8 hours ago/
“All of you will prosper. That is the plan and purpose of the Buhari administration with the N10,000 Trader Moni collateral-free loans for two million petty traders in all states of the federation,” were the words of Nigeria’s Vice-President, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo as he addressed traders at the Gbagi market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, recently.
If anyone is in doubt as to exactly how the present administration expects to fulfill the promised change in the lives of millions of Nigerians, months before the next general election, look no further than Osinbajo’s N10,000 prosperity gospel.
Elections are the most interesting times in Nigeria; nothing else comes close. From gallivanting politicians campaigning with opposition hospital records, patronizing white-bearded first-lady endorsements, embracing hawkers at roadside corn-roasting spots, among others, to the crazed spree of defections and teary publicly and secretly-obtained election forms, there is no doubt that the build-up to the 2019 elections is poised for more interesting scenarios. The Ali Babas and Basketmouths should have overflowing baskets of ideas by now.
And then there is the religious angle. Between those who hide under the cover of dark to exchange white handkerchiefs for Ghana-must-go packages in Osun State, and some who would gladly sacrifice their honor on the bloody altar of ‘generous donations to the work of God’, all in the bid to satisfy political whims and caprices, it’s a scramble for bling crosses, miraculously threaded rosaries and parades on knees before clerics this season.
And don’t get us started on the prophecies!
For some reason, and sometimes quite unobvious at that, the APC’s approach to its 2019 intention to hold onto power for as long as possible is confusingly brazen. And who can blame the party? The goodwill it enjoyed prior to the 2015 elections declined faster than it could spell out the initial letters of its party, especially when there is the fear that the premise on which it tip-toed to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — many simply voted for the next available popular candidate aside Jonathan — may just come around to also see them piggy-backed out of power.
With the daring thug-embracing risks in Osun in mind, should anyone flinch when the battle for the number one seat adopts a subtly religious approach?
Enter Alfa Buhari and Evangelist Osinbajo!
The best Nigerian alfas have peculiar attributes. Highly recommended by their faithful, every popular alfa usually comes across as clothed in a seeming sense of humility. Whether this is a true reflection of the alfa’s character is left to those who have encounters with them to decide. And don’t forget the major feature of the alfa’s entourage: his Chief Executive Interpreter (CIE).
You’ve seen them on TV, heard them on the radio, and in some cases, they have gone viral on social media. They are known for not caring what the world thinks of their messages, as long as they are in line with their conviction, which is usually based on personal interpretations of the doctrine. They’re always on ground to interpret boss’ thoughts, and have the liberty to add a few sweet notes to the reported speech, as long as it makes the boss happy.
Backed by CIE Garba Shehu; CIE Femi Adesina, and how can we dare forget CIE Alhaji Lai, as well as a truck-load of others ready to defend his stand on any issue, there are many reasons to label Buhari an alfa.
From his sense of simplicity when it comes to style, his seeming aloofness to anything he wishes not to make his business — whether the country tumbles into a mass grave of smoking, malnourished corpses — and to his apparent sainthood even while surrounded by obvious sycophants and corrupt officials, Alfa Muhammadu Buhari (AMB) has proved over and over again that he could not be more ‘right’ for his current position.
And to crown it all, like all popularalfas, he has massive followership, especially many who are ready to die for him. One can almost say he is the perfect example of a living saint — no sarcasm intended.
The Nigerian alfa is all-encompassing. He is the founder, spiritual leader, among as many accolades as he can amass for himself, official or otherwise. He is most sought after — any surprise that the APC thinks parading a list of world leaders who have visited AMB is a feat?
And then there is this notion of sacrifice. Alfas, whether willingly or grudgingly, always want to give back, all in the bid to maintain this humility toga. And so, with all the emotion he could muster, 75-year-old Alfa Buhari offered to ‘sacrifice’ his most humble self to run for another term in 2019.
“Fellow party members, I am taking this step with all humility, sense of responsibility and an unquestionable desire to serve and protect the interests of all Nigerians,” were the words of an obviously emotional Buhari, as he accepted the nomination and expression-of-interests forms purchased for him by the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN).
The forms cost a whopping N45 million, said to have been contributed by — according to the president’s spokesman on New Media, Bashir Ahmad — “a group of good Nigerians”.
But what can a simple preacher do? How many alfas have you known to refuse N45 million gifts?
And then there is Osinbajo and that Trader Moni missionary journey. While his boss is back in Abuja, basking in the throes of the N45 million gift, Evangelist Osinbajo is traveling around Nigeria, distributing N10,000 gospel tracts to traders whom the APC gods have decided to bless. Trader Moni has reached Lagos, Kano, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Kaduna, Delta, among others.
Let’s do something mathematically simple. In 2017 alone, not less than four million Nigerians lost their jobs, and it would be safe to assume a major percentage of that joined the Trader Moni target audience. And the Federal Government decides that the next big thing is to champion an N10,000 six-month borrowing cause?
While AMB handles the hustle and bustle that comes with the daily rigors of fellowship with leaders, receiving awards for jobs done and undone, maintaining a sense of calm even when things seem to be falling apart, dealing with NYSC and WAEC certificate sinners as he deems fit, among his many self-selected responsibilities, Osinbajo maintains his gently harried disposition in ensuring that two million people stake their bright future on a paltry N10,000. And there’s a T-Shirt too!
In an economy where the price of everything has almost doubled, there are owed salaries — one state where the N10,000 was distributed owed 17 months’ salaries — it would be safe to assume that the N10,000 would simply go into paying school fees, hospital bills, keeping PHCN greased for a while, among other things. The average trader has bills. And a N10,000 loan during election season is simply a gifted insult!
That this is coming dangerously close to the general election, however, the APC government spins it, is clear even to the blinded deaf. It’s N10,000 times 2 million voting thumbs of assurance (due credit to Davido) for the Buhari administration.
And who else to champion that ridiculous message of N10,000-Loan-Can-Make-You-Prosper than the Bible-trotting, sweet-tongued, good-natured Pastor (Professor) Yemi Osinbajo.
Somebody shout Halleluyah!