Lately, since returning from my 2016 summer vacation in the United Kingdom, I have cultivated the rich culture of reading different books about how some distant powerful nations evolved from their near -nothingness to their current global rating as world leaders in both economy and international politics.
In this light, I procured two books with specific thematic focus on China.
China unarguably is about the fastest growing economy in the world.
One of these two books aforementioned is called “wealth and power: China’s long march to the twenty-first century”written by two western theorists viz Professors Orville Schell and John Delury.
The second is a broadly respected political book aptly titled “The Politics book” which was generally edited by Mr. Sam Atkinson.
From the book titled ‘Wealth and Power: China’s long march to the twenty-first century” the authors clearly established the fact that China’s phenomenal rise in international politics and economic growth was in part due to practical lessons and developments that the founding fathers imbibed from some westerners who had sojourned in different parts of China.
Chinese technology is said to have been borrowed extensively from the West since no man is an island unto himself.
For instance, one of earliest the Chapters of this book aforementioned is on ‘western methods, Chinese Core’ in which the writers recollected a historical event that happened when Empress Dowager Cixi, the last paramount ruler of China’s last empire, whose defacto reign spanned five decades interacted extensively with sojourners from the West.
They stated that the Empress Cixi was the first Qing ruler to open up the forbidden city- the vast imperial compound at the center of Beijing- to westerners.
Yours faithfully had in 2005 visited this forbidden city.
From the second book titled “The Politics book” comes the revealing episodes of how during China’s warring states period, between the 5th and 3rd Centuries BCE, rulers were vying for power over a unified Chinese Empire and a new Political philosophy emerged to suit these turbulent times.
It is also notorious fact that it was only few years back that Hong Kong a territory now under mainland China was reverted back to mainland China from the British who had administered it.
In the United States of America, campaigns for who would succeed the first ever black president Mr. Barack Obama by year end entered frenetic dimensions with only few days to the election proper.
The Republican candidate Mr. Donald Trump the debonair business mogul who is squaring up against the Democratic Mrs. Hilary Clinton former Secretary of States and a Senator who represented New York is specifically called an outsider.
Donald Trump who is said not to be a Washington Insider, has had to bring in some strange but strategic political tacticians to try to see if he could carry the day and become the first newcomer into the political environment to have emerged the president of the most powerful nation in the world.
The above stories on the significant world powers are deliberately narrated here to serve as preludes to our analysis of the recent remarks of the wife of the Nigerian president Mrs. Aisha Buhari who had told the Hausa service of a foreign broadcasting outfit that her husband President Muhammadu Buhari is surrounded by strangers.
According to the newspaper reporters who wrote the story for their respective mainstream print newspapers, the wife of the Nigerian president poured out her feelings regarding the ongoing political infighting within the political platform that brought her spouse into office last year march 2015 which is the All Progressives Congress (APC) .
Two key players of the party are known to have suddenly become sworn enemies because of disagreement over the primary election that produced the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress for November 2016 Ondo governorship poll- Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The major fund raiser of APC who was reportedly instrumental to the slim victory scored by the current ruling national party over the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan the Peoples Democratic Party- Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, actually wanted another candidate of his choice to emerge, but the National Chairman John Odigie Oyegun and other Abuja political warlords who were hitherto Bola Tinubu political sons teamed up to frustrate his game plan.
Right now, the APC exists like a keg of gun powder ready to explode any moment from now.
There exists lots of bottled up angsts that President Muhammadu Buhari’s kitchen cabinet led by his paternal uncle Alhaji Mamman Daura has largely hijacked President Muhammadu Buhari even as it is being rumored that this clique hitherto known as the Daura Mafia are the very persons dictating the policy directive of this government and are the very people bringing in their lackeys to head strategic positions in government.
The wife of President Buhari did not mince words in pouring out the hidden mindset of lots of the original political supporters of her husband who right now are feeling abandoned in terms of strategic political positioning and realignments. Yours faithfully has had series of interactions with some of these founding members of the All Progressive Congress who had repeated this same narrative that Mrs Buhari had just delivered through the media.
