As you read this, President Muhammadu Buhari, ceteris paribus, is in Anambra State concluding his two-day working visit to Ebonyi and Anambra. The visit is the first time he is setting foot on Nnamdi Kanu’s South East, since he assumed office as president on May 29, 2015.
Since lanky Muhammadu, son of Buhari from Daura, Katsina State, grabbed the governance joystick – which Goodluck Jonathan from Otuoke, Bayelsa State, relinquished without a fight – he had not hidden his displeasure for the South East and South South. He was not even considering that one ‘o ti mkpu’ whose critics address as “Okoroawusa” was there singing his praise. And he had the guts to tell Pauline Baker, the President Emeritus of The Fund for Peace, on July 22, 2015: “I hope you have a copy of the election results. The constituents, for example, [that] gave me 97 per cent [of the vote] cannot, in all honesty, be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me five per cent.”
Though I am not too good in mathematics, I have been consulting experts to know how 97+5 can give me 100 (cent).
In the 2015 general election, South West gave Buhari about 50 per cent votes, while his constituency, the North, gave him more. It was only the South East and South South that gave him less votes. So, with that, I assume that they are the ‘Area 5%’.
Buhari, still with Baker at the United States Institute of Peace, added: “I think these are political realities. While, certainly, there will be justice for everybody, but the people who voted and made their votes count, they must feel that the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government in place. I think this is really fair….” Fair right?
And he made good his promise. From the appointment of his kitchen cabinet, he did not care whether a Babachir Lawal would misappropriate internally-displaced persons (IDPs) money, Buhari preferred him to his long time friend, Ogbonnaya Onu, who was popularly tipped for the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) job. There are many others like that.
Fulani herders have been killing people all over the country with AK-47, they have not been declared terrorists; but Buhari and Lai Mohammed, his information minister, were quick to declare unarmed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitators as terrorists. It doesn’t matter whether revered Ooni of Ife and the international community feel strongly, IPOB remains proscribed.
As if that is not enough, pythons were sent to the South East to dance. After the ‘choreoptile’, Nnamdi Kanu disappeared. Also, blood flowed in Abia and other areas that experienced the snake dance.
Now, after 25 months of that infamous 97+5 statement, Buhari is visiting the people who could only afford five per cent stake in the “political reality”. His handlers have just woken him from slumber. Is it because Anambra is going to the polls on Saturday, November 18? That may not be far from the truth.
Mr. President has forgotten so quickly that Nigerians, who voted, are not to be treated equally. He is singing a new song. Listen to this: “Let me reiterate my words to South East leaders who visited me at the State House last month: My administration will not discriminate against any part of Nigeria.” Kyrie eleison!
These politicians forget so quickly. But common Nigerians don’t. We only pretend to forget due to hunger. During campaigns, they would share cups of rice and salt to us and we ‘mumuishly’ vote for them. Osita Okechukwu, director-general of Voice of Nigeria (VON), has insinuated that Buhari’s visit to the South East is part of his mission to return the region to the mainstream of Nigeria’s political landscape. Imagine that!
Is that why pension arrears of dead Biafran policemen were recently remembered? And he reportedly asked South East to choose an extra state? Well, if Buhari’s visit to Ala-Igbo is to ensure Nwoye’s election as Anambra governor, it’s a pity. He is rather going to demarket the guy.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is a bad product in the South East. The only state it controls in the region has turned out a disaster. In Imo, if it is not demolishing ancestral markets, it is honouring foreigners who have contributed nothing to Nigeria. The governor has unveiled the effigies of notorious Jacob Zuma of South Africa and famous Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia. He still has more under veil. A friend whispered to me that one is the image of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike (alias Evans).
Mr. President, while some groups warn you not to step on ‘Area 5%’ soil, I say welcome, hoping that they would not ask you of their son, Nnamdi.