By Bolanle Bolawole
Downpresser man/Where you gonna run to/Downpresser man/Where you gonna run to
Downpresser ma/Where you gonna run to/All along that day
You gonna run to the sea/But the sea will be boiling/When you run to the sea
The sea will be boiling (2x)/All along that day
You gonna run to the rocks/The rocks will be melting/When you run to the rocks
The rocks will be melting/The rocks will be melting/All that day
So I said/Downpresser man/Where you gonna run to/Downpresser man
Where you gonna run to/Downpresser man/Where you gonna run to/All along that day
You drink your big champagne and laugh/You drink your big champagne and laugh
You drink your big champagne and laugh/All along that day
I wouldn’t like to be a flea/Under your collar man/I wouldn’t like to be a flea/Under your collar man
I wouldn’t like to be a flea/Under your collar man/All along that day
You can run but you can’t hide/You can run but you can’t hide/You can run but you can’t hide/Telling you all along that day
You gonna run to the Lord/Beggin’ to hide you/You gonna run to the Lord/Beggin’ to hide you
You gonna run to the Lord/Beggin’ to hide you/You gonna run to Jah/Beggin’ to hide you/All, all along that day
And I said Downpresser Man/Where you gonna run to/Where you gonna run to Downpresser man
Where you gonna run to/I said all along/All along, along that day Downpresser man
All along, along that day Downpresser man/All along, along that day Downpresser man/All along, along that day Downpresser man
Wait, Downpresser man/Where you gonna run to/Downpresser man/I don’t know where you gonna run to/All along that day
Downpresser man/You can’t run, you can’t bribe Jah-Jah/Can’t call him in a bar/Fe can drink some Devil soup/Can’t bribe him to run a car now/Can’t test him faith
Downpresser man/Downpresser man/Downpresser man/Downpresser man/Downpresser man
Where you gonna run to/Downpresser man/You can’t bribe no one/Them no want no money
Them run’f money/That money get funny/Downpresser Man.
On Sallah Day penultimate week (April 21, 2023), the president, Major-General Muhammau Buhari (retired), was quoted as making a statement that revealed so much about the workings of his inner mind and that have, therefore, set tongues wagging. Buhari reportedly thanked Nigerians for tolerating him for eight solid years. That was mild, to say the least. After a ruinous four years, there was no way a country where citizens are alive to their duties and responsibilities as responsible and responsive citizens would have allowed Buhari another four years in the saddle. Yes, he used the power of incumbency to influence the election of 2019; even at that, the fact that there were no whimpers and he was allowed to get away with that blue murder in broad daylight must have surprised even Buhari himself. So, we deserve to be congratulated by him for our docility, inaction, irresponsible behaviour and abdication of our sacred responsibility as enlightened citizens of a free country under law and operating a democracy. Buhari was also quoted as asking all those that he has hurt to forgive him.
“I think it is good… to thank you for tolerating me for almost eight years”, he was quoted as saying. “God gave me an incredible opportunity to serve the country”. It was “incredible” that Buhari of all people got the opportunity that he got but did he serve? He didn’t! Instead, it was this country that served Buhari and his myopic, nepotistic, feudalistic and fundamentalist interests as a Fulani ethnic irredentist and Islamic fundamentalist bigot. Continued Buhari: “We are all humans, if I have hurt some people along the line of my service to the country; I ask that they pardon me”. Should it be “if I have hurt”? Is there any doubt that Buhari has hurt both man and God in his eight years in the saddle? He has hurt the dead and he has also hurt the living. And “asking” is not the appropriate word to use. He must plead or beg for forgiveness. “Ask” is too mild, too impassive and too aloof a word to use. “All those that I have hurt, I ask that they pardon me” Yes, you hurt people; millions of them. You hurt a whole race; not even one but many of them; you hurt an entire Faith; again, not one but many of them. You hurt men, and you hurt women. You hurt the young and you hurt the aged. You hurt even the unborn child. You hurt those whom your actions caused them to die humiliated; those who were widowed as a result of your actions and or inactions. Those whose only child; and whose only hope, got snuffed out in the prime of youth because of your incendiary statements. I can go on and on!
