The rumour that one big man is dead or alive didn’t start from President Muhammadu Buhari. And it would end with him. During the presidential campaign sometime in 2007, news leaked out that Umar Musa Yar’adua, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) qpresidential candidate has died in Germany where he went for treatment. In fact during the campaign the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo called Umar Musa Yar’adua live on stage with all Nigerians watching in television to ask, “Umar, Umar, they said you are dead. Are you dead?” And the man Yar’adua replied that he was alive. Everyone still remember that drama by the master of drama, Obasanjo. President Umar Musa Yar’adua won that election, sorry, selection, and would later die in Aso Rock villa in another dramatic and controversial manner.
In January 2016 I went to pick someone at Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport at night and ran into George Akume coming home from overseas. Just few weeks back I heard from very reliable big man source that the man has died in hospital in Oyibo land. It turned out to be a false story.
In fact Olusegun Obasanjo has been rumored to have died many times.
One troubling thing is the reaction of people over some of these rumours. A lot of Nigerians simply see their leaders as tormentors. And as President Buhari went on holiday and the hoax online that he was dead hit Nigeria, some of the people were almost elated.
It is horrible to wish people death. It is irreligious considering Nigeria is a very religious place and the people very religious people. But sometimes they celebrate the death of their leaders as divine intervention. I don’t know about that because even those who take over from the dead have been curse to the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari sees himself as a man who loves this nation. Maybe he actually does, but since taking over power he has realized the enormous burden that comes with power in a democracy. He could not overcome the daunting challenges that faces him. For Buhari, the only problem with Nigeria is corruption and his target, the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, refusing to do bulge. And the people he put here and there to help him, over zealous, even though most of them are not clean and served in the previous administrations like the anti-corruption Czar, just couldn’t manage the war in the eyes of public opinion.
Now you would say public opinion is not important, my brother, in politics it could be everything, after all it is the public that would in the end rate whether your administration is a success or failure and sometimes you would watch your history being written in front of you.
So when the rumour that Baba Buhari is dead hit Nigeria, I am sure Buhari’s people have passed the message to him about the mood of many Nigerians, the mischief makers and they are many.
I hope as Baba rest in London, he will reflect back on issues and read a lot about what is happening in the nation and come back and adjust. Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu would have been the best people to tell him this but they are blocked from the man only relegated to one phone call since he left which they celebrated as if they have never seen or talk to Baba before in their entire life. And Mama Buhari, I am sure she will mind her business now after being relegated to the oza room.