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Sonala Olumhense and His Ill-advised ‘Endorsement’ of Muhammadu Buhari for President.

By: Sakhos Silas Ejiofor
 Published March 15th, 2011

I assume that the person who goes by the name Sonala Olumhense is a journalist. Therefore, I am wondering, just wondering, since when did journalists become supporters of politicians? I know they can help shape opinions. But endorse? By the way, what does Olumhense represent in Nigerian politics? The Kwara strong man of Nigerian politics? See

Anyway, anything goes in Nigeria. Olumhense’s article no doubt would have been a good piece had he not heaped all those starling qualities and democratic credentials on the wrong man – the ‘tribalist’ Buhari, who has more than once called for the Shariarization of Nigeria.

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Olumhense also aimed the bull’s eye but shot himself on the foot when he wrote that he has spent nearly 30 years of his precious life giving a nod to every Buhari move. And because Olumhense said this, here are my questions for him: did his approval include the cold-blooded murder of some Nigerians, Bernard Ogedengbe, Bartholomew Owoh and Lawal Ojulope, because of their involvement in drug peddling? And, again, did Olumhense go straight to sleep or have a drink when it was clear the death sentence applied only after the offence by the trio had been committed? Besides, they were civilians; so did Olumhense ENDORSE their trial, not in a normal civil court but in Buhari´s military tribunal?  Can Olumhense point to us any sane environment where such brutal murders take place? Could Olumhense educate us on the United Nations’ position on this issue?  Why didn´t this ‘endorser’ write that, as those young men had to die, the Northern generals, and other prominent Northerners making millions of Dollars in the same drug trade should meet with the same fate? When the USA tested Nigeria’s sincerity in fighting crimes and handed one of the Dantatas over to the same Buhari government over drug charges, the Dantata fellow was set free immediately by Buhari. Yes, Buhari established the fellow’s value. Did Olumhense have problems with that?

Why didn´t Olumhense pen articles when on different periods Buhari handled the petroleum ministry or how Buhari abused the PTF fund by splashing tar all over Moslem North of Nigeria and upgrading old ones and other facilities, while the same man left the rest of the country to rust? By the way, who occupies the grounds where the oil that is generating this money comes from? May I ask here; is there anything wrong if the presidency is coming to this oil region just once in over half a century, and of the North having the almost four decades lion share of the lot?

Why didn´t Olumhense write his articles when Buhari overthrew a democratically-elected government in 1983? Again, the Buhari much-talked-about War Against Indiscipline (WAI) on which unfortunately, Olumhense anchors his article, was conspicuously and zealously enforced but only in other parts of Nigeria except in the Moslem North. Please read Babs Ajayi´s article: “MOHAMMUDU BUHARI, THE TOWER OF TERROR AND BIGOTRY”

While the rest of Nigerians were being brutalized and terrorized by Buhari´s WAI, there were lots of indiscipline, looting of national treasury, drug peddling and other illegal businesses flourishing in the North through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Niger Republic, Cameroon and all over Nigerian Northern borders. And as expected, Buhari maintained a congenital blindness while the impunity lasted. Please, show Nigerians the list of prominent Moslem Northerners who were jailed for corruption or hanged for drug offenses by Buhari when he was the head of state of Nigeria. Forget about Umaru Dikko´s kidnapping show. As a Moslem hardliner like Libyan Muammar Gadhafi, who was giving the West headache at that time, Buhari wanted the West to see him as completely different, and someone who could fight corruption despite his religious affinity, as he and Alhaji Umaru Dikko, who stole Nigerian money and ran away to London, are of the same Moslem faith. Therefore, what Buhari did was “window-dressing” - a camouflage for the West. Otherwise, when the show flopped and backfired, why did he vehemently deny that his government had any hands in it? However, the West saw his naked lies as a farce, as such the case was seen in the UK as an act of terrorism.

Olumhense, there is this pathetic story of the family of a friend of mine, who were living in Kano. The family, that had almost never known poverty, and had helped improve the lives of others, with strong convictions, threw almost all its investments into a project and raised an edifice amongst mostly indigenous people somewhere in that city of Kano. Every item was state of the art item. Materials used to put up the structures came from Jos, Kaduna, and afar of, as the goal drove the family. Without contravening any law, Buhari’s WAI agents excitedly came calling, bulldozers roared, and took down air-conditioned cabins, etc., going at a molder but unsuccessful in taking it apart. The teeth of the bulldozer cut into and pulverized years of investments. The family proceeded with petitions that fell on deaf ears. But this family relocated meters away and rebuilt again, but when the bulldozer came to run over things on sight again, the molder itself couldn’t stand a chance. Till the time of writing, a family that was the pride of all was ruined forever. Does this sound like the type of governance such a family would want to have again?

I still wonder why Olumhense didn’t write anything when Buhari, through his presidential declaration speech, incited Moslem jihadists as usual to maim, lynch and burn any Nigerian who would tamper with the votes. A culture of anarchy and blood-letting, and people taking the law into their own hands. If this is so, what is then going to be the details of INEC, or the task of the 250,000 strong police force that would be deployed to maintain law and order? Or, what will be the assignment of international election observers and other election monitoring agencies? Is this the format of democracy Buhari will bring to Nigeria, assuming he carries the day?  Anyway, this may not be a surprise, after all Nigerians also know his views about the issues of Nigeria and the OIC and Sharia law.

Are we going to reward Buhari for not just being in an extremist corner but making a rallying call on the North against the national ID card that was underway under the Obasanjo regime? With hundreds of millions of Dollars down the drain? Are we going to put the presidential laurel around Buhari’s neck for disrespecting the Oputa Truth and Reconciliation Panel?

Though the PDP governments have not been exemplary so far, but they have managed a democratic system, though a wobbly one. At least they were able to conduct this time a transparent presidential primary, unlike in 2007. With this, they have shown that charity may begin at home.  While PDP has strived to take this praise-worthy step towards democracy, this is unfortunately not the case in some other political parties in the current presidential race. The Buhari CPC party, for instance, lacks internal democratic structures. Therefore, tell me how they can build any democratic institution in Nigeria, assuming they come to power, except through imposition of candidates and through Buhari´s usual autocratic rule.  Please read the article by Mr. Churchill Obinna Okonkwo: Joe Igbokwe’s Disillusion on Democracy and Tinubu”

In addition, this situation is also compounded by the fact that Buhari is not adequately educated. Besides, Nigerians are also finding it difficult to fathom what else the 75 year old power hungry Buhari wants, having tasted all powers in the country right from his time as the Military Governor of North Eastern State of Nigeria. Let us not forget the Igbo adage which says, “You can’t learn how to use the left hand at an old age.”

President Barack Obama on his first visit to Africa, after assuming office, had cautioned African people in Accra Ghana that Africa does not need strong men anymore but democratic institutions. So how come Sonala Olumhense, who knows most of these basic things about democratic governance, is trying to coerce and foist his strong man - Buhari - on Nigerians?

Nigerians have found out that power-thirsty Mohammadu Buhari is poorly educated and lacks democratic credentials. He is a ‘tribalist’ and a religious bigot, whose presidency will endanger a religiously volatile Nigeria. Personally, I do not have anything against Buhari, but based on his records, majority of Nigerians would not want to see the man rule Nigeria again, unless he does it through his usual means – by the barrel of the gun, bombing and maiming. However, as it has turned out, Nigerians are a little wiser now, unlike in the 1980s. At least, we will call him out on his SARAH PALIN choice of running mate.

People are tired of a family who made themselves generals, said they were retired but are still breathing down our necks. The same people that kept us where we are today.


Wiesbaden Hessen Germany,

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