.
”Government should, as a matter of urgency, clamp down on those who are planting this seed of discord through clandestine and destructive use of the social media, before it is too late.
”The bodies of journalism profession in the country also should rise to the occasion, meet urgently to analyse this and other related issues and examine the way forward, for this trend has to be halted,”
At 74 years, the president is old enough, but has been struggling since 1984 to frontally clip the wings of corruption, a monster which most Nigerians leaders have treated with kid gloves.
He has not claimed to be a saint but he has proved to be first among equals, clamping down on associated evils, while struggling to reverse the past deeds, economically, politically and socially.
”Had he completed his mission in 1984 when he assumed office as a military Head of State, resolute to scale down this same depravity, those who are now wishing him dead probably could have been reformed, alongside their latter-day accomplices,” observes Dr. Ayodele Adeoba, a political analyst.
”And Nigeria could have emerged victorious from those early ruins, becoming an organised nation with its people living happily thereafter. At least, the situation could not have gone this bad,” he
A lecturer in international relations, Dr. Adeoye Aderibigbe, also offers some insights:
”Those in this group belong to the sadist, irredeemable and serial looters who have been mortified by this administration and who would do anything to pull down the new order.
”Remember, this did not start today; there was a gang-up during the electioneering campaign of 2015, when all sorts of things were hurled at this elder statesman, including discordant tunes about his health
status, and this would be the second death wish since his assumption.
”If his scorecards were to be presented today, he may not have scored Excellent, but certainly, he would not have scored below Very Good in the area of his campaign promises. They may try but the fact is that they cannot add to, or subtract from the man’s sojourn on earth, and contrary to their assumption, the anti-corruption crusade will neither derail nor whittle down, nor the country implode.
It is also instructive that the death wish and associated rumours had persisted despite the best efforts of government at debunking it.
Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has risen to the occasion, saying there is no iota of truth in the messages being circulated on the health of the President who, he said, is hale and hearty, or the purported emergency meetings of the State Governors in Abuja or anywhere.
He says the naysayers have also resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, overheat the polity and cause panic among the citizenry, in addition to using fake news and
disinformation to distort government activities.
The Federal Government has rightly noted that ”the emerging trend of resorting to destabilization and scare-mongering is not unexpected, considering this government’s clamp-down on the corrupt elements in the society, the plugging of all financial leaks which has derailed the gravy train of the looters of public treasury and the enthronement of probity and transparency in the polity.”
This is a welcome development and a good instance of information management. For those who still choose not to believe the government, however, one can only wish they would retrace their steps, failing which Nigerians should repudiate them. (TNE)