“I cannot wait to go home to Daura. If they make any noise to disturb me in Daura, I will leave for Niger Republic. I deliberately arranged to be as far away as possible”. Is that so? True, then, is the saying that the sinner runneth when no one pursueth! Who is pursuing Buhari if not his sins? What is he running away from if not his shadows? But tell Buhari to listen to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh’s song, “Downpresser man” quoted above and learn! No one runs away from his shadow! Buhari’s avalanche of sins, dating back from when he was yet an unknown quantity, according to those who claim to know him well, is such that if they are pushed into the Atlantic, the ocean will be unable to wash them away! “I got what I wanted and will quietly retire to my home town” Yes, Buhari got what he wanted but Nigerians got the short end of the stick! Buhari satisfied his aspirations and desires at the expense of the peace, progress, prosperity and tranquility of this country. The “monkeys and baboons” were the ones that were “soaked in blood” in 2011 after Buhari lost that year’s election to PDP and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and made his incendiary speech that was believed to have instigated violence and an orgy of senseless killing of Southerners in the North; since 2015 when Buhari mounted the saddle, the entire country has been soaked in blood. How many projects did Buhari drag to Daura and Katsina? I have lost count. Olusegun Obasanjo did not do that. Umaru Yar’Adua did not do that. Jonathan did not do that. Only Buhari lacked the decorum and decency to act as the president of Nigeria and not the local champion of his Fulani ethnic group and the unrepentant promoter of his own Islamic faith. When Buhari spoke of “quietly” retiring to his home town, Daura, he spoke without reckoning that God has said, without mincing words, that there is no peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48: 22)! Wherever he flees, wherever he goes and whatever the distance from Nigeria, Nemesis and Karma will catch up with the guilty!
For those who describe the outgoing president as an ingrate or loathing of the in-coming president, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Buhari’s Sallah speech gave them added impetus. Buhari recounted how many times he contested for the presidency but failed before 2015 when fortune smiled on him. He gave the credit to the Permanent Voter’s Card and not to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the brain behind the APC alliance that made the “handshake” between the Southwest and the North possible. Like Portable, the singer, who crooned that it was not miracle that saved the Apostle but that bullet proof car saved the Apostle, I dare to say that it was not PVC but God, Tinubu’s political sagacity and APC that delivered the Nigerian presidency on Buhari’s laps in 2015.
That said, does Buhari qualify for forgiveness, having asked for it? Many may be hard put to forgive a man who has sowed tears and sorrow all over the land and who has wasted the country’s enormous assets and resources, remorselessly plunging it into staggering debts with practically nothing meaningful to show for it. My Owo people have a saying: The man who leaves messy excreta in the door mouth of his neighbour may forget, but his neighbour who is left with the unenviable task of clearing the mess will not forget in a hurry. The vast majority of Nigerians are not likely to forget Buhari and his wanton troopers, his hordes of barbaric barbarians (excuse my tautology!) and rampaging locusts for a very long time to come regardless that Adolf Hitler has posited that human memory is very short.
But God is merciful and His anger endures but for a moment! In Isaiah 1: 18 – 19 He says even if a sinner’s sin is “as scarlet” and “be red like crimson” they shall be made “as white as snow” and “be as wool”. As monstrous as Buhari’s crimes against humanity here in Nigeria are – not forgetting his atrocities as a military dictator as well as PTF chairman under vile Abacha – God can still forgive him if he genuinely asks for forgiveness from his heart and is ready to turn a new leaf; and not just that he is merely making a politically-correct statements as he prepares to leave office; the same as the tokenism of half-hearted reforms and rash award of contracts that further pile the misery on the incoming government when, by tradition and civilized conduct everywhere, his administration has become lame duck.
But is Buhari sincere this time around? Has he ever been sincere?
As Tinubu builds his team…
I advocated here, and I think it may come to pass, that spread, performance and religious sensitivity should be uppermost in the measuring rods, without sacrificing competence and merit, as Tinubu builds his team. If the position of Senate presidency has been zoned to the South-south and the Speakership to the Northwest as is being touted in the media; that fits the bill. I have counselled that this is the time for the Christian bodies angry over Muslim-Muslim ticket to move behind the scene to ensure that both positions are ceded to Christians rather than wait to cry after the milk is spilled. On the issue of competence, there are two names I hope to see on Tinubu’s ministerial list that will raise hope and inspire confidence that all can be well again very soon. They are: JAMB’s Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and NDLEA’s Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa. Don’t you think so?
- Former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Chairman of its Editorial Board and Deputy Editor-in-chief, BOLAWOLE was also the Managing Director/ Editor-in-chief of THE WESTERNER newsmagazine. He writes the ON THE LORD’S DAY column in the Sunday Tribune and TREASURES column in New Telegraph newspaper on Wednesdays. He is also a public affairs analyst on radio and television.
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