The Curious Nature Of The Buharist
One can only risk a guess that the French critic and journalist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, had divine revelation or was in deep reflections when he penned the enduring epigram, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” meaning “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Three Centuries after Karr’s postulation, time has proven him right. It is for this reason that idiots and fools remain part of the architecture of human existence. In the affairs of life, three major areas have, perhaps, the greatest congress of these species of humans: politics, religion and the social space. The intriguing lot of the three, to me, remains politics.
A look at history will leave you shuddering how people could stay nailed to the crazy Aryan ideology of Adolf Hitler, ditto for the butchery of Idi Amin of Uganda, the blood thirsty regime of the Butcher of Bangui, Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokass of Central African Republic and the dizzying savagery of Pol Pot in Cambodia.
One will imagine that as knowledge expands and people become more ‘sophisticated,’ the number of those who leave their brains in a water jar while basking in the tomfoolery of their political lords will greatly reduce. The reverse seems to be the case.
Imagine the overwhelming support that gave outsider Donald Trump the chance to become President of the United States and the growth of the far-right in Europe. It gives you an understanding that the Age of the Internet has not brought about common sense. That is even small when you take Africa in its strides. The continent just simply continues to lag behind as its peoples queue behind gerontocratic, barely literate leadership. A recent survey of about 30 countries shows that presidents of these African countries are in their late 6os to even 90s!
Take Nigeria for instance, a president renowned for his legendary faux pas and who has admitted that old age has greatly diminished his ability to rule is putting himself up for re-election next year when he will be 74. Some argue that he is older.
The issue is not really with President Muhammadu Buhari himself; rather, his supporters who range from the thousands of the well-educated to the legions of illiterates and semi-literates. They see him as god who can do no wrong, therefore, come at anybody that as much as suggest he is a god of clay that has many faults.
Buhari’s supporters have been dubbed Buharists, a non-complimentary sobriquet that suggests people (with parts of their brains missing) who offer blind support to unsavoury actions of the Buhari administration without recourse to reason.
To gain an insight into how an average Buharist thinks, one has to situate the court ruling on President Donald Trump of the United Sates not being entitled to block Americans on his Twitter handle, and the sack of Ms. Bolouere Opukiri from the employ of the Nigerian Government.
Some aggrieved Americans had dragged President Trump before a district court in New York for blocking them on his Twitter handle. They had argued that since that was the viable means he communicates with the American people, then they are entitled to be on his handle and criticize him there. Suffice it to say that the court held that President Trump’s Twitter account is an official political channel.
The United States district judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote: “The president presents the @realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the president as president.”
Judge Buchwald then ruled that President Trump cannot block any American on his Twitter handle but could simply ignore the replies that upset him.
On the other hand, Ms. Opukiri took to her Twitter handle to criticize Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinabjo and pronto, she was fired. Now some people have argued that as a federal employee, she has little room to criticize her employer. But is Vice President Osinbajo really her employer (That is a debate for another day). But more than that, the country’s 1999 constitution, Chapter IV (7) provides that Ms. Opukiri is entitled to freedom of expression including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. To curiously find people who point to an Act of the Civil Service when a superior law exists shows how Buharists think.
It was not a matter of curiosity to find some of them hailing the court decision against Trump, but excoriating Ms. Opukiri for airing her opinion as guaranteed by the constitution which Osinbajo and his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, pledged to uphold.
Well, as someone said, as long as evil persists, fools will abound!
Disclaimer: This article is entirely the opinion of the writer and does not represent the views of The Whistler.