Mr. President, just enough of tough talks!

Mr. President, just enough of tough talks!

Sunday, May 22, 2016 3:15 pm


Igbonekwu Ogazimora

Igbonekwu Ogazimora

By Igbonekwu Ogazimorah

For sometime now, or even from inception, you have talked tough as a way of whipping Nigerians in line. It was good you exposed Nigerians to the rude shock of perfidy of past administrations.

But as my people would say, when the handshake exceeds the elbow, it is rightly considered an arrest, which must be promptly resisted.
When the Niger Delta resistance or economic self determination commenced in the Khalifa Sani Abacha days, the dark goggled general talked tough. But the tougher he talked, the deadlier the militancy grew. Abdulsalami Abubakar appeared to understand how to save himself many troubles by fleeing.

Obasanjo came talking tough and the crises just assumed unmanageable dimension. He, Obasanjo confessed to governors in 2005 that he was not even sure his military would be able to defeat the Militants. According him, “we are unluckily in an era of cowardly soldiers. They are frightened when they sniff movements that may lead them to the various battle fields in the Niger Delta.”

Then the pragmatist – may God bless his soul – Umaru Musa Yar’Adua came, and chose the path of the wise. He sued for peace. Calm disarmament followed. We styled it Amnesty programme. Many were just jealous of the money handed out, but these were misplaced if we appreciate the quantum fortune held by keepers of the oil wells as the nation itself, which derives its live including the chant about indissolubility of Nigeria on what the ND region offers.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Today, we have reaped bountifully from his gestures that all the balderdash we say about foreign reserve and what was stolen if not wrongly applied was because there was some stability achieved in Nigeria’s only food kitchen – the Niger Delta.

Even Yakubu Gowon, in all his pretences and deceit, declared a no victor no vanquished, which actually saved him and his government from outbreak of guerrilla war in 1970. Never mind that in his usually deceitful way, he slapped on the Igbo a criminal reparation regime in the name of £20 Pound policy as cover for seizing every penny kept by the Igbo in the banks, just as he unashamedly declared Igbo landed property “abandoned and certified for dubious purchases”. It was as if fleeing from a theatre of war was now a crime. Be sure, such deceit will not work in this era of hitek and international involvement in all that goes in any polity.

We all know from mere common sense that concentration of forces makes for better results. Your (our ) hands are already full with the Boko Haram threat in the North East.

It is no  wonder that whereas the threat of destruction and disruption of economic activities in the region has virtually rendered Nigeria prostrate, your Excellency is still talking tough, using such expressions as “we will crush the Niger Delta militants”, “we have directed the Army and Navy to reorganise and protect strategic interests.”

Mr. President, these are out-fashioned, and may even appear boastful. Nigeria has been in a no-win war with Boko Haram since 2009. We have yet to settle what issues we have there.

Is it not even strange that Mr. President talks tough to Biafran agitators, threatening them with instant destruction, just about same minute he thunders that he would crush the Niger Delta activists?All these some hours after he boasted that Nigeria army was finally cleaning the now mysterious Sambisa Forest of Boko Haram. Haba! Na for war we elect this government?

Certainly, I do not personally want the lamb-lame indecisive likes of Goodluck Jonathan, but I cannot hope for a war mongering Charles Taylor, the man who lived up to his name, of sowing as tailors do, but had instead of turning out fine suits, shirts and trousers, was churning out trouble and deaths in Liberia.

Yes, Mr. President is an ex general! No problems with that. But some others in his present post were also highly decorated generals. We all remember the Israeli generals who returned to become doves. Yizark Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, etc. Even before them was General “Ike” Dwight Eisenhower.


No human will ever be God. So, just don’t play Him. Only seek to please him.
Find time, and quickly too, to talk to the Niger Delta Avengers; talk to The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB); talk to Boko Haram and talk to marauding Herdsmen. Release Nnamdi Kanu and Onwuka immediately. If you do, you would go down in history as the man who brought back happiness and thoughts of good night’s sleep among Nigerians. It will not make you less a no-nonsense retired General – president and Commander-in-Chief.

Already, Nigerians are harassed by the terrible economic conditions, of course not caused by your administration, but by past governments. That is enough trauma. The addition of threats of war in the North, East and South is a needless stress and indeed a potential snapping point for the common herd.

No human will ever be God. So, just don’t play Him. Only seek to please him.
Find time, and quickly too, to talk to the Niger Delta Avengers; talk to The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB); talk to Boko Haram and talk to marauding Herdsmen. Release Nnamdi Kanu and Onwuka immediately. If you do, you would go down in history as the man who brought back happiness and thoughts of good night’s sleep among Nigerians. It will not make you less a no-nonsense retired General – president and Commander-in-Chief.

Simply tell those advisers who are telling you to show any section of Nigeria the stuff you were made of as Company Commander against Biafra, Division Commander against Hissene Habre and Goukouni Weddeye in the 1980s, etc, that you, General Muhammadu Buhari, will bear the burden of history and not them.

So, you must do it aright.

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