A Generals’ War, By Ose Oyamendan

Ose Oyamendan

Anyone that knows anything about me knows I not only like General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, I adore the man. When a man can roll a country like Nigeria around his nimble finger you gotta love that man. Anything else would be player hating. Hell, if he was forty years younger and a woman, I would be hunting down flowers.

I was a mere teenager when he was a military president. I flirted with the idea of going into the military just so I can be his ADC. Now, there is no love greater than a man willing to take a bullet for another man. Or, as my mother was quick to interject, no greater foolhardiness.

And, anyone who knows me know I don’t have that much love for the man who was his former friend and whom he kicked out of office with a simple telephone call, Muhammadu Buhari. Now that I think of it, IBB was a revolutionary before his time. He dumped a leader with a phone call.

Imagine if the palace putsch had happened today, IBB would simply have texted Buhari a message that reads, “Yo MB. Making a change. Taking over your seat. LOL”.

Why don’t I like Buhari? It’s simple really. You see when I decided against the dying for another man business, I went back to my first love – journalism or as people like Buhari are wont to think of it, intellectual ameboism. At that time, it was close to suicide because Buhari was busy threatening anyone with a pen and microphone. And, the man does not smile! At least, IBB can kill you with that gap-toothed smile.

Now the man who is so serious, a smile from him actually invokes pity is being accused of shadiness.

Buhari accusing IBB of corruption is like a girl telling me my lines are old and over-used. People have been accusing IBB of corruption for as long as the man has been around. But, IBB saying he has juicy, corrupt tales about Buhari is something else. It’s like stumbling on a diamond mine.

One thing I’ve always hated about Buhari is that he’s too pious for my liking. He seems like he’s better than every Nigerian because he’s not corrupt. I don’t know what the big deal is in that since it only makes him not very Nigerian, which means INEC should have banned him from contesting for any elective post anyway.

But, I’ve always suspected that there was more to this Daura general. He looks too good to be true. I mean this is a retired general turned politician. It’s like living in a bar and claiming to be a teetotaler.  I’ve always felt he has very good Public relations people guiding him, an hypothesis that was conformed when Yinka Odumakin decided to work with him on the last campaign. Now, Yinka is as straight as a man can be but he’s also one cool word crafter and image molder. I didn’t have to be good at arithmetic to be able to put one and one together and get a solid 2.

But, here comes the man and the legend himself, IBB. He’s insinuating that Buhari may not be as clean as some of those spotless kaftans he loves to wear. He’s threatening to expose the seamy side of the general who as Head of State wasted his time trying to get us all disciplined instead of trying to make himself a civilian president.

IBB may be onto something here. After all, this incorruptible former general who forgot something in the state house is the leader of a political party that seems fairly well funded. How does he fund the party? Everyone knows he doesn’t like OBJ and the men that prevented him from taking the keys to the Aso Villa. Knowing the bad belle politics of Nigeria, you expect OBJ, Yar A’dua and Jonathan would have cut off his retirement allowance. You expect a man like that to be going from hand to mouth but the man is going from plane to jet. Doesn’t add up.

The man was minister of petroleum when there was no gulf war so, you can forgive him for not filling the nation’s coffers with petro-dollars. But, my older friends swear Buhari was in charge of the oil company when N2.8B took a stroll from the treasury. And, we all know the general’s Petroleum Trust fund funded nothing people trusted.

This is shaping up to be a fight for the ages. I’m even ignoring the fact that Jonathan is thrown into the thing a bit. This is a fight between two elephants and Jonathan is clearly not an elephant. So, let’s focus on these two elephants and hope, finally, we may get an answer as to why the ship of the Nigerian nation is stalled at sea.

Last night I even went to church and lit a candle that this promising war doesn’t flame out like last year’s epic battle that fizzled out like two kids beating their chests in the kindergarten playground. You see back then, it was OBJ vs. IBB. But, in acknowledgment that age had caught up with this two war veterans, they kissed and made up. Very French, if you ask me.

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