Read Femi Fani-Kayode's piece on President Buhari's new book

In this piece, FFK alleges that the book’s author,
professor John Parden is a praise singer who wrote a similar
hagiography for Ahmadu Bello in 1986. He also makes some weighty
allegations on the source of president Buhari’s campaign funds. Read below…

Professor John Paden, President Muhammadu Buhari’s official
biographer, is a man that is very comfortable with distorting the truth
and telling lies. He is also a man that has been doing so for virtually
all his adult life.

Anyone that doubts that should read his biography on the
late Sir Ahmadu Bello, which was written in 1986 and titled “Ahmadu
Bello, Saurdana of Sokoto: Values and Leadership In Nigeria”, and which
is essentially a self-serving and comprehensive compilation of Bello’s
numerous virtues with little or no mention of his many vices.

I read that book twenty years ago and I placed it in the
“light entertainment” shelf in my library because it lacked gravitas or
any real intellectual stamina.

It was, at best, a beautiful public relations job for Bello
and, at worse, a compilation of disjointed verbiage fit only for the

Paden’s book on Buhari falls into the same category. It is
nothing but an illusion: an extraordinary and fantastic fairy-tale built
on a shady foundation of pseudo-intellectual clap-trap and garbage.

To him, President Buhari is infallible. He is, at best, an angel of light and, at worst, a perfect mortal with no warts.

Paden’s latest contribution is the greatest exercise in
dishonesty and historical revisionism that has ever been undertaken by
any foreign or Nigerian historian since independence.

The only one that comes close to it in this respect is the
book that he wrote on the Sardauna and a number of other books that he
authored over the years which were primarily about core northern
Nigeria. Writing rubbish seems to be Paden’s stock in trade.

In his latest book, amongst many other glaring and
shameless mendacities, he indulged in two particular lies that are an
eloquent testimony to his perfidy.

The first was that three names were sent to President
Muhammadu Buhari for the position of Vice President, namely Asiwaju Bola
Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osibanjo and Babatunde Raji Fashola in 2014 for the
2015 presidential election.

This is false and it is simply an attempt to demean and belittle Tinubu and the role that he played in the whole exercise.

The truth is that it was Tinubu and Tinubu alone that
forwarded the only name that was given serious consideration for the
Vice Presidential slot by President Buhari. That name was Professor Yemi

Senator Olorunimbe Mamora was also considered by Buhari but
he did not have the backing of Tinubu and neither did Tinubu forward
his name.

The idea that Tinubu’s name was forwarded to be Vice
President alongside that of his two protegees in the persons of Osinbajo
and Fashola is nothing but fantasy and it was a beautiful and tasteful
dish and tale that was spiced cooked up and prepared in the kitchens of
Aso Rock.

Again Tinubu never pressured Buhari to make him his Vice
President as Paden has asserted because he had decided to drop that
ambition long before then simply because the idea of a Muslim/Muslim
ticket, which was originally on the cards, had eventually been
jettisoned and rejected by the party due to public presssure and the
division and outrage it attracted.

If the Muslim/Muslim ticket had not been rejected Tinubu
would have been the Vice Presidential candidate of the APC and no-one
else, including his erstwhile protegee Babatunde Fashola, would have had
a hope in hell of getting it.

This is especially so given the fact that Buhari had
originally promised him that position at the time that their parties
merged and the APC was established but he later reneged. That is the
bitter truth.

Paden was either misinformed by those who commissioned him
to write the book or he was being propelled by an ulterior and
malevolent motive for writing the rubbish that he did on the Vice
Presidential issue.

Whichever way he was completly wrong and for the sake of history and posterity we must set the record straight.

The second lie that he told, which was infinately more
dangerous and repugnant than the first, was that President Buhari has
documents which are signed by President Jonathan which prove that the
latter sought for what he described as “extra-budgetary funds”.

This is a pernicious lie. It has no basis in rationality,
reason or truth. There is absolutely no evidence to substantiate it and I
challenge Paten or President Buhari himself to make those letters and
signed applications for “extra budgetry funds” public.

The whole thing is simply an attempt to further tarnish and
demonise Jonathan and all those that served under him before the world
and I believe that that is a crying shame.

I can understand such lies coming from a Presidency or a
Federal Government that is scared of its own shadows and that feeds off
its own propaganda but I cannot accept them coming from a supposedly
reputable historian, albeit a foreigner, who has become the official
writer and cheerleader of all things caliphate over the last 30 years.

Amongst many other things he also suggested that other
senior figures in the political and military configuration in our
country committed serious crimes and indulged in damning acts of
corruption without being specific or even providing details of those

Instead of doing so he suggested that the individuals
concerned, which included President Olusegun Obasanjo, would have been
prosecuted, brought to justice and called to account for their allegedly
dastardly acts whilst in government if not for the fact that this could
have had implications for the stability of the nation and national

Obasanjo, who is always quick off the mark and who was
actually present at the launching of the book in Abuja as was Tinubu,
responded in a measured manner by saying that there were “some
insinuations” in it which he disagreed with.

Frankly that was a cop out. Obasanjo was being far too
polite and this was probably due to the fact that he had not read the
whole book as ay that time and he did not want to dampen the enthusiasm
of the biographer, upset the President or ruin the occasion.

The adage is that you do not go to someone’s dinner party
and spoil it by confronting his lies, challenging his allegations and
speaking the bitter truth.

Yet I believe that though Obasanjo touched on the matter he
did not go far enough. I believe that it is incumbent upon all those
that were maligned and alleged to have indulged in acts of corruption by
Paden to set the record straight and state their case.

It would be very dangerous for all those that have been
misrepresented in this so-called book, including President Goodluck
Jonathan, President Olusegun Obasanjo and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to
keep quiet and not clarify the issues about what was written or
insinuated about them because many years from now that book will be used
as a major source and reference point for our history.

I urge all those affected to write their own books quickly otherwise they will become victims of historical revisionism.

If I had been invited by President Muhamnadu Buhari or
Professor Paden to the book launch I would have mounted the podium and
said as much. Sadly I was not.

Permit me to end this contribution by making a suggestion
to Paden. Since he wrote about Jonathan’s campaign funds and alleged all
manner of corruption concerning their source and application, in his
next book on President Buhari I would suggest that he sheds more light
on how his subjects own 2015 presidential campaign funds were sourced.

For a start he should tell us who provided the 10 million
USD that was paid as consultancy fees to the company of Mr. David
Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s erstwhile campaign manager.

He should also tell us the source of funds and how Buhari
and his team managed the 19 billion naira that was given to him in cash
by the then sitting Governor of the leading and largest state in the
south west and the 24.6 billion naira that was given to him in cash and in one day (which was recorded on video before being handed over) by another leading south western politician.

In addition to that he should tell us precisely how much
the then Governors of Rivers and Kano states and the present Governors
of Ogun and Kwara states amongst many others contributed to Buhari’s
campaign and where they got the money from.

Since everyone is claiming to be holy and righteous in this
matter let us all get there and publicly exchange notes. After all the
Nigerian public, and indeed the entire world, has a right to know.

If Paden fails to ask those questions and declines to
provide the answers then he, his accursed books and his questionable and
dubious “white-washing” mission of President Muhammadu Buhari shall
undoubtedly remain damned forever.

Whether he does so or not other governments that will come
to power in the future in this country will not only get the necessary
answers but they will also do the appropriate thing and bring them to
justice. It is only a matter of time.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *