By Bola Bolawole
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As they say, birds of a feather flock together; meaning “people of the same sort or with the same tastes and interests will be found together”. In other words, “those with similar interests or of same kind tend to form groups” According to Google, the phrase “birds of a feather flock together is at least 470 years old. At some point, a birds flocking behaviour started to be applied metaphorically to people who acted in a similar way, and now today, we have this saying”
“Show me your friend and let me tell you who you are” is another saying that depicts who we are. Half-full and half-empty; six and half-a-dozen all also speak to the same circumstance. The law of attraction states that “like attracts like”. Religious bigots will always attract religious bigots. Bloody hounds will attract bloody hounds. Jihadists and empire builders have nothing in common with freedom-loving Federalists.
Grandma used to warn that things not alike must be kept apart as two parallel lines that never meet. She would say the sheep that hobnobs with dogs will soon begin to feed on faeces. “In geometry, parallel lines are lines in a plane which do not meet; they are two straight lines in a plane that do not intersect at any point. Colloquially, curves that do not touch each other or intersect and (which) keep a fixed minimum distance are said to be parallel”
The problem with Nigeria is that we are compelling parallel lines to meet willy-nilly. We have gathered together, as it were, dogs and cats. We have under the same roof chickens and pigeons. It is time for likes to seek likes and for disparate groups to “keep a fixed minimum distance” from one another. This is the only solution that can guarantee peace and development in Nigeria. And this solution must be applied before the situation degenerates fully into the Hobbesian state of nature already knocking violently on the door.
Am I surprised that Isa Pantami is in Buhari’s government? I am not! Do I think he is the only one of their ilk in government? I am not so dumb to think so! In fact, the Buhari government is piled full with the Pantami’s of this world. Are they there for the fun of it? Of course, not! Do they have an agenda to execute? Of course, yes! Have they been working at it? Oh yes! They want to make Nigeria home to Fulani all over the world. Just like a home was created for Israel on 14 May, 1948 by the world powers, they want to hijack Nigeria by all means possible and make it home to the Fulani.
Gov. Nasir el-Rufai said as much. Gov. Bala Mohammed also said that much. There is no Fulani person of note in this country today that has not said that much. Even the so-called “democrats” among them, the likes of Atiku Abubakar and Bukola Saraki, have said as much. The Fulani elite are agreed on this and have mobilized themselves and their cretins to realize it. That is why they have cornered all important government posts and offices. They see Buhari, the Grand Patron of the Fulanization agenda, as their God-sent.
Do not allow any Fulani person deceive you on this score. They are solidly united and vigorously pursuing their Fulanization agenda. Like the fore-fathers disguised with religion to take Hausa land and the environs, so also are their descendants trying hard to use the same religion as opium to, first, sedate the people and, thereafter, galvanize them into action as Fulani foot soldiers and slaves for the purpose of actualizing the Fulanization agenda. The difference from one Fulani to another is style, not content.
There are Fulanis who think Buhari’s abrasive style and tactics have exposed their hands and will, in the end, jeopardise the Fulani project itself. They may be right. At no time in the history of this country has the Fulanization project been so brazenly advanced but, mercifully, too, at no time in our history have the people become so conscious of it and have stood up to oppose it. History teaches that the most vicious form of fascism is the one that creeps on the people. Fulanization had crept on Nigerians for decades but Buhari, in making it open and undisguised, has divested it of the most potent weapons that had worked excellently for it – disguise and deceit. For this, we owe Buhari a world of gratitude!
Will Buhari sack Pantami? What for? How can the pot call the kettle black? What is Pantami accused of that Buhari is not guilty of many times over? In stridently violent, incendiary, fiery, volatile Islamic fundamentalist speeches, Buhari surpasses Pantami. In incitements to draw blood, Buhari has been more successful than Pantami. So, where has Pantami gone wrong that Buhari has not excelled more than him? Both are not just birds of a feather, they are also ideological soul mates.
