By Ikechi Okooro Machorson
I have delayed this essay till this moment because I have been thinking and pondering on the right way to pass this message to the target audience and to express my anger, yes, my anger on the way and manner they have handled the issue I will mention.
It has become more imperative to do this because of the way people have carried on as if nothing happened. Some have even changed strategy and subtly started shifting blame on their hitherto savior of the Nigerian state and the indisputable redeemer for the Nigerian nation. But I think it is high time we said the matter as it is without painting it.
I am writing directly to all those that fanatically supported Muhammadu Buhari during the last presidential election in Nigeria. Yes, you, you that called us names, called us tribalists, called us lovers of corruption, called us local and unintelligent people. You, the Buhari evangelical supporter, you maligned us, you questioned our sanity, you questioned our understanding of politics. Sometimes, you literally called us foolish.
Buhari pre-election supporter, you closed your eyes to the warning signs. You down-played the violent utterances and actions of Buhari before the elections. To you, it was okay that he truncated a democratic government in 1983; it is okay that he does not respect democratic institutions.
To you, it was okay that he ruled us even without a school certificate. You robbed it in by saying that he will rule even with a NEPA bill. We have not forgotten how you clothed him in borrowed robe. He dressed in the attire of almost all tribes in the country to pose for photograph. The same tribes he is now killing and incarcerating. You renamed him; you called him Okechukwu and Umunnakwe.
You painted his opponent, Goodluck Jonathan very black. You described him as corruption personified, you called him weak, and you called him a divider. You described GEJ as failure and presented Buhari as the only alternative. You nicknamed Buhari anticorruption and sold the bait to the world. He declared that corruption will be stamped out as soon as he becomes president. You literally called GEJ a thief even when you do not have any evidence. You and Buhari declared that everybody in GEJ administration was a thief even before any formal conviction.
Almost two years after, many of you are beginning to backtrack. You have started denouncing Buhari with all vigor. Some of you have swallowed your word. Some have lost their voice while others now hate social media. Do you think that some of us will forget easily? No, we shall not and we shall not behave as if nothing happened. We shall not sweep your vitriol statements and actions against some of us under the carpet. Yes, your sudden change of stand cannot go unnoticed and unaddressed.
Some of you still argue that though Buhari has failed (yes, he has), GEJ was still not an option. I want to declare that you an outright liar if you hold that belief. By all measurable standards, GEJ was 1000 times better than Buhari. All arguments against his government have failed every standard test.
The bitter and vindictive Buhari has not been able to jail any person from GEJ administration. They cook up all kinds of lies and peddle all kinds of figures in the press to deceive the gullible Nigerian. But some of us are smarter than them. In your very eyes, the person you elected to fight corruption has supper corrupt persons all around him. They even short change displaced people in IDP camps.
So what do I say to you? I say to you SHAME!!! I want you to savor the shame; let the shame sink in very well. You can take a double dose of the shame if you like. You should be shamefaced. After savoring the shame, you should apologize to the rest of us. You owe us that apology for the insults and name calling. You owe us that apology for thinking that you are smarter than us. You must apologize!
You might want to argue that you were exercising your right; yes, you did exercise your right. But you did that crudely and by violating our own right. You called us names and branded us educated fools. It pained us but we swallowed it. It is time for you to bury your tail in shame and say sorry. The goat you sold to the people has turned to grass cutter.
Watch out for part 2.