Rejoinder: “Sulyman Buhari: From Government Critic to Government Apologist” By Ade Fakuyi
You must have noticed it. The article with the above caption authored by a Mohammed Abdulkareem has dominated the social media for some hours now. I am aware Sulyman Buhari was the chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) and incumbent publicity secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State but the reliance on the far-reaching google to unearth the author quickly vanished with no result. Either the author is too inconsequential to be detected by google or one of those fictitious names that we have learnt to tolerate on the social media. The article is of public interest because the target is a public officer. I will register my disagreements sharply because of the inaccuracies, wrapped deceit or perhaps, ignorance, it conveyed.
The author wrote: “But beyond Buhari’s paradoxical acceptance of a government position that clearly contradicts his long years of caustic criticism lies the real issues of hypocrisy and crass opportunism that plagues Kwara opposition elements.”
The office of publicity secretary in APC or any political party is not a “government position” and had never been so.
The author derives illusion from a lack of understanding of the political parties. He has a linear rather than dynamic view of party evolution and realignment. We are definitely in a season of defections. In Kwara State, key political personages have been defecting and criss-crossing from one party to the other.
The governorship candidate of the defunct CPC, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq defected from A.C.N to CPC and presently in the PDP. The governorship candidate of defunct A.C.N, Mr Dele Belgore decamped to PDP despite his “caustic criticism” of President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. Senator Gbemisola Saraki has criss-crossed from APP to PDP to ACPN (Pardon me if you can’t readily grasp what ACPN is) and presently back in the PDP. All these highlighted cases are clear issues of defection.
In the case of Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, he never defected. It is of public knowledge that buoyed by the absence of a strong opposition, the CPC, A.C.N and ANPP made serious compromises that culminated in the formation of the APC.
As the then chairman of CPC, the “smart and deligent”, Alhaji Buhari must have played pivotal role in the success of the merger. “Smart and diligent” are words of the author not mine. The nPDP led government of Kwara State later merged with the newly registered APC. So it wasn’t a case of “hypocrisy and crass opportunism”, the nPDP merged with the APC where Alhaji Buhari was a pioneer leader. He didn’t dump opposition politics and defected to a ruling party. The players have told Nigerians APC represents our collective interests. And sharp difference exists between a critic and a pessimist. In Buhari’s case, he wasn’t a pessimist.
The author wrote: “That Buhari would today sit side by side with Sen. Bukola Saraki remains a political mystery that I am still trying to fathom.” This puzzle can be solved easily.
The sharp difference between APC and PDP is that PDP believes there is nothing wrong in the manner the country is been governed while APC holds that there is need for urgent change to salvage our country. Borders should not be closed against foes in an ideologically inchoate society like ours.
I learnt, Abraham Lincoln, populated his cabinet with his rivals. Lincoln appointed his three great foes Edward Bates, Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward as key members of his government. President Barack Obama made his foe, Hilary Clinton, his secretary of state. Nigerians must have noticed a Bisi Akande seated close to a Mohammadu Buhari wearing infectious smiles. That is the reality.
The author said: “The appointment of Buhari as Kwara APC spokes-person and his acceptance of same, which in effect makes him the chief spin-master and defender of a state government that thrives on deceit, came as a huge shock.” Appointment?
It was an election at a popular congress where over 1,200 delegates voted that elected the publicity secretary and not any form of appointment. For the author to think the state government thrives on deceit, then the author is certainly not a member of APC, either an apologist of ACPN or PDP. The deceit of the ACPN may remain in the imagination of its handlers since Kwarans have never trusted it. The PDP, just recently, shocked Nigerians by raising the bar of deceit to presidential level. Or how will anyone explain the grand deception covering the shoddy contract award and flag-off of the 2nd Niger Bridge without Environmental Impact Assessment report? The Kwara State government is unlike the PDP that thrives on deceit, this is a government that announced mass recruitment to Quick Win Initiative recently – Now, Kwarans have testimonies.
The Man, Sulyman Buhari, has been able to bully and pocket opposition voices in the state and I expect more actions on the road to 2015 elections. This kind of article, “Sulyman Buhari: From Government Critic to Government Apologist”, is what a poet and friend, Moshood Bashorun, will tag ‘wack piece’. Wack piece is unacceptable.
With the meritorious performances of the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed led administration and the untiring political leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki, the APC may as well win the elections before February 2015.
Ade Fakuyi lives on Broad Street, Ilorin.
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