From Commander-in-Chief to Clearer-in-Chief: The Doublethink of President Buhari by Reno Omokri
I used to think that the creators of the Mavrodi Mondial Movement, aka MMM, were smart people going by the fact that they were able to come up with such a brilliant Ponzi scheme that enabled them make off with people’s money as the ultimate pen robbers, but I have since been undeceived and have now come to the inevitable conclusion that the operators of the MMM scheme are not smart after all.
If they were smart, after President Muhammadu Buhari cleared Babachir Lawal, what they should have done is immediately apply to him for clearance! After all, our President is the best clearing agent in Nigeria.
In fact, I hear the Nigerian Association of clearing and forwarding agents unanimously elected to make President Muhammadu Buhari their life President after he cleared Magu and forwarded his name to the Senate!
And with all these happenings, there are still some people out there who believe that the President is fighting corruption! In fact, the word fool has to be redefined.
A fool is anyone who believes that President Muhammadu Buhari who cleared Babachir and Amaechi is anti-corrupt while Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who sacked Oduah and Nnaji is corrupt!
So bad has the situation become that two erstwhile major supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari have had to publicly confess how bad things have become under his leadership.
First Senator Shehu Sani said, “When it comes to fighting corruption in the National Assembly and the Judiciary and in the larger Nigerian sectors, the President uses insecticide, but when it comes to fighting corruption within the Presidency, they use deodorants,” then Junaidu Mohammed said “The truth is that Nigeria is worse off today than when Buhari took over the reigns of power”.
Even the most die hard Buharist must now admit that in electing Muhammadu Buhari as our President all that we did was jump, not from a frying pan, but from a refrigerator to fire.
And the sad thing about the Babachir affair is that the President relied on what has now been revealed by Senator Shehu Sani as outright lies and clever use of technicalities.
For instance, in his letter to the Senate in which he cleared Babachir Lawal, President Buhari said that only three members of the Senate ad hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East signed the report indicting Babachir Lawal making it a ‘minority report’ and that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal was not invited by the committee to state his own side of the story.
These assertions have since been proven to be a lie by the Chairman of that committee, Senator Shehu Sani who said “it is shocking to me that such a letter can come from the Presidency with such misinformation and outright distortions. They lied by saying that the committee didn’t invite the SGF: the committee invited the SGF and the letter was acknowledged by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF.”
Senator Sani went on to expose another Presidential lie when he said “isues were raised that only three members of the committee signed that interim report; that was also a second lie coming from the Presidency. I have a copy of the interim report, which was initially signed by seven members of the nine members of that committee and I am going to submit it to the Clerk of the Senate.”
Are we not seeing a pattern here? We see a sanctimonious President who is never tired of accusing opposition parties and politicians of corruption yet who gets caught pants down engaging in the corruption he accuses others of being guilty off.
We saw this when he used a heavily plagiarized speech to launch the so called #ChangeBeginsWithMe initiative (which appears to have died a natural death).
We also saw it again in the President’s oft repeated lie that the Jonathan administration did not achieve anything by way of infrastructure when he knows quite well that the 187KM Abuja-Kaduna fast railway that now enables Nigerians live in Kaduna and work in Abuja, which he commissioned, was built by the Jonathan government along with the restoration of national rail routes, the completion of the Olorunsogo phase 2 power station, the dredging of the River Niger up to Baro in Niger state and the building of 12 new Federal Universities and 165 Almajiri schools to mention a few.
After promising heaven and earth during the 2015 elections, the Nigerian public has now come to the realization that they were duped by desperate power seekers with empty sugar coated promises they had no intention of fulfilling.
You can imagine a Director of President Buhari’s electioneering campaign and now minister for solid minerals, Kayode Fayemi, telling Nigerian youths only this week to ‘quit whining’ and that nobody owes them anything. Hmm.
If anybody had told the 2017 graduating class of the University of Lagos that the Fayemi who once begged them to vote for Buhari would one day scold them for having high hopes, these great akokites may have stoned that person, but on Monday, January 23, 2017, they sat stunned as their expectations were torn to shreds by the same man who built it up.
President Buhari has altered the course of Nigeria’s march from a nation heading towards a utopian transformation under former President Goodluck Jonathan, to a nation experiencing a dystopian ‘change’ where, like in George Orwell’s 1984 masterpiece, Nigerians are forced to accept ‘doublethink’ as a reality.
For those who do not know what ‘doublethink’ is, I would suggest you read Orwell’s classic book about ‘Big Brother’ and titled ‘1984’ (coincidentally, 1984 is the year that Nigerians first became acquainted with Muhammadu Buhari on the national stage).
In 1984, Orwell defined ‘double think’ as:
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”
This is what we have been reduced to in Nigeria. Forced to believe that someone like Olisa Metuh, who performed a job and was paid for it, is guilty, but Mr. Babachir Lawal, who enriched himself through a company connected with him and who hid the connection through a labyrinthine maze at the Corporate Affairs Commission, is innocent.
We are expected to believe that the Supreme Court Justice visiting Rotimi Amaechi, who publicly admitted to spending $500,000 of public funds (yes, you read that right-half a million dollars!) to host Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, to a one day dinner is free from corruption but Reuben Abati who received funds to do the work that he was LEGALLY appointed to do was arrested and thrown in a cell to be photographed in his undies like a common criminal!
From Commander-in-Chief to Clearer-in-Chief: The Doublethink of President Buhari.
