OPN: Plots and mishaps, a recurring decimal.Adetunji Omotola, Founder, 12 Disciple Leaders.
How can one forget this day 35 years ago? I was in Ijebu-ode with my family for the Eid celebrations when the shocking announcement came on the news that General Ibrahim Badamosi who was then Army Chief of Staff had taken power from Gen.Muhammadu Buhari.
The coup was announced by Brigadier Joshua Dogonyaro. I was a year one student at the University of Maiduguri. Babangida in his speech said something I will never forget.
He went thus “Nigeria had witnessed a rise to greatness and a decline to the state of a bewildered nation.”
Buhari spent 20 months in power and was toppled. Buhari himself had come to power after toppling the Shagari regime.
I remember that night vividly on 31st December, 1983 because I was down with extreme stomach pain after having taken an overdose of Buscopan compositum.
Buhari’s coup was announced by a certain Brigadier Sanni Abacha. Ten years later Buhari worked for Abacha as PTF Boss while Abacha was killing and silencing all opposition.
Today, Buhari is Nigeria’s twice elected president first in 2015 and again in 2019. Nigeria’s history has been very turbulent particularly from 1966 to 1999 and from 2009 to date when Boko Haram and armed Fulani herdsman and bandits came into the equation.
Today, is also the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Xenophobic attack that raged in South Africa . The attacks that led to the loss of 12 lives, none were Nigerians and by September 14th last year 601 Nigerians had been evacuated by Air Peace on two flights.
Millions of rands in property owned by Nigerians was damaged and no compensation was paid. The Nigerian government condemned the acts but trade was put above livelihoods as is the norm due to the large volume of South African economic interests in Nigeria.
Special envoys were appointed on both sides and the Nigerian President embarked on a state visit to South Africa in early October. Most of the issues which led to the attacks if not all have not been addressed.
A few months ago a video of a South African lady dancing naked for some five Nigerians went viral and led to the #NigeriansMustFall.
Since the hashtag came into being a statement or two was made to condemn the negative video by some Nigerian organisations.
Nigeria will turn 60 in 35 days time, let us hope that the lessons of history will guide us and let us pray for peace in Nigeria and above all let us pray for active citizenry who avoid sycophancy and can hold our leaders to account .
God Bless Nigeria.