"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: September 2019

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Buhari Didn’t Defeat Atiku; The Judiciary Defeated Nigeria

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal’s tendentious and predictably predetermined judgement on September 11 that upheld Muhammadu Buhari’s electoral fraud was not such much a defeat of Atiku Abubakar as it was symbolic judicial violence on Nigeria and Nigerians.

As I pointed out in my April 20, 2019 column titled “Atiku’s Citizenship and Buhari’s Illiterate Lawyers,” Buhari assembled unbelievably ignorant and rhetorically impotent lawyers to defend him, not only because he loves to mirror his trademark incompetence in everything he does, but also because he knew that there was nothing at stake for him in the petition since the tribunal’s ruling was a foregone conclusion, as I pointed out in a social media post titled “WhyAtiku Isn’T Coming” a day before the tribunal’s verdict.

The tribunal judges, who were supposed to be neutral arbiters, were infinitely more effective defenders of Buhari’s stolen mandate than his own lawyers were. Imagine the severity of ignorance it must take for any Nigerian to make the case that someone born in the former British Northern Cameroon (and whose immediate ancestral provenance is traceable to the nucleus of the defunct Sokoto Caliphate) is not a Nigerian citizen even when the constitution explicitly confers citizenship on people that were born in British Northern Cameroon.

Even the unambiguously partisan tribunal chose to not touch such sophomoric legal and constitutional illiteracy with a barge pole. It dismissed it. That says a lot. Nevertheless, there are many fundamental respects in which the tribunal’s ruling has wounded the very soul of Nigeria.

When (not “if” because this is all prearranged) the tribunal’s verdict is upheld by the Supreme Court, it would mean that barefaced electoral fraud perpetrated through the arbitrary manufacture of fanciful figures for an incumbent office holder, intimidation of voters with the aid of the nation’s security apparatuses, and all the other unmentionably unconscionable electoral malfeasance Buhari perpetrated to hold on to power are now entirely legitimate.

The implications of this are many and varied. For one, it has destroyed the vaguest vestige of hope that democracy will grow and thrive in Nigeria. It will inaugurate unexampled voter apathy in the future since voting no longer matters. Buhari’s predecessors also did rig elections, to be sure, but they rigged elections  that they would have handily won because they had no opposition.

Buhari was the serial opponent of his predecessors, but until 2015, he never even campaigned for votes outside the Hausaphone Muslim North (he routinely ignored even predominantly Muslim Kwara and Kogi states and, of course, snubbed the entire Christian North), so he couldn’t have conceivably won a national election with such an insular focus.

Even Nasir El-Rufai described Buhari in an October 4, 2010 article titled “Buhari Should Stick To Facts” as “perpetually unelectable because [of] his record as military head of state and [his] insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus.”

Perhaps the most distressing implication of the tribunal’s ruling is that education and even a pretense to honesty will no longer matter. Buhari’s claim to possessing a school certificate is supported only by an affidavit in his INEC forms, which turned out to be false.  That’s a prima facie case of perjury.
He could very well have truly sat for his school certificate exam and received proof of this. But that is not the issue. He consistently swore under oath that his school certificate was in the custody of the Nigerian military. It has now come to light that this is entirely false. The tribunal said this lie is immaterial.

This doesn’t just legally endorse official mendacity, it also disincentivizes education. It means any Nigerian can claim to possess any qualification, and the only evidence that would be required for such claims would be a mere affidavit. That’s why Nigerian social media is now suffused with transgressively humorous affidavit-supported claimants to all sorts of bogus qualifications. The most humorous yet instructive I have read so far is from someone by the name of Osaze Jesuorobo.

He wrote: “First, I have a sworn affidavit stating that I have the required qualifications to… be admitted into… Law School and that my credentials are with the Director of Administration of NTA, the establishment I retired from.

“Secondly, I have a recommendation from the Vice Chancellor of the university I attended, the  University of Benin that I WILL PASS the final Bachelor of Law degree with a Second Class Upper.

“Thirdly, since my records at NTA show that I have a Bachelor of Law degree, I will present a statement from NTA Director of Corporate Affairs to the effect that from their records, I have a Bachelor of Law degree and was educated to university level even though the original, CTC or photocopies of my credentials  are not in their possession.

