An Encounter with OBJ/IBB/Atiku/Buhari Supporters


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October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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An Encounter with OBJ, IBB, Atiku and Buhari Supporters

Paul Mamza
November 15, 2005
Celebrating festive occasions in Zaria had been a reshuffling entice especially being a town of historical engagement with purely academic pursuits. The proximity of Zaria to Kaduna offered some kind of relief in quenching the hard work of mental resonation. Kaduna being the nerve-centre of politics and political dungarees in the North and probably in Nigeria is a town that cannot be ignored when issues are to be analysed in earnest. The serenity of town can be mistaken as its innocence yet Kaduna can erupt at the slightest of contagious disagreement. Every soul living in the crocodile city is mind ful of his or her survival in the context of national politics. Measure the temperament of Kaduna and get assured of the intricacies of political loquaciousness of Nigeria. During festivals, the atmosphere in the Kaduna is highly rewarding, the nerves take the form of a search for determining hope in a distressed mood and yet offering some kind of soul searching when political matters call for attention. At normal times the city is a threshold of a political heartbeat of discourse when events in politics is taking an outrageous dimension. No wonder the power bloc of the first Republic politics find much abode in Kaduna and since then, anyone that matter in the North wants to identify with the city.
This year’s Sallah celebration made yours sincerely entrapped into a congregation of OBJ (Obasanjo) IBB (Babangida), Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari supporters deep-in-neck of possibilities and impossibilities of an impending political power-game. The congregation was like a collecti on of soothsayers, speculators and prophets of doom. At the conspicuous settee position lies Malam Barau Bilai Tabari who claim supremacy of the discussions. Dressed in a glowing white Babanriga and a Cap carelessly placed on his forehead showing sings of mutilated curvature, which betrayed the cultured decency of his roots. Tabari boasted of holding a key as a kingmaker since the aborted Third Republic during IBB’s years. He is unarguably a staunch and unrepentant supporter of IBB even from a far discussion without the show of any remorse. Tabari’s mob had sighted my car drove along the Isa Kaita long route in company of Buhari supporters and had to confine our journey to their preferred area of interest. Amidst tense debate with the already settled Atiku and OBJ supporters, there was indeed the quest for a third party to cool tempers along conflicting points. Many people around had argued that considering Tabari’s might in winning election and his phenomenal predictions he had no rival in this peculiar contest of ideas. Foreclosing the possibility of OBJ’s third agenda and Atiku/Buhari succeeding OBJ, he alerted, "IBB is already comfortably on the throne prior to the 2007 elections". Sounding scientific Tabari said "The barometer, thermometer and compass of the 2007 election is located in Minna under the control of IBB, this is a man that had studied Nigeria more than any living or dead Nigerian, it is therefore demented for anyone to compare him with somebody like Atiku who is barely a political neophyte as far as politics in Nigeria is concerned". Massaging the rear of his shabby moustache and adjusting the pipe that held the cigarette he was smoking to control the level of nicotine, Tabari waxed prophetically "It is only God that will stop IBB from ruling Nigeria in 2007, not even OBJ talkless of Atiku who already is irrelevant from the prevalent power - play".
As Tabari had concluded his assertion, Mr. Amos Duniya, a self-confessed die-hard of Atiku offered "it seems many Nigerians are living in a day-dreaming glass houses. Politics in Nigeria today and in future including 2007 is no more normal. Political analysts in Nigeria must go for new training and re-training in order to understand the unraveling circumstances of the post 2003 election directions. Atiku Abubakar would spring surprises that most of today’s politicians who are purely military will live to envy". Getting furious and openly showing displeasure at Tabari’s submissions he queried "We are talking of politics, since Atiku controls the political party machinery, I wonder how somebody who until recently known as a party member would beat Atiku even with the rumour of OBJ and America backing him", Sheik Hamza Abdul until recently paid little attention to the debate quipped" you guys are jokers, God has a way of undoing man’s proposal. It is foolish for anyone to tie the fate of a nation to only two people (IBB and Atiku). Neither of the two may rule Nigeria in 2007. We need a diversion from this estranged situation, Buhari may benefit more from these already pervaded situations". Hardly could Hamza finished his statements that Chief Balogun intercepted "Already there’s a sitting President (OBJ) and this man had not concealed his desire for a third term. The OBJ I know is both cunning and vicious. We Nigerians are fond of raising alarm before an event but when the event happens we retreat to silence and inaction. Believe me or not, OBJ will rule Nigeria again in 2007. No IBB and Atiku can march his ferocity, period", he said in an apparent nod of the third term agenda. Tabari had a sympathizer in Mr. Okoro Chigozie. Waxing almost decisive he tendered-in "No single person in Nigeria can match the consummate considerate of IBB. This is man that does envy your financial status. In fact he shivers if you are in a financial distress. He is the Nigerian most realistic leader in that he studies in its entirely the mindset of the Nigerian populace with caution".
As Chigozie couldn’t finish his analysis, that Ismail Momoh intervened, un-relented in emphasizing Amos Duniya’s submission; Momoh thundered "We are praying for God to give Vice-president Atiku the strength to cross the hurdles being deliberately constructed by military adventurers in politics. With God by his side he will dismantle the entire conspiracy project for genuine democracy. He is our last hope towards participatory democracy. He is our last hope towards participatory democracy". Thoroughly bemused by all the grandstanding except that of Sheik Hamza, an initially silent Ekpo Iyang dismissed that IBB, OBJ and Atiku are all corrupt as indices has shown". Iyang’s simplistic conclusion frayed the nerves of both Malam Tabari and Chief Balogun Olusanya. To show open disdain to Iyang’s views, Tabari who was assimilating the tedious engagements, rose from his bulky settee with rigors of dispatching a piece of meat hung between his teeth, retaliated by saying "Nigeria has gone beyond the preach of ethics and morally, it is how practicable you are that makes you relevant. IBB is more practicable and convincing than OBJ and Atiku.
Infact, power must shift to the North in 2007 and in the present North no one is more powerful than IBB. We are waiting for a smooth handover in 2007, insha Allahu". As Tabari conceded, Chief Balogun along with Alhaji Garba Tambuwal confronted Tabari head-on. Said Chief Balogun "No more will an ethnic champion and religious extremist rule Nigeria again. The world has changed. With the massive support OBJ has for reform agenda in the international circles and his leadership qualities in curtailing oppositions, he will not only come for third term but even for fourth term and nothing will happen, just quote me". In line with Chief Balogun’s decisive summation, Alhaji Tambuwal conceded, "The Northern leaders have failed us. It does not matter whether OBJ or any body else in the South will rule this country till eternity. All we need is justice and fairness. I think OBJ is still better off". Mr. Adamu Modibbo armed with hang-over of querulous contentions appeared with a firm notion" It seems people are underestimating Atiku, a Fulani can be both deviant and variant, the politics of 2007 election cannot be complete without the Atiku factor. OBJ and IBB must be living in a fool’s paradise to think of undoing Atiku. It is not only impossible but cannot happen", apparently in support Mr. Amos Duniya’s earlier assertion. Said Sheik Hamza in response to Tabari and Balogun in particular "If the nation refuses to acknowledge the exemplary virtues of General Buhari, I will prefer an Igbo or a South-South candidate of note to rule Nigeria in 2007 than OBJ, IBB or Atiku" In retaliation, Tabari fired at Sheik Hamza "This is not the time for any Igbo or South - South to rule Nigeria. There was a consensus that after the South, the North will rule. Th e Igbos in particular are not prepared except for Chief Uzor Kalu who we are yet to study. If democracy is to be practiced fully, the strongest must be allowed to rule and I believe IBB is the most strongest Nigerian at present". Not succumbing to any defeat Balogun offered "I wonder how people are dreaming of a seat that is already occupied, moreso the dreams are by individuals that have skeletons in their cupboard. OBJ will decide the fate of his seat in 2007, whether anybody likes it or not". It was a pleasure coming in terms at the midst of the feelings of supporters of OBJ, IBB, Atiku and Buhari.
Before one can recapture the various contentions as innocently conveyed by the many factors. A certain Mallam Ishaya Anchau who proclaims religiosity alerted "I have seen a vision that none of the names mention in all your discussions will rule Nigeria in 2007. God will temper might with mercy to prompt up a dark horse that is an unknown quantity to arrest the vicious circle of crisis unconsciously created by these individuals aspiring to rule in 2007". "Please, mark my words" he thundered rhetorically. As a way of dispersing the debating crowd, Tabari offered that "There is no food for a lazy man. God only helps he who helps him self. If true democracy is to entrenched then people must be allowed to test their strength in a political context. And that is exactly what we are doing". Obong Ekanem Idongesit cautioned "If the South-South is not given Presidency in 2007, we the South-Southerners will agitate for the break of Nigeria". Already agitated Chief Nnanah Egwu shot back "We the Igbos are already planning our agenda out of the Nigerian project. All the discussants here are daydreamers. That is all". The last statement was by Sheik Hamza, in retaliation to Obong Ekanem’s and Chief Nnanah’s idea of the future of Nigeria after the 2007 election he submitted "Who is happy with this maladroit union marriage called Nigeria. If Nigeria is to break due to enforcement of democracy, so be it", showingly adjusting his bulky beard to make confirmatory displeasure at the typical Nigerians desperation to power.
It was indeed an aspiring session with the possibilities of the 2007 elections in Nigeria.
- Mamza writes from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.



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