Questions General Buhari Must Answer, By Fani-kayode

Permit me to share just one example of the expression of that soft spot in this contribution. On June 3, 2013, Thisday Newspaper’s lead story carried the following headline: ‘’The military offensive against Boko Haram is anti-North – General Muhammadu Buhari’.The story ran as follows:
‘’Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has criticised the declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States and the subsequent military offensive against the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Buhari, who featured on the “Guest of the Week,” a Hausa programme of the Kaduna-based Liberty Radio, yesterday, said the Federal Government’s action was a gross injustice against the North. According to him, unlike the special treatment the Federal Government gave to the Niger Delta militants, the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses demolished. He said he was not in support of the declaration of state of emergency in the three north-eastern states because President Goodluck Jonathan had failed from the outset in addressing the security situation in the country’’.
The implications of these comments, coming from a former Head of State, are obvious and self-evident.

Yet that same General Buhari who said these unacceptable things one year ago is now busy pontificating about his concerns for our nation. Many would argue that, that is pretty rich coming from him given his past comments about a ruthless group of terrorists who, more than any other, merit the award for the greatest ‘’troublers of our nation’’. Given this, I regard Buhari’s comments to The Nation Newspaper on July 22, 2014 as nothing but self-serving.

Of particular interest to me were the following words:

‘’Never before have I seen a Nigerian President declare war on his own country as we are seeing now’’. Really? Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that the war that President Goodluck Jonathan has declared was against terrorism and Boko Haram and not against the Nigerian people.

Questions begging for answers

Does General Buhari find it difficult to make a distinction between the jihadists and the Nigerian people?

Does he see them as being one and the same? Does he actually equate members of Jama’at ahl as-sunnah li-d-da’wa wa-l-jihad with the Nigerian people? Does he regard the military offensive against Boko Haram as being an offensive against OUR people?

Does he honestly believe that anytime thata Boko Haram terrorist is killed by our armed forces and security agencies or that his house is blown up, it is an attack on the Nigerian people or an assault on the North? Are those people that Boko Haram slaughtering, terrorising, abducting, pillaging, robbing and raping on a daily basis all over our country not the real Nigerians?

Does he honestly believe that Boko Haram is representative of the thinking of our people or even the majority of the people in the Muslim North?Is he still insisting on having another Muslim as his running mate in order to establish his strange dream of a Muslim/Muslim President and Vice President for our country or has he shelved that idea due to public resentment and outrage?

Does he have any empathy with the Christian community in northern Nigeria for the immense suffering, degradation, humiliation, contempt, shame, indignity, persecution and mass murder that they have been subjected to inthe North for the last 53 years and particularly in the last few years?

Does he still believe that ‘’Christians should not worry when Muslims chop off their own arms and hands in the name of Sharia because it is none of their business’’ as he said in 2001?

Does he still believe that Boko Haram members should be forgiven, granted amnesty, pampered, sent abroad to learn and given monthly allowances like the Niger Delta militants like he suggested in 2013?

If the truth must be told, the only thing thatis worse than Boko Haram are those in the Nigerian political class that secretly support and covertly assist them.

*Fani-Kayode was Minister of Aviation under the Obasanjo administration.

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