How can we forget retired General
Muhammadu Mamman Shuwa? In November 2012, the civil war veteran
was killed in cold blood by unknown gunmen in his Maiduguri home
yards away from soldiers idling away in enforcement of law and
order. Boko Haram, the usual suspects were fingered. Had Buhari
suffered a similar fate, the perpetrators would use the sect to
divert attention from the perpetrators.
The PDP have sold a dummy to Nigerians
for too long that the sponsors of terror were members of the
opposition, All Progressive Congress (APC), but this attack have
vindicated the much maligned progressives. Buhari has openly
challenged those who accuse him of religious fundamentalism to
come out and show proof. No one till this day has any clue.
For irredentists, who think the attack on Buhari's life was stage-managed, let them continue to stew in their bitterness and wallow in their chutzpah. Same people who peddle such falsehood of a self-masterminded attack won't roam within a metre radius of a spot of a bomb scare. Any reasonable Nigerian will acknowledge the risk in masterminding such an attack as the probability that it could spiral out of control is higher than its success.
The political elite in the ruling party
must truly be frightened by Buhari's growing popularity ahead of
the 2015 elections even though the media coverage on the General
is frequently negative with unfounded and unsubstantiated
allegations. It has rather won him more support from discerning
Nigerians who cannot be misinformed or misled by needless
propaganda. For his loyalists across the country, they can
boldly say of him, "All I need from Buhari is his word, I can
take it to the bank." Such is the cult-like following that Gen.
Buhari wields that he need not rent a crowd, or share rice to
This is because of his glowing and
incorruptible antecedents. Very few people in this country will
occupy the number one position to live a modest and Spartan life
afterwards like him. He occupied lofty positions like the
Governor of the defunct North-Eastern State of Nigeria, Head of
State, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Chairman
of NNPC, Chairman of Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF). He
could easily be one of Nigeria's wealthiest politicians with oil
blocs to boot because he birthed and supervised the
establishment of our existing refineries. Today, we import 70%
of the fuel we use because those after him have literally
crippled the refineries. He could have retired into stupendous
opulence like the Danjumas, Obasanjos, and Abachas of this
world. But Buhari bucked the trend and chose the honourable
His detractors and traducers are
uncomfortable with him around the political scene. Maybe he
scares them with his incorruptible, uncompromising, sober,
painstaking personae he exudes; his intolerance of impropriety -
a major fault of the privileged political elite – scares them.
He is everything they are not.
There have been various attempts to erode
the electoral value of a man who has validated his cast iron
reputation for accountability and transparency coming out
unscathed from probes regarding his tenure as Chairman of PTF.
And as Buhari’s staunch loyalist in Mallam Nasir el-Rufai
posited that his antagonists "have changed our politics into
that of ethnicity and religion to divert attention from their
incompetence, lack of capacity and looting of the treasury… PDP
is scared of Buhari’s integrity and his track record of doing
the right thing and ensuring that people are brought to justice
when they break the law. They are afraid of that day when he
will become President."
With the failed attempt to take General
Buhari's life, the burgeoning army of opposition against the
General of impeccable integrity would now sit back, maybe have a
rethink, recall their foot soldiers masked in the toga of
Jihadists cutting short the lives of “infidels” they see as
In the 2011 presidential elections, the
man they hate to see even in their dreams, got over 12 million
votes with a party that was formed barely 10 months to the
election without the support structure and votes a state
Governor or even a Local Government chairman would have brought
into the party. He had no war chest or federal might to
manipulate voters and electoral officers, a trick the PDP has
perfected over the years. But Buhari’s enormous star power
earned him a couple of senators and a state governor after the
elections. It won’t take a political scientist, a Nostradamus or
some prophetic unction to work the numbers in votes the General
will pull in 2015 with the 15 Governors in the APC fold!
Those who plotted the dastardly act are
enemies of Nigeria, they neither seek its prosperity nor
tranquility but thrive and profit from the chaos, bloodshed and
colossal sleaze. They are afraid of the intimidating profile of
the former Head of State and his acolytes in the opposition
Whoever wanted Buhari dead has made a
super hero of him. Of all the reasons why Buhari was wanted
dead, the 2015 general elections keep popping out of every
possibility and conspiracy theory. Inadvertently, they only
succeeded in raising his popularity meter. With the overwhelming
outpouring of emotion and support, the retired General has
reaffirmed his status as a political heavyweight and gladiator
who remains a top contender for next year’s general elections.
Please follow the writer on twitter, @tilevbare.