Muhammadu Buhari’s victory finally rids Nigeria of cancer-like PDP – Tola Adenle

BUHARINigeria’s President-Elect Retd. General Muhammadu Buhari

As Nigerians continue to rejoice over the hard-earned victory of real democracy, one thing we must keep in mind is how everything came to happen for the people’s wish to be achieved: a fed-up electorate that showed the world Nigerians are not “docile” as once perceived and announced to the world by Alhaji Dimeji Bankole while House Speaker. We must keep in mind, scary as the thought may be, that it almost did not happen. We must keep the feeling that drove us to say “enough is enough” very much alive by not leaving everything to politicians, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. While should not mean second-guessing people’s intention, it does mean we must not stand aloof and wait for things to fall into our collective laps.

The fifth year of the birth of this blog, a site that came into being from my frustrations with the ruling party’s brigandage and the seeming helplessness of we, the masses, just started.  It was to give me a platform from which I can express my feelings, albeit responsibly, without the self-censorship journalists often exercise within news organizations although I never had an editor breathe down yell down by phone about what not to write or what causes to promote!

Because of the circumstances leading to its birth which finally came to a climax on its fourth anniversary, I decided to glance through postings of its first month which coincided with the height of the 2011 campaign for the elections.

I’ve picked five essays to air again, one for each of today, April 1 through Sunday, April 5.  Those who fought hard to get us to where we are deserve commendations.   These essays bring into sharp focus how easy it is to lose something that is within grasp and why, therefore, we must never relent to hold on tight to the new victory for all Nigerians. As a saying that has also been rendered in various form goes, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”, but a form I particularly like apart from the original by 19th Century abolitionist Wendel Phillips is Benjamin Franklin’s:  “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”; 

TOLA, APRIL 1, 2015.

Nigeria 2011 Elections: Nigeria Must be Rid of Cancer-like PDP
March 30, 2011  [First published in The Nation.]

Former publisher of the women’s bi-monthly, Emotan and op-ed columnist with The Nation, Tola Adenle now publishes her writing here.

Welcome to my blog. TOLA ADENLE, March 30, 2011.

God willing, I will cast my presidential vote for retd. General Buhari and that is more than a personal quantum leap.

As recently as before the 2007 (s)elections sealed whatever shot retd. General Obasanjo (rGO) might have had at statesman-hood, I had wondered aloud in my rested weekly essays for this paper why General Buhari would not let Nigerians know what his feelings about democracy and religion were. I had a personal experience of the effort to force a state religion down Nigerians’ collective throat during his rulership. It was apparent that retd. General Babangida’s misadventure to turn Nigeria into a Muslim country was similar to Buhari’s. As I shopped at Old Gbagi, Ibadan, one afternoon in ‘84/85, a commotion suddenly developed as word went round that policemen were out arresting women who wore pants! I was a culprit and made for my car, unwilling to wait for verification in the then suffocating environment of religious fanaticism.

Who can forget the attempt by the Buhari’s government to introduce Soviet Russia-style exit visas for Nigerians who would want to travel outside the country? Or the callousness of the public executions of those drug couriers though it seemed to have stemmed the then growing menace? Thousands, mostly Christians have been killed since rGO’s presidency when a country’s supposed secular Constitution was p— upon by a governor whose Sharia declaration was an open challenge. I do not remember rGO’s government taking any legal action against this major assault on the country’s Constitution. Thereafter, the manageable national relationship between Christians and Moslems became a combustible situation that exploded anytime any event – even in far-off lands – displeases Northern Nigerian Muslims. To have Nigerians slaughtered because somebody in Scandinavia defaces Mohammed’s picture is unconscionable. Muslims and Christians have always coexisted peacefully in Southern Nigeria. Religion is not the cause but PDP-type politics.

The biggest problem confronting this country today, we are all agreed is corruption, and the ruling party has proved unable AND unwilling to fight the cancer nor enunciate a plan different from its eight messy years for a New Nigeria. An example of PDP’s governance style can be seen in the big Ogun mess with rGO reduced to less-than a tribal chieftain vs. Daniel as chief combatants. In the party’s typical style, luxe paint has been spread over structural damage; everybody is focused on the prize: PDP needs Daniel; so does he of the minority House members deliberating over the majority without any raised eyebrow at Abuja. PDP has amidst its ranks people with enough proverbial skeletons in various cupboards that would rival those of rested souls at Lagos’ Atan Cemetery. Those that hold the country by the jugular air these skeletons whenever upstart moneybags forget to remain in line. This “settlement” style, “we are one family”… eerily resembles the Italian Mafia’s “family”. Did scenes from Ogun and Anambra shrines where grown men were stripped naked at oath-taking bring the Mafia’s omerta to mind?

