In October, one Gideon Samani was quoted as saying that President Muhammadu Buhari is shy; the president’s spokesman quickly rose to debunk the claim. How could Aisha’s husband and Zahra’s dad be shy? We should have taken them seriously. I mean Mr President is shy with lowland Naija press including his own NTA and FRCN. Seven months in government and in power, he has not found a single lowland Naija reporter, editor or medium worthy of his confidence for an interview.
It is not part of change to make policy statements at home, so he makes them abroad like his predecessors. Incidentally, this shyness or pressophobia is a post-election malady, because apart from being too shy to debate President Jones during the campaigns, he was guest of several news anchors.
Unreliable sources claim that this pressophobia developed when security reports indicated that all lowland Naija news channels shared yams from Santa Dasuki and lost the trust of Sai Baba. However, I put it to these conspiracy theorists that this is a new info emanating from the de-goatification process and that barring more than usual goofs and gaffs, the press has discharged its duties like a true army.
So, it is shocking that our mainland press, which earned Sai Baba’s unflinching endorsement, the BBC failed to do the due diligence of a national broadcaster by carrying the entire event – live! We need an official explanation from our boys at the new Bush House and if it fails to come on time, we would not hesitate to ask our envoy in Northumberland Avenue to launch a formal complaint in the House of Lords. Whoever was responsible for this gross dereliction of duty must be fully sanctioned. I believe that Sai Baba mentioned this to the last high-ranking British official who immediately ordered a reporter to be dispatched to Abuja for damage control.
Sai Baba opened up, announcing the crushing of boko haram to meet his December deadline. I hope that Oby Ezekwesili listened to that interview and that she winds down the embarrassing #BringBackOurGirls campaign. We are eagerly waiting for the world press conference where a manacled and contrite Shekau and his 100 commandos on the DSS wanted list are paraded before Crime Fighters’ camera. Henceforth, only IPOB or MEND can throw bombs. America, France, Britain and the so-called developed world that kept telling us that terrorism could not be defeated should swallow their pride and come here to beg for the blueprint.
The initial presidential order to end all insurgencies in December was a military code that confounded us bloody civilians. Now only pockets of local governments, not belonging to lowland Naija is in the hands of the terrorists. Good news. Congratulations London, no more would bombs go off in your part of Maiduguri. Congratulations lowland Naija, no more would suicide attacks be reported by your national broadcaster, the BBC. This is change we can believe in.
Those who believe that the long visa queues in Dangote House and Walter Carrington Crescent are more stringent than those of the proverbial camel passing through the eye of the needle should think twice. It is a closely guarded secret that the UK is a part of Naija. A British man’s girlfriend named it and until recently, it was the destination of choice for goats to hide yams. It is still any Naija’s dreamland.
Alhamdullilah, now that we are done with boko haram, we should move a step further. I have heard from usually unreliable sources (it is not official if its not on BBC remember) that the 66 soldiers who allegedly mutinied because their GOC sent them on a suicide mission against boko boys have had their death sentences commuted to ten years in lowland jail. Such a story, if official would have been sad indeed. Official broadcasters had reported then that the soldiers fired shots at their commanding officer for sending them on the death mission albeit without arms. These soldiers are luckier than the late Mamman Vatsa crew, who in spite of global appeals for clemency were the subject of a Domkat Bali press conference where it was stonefacedly announced “they were executed an hour ago”.
After Sai Baba became the first president to apologise for the pain and suffering of unfulfilled dreams and electoral promises and assurances to remedy the situation, should we ask the national broadcaster to please help us appeal to Mr. President to use his prerogative of mercy to free these soldiers? The sentences are neither justifiable nor justiciable. If Boko Haram thrived because funds meant to fight them were transformed into yams and consummately consumed by goats as widely publicized by the BBC, then this kangaroo sentence should be nullified. If anyone deserves to be executed for treason, it should be the goats that devoured the yams meant to be exchanged for the arms that should have brought the presidential deadline several months earlier.
. Asaju writes from [email protected]