“If the Law School requests... the originals and copies of my credentials, I will tell them that there is nowhere in the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) that says I must accompany my admission forms with copies of my credentials. I will also tell them that their condition that I should attach copies of my credentials is a subsidiary condition inferior to the Nigeria Constitution.

“If the Nigeria Law School denies me admission for not producing the credentials to back up my qualifications claim, I will sue the Law School relying on the Atiku/PDP vs INEC & others (2019) per Garba Mohammed (or is it Muhammad  or Muhammadu), JCA. I am waiting for the Nigeria Law School to dare me by refusing me admission.”

This reminds me of a community college president in California who sent out a mass email to the academic and non-academic staff of his school demanding that he henceforth be addressed as a “Dr.” because some nondescript university in the middle of nowhere awarded him a pay-to-play honorary doctorate. The response of the staff was as sarcastic as it was hilarious. Staff of the community college, most of whom didn’t have PhDs, decided to also prefix “Dr.” to their names; they said they too had been awarded doctoral degrees by some no-name university. The president got the message and dropped his title.

But Nigeria’s situation is graver. Buhari will get away with his subversion of law and decency, and the damage to the nation will be irreversible. Related to this is the controversy relating to the spelling of Buhari’s first name. The tribunal was reported to have said, “The question about whether the name in the certificate is ‘Mohamed’ or ‘Muhammadu’ doesn’t matter so long as the name Buhari is attached to the name.”

That’s a dangerously ignorant thing to aver.  A more acceptable statement would have been for the tribunal to say “Mohamed” and “Muhammadu” are different spellings/renderings of the same name. Every time you use a different orthography to spell a name that was originally written in a different orthographic tradition, you often have several variants. Names originally written in Latin alphabets also have different variants when they are written using different scripts such as Arabic, Cyrillic, Chinese, Thai, etc.

I can relate to this. I insist on my name being spelled as “Farooq,” but my primary school headmaster spelled it as “Faruk” in my school leaving certificate. Again, to my utter annoyance, Bayero University spelled my name as “Farouk” on my certificate but, mercifully, my transcript has my preferred spelling. So this isn’t unusual.

Buhari obviously prefers to spell his name as “Muhammadu.” Even in 1961 when he applied for the Nigerian military’s qualifying exam, he spelled it that way. Nevertheless, his principal, who was a white man, spelled his name as “Mohamed” in his recommendation letter to the military on Buhari’s behalf. It was obviously the principal’s variant that went into the official school records.

The tribunal, being the gaggle of incompetent and compromised partisans that they are, couldn’t defend their benefactor on an issue as simple as variants of the spelling of his name.

Buhari shot democracy in 1983 with bullets and left it for dead. But it managed to survive his attempted murder after a prolonged convalescence. Then he came back in 2019 to finally kill it with rigged, poisoned ballots. But when the story of Buhari’s premeditated murder of Nigeria’s democracy is written, the role the judiciary played in endorsing and legalizing it will take up reams of paper or disproportionately large nibbles of bytes.

Related Articles:
Questions Still Remain About Buhari's School Certificate
Formal Enthronement of Buhari's Illegitimate Rigocracy
Buhari's New SA on Infrastructure is INEC's Amina Zakari's Son

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Why Atiku Isn’t Coming

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
Poor leadership is obviously a grave, enduring problem in Nigeria, but an even graver problem, in my opinion, is the country’s docile, acquiescent, and fatalistic citizenry. Most Nigerians are afflicted by a condition anthropologists call cargo cult mentality, that is, the superstitious belief, first recorded among pre-modern tribes in Melanesia, that all the fine things of this world will somehow magically and effortlessly appear because people who desire it wish it into existence.
It's cargo cult mentality that drives and sustains the forlorn hope that “Atiku is coming” as Nigerians await the verdict of the Presidential Election Tribunal tomorrow. The verdict of the tribunal is, as British sports commentator Sid Waddell once said, as predictable as a wasp on speed: the electoral fraud that brought Buhari to power will be affirmed, and the verdict of the tribunal will be upheld by the Supreme Court, which is now an unashamed, remote-controllable extension of the presidency.

