The Oasis Reporters
December 4, 2018
Without doubt, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has undergone massive change in his outlook, mien and disposition to those that knew him from his earlier days as a military general and head of state.
For an unrepentant rebel to have successfully forced a once taciturn Head of State into adding self defense and explanation of himself in one of his numerous foreign travels is what analysts would continue to be baffled about for a long time to come.
Muhammadu Buhari chose a foreign country, Poland that is far away from Nigeria to start explaining to them that besides travelling in the official aeroplane of the presidency on an official assignment to attend the COP24 Summit in Poland, he went to the sidelines and talked to foreign journalists that indeed, he is the real Buhari, speaking to them, live, not a body double or a Jubril from Sudan.
The Buhari explanations that insisted the whole world must ignore Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the separatist Biafran activist and leader who wants the Igbo heartland in the south east of Nigeria to become independent of sovereign Nigeria was too bemusing to behold.
That General Buhari would have the patience to defend and explain himself as proof of his liveable personality was so humour inspiring that made the world giggle.
Could this be the same Buhari who was intolerant of the taunts from his kinsman, Umaru Dikko in 1984, that a Nigerian Airways flight had to be despatched in secrecy to London. On board were some thugs, kidnappers, a specialist Israeli doctor and double agent specialized in sedating patients. Their job was to fly to London, kidnap Umaru Dikko off the streets and fly him back to Lagos to stand trial for taunting Buhari on the BBC and other media over his 1983 coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari of which Umaru Dikko was it’s Transport minister.
The desperate attempt was a spectacularly embarrassing failure. British metropolitan police foiled the badly planned attempt which led to the breaking of diplomatic relations with Nigeria.
Ironically, it is the same Britain that Buhari chooses to spend months on end for his medical treatment.
As head of state, Gen. Buhari also caged Odimegwu Ojukwu and threw him into jail alongside other politicians, although Ojukwu never held any political post ever since he returned from exile.
That was the extent of Buhari’s intolerance.
On the flip side of Dikko, Nnamdi Kanu chose to fly into Nigeria, away from his Radio Biafra in London to further taunt Buhari and insist on his separatist agenda. The attempt by the military to storm Kanu’s father’s house and arrest the rebel succeeded in killing Kanu’s dog, and like Dikko, he managed to flee abroad, but this time, to the safety of Israel.
From Israel, Nnamdi Kanu has not relented in embarrassing President Buhari with his taunts, even on Israeli television channels, but this time, attempting to capture Kanu as long as he is in Israel is an unreasonable dream for the adminstration to contemplate, despite the tantrums of the Minister of Information, allegedly calling for attacks on any country harbouring Kanu. That topic trended on Twitter, though remains unconfirmed.
Many analysts in the country say that dignifying Nnamdi Kanu with such an important Press conference by no less a personality than Buhari has further added an unnecessary feather to his cap and handed the narrative initiative to the separatist leader. Buhari should have kept his esteem higher.
Meanwhile, giggles await the next entertaining tidbits on the saga from Kanu. It will surely come for demystifying Buhari seems to be the objective.