Abaribe’s surprise surprises me


By Yinka Olujimi

Mark my words, Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe has asked for trouble, and he will get it double.

In fact, the entire members of the National Assembly should henceforth watch their backs, literally, because they have all stepped on the proverbial tiger’s tail.

Now, you see why our dear Baba once said that he was uncomfortable with the inner workings of democracy? What is the need for legislature when there is a kitchen cabinet – call it a cabal, if you like – which can make laws after the president’s heart, and there is a pliant judiciary to give effect to the executive’s laws?

The country had been at peace all this while that the National Assembly was on recess. No drama, no need to work up our indefatigable  Garba Shehu to start issuing press releases. The legislature resumed plenary and, voila!, everything is back on a tailspin. What nonsense!

The Senate resumed on Tuesday and its President, Ahmad Lawan started sounding as if he is of any consequence, shooting his mouth anyhow about so-called insecurity in the country. The good boy that he is, however, Lawan knew how to apply the brakes when that troublesome Abaribe started his journey to perdition by asking our dear Baba to resign because Nigerians elected the President and not the tired legs in charge of our national security.

What pissed me off most is the apparent complicity of the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who, with a smirk, allowed the House to pass a motion calling on the security chiefs to resign.

Is Gbaja not supposed to know that the resolution will embarrass our president? Has Baba’s aloofness not been instructive enough that he does not want to be disturbed? When last did Baba condescend to talk to the Nigerian people as their leader?

Baba is comfortably ensconced in Aso Rock and his thoughts, real and imaginary, are always passed onto the country in beautiful prose by his spokespersons.

Now, the legislators have murdered sleep, especially that irritant Abaribe who masterfully executed his plot to embarrass Baba. Femi Adesina had in the previous week put the new opposition party in the land, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN – of worms!) where it rightly belongs – trash can – as it didn’t know when not to disturb Baba’s sleep after a long, busy trip to the United Kingdom.

The CAN (of worms!) started the campaign of calumny against Baba and the service chiefs just because Boko Haram beheaded the group’s Michika Local Government, Adamawa State chairman, Lawan Andimi. In a nation of about 200 million people, Boko Haram has not killed up to 100,000 people, yet this CAN will not allow Baba enjoy his deserved sleep. So unfair!

Meanwhile, the Presidency had issued a condolence statement over the incident, a commendable act if you ask me. But, like Oliver Twist that it is, CAN wanted more – it asked for the sacking of service chiefs!

Do the CAN leaders want to seize power from the President? Are they the ones massively voted for by Nigerians, in a land- and moon-slide fashion, to take decisions on their behalf? Why would CAN assume that it could order the President to sack the service chiefs whose gallantry has impressed Baba to no end? Hasn’t CAN observed that, as he promised during campaigns, Buhari has led the war on Boko Haram from the front?

If a General and veteran of several wars is leading the combat – as the good Buhari has done so far – why would any sane person or organization hold the service chiefs responsible for the success or failure of the campaigns?

Having effectively tackled CAN, the President had returned to the embrace of his sleep only for the National Assembly to start their irritating sessions this week.

This is a National Assembly whose leaders we carefully chose, and who had pledged unflinching loyalty to our Baba! Not to worry, we will have to pound the pounded yam afresh and re-cook the soup, as the Yoruba would say.

Thankfully, Lawan intervened quickly and firmly by stopping Abaribe in his tracks, but that Gbajabiamila should watch his back. We will not tolerate that nonsense the next time. We put him in that office for a reason, and if he fails to deliver, no one should blame us for replacing him. Or, is anyone in doubt that the leaders of the National Assembly were our appointees with specific assignments to ensure that Baba’s sleep is not disturbed by Abaribe and his ilk?

And for that Abaribe, I have just one word of advice: Beware. Asking our president to resign is coup speech and hate speech rolled into one; reminding Nigerians of our campaign talk that they could stone us if we failed to perform is the height of treason.

Yeah, he may be right on one score. How the anti-corruption and state security outfits have left him undisturbed all this while beats me. If they had done their jobs, the way they handled Senator Shehu Sani, Minority Leader Abaribe would not be in a position to embarrass our dear Baba with such impudence.

Contributing to the motion on insecurity in the land, Abaribe said: “When I was coming, I saw a newspaper headline of THISDAY, the commander-in-chief expresses shock at the level of violent crime, in other words Mr president was expressing surprise, but, according to our rules – Order 53(13), I will not go into that but I can only say in pidgin English ‘this surprise, surprise me’.”

Well, for the information of the pidgin English Senator, the surprise that surprises me more is the failure of the DSS to give him the Omoyele Sowore treatment despite his failure to produce that other irritant, bail-jumper Nnamdi Kanu in court, as alluded by Garba Shehu. They should have clamped him in detention, with or without court order, and in disregard of any court that may order his release, at least for a considerable time.

What also surprises my surprise is that anti-graft detectives of the Nigeria Police have not kept him busy with arrest over a missing pot of soup, or any other inconsequential item. I’m sure the relevant agencies have got the message and will do the needful soon.

We don’t want anybody disturbing Baba’s sleep again. Let Boko Haram continue its reign of terror, and herdsmen seize more homes and farmlands, and continue their rollercoaster march down south.

The Southeast is already in the bag. As soon as Niger State is fully seized, the herdsmen will move to Kwara State. In no time, they will spread more effectively to Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo states, and beef up their armies that are currently making inroads into Ogun and Lagos states. Maybe by then, Baba will be roused from sleep by his two friends and presidents-in-waiting, Pastor Tunde Bakare and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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