Of Buharists and Buharideens

This tweet!

I stumbled on this a few days ago and my first thought was that this was a very harsh comment and an overly broad generalization. However, it got me thinking. Could Tutu https://twitter.com/Tutsy22 be right? Could it be that, at least on twitter, there are two sets of Buhari supporters broadly based on education? And I have come to the conclusion that Tutu might be on to something.

I am going to attempt to delve into the mind of the Buhari supporter and when I say the Buhari supporter. I mean the holdouts, the ones that deny that things are really going poorly when things are deteriorating, the ones that blame others (Jonathan, the PDP, the Nigerian people and even Buhari’s own cabinet members) but never the man himself for the failures of this administration, the ones that are willing to descend to the depths of insults and other form of attacks to silence whatever opposition to the Buhari agenda. I am not considering the paid ranks of the Buhari Media Center. They are too few and their motives are very clear.

I will start with the Buharist. According to Tutu, this person is highly educated and as such possesses the ability, in ordinary circumstances to process information obtained from his sense and process same with the tools of his education and come up with a position. In a way, I think the Buharist does that, or more accurately did that, in the 2015 election cycle. The Buharist saw the state that Nigeria was in that period and concluded that the PDP and the then administration was a negative influence on the Nigerian situation (whether this was right or wrong is beyond the scope of what I am writing). Influenced by received wisdom (a binary battle between good vs evil), the Buharist concluded (and may still hold the position) that since the PDP is evil the opposition to the PDP, which just happened to the the APC coalition led by Buhari, must be good. Therefore, must be good to support the APC. The Buharist, locked in the recieved wisdom, did not acknowledge the nuances that happen in real life battles and power struggles and chose to ignore the risks of electing Buhari. His simplistic view led him to a conclusion and he may still be sticking to it

However, that does not explain the Buharist enduring support for a regime that has been largely shown to be catastrophic. Just looking at the arguments on twitter, I think that theirs support can attributed to received wisdom as well. In response to the recession, a Buharist may say something like “one must suffer before getting to ‘the promised land” or the “the recession is caused by the previous administration’s inability to save for the rainy day” which are linked to conventional wisdom.

It might be said, and I am saying, that it seems that the Buharist is a victim of his own making. He subjects himself to the biases of his own conclusions and doubles down on them using the tools that got him there in the first place.It is on this conclusion that I believe that Tutu may be, in fact correct — Buharists sound stupid. It is very entertaining watching a Buharist intellectual contort himself into a pretzel as he tries to stay loyal to democratic principles and defend the President.

The Buharideen, on the other hand is a baser, cruder organism. He defends Buhari based on pure sentiment. Of a lower educational achievement, he does not have the intellectual capacity or appetite for rigorous self examination. To him Buhari is good because Buhari is good. The basis of his support is usually ethnic or religious. He says things like that point to “I stand with Buhari because he is a good Muslim” or “Buhari represents the North well and we are happy with him” and denounces anyone who opposes Buhari with a similar ethnic or religious argument. He doubles down on his position by expressing his foolish faith in authority of Buhari. A look at #istandwithbuhari on twitter is very entertaining proof of this behavior.

The irony is that of the two camps, it is the Buharideen that gets it! He understands the basis of the president’s ascent to power. He understands that stripped of all the coverings, the administration of Buhari and his inner cabal exist for the protection of a very narrow ethno-religious agenda. The Buharideen keys into that agenda and is perfectly fine with whatever performance the administration puts up. While the Buharist hopes against hope that the President would get around to implementing an APC plan as promised in what seems like a long time ago. The Buharideen knows why Buhari is there.



I guess what I am trying to say is that the Buharideen, though uneducated, is certainly not stupid. I daresay the Buharideens have outsmarted the Buharists. This is the only point where I disagree with Tutu’s tweet.

You cannot outsmart everyone all the time and the evidence seems the show that the ranks of the Buharists are depleting. Soon, all that would be left of the president’s popular support would be be the Buharideens. I wonder how that would look like.

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