The latest ‘own goal’ by Mallam Garba Shehu



By Uche Diala

I was asleep yesterday while my Boss Mallam Garba Shehu unleashed his latest ‘own goal’ for the PMB Administration. Already it has become the talk of the town. I wish I could keep quiet over this but I won’t for posterity and my conscience’s sake.

Who draws more needless fire around himself when he is already on fire?

Is there nothing called discretion again? Especially at the highest level of national governance. Are there no longer no-go-areas? Not out of cowardice but out of discretion and tact. We all have a lot to say and defend? Why don’t we say all we want or have to say? Why do we leave certain defences and even leave God to answer for us? Again discretion.

I see some of us Buhari supporters already doing the usual knee jerk defences and I wonder if it is out of ignorance, lack of understanding or a compulsive urge to defend any and everything?

What sin did Fr Mbaka actually commit going by the response? That he brought people to seek for contracts? Thankfully he did not ask for appointments or money. Doesn’t the government give contracts? Does it give it to spirits? What effort did Mallam Garba Shehu and others around PMB make to ensure that the people Mbaka brought fulfilled the requirements for and got contracts and ensure they executed them? If they truly understood and appreciated the sacrifices and support Mbaka gave to PMB and what it truly meant. Even as he was not the only supporter. But how many of us supporters have such privilege and access to the President?

How would that have meant Mbaka supported for personal gains? I mean even when this same government routinely gives the food meant for its children to the ‘dogs’.

What misstep did Fr Mbaka make? If I may ask, did the response by Mallam Garba Shehu address any of the issues raised by Fr Mbaka, whether right or wrong? No matter how idiotic they were? Wouldn’t that have been a golden opportunity for Mallam Garba Shehu and the ‘Presidency’ to ‘shine’; by point by point discrediting or countering every pointless point raised by Mbaka with PMB Administration’s achievements, facts and figures. Or we have no defence?

What Rev Fr Mbaka said as per PMB should resign or be impeached and about Nnamdi Kanu were trashy, idle talk and we all know it so I do not even need to dignify them by discussing it. Yet as annoying as what he said is, if Mallam Garba Shehu aka ‘Presidency’ had not responded to him and in the manner he did, it would have passed like one of those idle talks. But he did and that has made it an issue with deeper connotations than we might understand or agree to accept.

Some of us are only seeing Mbaka said, Garba Shehu said. But it is deeper than that. Truth be told, it also demonstrates how so insensitive to and ignorant we are of the plight of Buhari supporters in the South East. How practically dangerous it has become over there now and not everyone is as suicidal as an Uche Diala. YES. That is what it has tragically come to.

I am not holding brief for Fr Mbaka. Not by a long shot. This is also not a judgement of his character. I am only saying it was totally unnecessary for the ‘Presidency’ to have descended that low with that response. Mallam Garba Shehu should have just ignored. There are many other productive ways to handle matters.

What if Mbaka asked for contracts for 3 people? What is the big deal with that? When we give contracts and appointments to known enemies of the government.

Again it does not justify what Mbaka said in any way. But like I said, the truth is that the South East has become extremely hostile and dangerous to anyone seen to have supported or still supporting Buhari. I do not know what influenced Mbaka’s words and I sincerely denounce those comments. Yet there is real and serious trouble in the South East such that any and everyone who supports PMB is an endangered specie. Not even Governors with all the paraphernalia of office and security are safe or spared. Mbaka is a human being first before being a Priest but like I already said, I cannot say what informed his talk but I know a lot of people are being extra careful now.

In any case is Mbaka not now justified by the response from the ‘Presidency’. It shows clearly that no one will come to his rescue if he gets into trouble or is hurt. For those of us who are slow in the uptake, Fr Mbaka represents all of us supporters and how we could be treated even at the slightest misstep.

The last two outings by Mallam Garba Shehu on behalf of the ‘Presidency’ have been unpardonable own goals for the PMB Administration in my humble view. It does not matter what anyone else thinks and it is rather unfortunate and unacceptable. Attack me if you want. It really beats my imagination how we would be gathering painstakingly and some persons constantly scatter.

Everyone should note that I have been using ‘Presidency’ in parenthesis. Because I know that President Buhari with his wittiness, intelligence and sense of humour would handle such things better. So is it the President speaking or the ‘Presidency’? Who is the ‘Presidency’ and are they and us helping the President with these obvious low shots and own goals.

Think About It.

• Dr. Diala is the Medical Director, Nu-Vision Eye Clinic, Abuja and notable supporter of President Buhari.

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