Frederick Douglass famously said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” No one has made any systematic, sustained demand on the Buhari junta after it audaciously stole an election that it clearly lost— and in the face of its infernal ineptitude, which is causing the nation’s smolder to transform into a consuming conflagration. Sowore attempted it, has been clamped in illegal detention, and everyone is carrying on as if nothing happened.
When Buhari refused to sign the electoral bill that would have made on-the-spot, instantaneous electronic transmission of election results mandatory, most people kept quiet, but that was the first pre-election rigging. When he illegally removed the Chief Justice of Nigeria and replaced him with a pliant, know-nothing accomplice, there were no protests from any quarters.
When he rewarded his incompetent and compromised service chiefs with an unprecedentedly illegal extension of their tenures for helping him rig the election before and after the fact, the nation was quiescent. When it came to light, through my social media update, that Buhari rewarded INEC’s Mrs. Amina Zakari by appointing her son as his Special Adviser on Infrastructure for helping him rig the 2019 election, many people pretended it never happened. Several other people who helped perpetrate the worst electoral heist in Nigeria’s democratic history have been handsomely rewarded by Buhari.
In other words, Buhari rigged the election months before it even took place. He rigged it again when it took place. And he rigged it yet again after it took place. That’s multiple rigging of one election. But no one cared. And you think members of the election tribunal will reverse it? Why would they? What’s the incentive do so in a country that no longer even makes the faintest pretenses to fairness and justice? There is no fear of mass action from any quarters. On the contrary, handsome rewards await them. That’s Buhari’s history: he rewards loyalty, however crooked the loyalty may be, and punishes dissent, however decent the dissent may be.
The entire legal process is already bought and compromised. Save yourself the emotional trauma of having your expectations dashed. Yes, Atiku has a watertight case, but justice is a meaningless concept in Buhari’s Nigeria. Atiku ain’t coming.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Shiites, Buhari, Religious Bigotry, and I

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
A Shia Muslim reached out to me privately a few days ago and said things to me that I frankly couldn’t relate to. When he realized that I was genuinely ignorant of what he said, he said he’d thought I was a Shia Muslim, to which I responded that I had mentioned several times in the past, including in my columns, that although I respect the right of people to be Shia—or anything that their consciences tell them to be so long as they don't infringe on other people's right—I am not one.
He said he had read that but that he thought I was practicing protective mimicry to avoid social exclusion. Apparently, because Shias have been historically persecuted in most parts of the Sunni-dominated Muslim world, publicly denying being Shia or intentionally being silent about—or omitting to mention—being Shia is a well-practiced art among them. Denying being Shia to escape persecution is called taqiyya and deliberately being silent about—or omitting to admit— being Shia for fear of social isolation is called kitman.

My interlocutor thought my criticisms of Buhari’s regime were inspired by the government's mass murders and continued persecution of Shias, which I have condemned in the strongest terms in my social media updates and columns. I told him—and showed him evidence—that I’d been critical of the Buhari regime even before its mass slaughters of Shia Muslims. Interestingly, many Shia Muslims from the north here on social media had attacked me for criticizing Buhari “rather too early" before he supervised their mass massacres.
The man said he had developed a "renewed respect" for me to know that I’m a Sunni Muslim who defends Shias (whom many Sunnis don't even recognize as Muslims) with such passion. (I don’t know where people get the idea that a northern Muslim can’t be critical of Buhari unless he’s a Shiite). But here's the thing: I’d be a flaming hypocrite to be a religious or sectarian bigot. Although my father was a Sunni Islamic scholar and teacher, his own father (and some of his siblings) converted to Christianity in the 1940s in an otherwise over 90 percent Muslim society.
I was born in an American Baptist Christian missionary hospital in my hometown, attended Baptist Christian missionary schools for my primary and secondary education, and my dad taught Arabic and Islamic Studies in a Christian Baptist missionary school for more than three decades. Plus, I live in America, a predominantly Christian country, that accepts me for who I am and allows me to thrive and live my dreams. My best friend here in America, Moses Ochonu, is a Christian.
If I’m at peace with Christians, and Christians are at peace with me, both at home and abroad, why would I resent fellow Muslims on the basis of trifling doctrinal differences to the point of looking the other way—or, worse, cheering—when they are murderously persecuted because of their beliefs? That's not how I was raised.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Victims of Xenophobia Abroad, Culprits of Xenophobia at Home

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

The mindless xenophobic violence against Nigerians and other African immigrants in South Africa is igniting social media conversation about what one might call global Naijaphobia, that is, the mass resentment of Nigerians in many parts of the world. We are now increasingly stereotyped worldwide as rude, boisterous, tastelessly showy, domineering, and criminally inclined.

