Presidential Poll: Marwa And His 71 Inconsequential ex-Military Officers?

By Umar Barkindo

When the former military administrator of Lagos state, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retired) last week led 20 for 71 retired senior military officers to endorse the re-election bid of General Mohammadu Buhari, what was running in his mind? How else can anyone describe Marwa’s initiative if not to say it represents transaction politics on the loose?

Is it not clear that poverty has really dealt deadly blow to the low and mighty in this country if not how could these people who were assumed to be in a higher class condescend to endorsing a political party candidate no matter who he is?

Over the years, the military personnel, even the very educated ones, imbibed the culture of obeying bizarre and dumb last orders. One would have expected the Nigerian military to be ashamed of these 71 ex senior officers, but with distortion in societal values, charlatans and shameless characters amongst us are the ones being held in high esteem.

By the way, what’s new in saying who one supports in an election? The illiterates are making it sound like endorsement amounts to electoral victory. Sorry for Nigeria!

Is it news that 71 ex-senior military officers without credibility endorse Buhari? It only means 71 votes for Buhari at the election! Nothing more, nothing less! In fact it may even be less as most of these lily liver generals obviously would not even dare come out to vote for him at the February 16 election.

More so, the picture taken with the president showed just 20 people. So we won’t be surprised if they published names of retired generals without consulting them. Don’t also be surprised if the list included dead ex-officers. You know, the Buhari government is famously good at listing names of dead people for appointments.

For notes, Marwa is employed by the present government where he currently serves as the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse in Nigeria. So how could these so called generals bring themselves to be used by Marwa to further ingratiate himself to the Buhari-led APC government?

They’ve made a clear statement on Buhari’s political and administrative brilliance and we can’t deny them that right. However, we also reserve the right to wish all their children and grand children to be as ‘smart and brilliant’ and as healthy as President Buhari, insha Allah!

In the first instance, what is even the value of this overblown endorsement? Can any of those deprived ex-military officers make any tangible change to Nigerian politics particularly in elections? Do they even have any tangible followership in their areas where they usually live far removed and isolated from the ordinary people? Most of them even reside in Abuja and cannot freely go to their home towns and states. So it was an endorsement of no value because rather than add to Buhari’s badly depleted political fortunes at this election time, it has further depleted a good chunk of the goodwill the president still manages to enjoy from some serious minded Nigerians.

Of course, Buhari represents the nearest thing to the military dictatorship these bunch of distressed ex- senior officers so cherish. They’d rather the era of military rule was still in vogue but ‘God big pass them’

Look at the manifest; they are all Abacha infamous era senior military officers. They would like nothing better than to go back to the old days when they ran roughshod over civilians without any accountability. These are the faces of “infamous generals”, some of whom have owed their over-bloated elevation to coup d’états and their genocidal roles in the civil war. Apart from that, can any of them tell us what roles they have played in the peace and security of this nation? It is obvious they would only endorse those that are as destructive and backward as themselves!

If not that the good people of Nigeria have cleverly demystified the myth of our bogus generals and concluded that they are absolutely not-too-useful for the country, they would have since rolled out their tanks, dusted their Marshall Music and with a faltering English announce to Nigerians why they have staged yet another coup; how they are the Messiah we have all been waiting for since the crucifixion over 2000 years ago.

Without mincing words, these ex-military officers are exactly the cadre Nigerians want to avoid, because they are collectively the political syndicate undermining the nation’s progress. This is more like the gathering of vultures.

These coup plotters who ought to have been jailed for life gathered behind another coup plotter to endorse him for re-election despite the now obvious truth about the downgraded state of his mental and physical health. The Buhari Marwa and his gang are endorsing hasrefused to metamorphose from being a righteous demagogue who only listens to himself hears only himself and speaks to only himself. Such character is not what the 21st century Nigeria needs. Those who have ears let them hear!

Umar Barkindo, a Lawyer, wrote from Jimeta- Yola, Adamawa State.