By Femi Adesina
They are patriots who love their country dearly, and also love its President. Very dearly. To use the local parlance, ‘dem’ love President Muhammadu Buhari scatter. Through thick and thin, they have been with him, and I don’t ever see them falling away, as we have seen with some fair weather supporters. Those ones run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.
The women are in millions round the country. The President only needs to step out, and they troop out to receive him, laying their wrappers on the ground, making it their own red carpet. Don’t blame them. Or rather, don’t blame us. That is how we Buharists are.
Today, permit me to pick just a few of the women who love our President dearly, and who display it prominently on Facebook. They will follow Buhari from Cape to Cairo, join him from Daura to Kaura Namoda, to Ibadan, Warri, and to the uttermost part of the country.
Love Buhari, and these women love you. Hate him, and you have them to contend with. Never seen more faithful people. They remind me of what Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth about the wren, “the most diminutive of birds” which will fight the owl, to protect her young ones in the nest.
Last week, one hireling who calls himself Imam of Discord (is that not what he is?) took to Twitter to spew lies from the pit of hell about our President, who was quietly minding Nigeria’s business at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. With his evil cohorts, there was nothing they didn’t concoct about the President. Oh, he was in hospital in Cuba. He was in London, on life support machine. He was everywhere but in Nigeria.
They dominated digital media on Thursday and Friday, particularly, and were enjoying their own Luciferous falsehood. They covered everywhere with lies.
The President kept his peace. Yoruba people talk about ariwo lenu fendo. The noise of the vendor, as he seeks to attract buyers to his product. That was what Imam of Discord and those who hired him were doing. Making noise without sense or sensibility.
Then on Saturday, the President struck. He received at the Presidential Villa the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chike Ihekweazu. Pictures of the briefing went viral, to the shame and disquiet of merchants of discord, and to the delight of Buharists, particularly the women we are talking about.
Dr Okolo Oteri Eme is an ophthalmologist. She trained at the University of Benin, but lives and works in Abuja. She was virtually doing a waltz on Facebook throughout the weekend, after the two appearances made by the President. The briefing by the Minister and DG, and the National Broadcast next day.
On Saturday, Dr Okolo took to her Facebook wall, with the pictures of the President and the two visitors. She enthused: “Proud of you. Sai Daddy.” And then, a jibe at the apostles of discord: “Tee-hee-hee.” It was a blow to their solar plexus.
After the broadcast on Sunday evening, it was time for the ophthalmologist to flex again : “Sai Baba! Kudos Federal Ministry of Health. Kudos Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Tuale Lagos State Government.”
In the race leading to 2015 presidential election, Dr Okolo was in the trenches with Buhari. In 2019, she was also there. She’s as constant as the Northern Star. Dr, I say Tuale. Lol.
Jewel Ifunanya is her real name. But on Facebook, she has adopted another name. She goes by Jewel Ada Buhari. If you ask me, she’s a dependable ally any day, but a very formidable adversary, if you rub her down the wrong side. And one way you can do that is when you say unsavory things about her daddy. Ada Buhari means ‘daughter of Buhari.’
Last weekend, Jewel was in her elements. The banker pulled no punches.
On Saturday, she made a number of postings, after the pictures of the President and the Minister and DG hit the Internet:
“President Buhari remains till 2023, all you can do is wait. If e pain you too much, drink acid, or better still, go kiss a Covid-19 patient.” For effect, she put a picture of the Imam of Discord. Hahahahahaaaaaaa.
Again: “My Papa. My Daddy. My President. Anu ana agba egbe ona to short bread (me, I don’t know the meaning o). The tormentor of the Imam of IPOB. The perpetual pepper to wailers. Nwoke oma, I love you scatter. You will remain president sai 2023. Who doesn’t like it should drink a glass of Covid-19 infested saliva.” This lady sha.
And then, you see the fighter in this Ada Buhari. There’s a Buhari hater on Facebook who goes by the name Uwakwe-manges Hannah. That one had been rejoicing all the while rumour was rife that the President had been seriously sick, and flown to Cuba. After Buhari made an appearance, Jewel went to the lady’s wall, took the fight to her door-mouth. She reported it this way:
“So I went to her wall to wish her the death she constantly wishes the President. Hanty started pleading the blood of Jesus, and was quoting scriptures.” I held my sides in laughter.