From Euro-America to Asia, from Southern Africa to East Africa, and even in other West African countries, many people judge Nigerians by the attitudinal excesses and moral indiscretions of a minority of us. Nevertheless, amid the righteous indignation that this admittedly unfair reality provokes in us, we need to realize that we are also culprits of internal xenophobia within our national space.

In Nigeria, moral transgressions are habitually territorialized and ethnicized. Northern Muslims are routinely stereotyped as terrorists. Nigerians from the East are pigeonholed as inescapably prone to fraudulent schemes like 419 and drug trafficking. Nigerians from the West are typecast as a cowardly, traitorous lot who are given to ritual murders and credit card frauds. Northern Christians and southern ethnic minorities are branded as lazy, good-for-nothing drunkards.  And so on.

To be sure, unkind stereotypical  generalizations about people are conventional parts of the human perceptual process. They are not necessarily always activated by premeditated ill will. They are just a part of our visceral, unschooled perceptual guidelines that psychologists call our schemata. The untutored human mind has a cognitive need for what is called chronically accessible constructs, which help us make snap, effortless judgments about people. Nevertheless, the body of stereotypes we build about people through our chronically accessible constructs can be—in fact often are—faulty, over-generalized, and primary reasons for the distortion of reality.

Negative, inaccurate cognitive schemata become particularly problematic if they formally inform public policy. For instance, about the same time that Nigerians were justifiably hyperventilating on social media over xenophobic fury on their compatriots in South Africa, the Lagos State government arrested 123 Nigerians from Jigawa State who relocated to Lagos in a truck with their motorcycles in search of better economic opportunities.

The Lagos State government accused them of the non-existent crime of “illegal mass movement”! In an August 31 tweet, the Lagos State government announced the "Arrest of illegal mass movement of Okada riders to Lagos from the North jointly coordinated by the State Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello and his Transportation counterpart, Dr. Abimbola Oladehinde."

Ignore the monstrous grammar for a moment. What law of the land justifies what the Lagos State Government did? Chapter4, Section 41 of the Nigerian Constitution states that, “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.”

So what was the legal basis for the Lagos State government’s initial arrest of the Okada riders from Jigawa? A newspaper editor from the South who supported the unconstitutional arrest and detention of the 123 Jigawa Okada riders argued that the action was justified in light of the rampant terrorism in the Muslim North and the crippling anxieties in the South about the creeping incursion of this virus into their region. There are three fundamental problems with this reasoning.

One, that assumption rests on the notion that the South is an unblemished, crime-free El Dorado. It's not. Criminals from the South also go to the North. Some crimes are more prevalent in the South than they are in the North. The fact that one region has one sort of crime and not the other is no reason to engage in invidious stereotypical generalization of one or the other. No crime is more acceptable than the other is.

Two, if state governments in parts of Nigeria can invoke the crimes prevalent in other parts of the country as justification to violate the constitutionally guaranteed right to movement of some Nigerians, what moral right do we have to resent being negatively stereotyped and violated abroad on account of the crimes of a minority of our compatriots? It’s the same logic.

Three, the 123 people the Lagos State government illegally arrested (and later released) putatively on suspicion of being terrorists are from Jigawa State. Since the Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009, there are scarcely, if any, terrorist attacks in Jigawa. The North is not one monolithic, undifferentiated region. The fact that there is terrorism in the northeast is no reason to assume that every Northern Muslim, including one from outside the Northeast, is a terrorist. That’s ethnic profiling.

Incidentally, the Lagos State Government appeared to have inadvertently admitted that it indeed “profiled” the Okada riders from Jigawa. Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State’s Commissioner for Information & Strategy, in a press statement designed to dispel the impression that the 123 Hausa travelers who were arrested by the Lagos State government were targeted because of their ethnic identity, said, “The arrested suspects have been moved to the State Police Command where they are being profiled."

When law enforcement officers “profile” people, it means they are judging the people because of their ethnicity, race, religion, etc. instead of their actual conduct. I’m not sure that was the meaning Omotoso intended to convey because it contradicts the core claim of his press release. Was it a Freudian slip or just plain ignorance? Or both?

Well, a friend from the South who is close to Lagos State government officials confided in me that the arrest of the 123 men from Jigawa was just political theatre carefully calculated to purchase and win back lost political capital for the Bola Tinubu political camp in the southwest. This was necessitated, he said, by Tinubu’s insensitive and impolitic “where are the cows?” remark in the aftermath of the brutal murder of Afenifere leader Rueben Fasoranti’s daughter, which has caused Tinubu to be seen in the Southwest as a shamelessly thoughtless lackey of the Fulani.

If this is true—and I have no reason to doubt that it’s true— how is this different from South African politicians playing up negative stereotypes of Nigerians to stir up xenophobic violence against Nigerian immigrants in South Africa?

Interestingly, the Naijaphobic hysteria in South Africa and the Hausaphobic profiling of poor Okada drivers in Lagos are fairly coextensive with another enduring strand of Nigeria’s many bigotries: religious intolerance. Inaccurate reports that alleged that Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike had destroyed a mosque in Port Harcourt also helped to magnify the Muslim North’s own hypocrisy and unflattering record of religious intolerance.

Tearing down of churches and refusal to grant permits to build churches is a persistent problem in the North’s so-called Sharia states. Ironically, it’s precisely the people who have destroyed churches, who have refused to grant permission for churches to be built, or who have cheered the persecution of Christians that are taking umbrage at the unusual news of the demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt.

A Kano-based Facebooker by the name of Ibrahim Sanyi-Sanyi captured the hypocrisy and duplicity of the arrowheads of the Northern Muslim anger brigade against the “demolition” of a mosque in Port Harcourt when he wrote: “When Shekarau was the Governor from 2003 - 2011, billboards warning visitors ‘Kano garin Sharia ne' [Kano is Islamic Sharia state] were erected at strategic locations leading to Kano Metropolitan City. Furthermore, churches were razed down including Christ the King Church (CKC) in Naibawa, Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) in Giginyu and HEKAN (Combined Churches of Christ) Church in Rogo Local Government Area (LGA).

“Now, Malam Shekarau, out of political expediency and with obvious intention to ride on general sentiments, has lashed out on Governor Wike for saying 'Rivers is a Christian State' and for 'demolishing of mosque' which are similar divisive stuff that happened under him as a Governor.”

Similarly, even when predominantly Christian universities like the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, have had spaces for mosques on their campuses almost since their founding, federal universities in Kano, Sokoto, etc. that are funded by oil wealth from the Christian South have no churches. That’s unacceptable Christophobia.  So while we condemn Naijaphobia abroad, let’s also reflect on our own local phobias at home.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Recent Grammatical Howlers of Nigerian Politicians

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
I stopped my Sunday grammar column in the Daily Trust after the paper’s "management" (AKA Kabiru Yusuf, its chairman) yielded to Aso Rock’s instruction to stop my Saturday column for being consistently critical of Buhari’s irremediably infernal incompetence. (The stoppage of the column in the Daily Trust paradoxically amplified its patronage and reach on the back page of the Nigerian Tribune on Saturday, which defeats the purpose of stopping it in the Daily Trust!)
Anyway, although I no longer write on English grammar, I can’t fail to notice the multiplication of humorously awkward grammatical boo-boos from Nigerian politicians these past few weeks. I’ll highlight only four, starting from the most recent one.
1. Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State’s Commissioner for Information & Strategy, in a press statement designed to dispel the notion that the 123 Hausa travelers who were arrested by the Lagos State government were targeted because of their ethnic identity, said, “The arrested suspects have been moved to the State Police Command where they are being profiled."😂😂

When law enforcement officers “profile” people, it means they are judging the people on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, etc. instead of their actual conduct. I’m not sure that was the meaning Omotoso intended to convey because it contradicts the core claim of his press release. Was it a Freudian slip or just plain ignorance? Or both?
2. But there’s more. In the same press release, we encounter risible howlers like, "large quantity [sic] of used bikes" [I thought bikes were countable], "speculated cases of Boko haram [sic] insurgency" (what in the world does that mean?), "banditry attacks," "the case on hand," "most preffered [sic] destination" ["preferred" is already a superlative state and doesn't need "most," another superlative, to make it a superlative], etc. And can someone please tell the man that spellcheck is meant to be used; that it's not a mere decorative appurtenance on Microsoft Word?
3. Senator Remi Tinubu repeatedly told woman-beating Adamawa senator Elisha Abbo to “off” his microphone! No one taught the distinguished senator that the proper expression is “turn off.” “Off” is rarely used as a verb. When it is, particularly in American English, it means to murder. Senator Abbo looks like he can murder people in a fit of uncontrolled temper tantrum, but I doubt he can murder a microphone😂.

4. During the senate confirmation hearings of ministerial nominees, which Nigerians erroneously call "screening," senators repeatedly addressed the nominees as “Mr. Nominee.” Where the heck did that come from? “Mr.” is traditionally prefixed either to a man's full name or to his last name alone. There is an undertone of mockery when you call someone “Mr. Nominee,” particularly when you know his real name. I missed if they also called female ministerial nominees “Mrs Nominee” (which would mean they're married to people whose last names are "Nominee") or “Miss Nominee” (which would mean their fathers are called "Mr Nominee"). Or did they just call them "Madam Nominee"?😂
"Mr. President," "Madam President," "Mr. Speaker," and "Madam Speaker" are formal titles of respect in American English for occupants of such offices. It appears that our senators invented "Mr Nominee" on the model of these fossilized titles. But "Nominee" is not a position. We don't even say "Mr. Senator," or "Mr. Representative." So why do we have "Mr Nominee"?

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Buhari’s New SA on Infrastructure is INEC’s Amina Zakari’s Son

By Farooq Kperogi, Ph.D.
Twitter: @farooqkperogi
When people objected to the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of INEC’s committee that would be in charge of the “secretariat for collation of results” of the last presidential election, both the presidency and Zakari lied that Buhari and Zakari had no family relationship until I exploded their duplicitous mendacity in a January 5, 2019 update. (I’ll come to that shortly).
Well, many people don’t seem to notice that Buhari has compensated Mrs. Zakari for helping him to rig the 2019 election; He appointed her biological son by the name of Ahmed Rufa'i Zakari as his new Special Adviser on Infrastructure, a pointless, previously non-existent position specifically created to pay back Mrs. Zakari. Mr. Zakari holds the traditional title of San Turakin Kazaure.

Buhari also reappointed Mrs. Zakari’s brother, Suleiman Hussaini Adamu, as Minister of Water Resources. Adamu and Mrs. Zakari are full siblings, i.e., they share the same father and mother. They are the children of Alhaji Hussaini Adamu (who was emir of Kazaure) and Hajia Hafsatu Hussaini Adamu. The current emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu, is their older brother with whom they’re also full siblings.
The immediate past commissioner of education in Jigawa State, Mrs. Rabih Eshaq, is also their younger sister (again, same father, same mother.) So the same family basically monopolizes political appointments in the state. And it’s all due to their Buhari/Daura connections.
Their mother, Hajiya Hafsatu, is the daughter of Alhaji Jibril Daura, a Daura native. More than that, though, Buhari’s biological sister was once married to Mrs. Zakari’s father. That makes her Buhari’s niece. The Oxford Dictionary defines a niece as, “A daughter of one's brother or sister, or of one's brother-in-law or sister-in-law.” Mrs. Zakari’s father was Buhari’s brother-in-law.
But that’s not all. As I pointed out in my Jan. 5, 2019 update, at some point in his youth, Buhari, who lost his father at a young age, came under the guardianship of Mrs. Zakari’s father, the late Alhaji Hussaini Adamu. Buhari continues to nurture his relationship with the Hussaini Adamu family. When he was PTF boss, for instance, he got Mrs. Zakari a consultancy contract with Afri-Projects Consortium (APC), “the sole manager of the PTF projects.”
When Goodluck Jonathan asked Buhari for a candidate for INEC commissionership, he nominated Mrs. Zakari. In my update, I said, “This fact, as I pointed out in my Saturday Tribune column, isn’t enough to vitiate her neutrality. After all, Jonathan defeated Buhari in 2011 while she was INEC commissioner. But deceiving the world by concealing the nature and depth of her relationship with Buhari shows that she’s up to no good this time around.” My predictions materialized.
The appointment of Mrs. Zakari’s son to an utterly purposeless position isn’t just a reward for her help in perpetrating unexampled electoral fraud on Buhari’s behalf; it’s also a continuation of Buhari’s trademarked bald-faced nepotism. I know this isn't anything that will shock anyone--or change anything-- but I just want to put it out there for the records.

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