Pantami now says he has renounced his fiery speeches and destructive ideology – very well, but can he renounce the consequences of those speeches and actions? Can he bring back the innocent lives that were lost and can he amend the dislocation caused to individuals as well as to the polity as a whole? Is this also not the same way Buhari said he had become a converted democrat? What a “democrat”! See where democrat Buhari has dragged Nigeria! They hardly get converted! A leopard cannot change its skin. Let them tell their cock-and-bull story to the Marines! But it is good that they have been exposed and have also been thoroughly disgraced.
They may act and speak otherwise but the truth of the matter is that they have been unmasked. And, believe you me, they are thoroughly embarrassed. They only think that putting up a brave face and digging in is the saving grace they have left. Pity! The wreckage of their Fulanization agenda surrounds them. When the story is told in future, Buhari will be given a pride of place – but for the wrong reasons. The Fulani, whose cause Buhari has carried on his head, and the non-Fulani, who have tales of woes to tell, will both consign him into the dustbin of history.
Since Pantamigate broke, I have taken the pain to read a lot of writers on the subject. One prominent Buhari critic who called Pantami his friend started by excoriating the disgraced minister but ended up advising him on how to escape the opprobrium of the moment and, possibly, keep his job – just recant and renounce the past!
Doublespeak! Speaking from both sides of the mouth at same time! Running with the hare and hunting with the hound! Suspect every so-called Northern radical when the issues involved are core Northern interests. Few of them will want to let go of their privileges and advantages. They want to ride on our back “sine die”, as the lawyers would say. But exactly what they are asking Pantama to say now was what Buhari was advised to do in 2014/15! But see the same Buhari subsequently! Pantami will not be different.
It is because people have no shame here that Pantami is still in office – not only Pantami who should have resigned but also those with the powers to send him packing who have not. An unmistakable evidence of remorse is if the man resigns, apologises and finds ways to make restitution where possible. And the evidence that Buhari has distanced himself from his own past is if he sacks Pantami. That both are not toeing this path of honour speaks volumes about the true state and intents of their heart.
Nevertheless, the ridicule Pantami and Buhari have suffered on this matter “no be small”, as they say. They have become the butt of cruel jokes. A few instances: Veteran journalist, Nsikak Essien, had this tweet: “I can’t breathe! Why? Because that Boko Haram minister has my NIN details. And he has blood on his hands” Essien added: “Attention: All bandits, criminal herdsmen and Boko Haram (Baba’s Amnesty Programme) repent and be made a Minister!”
Inimitable Kayode Samuel quipped: “Be very wary of the ‘repentance’ that comes only after the offender has been found out!” Prof. Akin Onigbinde had this to say: “There can be no Isa Pantami without Muhammadu Buhari. Pantami is the fruit from Buhari’s tree… Buhari knew of Pantami’s antecedents, which fits into his (Buhari’s) own religious bigotry. If Buhari is unusually persuaded to let Pantami go, either by encouraging him to resign or by relieving him of his appointment to assuage international sentiments against him (Buhari) on the anti-terrorism sentiments, there are more deadly Pantamis for Buhari to choose from to continue in his avowed agenda for his Fulani mission. Precisely why I am not excited by the ‘Pantami must go’ campaign. What is important is to aim at the tap root that sustains the trunk and branches bearing the poisonous fruits”.
Well said, Prof.! It is exactly the same reason I have not joined the ‘Pantami must go’ bandwagon. If they were wise and had not crossed the Rubicon already, Buhari and Co. would have done damage control by promptly removing Pantami but now it is too late for them to take that decision. They have lost face already and no one will clap for them even if they do so now. They can only continue to drag the Pantami garbage all over the place with the odious stench it emits and the hordes of fleas in tow everywhere they go!
But, mark my word, no Pantami will go unpunished! One after the other they will be exposed. And one by one they will end up in disgrace and ignominy! In the end the blood of the innocent shall speak; o yes, like the blood of biblical Abel!