But Jewel has no apologies. She posted: “When it comes to President Buhari, I am fanatical. I won’t have you insult him on my wall. Blocking straight.”
On Monday, after the broadcast, Ada Buhari rubbed it in: “Some people think it’s their post with less than 20 reactions that made Buhari address the nation yesterday? You must be high on Covid-19.” Tee-hee.
Egondu Okorie. Tough woman. Amazon. For her, it’s Buhari all the way. Early this week made it 20 years that she became widowed. She did a memorial on her late husband, which attracted over 500 comments of sympathy. But last weekend, she had been fully on duty. For the President she loves.
The brave woman from Orlu, Imo State, posted on Saturday: “Baba knows how to slap his enemies to dumbness, without using his hand. Ayam loving his style biko.”
After the broadcast on Sunday, she went to town with this: “The wailing wailers. Over to you. Our dear and great GMB has spoken. Activate your weep and cry button. Ndi Ara.”
With Egondu behind you, you really need fear no foe. Bravo!
Moyosore Oyetunji is from Osun State. She used to be a teacher in Lagos, and still lives in the State, as a business woman. Quite a devoted and passionate supporter of the President. She made two instructive postings on Saturday.
“Dear haters. Coronavirus is curable, hate is not, and the harm it does to the carrier’s heart is enormous. Forsake it and live a happy life. Stop hating my President.”
And this: “I want to believe that these wailers like Baba too much. Each time they kill him with their mouths, he comes out stronger. Like 10 years are added to his remaining years on earth. God bless my President.”
Madam Moyosore, eniyan iyi ni wa ni Osun o. Those of us from Osun State are honorable people. Carry go joor.
Modupeola Jessica Bewaji holds a degree in Sociology, and a Master’s in International Law and Diplomacy. She lives in Lagos, and calls the President Baami, meaning ‘my dear father.’
She came out doing a jig on Saturday. “ Baami received briefing from Minister of Health and DG, NCDC in State House. Eyin spoilers, don’t even try me today.”
And after the broadcast, she rejoiced: “Wherever Baami is, whether in Villa, Cuba o, London o, let’s all wish him well. At least I don see am.”
Funlola Adesina (not a relation of this writer) is another dyed-in-the-wool Buharist. She describes herself on Facebook as God-lover, truth-sharer, bathroom-singer (Lol) and book-lover.
On Saturday, so great was her joy, that she posted: “God bless and keep PMB.” And on Sunday, she said, “God bless PMB, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Zara Gift Onyinye. Oh, this lady is gift indeed. To our President, and to all of us Buharists. With Zara behind me, I am as bold as a lion. Her posts on Saturday, Sunday and Monday:
“Baami In Aso Rock today. Keep being good. God got your back.”
“PMB has locked down wailers cifia pains for two weeks. They were expecting him on stretcher but he stood for 21 minutes.”
“Nnamdi Kanu who does not know anywhere in Abuja, except Kuje Prison, is telling us how Aso Villa looks like.”
#We believe. And we truly believe, yes, we Buharists. The lady behind the hashtag is Maryam Shetty. The Kano native has been in self-isolation for 14 days, having just arrived the country before the airports were closed. From her confinement, her love for our principal grows stronger. On Saturday, she posted: “Keep on being good. May Allah guide you and protect us all. Long live our President, long live Nigeria.”
And on Sunday? “Great speech Mr President has given. Have you noticed how he stood for the entire duration of this long-awaited speech?” Cheers, Sister.
Many are the women who love PMB online, especially on Facebook. What will I say of Imaobong Akpan Akpan, Rita Umeh, Queen Amina Buhari, and many others, whom space will not allow me to mention now. But they should rest assured in the fact that history will record them well. They will be numbered among Buhari faithfuls, who kept faith all the way.
It’s not that these women do not see the shortcomings of the Buhari administration. They rather focus on the strengths. Every government has its weak points. But they don’t jump ship because of that, like some people I know. With the women, love truly covers a multitude of sins.
For the haters, however, I say there is always room to accommodate them, whenever they have a change of heart. We are Rehoboth, which means ‘plenty room.’ But if they refuse to change, one can only warn: “egungun be careful, na express you dey go.” Don’t let a vehicle jam you.
-Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity