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EndSARS: A warning to Buhari’s handlers

Atiku will Accept Animadversion not Cyberbullying.

By Segun Showunmi

I wonder what is to be gained in responding to a sinking government and its minions on Twitter who are obviously moving against the run of play.

That Atiku Abubakar’s name is associated with everything in Nigeria at this time is fantastic. We must not for fear of Buhari allow ourselves to be bullied. Waziri Atiku Abubakar will not walk on eggshells in a country he has served in numerous capacities, both as a public servant and a political leader, sacrificing so much to build a pan-Nigerian acceptability across tribe, gender, religion and generational divides.

These did not come by happenstance; they are primed on a vision that indeed, our country must and should work for all and that a leader must strive to be a leader for all. In all the politics of Atiku Abubakar, even the strongest of his detractors would agree that he is never garrulous, bitter, vindictive or destructively violent. He has never been.

That he has borne so much with the dignity of a statesman cannot be contested; but let it be said loudly and clearly that he will not be made to walk on eggshells in this country.

At a time where all opinion leaders are soberly thinking of how to douse the somewhat lingering tension and reassure the youths of Nigeria that tomorrow holds a better promise, those with the responsibility of solving today’s challenges are in their characteristic manner looking for enemies where none exists.

A Nigerian problem of the gravity of the violence that has left all agape must not be reduced to political rabble-rousing of the hangers-on of Buhari. Doing otherwise would be spitting on the graves of the victims. No worthy patriot would engage in that at this time.

When we campaigned in the last election, we were very clear that one of the main issues before Nigerians, based on well-researched evidence, was the quadruple issues of very high unemployment, a greatly divided country, an urgent need to open up more opportunities for prosperity, and of course, an unacceptably high dose of insecurity.

We campaigned passionately, and we believe the election was rigged against us, but as democrats, we took the very high moral ground of going to court. We are not convinced that we lost on truth, no, we are not. But the verdict came and we accepted it knowing full well that our country was in too fragile a state to endure anything untoward. Otherwise, a good number of our people wanted a long-drawn agitation; some wanted a situation that the country would be made volatile and ungovernable, but Waziri would have none of those.

He believed, in doing these, the sacrifices of democrats; a few of them who lost their lives to the struggle to enthrone civil rule in our country, would be lost, and that this would not be in the overall interest of our country.

We therefore moved with the Nigeria First attitude, placing our opinions on national issues in a manner that has earned great admiration from other democrats the world over. We acted according to our conviction that no ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian. We have managed our rhetorics in as civil a way as possible, never inciting nor shaming anyone. However, rather than get reciprocated goodwill, those uncivil, undemocratic, near irresponsible rivals have continued to embarrass themselves in the glare of the entire world.

Humanity must continuously strive to achieve a mindset of good over evil, and moderation in tone of narrative for we have seen what angry narratives can do and we all must do all within our means to avoid anything that can make a fluid situation combust.

I suppose it is fair to say that we are not like you guys. We don’t jump in front of citizen advocacy and protest like you all did with Bring Back our Girls, Enough is Enough and the numerous other protests you all funded, energised and actively participated in before the 2015 election circle.

The truth is that the then leader of the country was and remains an excellent example in democratic behaviour. The same cannot be said of you and your group. You cannot handle a protest of that nature; you react with high-handedness to everything. For you, every problem is a nail, as such, the only solution you know is a hammer.

At this time, a worthy leader in his final term would be healing the country and bringing everybody to the table to discuss the future, but no, not you and your irritating paid agents.

Look, the issues that young Nigerians are agitating for are not the types that go away. Truth be told, they are things we all see, and shamefully it has taken young Nigerians to force the issue. We must make good currency of it by embarking on the necessary reforms in the true sense of the word, not chasing shadows, looking for those to blame. And if you must blame, please do not blame Atiku Abubakar. He has held himself up better than Buhari when the roles were reversed!

NB: Animadversion means that when a man accepts a public place, he ought to acknowledge that he will be subject to public scrutiny and should act with magnanimity.



  1. The points raised are valid, what I still can’t understand is why a government that negotiates with Boko Haram and marauding Fulani herdsmen finds it difficult to listen to her youths, in the words of Sam Adeyemi, “effective leaders listens”. Intimidation and bullying will not will the issues away.


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