Haba Baba!

Quite the buzz has trailed the recent actions of Nigerian president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari with regards to press, AIT in particular. Vincent, in the piece below, shares with us his views on the matter. ‘Haba Baba’ as a title surely leaves no doubt as to which side he leans; as for me and my family, we hold reservations. We will watch and wait…

No matter how rat-poisonous or iiiice-waterous your thoughts be, don’t fail to share them with us in the comments. Enjoy.


Since his emergence as Nigeria’s president- elect General Muhammadu Buhari has comported himself as a man deserving of his new role. Like he did in the months preceding that historic election, he has continued to win admirers from all corners.

Having realised that this is the man who will hold the proverbial yam and knife after May 29, political jobbers, business moguls, technocrats and even some officials in the present government have turned Buhari’s house into a ‘Mecca’. Under the guise of courtesy visits, they are falling over themselves and holding vigils at his gate to register their loyalty before he is sworn in and becomes too busy to see them.

As the Buhari crowd home and abroad wait for May 29 with bated breath, it appears the man himself can’t wait for that long before acting like the commander-in- chief.

Two developments in the last few days have proved to be the writing on the wall as regards the direction the Buhari government may take.

First was the statement about the allegedly missing $20 billion from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation, NNPC. While hosting guests from the Adamawa State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who paid him a courtesy visit, the president-in-waiting promised to revisit the issue.

“I heard that some people have started returning money; I will not believe it until I go and see for myself”, Buhari was reported to have told his guests.

Barely a day after expressing his determination to institute a fresh probe into the affairs of the state-owned oil company under the outgoing administration, Buhari gave another hint of what is to come when he eventually takes over the reins. The president-elect barred, African Independent Television, AIT, from covering and reporting his affairs until further notice.

Confirming the development, Buhari’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu said “AIT has been asked to stay aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, Buhari has decided that they will have to resolve some issues relating to issues of standard and ethics.”

‘Standards and ethics’ may sound like reasonable excuses but even the most politically naïve observer knows the real reasons for Buhari’s action. Having aired series of damaging documentaries against him weeks before the election, Buhari is only taking his pound of flesh from AIT.

Whatever explanations his supporters may offer, it is certain Buhari will spend the first months and maybe years of his administration probing the affairs of the past government and settling political scores.

That implies that the change many Nigerians sought when they elected him in April may not come to fruition anytime soon. It means rather than facing the task ahead, Buhari’s government may focus on making scapegoats out of past leaders.

There is no gainsaying the fact that NNPC and other government parastatals have become Aegean stables that must be cleared.  Yet, probing past misdeeds in those organisations may just be another exercise in futility. If Buhari truly means business, dismantling the existing structures in NNPC and re-organising it for a fresh start may be his best bet. The probes may be politically correct and boost his popularity but it could also be a distraction for a government that has promised to hit the ground running.

As regards the ban on AIT, it is proof that the president-elect is not ready to begin the healing process that the country urgently needs at this critical time. Having been so vilified in the course of the campaign, Buhari’s anger is justified but he must also be aware of the dangers such moves portend. Banning an opposition station from reporting his affairs opens a leeway for those who have always described Buhari as an intolerant and vindictive man to return to business. Moreover, the campaigns were ‘bloody’ at all levels. The politicians and their lackeys, including those in Buhari’s camp threw salvos at each other on a daily basis across various media platforms. As they say, all is fair in love and war.

Thankfully, Buhari’s party APC has said AIT and other media outfits are free to cover Buhari’s activities. But if Buhari still feels offended, he should seek redress the right way by dragging AIT to court. He has sufficient evidences to win a case of defamation. It is even more politically expedient for him to punish the company using state institutions such as the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission when he is sworn in than this hare-brained directive. The president-elect should show some maturity. After all, it is not for nothing that they call him BABA.

Vincent Nzemeke is a Nigerian currently studying in Germany.

He is @vincentnzemeke on twitter.


27 thoughts on “Haba Baba!

  1. I agree 100% with Vincent..

    GEJ has declared tha the Aso villa has been abandoned since he lost. Such is the futility of the human mind..
    I had otapiapia comments to make before now.

    Well, Vincent, you know it’s APC not GMB who came out to redress the AIT saga. More of these wil come up..

  2. If you go through the PWC audit report released by the current government you’ll swoon at the trillions of unremitted nairas. I don’t see why it’s an issue to revisit a situation that was hushed not minding the mind boggling allegations. Finally, it’s clear many have laid an ambush for the incoming government just as the outgoing was ambushed. This kind of situation helps no one. Right now the country needs less of such and more of support and optimism by the citizens. *mythoughts*

    • My sentiments exactly. Many of una just dey carry akpo like pikin wey dem no gree make im tief agbalumo – “since you say I no go chop your agbalumo, make I hear say e ripe!” That’s just nonsense. The man is your president-elect; if you prefer to just siddon dey wait for him to mess up so you can spit “a-talk am!”, I sorry for you.
      Devicky, thanks jare.

  3. Hence, where lies de freedom of de press we have been enjoying?
    What AIT did to GMB was also done to GEJ by TVC and other APC media houses.
    I think dat shouldn’t be a focal point of action, we should look for de way forward. The in-coming government should try and stabilize power, which will go a long way in solving at least 30% of Nigeria’s problem.
    When it has done that, others would follow!

