2019: The 'cabal' must go! by Buchi Obichie (Opinion)

2019: The 'cabal' must go! by Buchi Obichie (Opinion)

Editors' note: The writer, Buchi Obichie, analyses the theory of a clandestine cabal in the presidency; pointing out that the president seems to have lost his grip on power. She attempts to sieve fact away from fiction and arrives at a conclusion which would be central to the fate of the country in 2019.

I'm not really a believer in conspiracy theories. I grew up in a family where my brothers encouraged me to look beyond the surface and seek out hidden truths, instead of being swayed by unverified stories and shoddy theories that really only seek to cast aspersions on an individual or group of people.

However, I do believe that sometimes, truth may just be lurking in unseemly quarters. The onus is now on you, to ascertain what is fact and separate it from fiction. It's not always an easy task, but it's one that must be done.

Take for example, the 'Jubril from Sudan' story. Ever since President Muhammadu Buhari returned from his 'medical vacation' in 2016, speculation has been rife that the president was switched with a body double - a certain Jubril from Sudan. The tale was first put out by the leader of the proscribed IPOB group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu; and just like that, it became a subject of household discussions.

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Some said the president had undergone a 'face off' operation similar to that undertaken by John Travolta and Nicholas Cage in the movie with a similar name. Others even pointed out pictures of the president writing with both hands at different times - left and right - and since Buhari is not ambidextrous, critics said "surely, this has to be Jubril." But then, indepth analysis showed that the picture had been turned to a different angle; thereby achieving a result similar to what one gets when undertaking an action in front of a mirror.

In any case, I don't believe that the president was cloned. I do not believe that Nigeria is currently being ruled by Jubril Al-Sudani. I firmly believe that Muhammadu Buhari - the one who led us as military head of state - is the same one who bears the title of 'President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria' today.

However, I believe the president is not at the top of his game. Maybe it's something to do with that prolonged illness in 2016, maybe it's something to do with an inability to adjust to civilian leadership or maybe it's simply old age...in my opinion, something is definitely not right somewhere.

Why do I say this?

In recent times, there has been renewed chatter about a 'shadowy cabal' in the presidency...a hidden network of individuals principally allegedly led by two figures who basically run the country. The president's wife, Aisha, has repeatedly raised the alarm about this clandestine cabal. And in December 2018, Mrs Buhari declared that her husband would have performed better in office, if not for two (unnamed) individuals who have clogged the wheels of the president's administration.

So, who are these individuals? Well, word on the street is that they are - allegedly - Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari. Daura is the president's nephew, and Kyari is his chief of staff.

A Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed, went as far as listing out the various prestigious political appointments that have been filled by people related to Daura - and to Buhari by extension. Mohammed explained that from the president's chief security officer to the State House chief of protocol and even a special adviser to the CBN governor, those positions are occupied by Daura's people.

Unlike Daura, Kyari has an official position within the presidency; but he is said to be just as powerful - okay, maybe not as much - as the former. And between themselves, these men are alleged to be the powers behind the throne, steering the country as they see fit. They are alleged to disregard orders from the president and make key input into policy decisions that affect the rest of us.

So, the question you may be asking is this - if I could disregard the theory about Jubril Al-Sudani, why don't I also disregard the theory about a cabal in the presidency? The answer is simple - the direction of the country tells me that the president may have lost his grip.

From political appointments that reek of nepotism, shielding of saboteurs and looters who are in the circle of power while going after those in the opposition, to a glaring appalling tone-deafness and seeming ignorance of the true state of affairs in the country, it seems to me that the president does not really have his hand on the throttle.

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This is certainly not the same Buhari who was edged out for the position of chief of staff in the Supreme Military Council after the assassination of Murtala Mohammed, due to his 'inflexibility' and 'uprightness'...the position eventually went to Shehu Yar'Adua. Neither is this the same Buhari who eventually overthrew the Shehu Shagari government to instill 'sanity' in the system.

I think our current chief of state has moved over to the relief pilot's seat and left the flying of this aircraft to 'others'. Heck, he might have even exited the flight deck, moved to the general cabin area and taken a seat in 'First Class'! That is why an alleged cabal runs amok, living lavishly and above the law, while the masses groan under the heavy burden of poverty, joblessness and underdevelopment.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, as I see things, our only hope at the moment is 2019...a chance to 'rectify' things at the ballot...to give our country a new lease on life...an opportunity for growth and rebirth. But, will we be willing to take this chance? Are we bold enough to move our country in a different direction? Only time will tell. However, if we will thrive as a nation and a people, we owe it to ourselves to kick the cabal out!

This opinion piece was written by Buchi Obichie.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Legit.ng.

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