As the PDP goes from crisis to crisis with in-our-face implication that it needs us NOT, Nigerians must be ready to fight what would be another great robbery by the same group I called “Nigeria, Inc., as in Murder, Inc” back in ’03. The Southwest, landscape has been left desolate with leaders whose governance style is chasing shadows. Even me, “an elderly lady” as this paper’s Kunle Abimbola once aptly referred to me in an essay about Osun’s illegal 7-year “Governor” Oyinlola.  The two expended millions shadow-chasing, seeing an enemy in me.

Here is the opening of my “PDP is Nigeria’s worst nightmare” of May 4, 2008: “On March 9, this column carried … PDP is Nigeria’s greatest impediment to democracy and the country’s very survival.“Every new day seems to show that a title that on the surface appeared hyperbolic might actually have been an understatement. While most Nigerians are beginning to realize that the massively-rigged retired General Obasanjo “election” was an evil…most had nevertheless hoped that Nigeria could rise from the ruins …if Alhaji Yar Adua was given the benefit of the doubt – in Nigerian-speak, if peace reigns in spite of the collective angst, democracy could somehow germinate …”

Buhari’s recent speech that implies he would condone his supporters going on rampage should the coming elections be rigged is not different from our own Late Uncle Bola’s colorful allusion to the 60’s conflagration. I do not remember his exact words but it was something like ki la ma nse s’eni t’o ba ji ibo? What does a vote rigger deserve? The masses in Ekiti chanted ‘rig and roast’ during rGO-selected Madam Ayoka Adebayo’s infamy in Ekiti; I’vealso seen a popular blogger’s moniker,rig2011electionanddie for well over a year on Sahara Reporters’ website. I believe in law and order but we cannot encourage people who are determined to stay in power through the barrel of the gun and other evil means to be confident of getting away with their crime again. As we have seen, the judiciary is as corrupt as the PDP to which most seem to owe allegiance. I’m not sure a wife and female daughters would be raped while the husband stands by and say prayers for God to forgive those destroying his family.

I think the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), must return to negotiations. The party’s presidential candidate is worthy like Buhari but we cannot take Nigeria back from despoliation having two worthy combatants with near-similar ideologies in opposing camps. The experience of Buhari matters. The youth of this country, surprisingly, is ready for Buhari. I’m conducting a very informal and unscientific poll among young professionals, all Christians, all Odua descendants and in two months, only two of forty-eight have repeated the time-worn ‘he’s a Muslim fanatic’; he’s not a democrat; he’s this, he’s that cliché. Hardly any of the contestants can sail through a rigorous examination. Who will provide the best leadership and who can steer the corruption-artists in the face and not blink? Those interviewed, all late 20s to early 40s, say they’ll checkmark the retired General’s name in April. Like thousands and thousands of families, I have accepted a life of semi-exile for me and perhaps, permanent exile for my kids but most Nigerians cannot even afford what is, at best, a life hardly worth living: exile by necessity to start, no matter how later comfortable, is awful. We therefore all owe a lot to make Nigeria work.

Buhari gave General Tunde Idiagbon of very blessed memory more than elbow room. We cannot doubt he would do the same with Pastor Tunde Bakare. The PDP is too large a monster to be left to continue to roam the land, and must be stopped.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2015.  12:05


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2 Comments on “Muhammadu Buhari’s victory finally rids Nigeria of cancer-like PDP – Tola Adenle”

  1. Taiwo Obe (@araisokun) Says:

    This is your day, Ma. You’ve been consistent.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Ha, Tai! That’s a most generous assessment which I’ll take with both hands.

      Talking seriously, though, this is Buhari’s day, our day, everybody’s day, and it IS, especially, NIGERIA’S day. I don’t think millions of Nigerians could be wrong.

      Best of luck to Nigeria.

      Always a pleasure reading from you. Regards,



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