I have on occasion chastised the Nigerian media, especially Premium Times and Channels TV, for offering prestigious platforms to EFCC graduates and assorted political recidivists to wade in on national affairs, interviewing and seeking their opinion on national issues, thereby normalizing and legitimizing them.
Sule Lamido is a career EFCC indictee with an illustrious legacy of looting under his cap. He finished off Jigawa as Lamido & Sons. He should not be receiving national airtime and his presidential declaration on Saturday ought to be treated as a marginal joke to be discussed only in the warrens of Dutse. To be fair to Premium Times, they mentioned his EFFCC rap sheet this time in their coverage of his presidential declaration. Allah be praised.
Given my sentiments about political recidivists on the national stage, it would appear odd that I am devoting an entire op-ed, even if negative, to Sule Lamido. I plead guilty. I crave your indulgence to make this one exception and reflect on Sule Lamido before we consign him once and for all – if Premium Times and Channels TV allow us – to the bottom of the dustbin of history. What he had to say at his presidential declaration rally on Saturday is of national significance and should be taken seriously as a teachable moment if we are ever to understand the deleterious instincts and the perverse mental universe which continue to make it impossible for Nigeria to quit the state of nature and make baby steps towards civilization.
Listen to Sule Lamido, speaking to the crowd at his presidential declaration. He is establishing why he is infinitely more qualified than the incumbent, Mohammadu Buhari, to be President:
“The 2019 presidential election is undoubtedly going to be between an original Fulani man and a fake Fulani man who was governor and minister at different times.”
The original Fulani man, the pureblood, is, of course, Sule Lamido. The fake Fulani man is Muhammadu Buhari. Lamido is not done yet. He is a thorough man. According to Premium Times, to leave nobody in any doubt about Buhari’s ethnic impurity and, therefore, his unworthiness of the Presidency, Lamido spoke in Fulfulde and challenged Buhari to translate his sentences, guaranteeing his audience that Buhari could not do it because he is not a real Fulani man.
Lamido is also, of course, implying that Buhari is not a pure Fulani man because he is from Katsina and there has been a lot of blood mixture along the way. Lamido is performing the one-drop rule on Buhari and Buhari has been found wanting. Buhari’s blood has most probably mixed with one drop of inferior Hausa blood along the way – something unacceptable to this Fulani ethnic and racial-supremacist moron. (Wikipedia is your friend. Check out the terrible history of the one-drop rule in segregationist and racial supremacist USA)
No adult Nigerian can claim not to be familiar with Fulani ethnic superiorist discourse which at various times in our chequered postcolonial history has often dovetailed into outright racist condescension for every other ethnicity, starting with the Hausa, their favorite punching bag. No adult Nigerian can claim not to have been marked by the political consequences of these ethno-superiorist inclinations for the intractable fault lines of our national being and experience have been fed since 1960 by the will to domination (fed by unquenchable racism as expressed by Lamido) and the will to resistance. The tension generated is of course further fed by Igbo and Yoruba ethnic supremacist discourse for those too must be acknowledged and condemned.
If we are on familiar terrain, why are Lamido’s statements so galling? Why does his stupidity merit evaluation? It is surprising that somebody can still openly mount a podium in February 2018 (this is the 21st century for Allah’s sake!) and declare that ethnic purity - the purest Fulani bloodline – is the first pre-condition for the Presidency of Nigeria! I was hoping that Sule Lamido would eventually meet his comeuppance and rot in jail after a fair corruption trial but now I think we should put him a zoo as an exhibit of the worst form of racism. It could be that he feels emboldened to come out now that we are in the age of Trump and white ethnic supremacists in the United States and Europe.
The real tragedy is that it must take extreme stupidity and mental laziness to run to ethno-racist politics as the basis for undermining Buhari’s potential run in 2019. Nobody has made the case against Buhari better than Buhari. He is a colossal failure, a nightmare from which Nigeria needs to awake in 2019, after sending him to Daura, never to be heard from again.