The All Progressive Congress is no doubt in turmoil and this precisely is what President Buhari’s beloved wife spoke about just as she expressed her fear about what she philosophically termed the impending revolution of 15million voters in which she alluded to the number of Nigerians who voted her husband into office last year.
The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, blamed the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on ‘strangers’ around her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an interview she reportedly granted the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting CorporaAisha said the president is surrounded by people reaping where they did not sow.tion (BBC),
Many members of the party believe their contribution towards the president’s victory in the last general elections has not been rewarded, Aisha reportedly told the BBC in an interview that was aired. “This worries us a lot now, she said.
“Because they believe they are the ones who suffered, but are nowhere today. Those who didn’t do anything who don’t even have voters’ card are the ones in position, doing everything.”
The wife of the president was also quoted as saying: “What I am afraid for them is the rebellion of 15 million people,” in an allusion to the number of the people who voted the president into power last year.
Aisha’s spokesman, Mr. Zakari Yau Nadabo, in a telephone chat with a reporter confirmed that his principal spoke to the BBC on the matter.
“Yes! I can confirm that my principal granted the interview. Although I was not there when she spoke, I listened to a portion of the interview and the voice I heard is that of my principal,” he said. “I am waiting for the whole interview to be aired so that the story can be taken in full context. So as it is now I cannot make comments about it” he declared.
Nadabo said many had called him about the interview.
But are her fears grounded in empirical political data? I think her position is a catch 50:50 situation which has both realistic and unrealistic projections.
Realistically, politics everywhere is usually a melting pot of strangers.
As we read from those two books I briefly reviewed above, the best way to build the needed momentum to gain respectability and widespread acceptance is by inviting good and brilliant brains wherever they can be found.
But the shortcoming is that the appointing authority is at the risk of bringing in green snakes in green grass who may actually ruin the legacy that the head of government is building for himself.
There is no doubt that President Buhari who is ‘officially ‘ in his early 70’s is in the process of building a befitting political legacies so that even when the passage of time comes, he would be remembered for those sterling qualities he is said to have built but if the ministers and appointees are such evil “strangers”, then the intended legacies would be stained and tainted. Perhaps, that is the foundation of Mrs. Aisha Buhari’s apprehension.
Han Fei Tzu (280-233 BCE) rightly state that “if evil minister enjoy safety and profit, this is the beginning of downfall”.
This same man like Nostradamus the great prophet may have also given his wise counsel on what President Buhari could adopt to check the dangers in working with evil strangers as cabinet level members or members of the so-called kitchen cabinet given that his wife who has being with him for 25 years confessed that out of every 50 persons working for her husband, she knows only but five or so and that that’s the same situation with her spouse.
Han Fei Tzu stated emphatically thus: “to govern the state by law is to praise the right and blame the wrong”.
In other words President Muhammadu Buhari must at all times lead by his Constitutional Oath of office which could be summed up thus: “ I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The challenge herein is that it is clearly stated that Major General Muhammadu Buhari as he then was since retiring from the Army and even when he showed disposition to canvass for elective position on more than three occasions before finally netting it in on March 2015 through a strong coalition his new political family made up of strange bedfellows, Buhari is known as an introvert sort of who barely moved around the length of Nigeria to build up political friends and so his political godfather Alhaji Mamman Daura has played on this loophole to take commanding lead in dictating the pace of governance under President Muhammadu Buhari. This hypothesis of strangers working for President Muhammadu Buhari should worry not just Mr President himself since although success in politics is arrived at by building of new political alignments with basically strange bedfellows but these strange bedfellows over a period of very brief period ought to have bought into the ideological guideline of the appointing authority since no two captains can pilot ship successfully. Coming from the wife as it were who should be the closest member of the President’s family, this portends present and realistic danger which must be nipped in the bud by Mr President.
As my people usually say ‘it is better to search for a black goat before the dawn of the night’ let President Muhammadu Buhari engage in soul searching and purge his government of those evil ministers and team members who are actually moles in government to serve the interest of their godfather.
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human rights Writers association of Nigeria and blogs @ www.emmanuelonwubiko.com