By Tunde Odesola
It’s only a 43-year-old novice President like Emmanuel Macron of France that can take a hot slap on the right cheek and go back home to sleep. That can never happen in the Feudal Republic of Nigeria. This oyinbo people sef! Are they weird or wayward, or both?
Last Tuesday, a 28-year-old French citizen, Damien Tarel, publicly held President Macron close to himself with his left hand and planted a deafening slap on the President’s left cheek with his right hand, t-t-w-w-a-a-i-i!!! Macron must have seen presidential stars at midday as the slap landed and echoed far in the city of Lyon.
When taken to court, Tarel said the slap was Macron’s reward for representing ‘very neatly the decay of our country’, and the court, in turn, rewarded Tarel with four-month imprisonment and a 45,000-euro fine. Na wa for ndi beke o!?
The maximum sentence for slapping the President of France is just three years in an ultra modern jail that’s better equipped and more secure than all of Nigeria’s public institutions, but Tarel got only four months out of the maximum 36 months. Imagine?
Hear Macron, the President who accommodated the dirty slap, “It’s not such a big deal to get a slap when you go toward a crowd to say hello to some people who were waiting for a long time.”
Haaa! You can never understand these oyinbo people! Someone slaps a President, gets a bail and the lightest of sentences, and the President says nothing spoil? Dis one shock me o! E no shock you?
If that happened in Nigeria? Ha, Ogun Lakaye Osinmale ooo! The Igbo and Yoruba gods of thunder, Amadioha and Sango Olukoso, will reincarnate live at the scene, spitting thunder, lightning and brimstone. Forever, no grass will grow at that scene!
Demons will descend on Damien, the son of Tarel, who would instantly arrive at heaven’s gate with his body parts such as teeth, eyes, ears and right hand packed in a ‘nylon’ bag hanging around his neck. Slap who!? What are you talking ke? No mistake pepper for powder o.
Also, many innocent victims killed by stray bullets at the scene would accompany Tarel to heaven’s gate, with some of them belching teargas while some others would have their spinal cords sticking out like the malfunctioning hands of an unstuck wall clock.
There was no slap at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020. But there were bullets and blood, after a protest by harmless flag-clutching Nigerian youths, who were over 700 kilometres away from Aso Rock, the official castle of Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Conscienceless, the dictatorship headed by Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, unleashed security agents on the protesting youths, some of whom were dispatched to their early graves with their green-white-green flags dripping with blood.
By demanding an end to corruption and the enthronement of good governance, the youths had committed a sacrilege punishable in the Nigerian state by death. By calling on the Buhari-Osinbajo regime to wake up from eternal slumber and check the country’s slide into anarchy, the youths earned one-way tickets to their graves.
But if there was a Lekki tollgate in France, funds generated thereof would not be enshrouded in everlasting controversy. French is a romantic language. I think they would call their Lekki tollgate, ‘Tollgate Du Leqqui’. And French gendarmes would stay meters away from the protesters and watch as French youths exercised their human rights.
The over 200 years old French democracy sits on the shoulders of the young President Macron. Nigeria’s unbroken 21-year-old 4th Republic sits on the weak shoulders of olden President Buhari.
Please, don’t get me wrong; old age isn’t a curse. I mean, accurate old age isn’t a disease. Indeed, the wisdom that accompanies old age becomes a blessing to generations, if the geriatric doesn’t take on tasks beyond his physical and mental capacities.
There are world leaders who, in their old ages, still exhibit profound mental acuity. Examples of such leaders are American President, (78), his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, (68), Israeli Prime Minister; Benjamin Netanyahu, (71), and the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is 85 years old, among others.
These are leaders with genuine ages. They are leaders whose mental outputs bespeak their true ages. But the same cannot be said of President Buhari, who honestly disclosed in December 2017 that he doesn’t know his real age.
In his typical mishmash manner of answering questions, the President had said, “I am thinking I am 75. I thought I was 74 but I was told I was 75.” Thinking 75. Thought 74. Told 75: imagine the distorted thought process? And upon the shoulders of this President rests the task of reinventing a nation of 200 million people? Can the blind lead the sighted?
Particularly, the clueless manner with which Buhari answers questions during media interviews could be a pointer suggestive of the possibility that the President could be far beyond the 78 years he adopted as his official age.
The characteristic disconnection of Buhari’s answers from questions asked during interviews is worrisome. I had exposed this cavity in one of my recent articles.
But, going by the worsening of this ever-present trend, I began to suspect that Buhari could, after all, be an octogenarian, a nonagenarian or a centenarian – given the fact that his birth was not documented – just like his secondary school claim.
Answering questions from some handpicked Villa-familiar journalists on Arise TV last week, President Buhari, again, revealed a mind chained to tribalism, ransomed by nepotism, and completely out of depth about democracy.
I was alarmed that the Buhari-Osinbajo regime of the 21st Century is still giving thought to revamping ancient grazing routes used when the total population of Nigeria was barely 50 million.
This Fulani President, who has persistently made a case for nomadic Fulani herdsmen to be allowed to graze their cattle on Middle Belt and Southern farmers’ crops, didn’t say a word of commiseration when herdsmen killed many people in the Igangan community of Oyo State, last week.
Because he’s involved, Buhari, the Life Patron of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria – the umbrella body of all herdsmen in the country – has also threatened to deal ruthlessly with Biafran agitators, closing his eyes to the atrocities wreaked by his Fulani folks.
Till date, no herdsman has been prosecuted and found guilty in the Southern part of the country by the Buhari regime.
During the interview, Buhari vouchsafed his regime’s claim to baseless integrity, telling Nigerians that his lopsided appointments were based on competence, experience and years of service.
No, Buhari didn’t forget that his feudal regime had technically retired 70 Southern Army generals with the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, from Sokoto, who was picked way down the ladder of military seniority.
He only stuck to his guns on talking points in which barefaced lies couldn’t suffice, and employed sophistry to mask the atrocities of his inept government against the Middle Belt and the Southern parts of the country.
For self, Buhari outlawed Twitter. For kith and kin, he retires 70 serving generals, bringing their careers to an abrupt, unplanned end.
For Buhari, experience, service and competence are nothing: tribe is everything. This is the promised CHANGE. A-P-C!
•Odesola, a journalist, writes from the United States of America and can be reached via: Email: email@example.com; Facebook: @tunde odesola; and