Second Term: What Buhari should do with the Cabal
Tanami Tahir and Ibrahim M.A
A vicious cabal is in full grip of the Buhari presidency since its inception in 2015 but most Nigerians are of the opinion that the President is sabotaged by this cabal and therefore the cabal should be shown the door.Now that Buhari is coming back for a second term,political analysts say he must rejig his cabinet and do away with the cabal if he really wants to make a long lasting impact on Nigerians.
It doesn’t matter whether President Muhammdu Buhari accepts or not, most Nigerians now know that a cabal exists in the presidency which is specially domiciled in the State House Abuja alias known as the Aso Rock Presidential Villa. There is nothing wrong with having a small circle of dedicated loyalists who will initiate good ideas and policies in any government. The president of any given country will at all times require the sincere advice, criticisms and guidance of some select few. What is important is that this select who are fortunate to belong to the supreme leader’s inner circle of power and control center must at all times strive to make use of their close proximity to power to advance the cause of the ordinary man on the street, especially the poor and the peasant who may never have the opportunity of truly knowing how the country is run.
Her Excellency,Mrs Aisha,the wife of President Buhari was the first person to sound the alarm that a cabal had hijacked the Nigerian presidency to the extent that this cabal now runs the country in the direction that they so want which in most instances is to satisfy their yearnings and aspirations. This cabal may consist of so many hidden characters but the prominent ones known to Nigerians are Alhaji Mamman Daura, the President’s nephew (Daura’s father is Buhari’s older brother),Mallam Abba Kyari, the President’s Chief of Staff and a protege of Alhaji Daura,Isa Funtua, a close associate of Alhaji Daura and Chairman of Bullet Nigeria and who many say is the owner of Polaris Bank Plc, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who happens to be the national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress and the self acclaimed owner of Landlord of the great city of Lagos and the last but not the least is Amb. Babagana Kingibe, former SGF and vice president elect, a renowned diplomat and spy of international dimension. These five people, according to a source within the presidency are the strong members of the cabal dictating the way things should be done in Nigeria today.
Alhaji Daura is a veteran journalist and an industrialist. He was the editor of the now defunct New Nigerian Newspaper where he served as the holding company’s managing director; when the newspaper used to determine the direction of events and state policies in the North. So he has been a power broker, a media practitioner and manager. He would also be chairman of Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company. In 1971, Mamman Daura had published an interesting chapter in a little known book ‘Reporting Africa’, published in Uppsala, Sweden. He had argued that as editor of The New Nigerian, his role was defined by a north-south culture divide. He argued that: ‘The North believed in controlled modernization and emphasized the need for the changing traditional society to adopt modern methods without destroying its own qualities. He claimed that the South believed in an unthinking gallop towards everything European and Western. It is this cautious, not to say suspicion, of Western methods, notably education that portended a source of danger to the Northern Region because the North was educationally backward and was thus likely to suffer in the distribution of national jobs. This, it was believed formed the basis for establishing the Kaduna Mafia. The Kaduna Mafia gained prominence under the General Olusegun Obasanjo military administration through the events that surrounded the February 13 1976 coup that saw the killing of General Murtala Muhammed and Obasanjo’s dependence on the Kaduna Mafia to win the trust of the North and consolidate power. Two members of the Obasanjo military administration were allegedly the Kaduna Mafia’s links within the administration. They were Major General Shehu Yar’Adua, Obasanjo’s second-in-command and Major General Buhari, the Petroleum Minister. Both were introduced to the Kaduna Mafia by the secretive Mamman Daura who was Buhari’s nephew and son of Buhari’s brother, Alhaji Dauda Buhari. Alhaji Dauda Buhari was the influential head of the Kaduna Pilgrim’s Board whose removal by the Balarabe Musa administration was alleged to have earned Balarabe Musa special ill-treatment from Buhari when he took over government. When on October 18, 1975, General Murtala Muhammed appointed Mamman Daura and Dr Tam David West who was a Commissioner of Education in Rivers State to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), both struck up a friendship that led to Daura introducing David West to Buhari and later his recommendation for the post of Buhari’s Minister of Petroleum. In the late 1980s, Daura had succeeded his father-in-law Ibrahim Dasuki as head of the African International Bank and also served as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). He was briefly a member of the Oputa panel charged with investigating human rights abuses in the country; the Oputa Panel was shunned by Buhari, Daura had also served on the Dina committee decades earlier in 1968 and the Aboyade technical committee in 1977. Both committees dealt with the intractable revenue allocation questions facing the nation. The electoral victory of President Buhari in the March 2015 election thrust Mamman Daura back into national prominence. A man who had been arguably the most powerful insider, outside political office had eventually guided his brother back into the ultimate office.
Unfortunately for President Buhari this cabal that he trusts and relies so much upon is not that popular with Nigerians including the First lady of the republic simply because of their nepotistic disposition, greed, lack of sympathy and empathy and apparent contentment will bloodletting in Nigeria. This cabal has failed in helping the President to find a lasting solution to the wanton destruction of lives and property in Nigeria. In other climes a cabal like this would have helped the President to find a lasting solution to the Boko Harm insurgency and the armed banditry ravaging and pillaging the northeast and northwest respectively. There are strong indications that show that this cabal is with Buhari to not only get their share if the national cake but to also take that of other Nigerians. The cabal’s primary concern is family and dynasty enrichment through financial embezzlement. What they do is to control, manipulate and use top government officials of the Buhari administration who are in charge of the Central Bank, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the National Communication Commission, the National Petroleum Corporation, the Customs, the Works, Housing and Power ministry, and the juicy security agencies like the National Intelligence Agency and the Department of State Security Services.
There is no gainsaying the fact that many Nigerians truly love President Buhari because they rightly or wrongly believe that he is a man of integrity who has their interest in his heart. “The whole issue here is a matter of perception; the majority of Nigerians perceive Buhari as a man of integrity,” said a trader in Kano. But another trader who is a staunch supporter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) swiftly countered him and said, “How comes a President who claims to be a man of integrity is surrounded by governors who take bribes and a vicious cabal that has no mercy for Nigerians? Our problem is not Buhari but those fifth columnists he surrounded himself with.”