Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

The slipper is now on the now on the other foot

Whispering Drums With Maigani

by Musa Ibrahim

Since the overthrow of General Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria has changed. It has moved from being a land of terror and tyranny to a land of freedom and individual liberty. There has come light in place of darkness for millions of families.

The details of how the coup was organised and executed have not yet come out. Still, there are stories that keep filtering in, and some of them are so juicy it would be a crime not to pass them on.

It is said that when the liberators entered Dodan Barracks to arrest the lean and wicked Buhari, they found him in full General's uniform but wearing slippers! This was how he was marched off, left, right, to the waiting land rover. This should not be a surprise to anybody because the man hails from the border where people are so fond of wearing slippers. The only odd thing about it is that he used to boast that he was ever ready and that anybody who planned to take him should be ready to die with him. Yet he was captured like a goat - so cheaply without boots. He had a moustache that made him look like a General but alas! He did not possess the valour of a boy scout!

His nephew Mamman Daura used to publicise him as the finest soldier Nigeria had in true salesman style. Sorry, Mamman Daura, your commodity is hereby returned, you did not comply with the specification. No wonder when Buhari was given the Command of Nigerian troops in Chad he made a mess of it; spent the whole time arguing the politics of it rather than carrying out the command of his superiors.

It is said that Lt-Col. Sabo Aliyu of the Federal Guards tried to put up some kind of resistance. He was quickly disarmed and arrested by his second in Command. Was this one- minute or so resistance out of love for Buhari and his tyrannical collaborators or was it simply a token show of loyalty to his assigned duty?

The most hilarious piece of news is that major Jakolo, Buhari's ADC also tried to organise some funny resistance, by trying to buy over some soldiers. Was Major Jakolo so insensitive to the mass suffering of Nigerians?

Or was this in return for favours from Buhari to him? It is recalled that Major Jakolo was in London recently together with Wada Maida, the Chief Press Secretary to the ex-Head of State. Incidentally, reports are still awaited from my contact in Customs as to how many suitcases these two landed with in Nigeria on their return from Mission Impossible.

I have learnt that Major-General Mohammed Magoro (Idiagbon II) had an unpleasant experience with the Military Police who arrested him because Magoro, instead of walking to the waiting Land Rover obediently, stood there lamenting "What, this is treachery!" Magoro apparently learnt the word treachery after becoming Minister of Internal Affairs. His surprise expressed, his shouting and lamenting were all to no avail. This was the man who thought he was all powerful, the insider and the outsider at one and the same time. He was said to be Buhari's aerial, posing to be with the boys but secretly feeding the man who appointed him minister.

He was said to be once a friend of the new President, Major General Babangida. But when the latter fell out with Buhari, Magoro quickly switched camp. He dashed across to the Buhari- Idiagbon-Rafindadi side. He was then assigned to shadow Major General Babangida and report any coup plans. Thou shalt reap what thou hast sown, fare thee well General Magoro, Nigerians can now have passports without tears.

My information is that Brigadier Aliyu Gusau made sure that he visited Buhari in his cell to ensure that his arch-enemy takes cognisance of just two facts: First that he, Aliyu, is still in the Nigerian Army and for that matter a Brigadier. Buhari on the other hand had lost on both counts. Second, that he, Aliyu, is one of those assigned to sit and cleanse the NSO while Rafindadi languishes in Kiri-Kiri where he had put so many innocent Nigerians

Mamman Daura called it consolidation. Buhari was advised to eliminate all opposition and he would be like Nasser. We hope Brigadier Aliyu Gusau would fish out the Buhari- Idiagbon-Rafindadi NSO thugs who tied Nigeria in chains for twenty months. Also the Buhari Idiagbon counterfraud must be thoroughly investigated and exposed so that all will see the hypocrisy of the vindictive tyrants, who were shown by circumstance to be the greatest cowards in the land.

Rawlings on the go!

To think that while I was last week writing about the long-term travel plans of Flight-Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings he was actually airborne at the time.

He went to Addis Ababa to help the Ethiopian leader Col. Haile Mariam Mengistu celebrate the eleventh anniversary of his revolution. It will be recalled that when Flt-Lt Rawlings first burst on to the political scene in Ghana with his abortive coup d'etat on May 15, 1979, he proclaimed himself enamoured of the "Ethiopian way". At his trial, he proclaimed that the troubles of Ghana should be solved via the Ethiopian method. It has obviously taken him some time to make the journey to this place that had so inspired him! It will be interesting to note what his impressions will be after seeing Ethiopia at first hand.

From Ethiopia, Flt-Lt Rawlings has gone on to the People's Republic of China. The thinking is that these visits are supposed to be a prelude to the proposed ones to attend the Commonwealth Conference and the UN General Assembly.

A revolutionary has got to keep his image right you know. All this hobnobbing with the Americans for the sake of dollars might very well give the wrong impression!

talking drums 1985-09-23 ghana yesterday's men and tomorrow's youth paa willie j.h. mensah deGraft-Johnson