You can delegitimize Buhari because of his irredeemable clannishness, failure to fly, and failure to deliver. He has betrayed every promise he embodied and set Nigeria back by a century. He has failed on the economic, security, and socio-political fronts. He is also a failure on ethics, ethos, and morality, his words always dissonant with his actions. His war on corruption is a sick joke. His integrity has turned out to be a puff of powder. He superintends a state of anomie. He set out on a foolish, self-destruct course the moment he won the election. He is supremely arrogant and doesn’t care. Nigeria is on autopilot with him. He has no clue. Buhari is hubris surrounded by hubris and corruption. The only sphere where Buhari is working is among the shrinking fundamentalist clan of Buharideens but one has nothing to say to them this late in the day.
I can unpack each of these statements with copious, empirical details and facts – as I will indeed be doing in several op-eds leading to 2019. These are arguments and submissions easily available to Sule Lamido to effectively demolish Buhari. But he is too mentally lazy, too intellectually shallow, and too sold on proto-Nazi, proto-fascist Fulani racial supremacist fantasies.
I have entitled this intervention the death of Nigeria for two principal reasons. First is the fact that this is 2018 but a man with an EFCC rap sheet as hefty as Lamido’s can still openly run for President. Boys born when our Senate President, Bukola Saraki, started building his own EFCC corruption portfolio are now producing spermatozoa and running after girls in our University campuses. People with active and expansive EFCC portfolios stroll casually from court appearances to run for office, the standard morality among the wretched citizens they steal from being, “he has not yet been found guilty.”
My father and his generation had other ideas about morality and ethics. “How did you even find yourself in a position or situation where you are accused of so and so in the first place”? This used to be my father’s question, the foundation of his morality. Today, we have a generation ready to die for looters because they are yet to be found guilty. Looters end up perorating on national TV. Recently, James Ibori weighed in on national affairs, advising Nigerians to register to vote because that is the only way they can hold their leaders accountable. And Jesus wept for Nigeria!
That they bear the stain of official indictment is not enough to disqualify them from aspiring to the solemnity of office according to our regnant national morality. Once I grumbled on Twitter that James Ibori and Bode George are constantly being interviewed and normalized by our journalists. I was reprimanded by furious citizens who reminded me that the two men have done their time – one was pardoned – and they must now be allowed to regain their place and space in the scheme of things. Make dem no talk again? I shook my head and felt pity for this generation.
Second is the fact that a primitive Fulani ethnic supremacist is still openly canvassing Fulani blood purity as the most important qualification for the Nigerian Presidency. If you are an adult Nigerian, you know that we are just lucky that Sule Lamido spoke openly. There are hundreds of thousands more in the closet where that came from. I should know. I am after all a northerner, a human pawn in the corrupt game of numbers that these ethnic supremacists play to have a larger share of the spoils of the center in our sick unitary system.
I have only one message for Sule Lamido and his Fulani supremacist ilk. You guys are joking. This is 2018 – an age whose ethos are at variance with your primitive ethno-feudalist imaginaries of Nigerian nationhood. Guys like you will always have totally irreverent guys like me to contend with. There is no shortage of voices like me in the national sphere of discourse and you can’t do jack about us for we are not beholden to any Nigerian one percenter. One more bad news for you: we have a national audience that you also can do nothing about. We are always ready to treat your fuck up, transfer your stupidity to the intellectual public terrain and dissect it for the whole world to see.
You have two sons facing corruption charges with you. Continue to brandish Fulfulde and exclude Buhari from your puritanical Fulani imaginary. Continue to dream of a Nigerian vassaldom that you will hand over to your two boys and their generation, where every non-Fulani blood in Nigeria shall be inferior to them and be their slaves.
May God spare your life and make you live long, very long, long enough to see that there shall be no such unfair, unjust, unfree, and unequal Nigeria for your sons to inherit. Those you crudely oppress today in the North and the rest of the country will never allow your children to have a future in an unfree Nigeria but you guys are simply too dumb to read the tea leaves. Yours is now effectively the case of the man who steals the King’s drum. Where will he beat it? Your only choice is to allow the free, just, and fair Nigeria that we are fighting for to emerge, where a man shall not be judged by the purity of his blood and the pursuit of happiness shall not be guaranteed only for one percenters and their children. Purge yourselves of your Fulani supremacist bullshit if you want Nigeria to augur well for your children.
Until you get it, we shall continue to enter the same trouser with you and your ilk. Pikin wey say im mama no go sleep…