By Abdu Labaran Malumfashi
It is not easy to gain entrance into the Villa and say congrats to Mr. President, face to face. This is to be expected, the Villa being Nigeria’s home and office of the nation’s Number One Citizen, or Mr. President, the name most Nigerians call the nation’s number one citizen.
There is also the little matter of those who are in the corridors of power. I am talking about the immediate aides of Mr. President. They will do almost anything to block a newcomer from bulldozing his way into the Villa to become one of them. One of the ploys they employ is not to allow any material that they suspect is a PR for the President from reaching him. I should know, because I was once the media aide to a Governor. Small talk, one might be tempted to say because the Government House is not the Villa.
Moreover, why congratulate the President now, when the Supreme Court judgement was delivered last week, Wednesday? My reason was that most of the big guys might rent the spaces with their felicitations, and small people like me would hardly be noticed, even though the immediate aides might be tempted to say nothing about my felicitation to the President.
This long grammar of mine would be unnecessary had Mr. President seen the free advice I gave him in one of my previous writings: Titled: Of Tinubu and ‘Muslim/Muslim’ Ticket. By Bature Sani , which is the pen name of Abdu Labaran, No 51, Daura Street, Kofar Kaura, Katsina.
“No Presidential election was ever accepted in this country without such challenges which always ended in the Election Tribunal. But even at the tribunal, the winner is always the one earlier declared by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), and the President-elect knows that too well.
“This writer is aware of the brouhaha that followed the election of Alhaji Ummaru Musa Yar’adua as President in 2007. He himself called the election ‘imperfect’, which gave people like Professor Wole Soyinka the temerity to call on him (Umaru) to reject the ‘flowed’ election or what they called the “Poisoned Chalice’.
“Did that make President Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua heed their calls? No, he held tightly to the flowed election despite what he called its imperfection. So, the President-elect would do well to ignore their rantings, but to be preferred for any eventualities”.
So, I, as an individual, never doubted that the Jagaban Borgu would emerge victorious at the Supreme Court, where Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the LP, unnecessarily dragged him to.
One of the two campaigned exclusively in churches . Yet, his supporters had the temerity to call the APC the party of religious bigots, or the supporters of the Jagaban, as religious bigots.
In the same piece, I also wrote:
“President Buhari and Governor Masari are all from Katsina State and none of them is known to be a religious bigot. In their private lives, they are known to have peoples of different religious persuations among their closest aides. While retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari was eventually elected as the party’s pioneer Presidential flag bearer, Governor Masari was the pioneer Vice Chairman of the party.
“However, the pull of the office of the Governor of Katsina State made him to voluntarily relinquish his position as the party’s pioneer Vice Chairman, believing in the hope that he and like minded persons have built a formidable party in APC to pursue a more challenging task of becoming the Governor of his home state of Katsina”.
Mr. President, if there was any injustice, it was surely done to the former Governor of Katsina State, Rt. Honourable Aminu Bello Masari who started campaigning for you long before it was fashionable to campaign for power shift.
He it is who said that it was immoral for the North to deny the unwritten agreement made with the South for power shift at the completion of the two-term of the North, even if it is not constitutional.
He galvanised most of his colleagues in the North, leaving out those who had decidedly made out their choice, because one of them had his interests elsewhere. It was only after they lost at the APC primary election that they turned to you.
And, Mr. President has made some of them Ministers, ignoring the likes of Masari, who gave out everything they had to see to the emergence of Mr. President as, first, an ‘APC’ candidate, and eventually, Nigeria’s Number one citizen.
This is not to be mistaken for a PR for the immediate past Governor of Katsina State and a one-time Speaker of the House of Representatives, but a statement of truth that can easily be confirmed as nothing but the truth.
Mr. Malumfashi wrote from Abuja.