  4. I’m trying hard not to feel disappointment in the new government before it’s commenced on its administration. Not because I voted it, but because, for the sake of this country, I’d like not to think our hopes were misplaced.
    So, Baba, erect a Vindictiveness Department. Go after all those who slung mud at you all those months ago. Dismantle, dissect and disseminate, if you so wish. But remember your obligation is first and foremost to the Nigerian people.

  5. The second coming of the dictator… This story is just d first of many to come in the coming months. To all the buhari proponents,, I sincerely hope that he proves himself worthy. It is obvious from all indications that GMB is out for blood, to bring down the hammer on every one who has “wronged him”. The change we hope to see, I’m sorry to say is going to come after GMB’ s revenge series. As for me. .. I’ll be watching with keen disinterest

  6. Many Nigerians didn’t vote Buhari in as the messiah, but to show our leaders that slowly but surely, the Nigerian electorate are having more of a say on who rules the country.
    Anybody expecting miracles from Buhari is misguided. I just hope the APC learnt from their victory in the presidential election and small margin of victory in the Lagos gubernatorial race that Nigerians are becoming more interested in the running of this country and will vote you out if they are dissatisfied with your government.
    Barring the AIT was not the best move and doing it at an event only made it look rash and vindictive.
    I’m with Divicky and Chisom on this one. Let’s all do our best to support our president instead of looking for reasons to take shots at him.

    If in 4 years we are disappointed, we head back to the polls and vote him out!

  7. Any time I hear this talk about waiting 4 years to take out a non-performing elected leader, I feel disenchanted with the whole process. Do we have to wait? Do we have to turn a blind end for a whole 4 YEARS? why can’t we develop a system where we can effectively call out a non-performing/erring representative and hold his accountable to his actions and inactions?
    I believe our political space needs to grows beyond this despicable system where an elected leader is confident of his 4 years tenure @ the national cake to the detriment of the common man; as the first step towards building a Nigeria we can all be proud of.

    • I agree with you Maxi.
      But I feel we have done well for ourselves as a nation. Prior to this time, we would have said ‘let’s wait for 8 years ‘ but now it’s down to 4.. it keeps getting better by the day

      • Hmm…this coming from Chizzy?? We bless da lawdu oh!lol.
        Seriously though, dear, the change in leadership we’re about to experience is a good thing for us as a country. Buhari just happens to be the foremost agent of it, and he is human. Rallying against him for whatever reason at this point pays no Nigerian. #NuffSaid

      • Chisom, in as much as I am pro GEJ, I still know where to draw the line between fanaticism and loyalty..

        Tinubu thought us the way of opposition politics.. I believe in constructive criticism

  8. I hail una oooo. First things first. when we raise issues like this, it is not about who you support but about about what is right. I am not a fan of Goodluck Jonathan especially when it comes to leadership qualities. I remember that in 2011 when he won the election, I published an article with the title “You are not the messiah. Before this last elections, I also made it clear that I don’t believe in the rhetoric of Buhari and his party. Specifically, I said if I had to choose between Buhari and Jonathan (Bearing in mind that they were our only options) I would rather have Jonathan continue. In some articles published here and some other platforms, I said Buhari had no moral right to even aspire to rule Nigeria in a democratic dispensation having scuttled what was our first democratic experiment in 1983. Now that he has won the election, I think we have an obligation as citizens to scrutinize his actions and protest if need be. Pointing out certain errors doesn’t mean one is against his government, we just want him to do the right thing. I hope you guys get the point? I wish Buhari would achieve a quarter of the things he and his party promised. I wish he would go beyond the rhethorics and really make CHANGE happens.

    • Nwanne, I share your wish for Buhari to truly bring change. About what you call experimenting, how else would you have it? Unfortunately or fortunately even, man’s mind is not bared to fellow men. Isn’t it the reason we have democracy in place? And a constitution that says no man will lead for more than two tenures?
      The African problem used to be one man/party turning self-imposed national messiah for EVER. If we just grew past, then let’s take the deserved pat on the back and move on to the next challenge.

  9. We don’t hate Buhari and we really wish him well. But we owe it to our nation to ensure that he doesn’t derail. #Constructive Criticism….

  10. Hmmmmm! All this, if after 4yrs he doesn’t rep, we vote him out talk! I sincerely hope the Nigerian presidency doesn’t turn to Nigerian super eagles case, were a coach is fired after every world cup failure.
    I still insist that no body would work wonders in naija until we all see through a different glasses!
    N please you guys stop talking this bullshit of the election being free n fair.
    This 2015 election is only as free n fair as the 2011 election was. So, please guys, you voters card, whether permanent or temporary, is nothing.

    • Lol…like Maxi said, who says we have to wait 4years??
      Even if we got the perfect man in Aso rock today, he’d still leave after 8yrs max. But you and I know that if we found the perfect coach the Super Eagles, he’ll stay on even after death so long as he continues to win trophies.
      Janey, Nigerians dont want a wonder-maker oh; we only want somebody who can keep the soil fertile enough for us to grow our own wonders. But yes, you’re right about the need for fresh ‘glasses’…I daresay we’re wearing a new pair now. We can attack everything from election to the elected and electors until we’re all drained of blood…but how about we stand together, hold each other up – yes, Buhari too – chastise when we fuck up, definitely, but love too, so we can grow…how about that?

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