By Ukandi Odey
A season of tempests is apparently dawning. Its snare is the shriller that it does bear some nightmare of competing and compelling stimuli and choices for writers and commentators. And sometimes choices and options of subjects are as competing as grading of the same issues throw up rivalling temerity and value incidence and consequence.
And the challenge is here presently. I thought I was going to be writing on last week’s visit of president Buhari to Plateau State, with special focus on its focal aftermath, namely, the healthy and vital feud raging and percolating between Governor Simon Lalong and the Minister of Youth and sport, Solomon Dalung. Again there is yelling and weeping in some parts of Plateau, particularly in the state’s essential rural locations, as herdsmen have sustained an emboldened bestial campaign and bazaar of savagery by killing, maiming, and displacing innocent natives from their homes in the night. This was certainly very compelling given its human essence and the truth that while Buhari was here last week, killings and burning of homes were sustained in Dafo, Bokkos, as well as some parts of Bassa. Worse, this continued to yesterday and today, especially in Bassa villages, and tension is gaining and spreading, with the citizens groaning and goading in despair and desperation. The situation in Bassa appears hapless but certainly so heart-rending and daunting that good conscience will return us to the matter some day.
Again, as the ambush and abattoir malice raged with gun shots bearing mass murder and house burning last night in the temperate recesses and fringes of Bassa, a faceoff, read altercation, manifested in the 2019 preface and politics sphere, pitching President Buhari against the people (National Assembly), over the signing of the amended Electoral Act, especially as it relates to the reversed order of elections. Who blinks first, as it appears the immovable has come face to face with the unstoppable? Is this executive recalcitrance necessary? And is it not a self-inflicted distraction for an executive arm of government already overwhelmed with state matters ranging from terrorism to student abduction, kidnapping, herdsmen assertism, minority framing, victimization, and genocide, to hunger, poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, anger, social malcontent, general insecurity, corruption in high places, and all basic indicators of system failure and failing system? But Should Buhari really border about the sequence of elections to the extent of taking hostage of the governmental and national process?
Now, to his recent state visit to Benue State, all does not seem to be well with, and for, Buhari. For a visit which came as a half-hearted and sluggish after-thought, it is an inexplicable irony that the same maligned occasion provided the exposition to Buhari that he is actually a hostage – quarantined – in the same system he claims to superintend over. It was in shock and numbing disbelief that a frustrated and hapless Buhari admitted and confessed that until he got to Benue, he did not know that the Inspector General of Police, Idris Abubakar, flouted his order and directive to relocate to Benue and halt the drift to anarchy that was menacing as a result of the murderous activities of herdsmen there in the opening of New Year 2018.
Abubakar’s recourse to Nasarawa State was certainly an incendiary decoy not a tactical manoeuvre. It was an act of sabotage which severity in security discipline and semantics the IG understands and can interpret with the finesse of an accomplished cops and officer. Well briefed and fully aware of the enormity of the offence of sabotage in security sociology and criminology, it should be appreciated that Idris Abubakar knew the implications of taking the risk he took. Certainly, he was guaranteed protection by the same system before he proceeded to indulge in an act that is capable of ending his career in infamy and ignominy.
Abubakar’s protective conspiratorial accomplice cabal is already on duty. For a retired Army General and now President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Buhari knows what “sabotage” or insubordination means especially when a general is mobilising and deploying in counter insurgency. What Abubakar did was more dangerous than mutiny or the protestation of a malingering soldier on the recce. If Buhari were actually in charge and in control, he should have fired Idris Abubakar and ordered his arrest and detention before leaving Makurdi that day. But Buhari has been unsoldierly, unsavoury, unprofessional, and lackadaisical – in spite of the immense scandal in which the matter has immersed his presidency – indicating that Buhari is actually a captive of some goons who are running the show. Or else, it suffices to surmise that Idris Abubakar is running a parallel system with himself as accounting officer. And, again, you will ask: if Buhari is not in charge now to the extent his security will flout his instructions and he will not detect it for months, is it after 2019 that he will really take charge, be in charge, and absolute control? All is not well for Buhari.
Perhaps, the same National Assembly can rise and rescue Buhari from his gaolers. With the recent prescription against “hate speech” by the National Asembly, Idris Abubakar could be charged under “hate speech” law and be brought to justice. In preliminary communications studies, we were taught that communication could be ‘verbal’ or ‘non-verbal’. That wise, Idris Abubakar’s disregard of Buhari’s directive, was non-verbal hate speech against, Buhari, Benue State, and Nigeria, and to that extent punishable under the appropriate law of the land. Or else, all is not well!
By Ukandi Odey