The Nigerian dystopia under President Buhari fulfills every facet of the definition of doublethink. Again, to quote from Orwell’s 1984, we see a Nigeria where government officials have;
“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”
Could Orwell have time traveled into the future to catch a glimpse of the new and improved Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari?
How else are we to juxtapose the reality of a President who tells us that (and I am using his own words here), ‘Abacha did not steal’, yet his own Attorney General and minister for justice is fighting tooth and nail to recover $550 million worth of Abacha loot “illegally taken out of Nigeria” (again I am quoting from an official statement from the Buhari presidency on the subject). I guess when you ‘illegally take’ you are not the same as a thief. How anybody can keep up with the doublethink of the Buhari administration amazes me!
Elsewhere, doublethink has been defined as being able to control the memories of the populace, such that history is revised to fit the propaganda of the ruling party.
If we accept this definition as accurate, then it is clear that the minister of information (I am tempted to say disinformation), Alhahi Lai Mohammed, is the High Priest of this administration’s temple of doublethink.
The aptly named Lai Mohammed, in true manifestation of his name, told a lie, when he scolded the advocacy group Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) by saying that their use of ‘impudent’ language should “should have been reserved for those who did nothing in the first 500 days of the girls’ abduction”.
Of course Nigerians know that Lai Mohammed, the chief spin doctor of the ‘change’ agenda, is synonymous with lying and it is no wonder that the Oby Ezekwesili led BBOG are firing at him, but to say that the Jonathan administration ‘did nothing’ to rescue the Chibok girls is a lie that will not go unchallenged.
I will now give a timeline of events to prove unequivocally that Lai Mohammed is a liar and his words should henceforth be taken with a pinch of salt by Nigerians and the international community.
March 12, 2014: The then minister of state for education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, wrote the Governors of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa and advised them not to hold SSCE examinations in areas susceptible to the Boko Haram insurgency. This letter, with reference number HMSE/FME/147/VOL.1/150 and titled: ‘Security challenges and the conduct of the 2014 WASSCE and SSCE in Borno, Yobe and parts of Adamawa States’, is still available today should Lai Mohammed wish to read it.
April 14, 2014: Contrary to the advise given by the PDP led Federal Government of President Goodluck Jonathan, the APC led Government of Governor Kashim Shettima, for reasons best known to it, chose to ignore that advise and held the SSCE examinations in Chibok, a mainly Christian town that was susceptible to attacks from the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram. On the day in question, the girls of Government Girls Secondary School Chibok were kidnaped by Boko Haram while preparing to write their final physics examinations.
Flash forward to April 2, 2016: Governor Kashim Shettima confesses in an interview with Premium Times that he, the chief security officer of the state, DID NOT inform then President Jonathan when the girls were kidnapped for reasons best known to him.
April 17, 2014: Exactly three days after the kidnap, President Jonathan who had been unaware of the issue because of the deliberate refusal of the APC led government of Borno state to brief him called for an emergency meeting at the Presidential villa.
May 4, 2014: After consistent confused and contradictory information from the Borno state Government and various other authority figures, the Presidency invited the principal actors in the Chibok saga to the Presidential villa to ascertain the truth. The Presidency was shocked at the non appearance by officials of the Borno state government. The governor’s wife who was invited shunned the event and when the then First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan saw the scanty representation from Borno she famously exclaimed ‘na only you waka come’?
May 6, 2014: The then National Publicity Secretary of the APC and now the current minister of information, Lai Mohammed, released a statement calling the Presidency’s intervention a ‘distraction’.
May 26, 2014: The Nigerian military revealed through Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, that it knew the location of the girls but could not attack because of fear of loss of lives of the girls after a similar operation in Sokoto to save an Italian and a Briton led to loss of lives of the hostages taken by an affiliate of Boko Haram.
Unspecified Date in May 2014: The Jonathan administration began secret negotiations to secure the release of the Chibok girls.
October 6, 2014: Then President Jonathan visits Niamey as part of efforts to secure the release of the Chibok girls with the help of the Nigerien government.
October 17, 2014: A truce was announced with Boko Haram after negotiations which was to allow for the release of the Chibok girls. The truce was broken by Boko Haram who reneged on their promise to release their captives.
There are other actions taken by the Jonathan admin which I have not listed here but the point I am making is that for Alhahi Lai Mohammed to say that that government did nothing is not just a lie, but a shameless attempt to rewrite history by a man who has scant regard for the truth.
It is my prayer that the Chibok girls will be released but for that to happen, there must be complete transparency and truthfulness from government.
Let me say that a man, like, Lai Mohammed, with an over bloated opinion of himself and the poverty inducing government in which he serves cannot argue with a man with an accurate command of the facts.
Finally, permit me to, like George Orwell, pen my own satire.
Three men called JM, SR and PT wanted influence from GJ but he wouldn’t give it to them, so they plotted with MB to steal it from him using false accusation. After their success, MB got the influence but refused to share it with JM, SR and PT. So JM, SR and PT tried to do what they did to GJ to MB, but MB was like them. When JM attacked MB, MB unlike GJ attacked him back harder. When SR lied against MB like they did GJ, MB’s forces arrested him. When PT blackmailed MB using the same tactics they used for GJ, his boys invaded and arrested them. It was then JM, SR and PT understood that MB was not like GJ whose ambition was not worth blood, sorrow or suffering. They then asked themselves-what have we done to ourselves? But by then it was too late for them! GJ was the toast of the world and they were the toast of MB’s fire!
Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center in California, author of Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God and Why Jesus Wept and the host of Transformation with Reno Omokri