I was invited to a book presentation at the Kaduna Trade Fair on July 30. The book was written by Prof Tam David West who has never hidden his love for Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari, whose new party, the Congress for Progressive Change, is making waves in the North, in spite of whatever anyone may tell you. When you see the hoi polloi yelling and shouting Sai Buhari (Only Buhari) and Mai Gaskiya (The Truthful, Honest), then you begin to appreciate that if these sentiments are translated into votes, then we may have some shocking news for Nigerians in 2011. Buhari has no radio station, no newspaper, no television station, not even a strong enough publicity outfit to tell the world what he is doing. But the people, young men and women, old men and old women I saw at the Kaduna Trade Fair to attend the unpublicised book presentation, The Sixteen ‘Sins’ of General Muhammadu Buhari did not seem to me to be there because of what Buhari could give them. They were there because they see him as the promise, the one who can do for them what out politicians have failed or refused to do in response to the call on them to seek the welfare and security of the citizens.
Believe me when I say that the North and the South are two different worlds and that my reading of the call for zoning is the manifestation of extreme greed. It may well be part of what gentlemen agreed should regulate their relationships in 1998, but from the loud ovation that greeted Buhari’s deprecation of zoning as a subversion of the opportunity to get the best for the polity in service delivery, I have no doubt in my mind that if votes are counted in the 2011 elections and those votes are allowed to count, many of the people parading themselves as leaders today will fall like dead leaves.
Where the chairman of the occasion, Alhaji MT Waziri, the first Fulani to be an architect in Nigeria (he qualified in 1964) had to break down weeping like a child at the harm being done by our leaders who are more interested in what they can get from Nigeria than what they can give, and the whole hall joining as if in a national mourning. then you can imagine the anger building up. Yes anger is building up and only free and fair elections may stem the explosion that awaits us. I was happy to hear at the forum that Jonathan should be given a chance to deliver on his promise to conduct free and fair elections. It seems also that people believe in Attahiru Jega’s ability to moderate the elections. Whoever emerges from such an exercise would be congratulated by all concerned.
I was surprised that only AIT was at that venue, aside of some other reporters. I asked myself who the loser is. There may have been no arrangement to pay for coverage, being a book presentation, but what of the news value of an outing where explosive political statements are likely to be made, and were indeed made.
In the first outing in Popular News, we have a report of what happened at the book presentation, the speech Gen Buhari gave and the book review by Prof Ayo Dunmoye of the Department of Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria’
I have already given you a summary of what happened at the presentation. Hereunder is the speech of Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari and the Review of Prof Dunmoye which encapsulates the views of Tam David West.