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When the chicken comes home to roost



When the chicken comes home to roost

To “roost”, a noun, refers to a resting place for birds, e.g., branch of a tree, nest, etc. This saying, “the chickens have come home to roost”, is employed to tell someone that he has to face the consequences of his past deeds, even if committed long ago.

This is the sorry state of things today, because those Nigerians who ought to speak when it mattered most, demurred, either out of fear, or outright complicity. Edmund Burke once theorized that why evil continues to thrive is because good men sit down and do nothing.

Some of us have been doing something, no matter how modest, from our little corners. I am happy that I am being joined now by other eminent Nigerians, especially by a respected Emir and a distinguished Senator, both from the northern part of Nigeria. I say this because some people believe in politicizing, ethnicising and religionising every criticism of government, no matter how wellmeaning. Let us now rewind.


The Vanguard of 13th of January, 2016, barely seven months after Buhari became President wrote of me, as follows: “Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), a renowned constitutional lawyer has expressed displeasure over President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued disrespect for the rule of law.

He said those advising the president to put Nigerians on the stakes and shoot them to death, without even trying them in the fight against corruption were his worst enemies, as reported by the Vanguard of 13th January, 2016. Mike Ozekhome advised Buhari to respect the rule of law. The outspoken lawyer said Buhari will know those deceiving him when the chips are down.

“Those who may be telling the President that; oh! You are fighting corruption, put Nigerians on the stakes and shoot them to death, don’t even try them!’ They are deceiving Mr. President.

When the chips are down, Mr. President would see that those were his greatest enemies,”. Ozekhome, who was apparently not happy over the Federal Government’s refusal to respect court orders that granted some accused persons facing corruption trial bail said: “The rule of law has so far been put into perpetual retreat and Nigeria has never had it so bad”.


In my weekly back page Sunday Telegraph column, the “Nigerian Project”, of 29th May, 2016, nearly one year ago, I wrote on the above topic. I said: “I am happy that I am being joined now by others, especially by a respected Emir and a distinguished Senator both from the northern part of Nigeria. “Nigerians today are thoroughly disappointed by the turn of events.

The President and his party, the APC, had promised so much, but so far fulfilled so little. The utopian they promised is only but a mirage……. “Nigerians have been inflicted with much pain these past twelve months.

If nothing is done very quickly, Nigerians will begin to queue for food (as happened during the 1984 then General Buhari’s essential commodities “Essenso” era). Nigerians may possibly queue for air. Part of the problem is the fact that the President erroneously surrounded himself mostly with “yes-men” and propagandists, who cannot challenge him or tell him the truth.

These people are those misinforming and making him believe that there was absolutely nothing good about the past administration. In the process, he is making avoidable mistakes. These propagandists in the last one year diverted the attention of the President from the core issue of governance, which is to better the lives of the citizenry.

“After all, many of those shouting ‘change’ and ‘corruption’ today, were all in the PDP opposition party, holding very exalted offices for years, before decamping only recently to the ruling party”.


In the following Sunday Telegraph of 5th June, 2016, still on the above issue, I again advised PMB thus: “PMB sir, shun the praises of propagandists, sycophants and narcissists around you. Do not see some sections of the country as enemies, because they did not vote for you, as some have made you believe. As father of the nation, you must overcome political segmentation, and see the whole nation as your constituency.

You should see and do things from the perspective of a leader, not a partisan politician. The appointments so far made are unfortunately too lopsided in favour of the North, where you hail from. This administration still has three years to right its wrongs.

Let us just assume that the last one year was used to cross the Ts and dot the Is. In his Easter message, PMB admonished Nigerians to “imbibe the virtues of Jesus Christ and place national interest above selfish, personal and group interest”. This is true. “But what is truer is that the President himself and leaders of his party, as the pathfinders, need this counselling more than others. They have so far blamed the shortcomings of this administration on the past.

This is now sounding rather too boring, like a stuck record. it was John Burroughs who once theorised that “a man can fail many times, but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else”. The APC- led government must start delivering on its numerous promises. They saw the situation before they made their campaign promises. They were not on planet Mars, but were all major players at different levels, in the last 16 years.”


On March 24, 2017, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II warned President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of praise singers and sycophants in his government. The revered Emir made the comment at the 10th Kehinde Sofola (SAN) memorial lecture in Lagos.

According to the revered Emir, the praise singers around the president are the real enemies of the government who could destroy his efforts: “I feel sorry for the people in government because they are surrounded by enemies.” He said the president needed people who will tell him where he goes wrong.

The Emir he spoke the truth during his time as the CBN Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, no matter the consequences. He said some were afraid to speak out against evil because they were afraid of losing their jobs.

“You forget that the person, either the president or the governor, is also occupying a transient position. All the people they were afraid of years ago, where are they today? For those who are still in power, remember that it is transient,……. if you want to be a true Nigerian, tell the present government where they’re going wrong,” he admonished. Emir Sanusi has keyed into my thinking of over a year ago.


In a widely reported contribution at plenary of the Senate on 23rd March, 2017, the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s enemies are very close to him. He also accused Buhari’s associates of creating tension to distract him from delivering his campaign promises to Nigerians.

Senator Misau noted that prior to the President’s arrival from his medical vacation, abroad, there were no attacks in any part of the country. He said it was clear that President Buhari’s associates do not want him to succeed on his mandate to Nigerians.

Angrily, but patriotically, Hamma debated: “If you look at the kind of advice people close to the government are giving the president, you will find out that they are trying as much as possible to distract the president from working.

Over 50 days ago, the President went for medical vacation and the vice president was made acting president for 49 days. Did you hear about Niger Delta Avengers, Fulani herdsmen, media attack or tension in the country? Just two weeks of the president’s return, the people surrounding the president are creating tension in the country.

I want Nigerians to know that the enemies of this government are very close to the government and the president. This tension that they are creating is just to distract the president from concentrating on his good plans for the Nigerian people. It is important for the people to know that the enemies of this government are within the circle of the presidency. I want to call on Nigerians to begin to pray for President Buhari because those that do not want him to succeed are very close to him.” Senator Misau is simply saying what I said over one year ago. Me, Nostradamus? Who am I? With this ad idem, Nigeria may yet be awakened.


“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in a human body. It calls for attention to an unhealthy state of things.” (Winston Churchill).


Hope Nigerians are reading this and awaiting next week’s Sunday Sermon on the project, by Chief Mike A. A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb, LL.D

• Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN

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