You cannot give what you don’t have – Viola Okolie

You cannot give what you don’t have – Viola Okolie


Lesson number one: The Nigerian Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai decided to write (or commission the writing of) a book aptly titled ‘The Legend of Buratai’.


What a lesson in self-glorification at the highest and inconceivable level?





A man looks at himself and declares himself a legend; then goes ahead to commission a book which is supposed to be forced down the throats of minors who now have to add ‘abomination’ to the list of colorful words they have reserved for their ‘elders’.


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Mischievous elders.


A couple of days after this atrocity of a book was announced by none other than the Nigerian Army Twitter handle, the elements whose dispersals are supposed to lend credence to this self canonization by a living ‘legend’, decided to remind him that they were still alive and well.


Boko Haram in the Northeast.


Fulani Herdsmen everywhere else.


Highway marauders still kidnapping Nigerians of all calibers; kidnapping just a few hundred kilometers away from where this ‘living legend’ is supposed to be enthroned.


Yet, there has been no apology or retraction for this attempt to hoodwink innocent Nigerians into believing that Superman has reincarnated in Nigeria, and his middle name is ‘Buratai’.


The Superman that has redeemed Nigeria from the security menaces it is facing in his dreams; while in real life, the bombardment is relentless.



Methinks that the COAS cannot give what he doesn’t have. 


Before you can ascribe the title ‘legend’ to yourself, people traveling from the far North, to and fro anywhere after Abuja, and must use that Kaduna-Abuja expressway, must have an assurance of reaching their destinations safely.


Nigerian Christians should have the guarantee that their villages would not be ransacked in the middle of the night and women and children slaughtered so viciously, because Fulani Herdsmen value the lives of their cattle more than the lives of human beings, and are assured they can be so brazen because they have the implied support of the powers that be.


Unarmed Nigerian youths of any religious or ethnic extraction, must have the assurance that they can freely assemble and peacefully protest and demand answers from their government over an issue that catches their fancy, without your men opening fire on them.


As it was in Zaria, so was it also in Onitsha, Aba, and Nyanya.


You know what I mean, ‘Legend’ Buratai.


The only legacy you have left and are leaving, is one of notorious infamy, disregard for the lives of the common man and an oppressive suppression of questioning voices.


That is not the stuff that legends are made of.


Except, of course, if your own legend is based on the ability to convert snake venom into eye-watering apartments in the UAE, then you can go ahead and address yourself as a legend in corruption.


Lesson Number Two: Allegedly, a new university would soon be added to the myriads of others that pepper the Nigerian landscape and either churn out an entire graduating class full of first class graduates, or claim first class for the professors, second class uppers for their spouses and the intelligent common man would have to manage a second class lower.


Allegedly, also, this brand new university is supposed to be named after none other than that ‘legend of education’ – our very own President – President Muhammadu Buhari.


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Considering that Buhari either did not write WAEC (and does not need to, according to SAN(ds) that are pursuing postdoctoral degrees), or that he wrote it and the military board misplaced it (no we didn’t, replied the military board, you only presented us a laissez passez to join the army), or WAEC, Nigeria branch, suddenly remembered he wrote it in 1956 but was represented by his 2018 doppelgänger whose passport photo was affixed to an attestation that APC stalwarts gathered to celebrate like a lottery winning ticket.




The entry requirements for admission into a university includes a WAEC certificate. Evidence that you, at least, passed with five credits including English and Mathematics and which does not grant you automatic admission, just opens the door a crack to enable you to take a shot at it.


Pray, tell, the university which is allegedly going to be called the ‘Muhammadu Buhari University’, is it going to allow entrants present excuses in lieu of a WAEC certificate?




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…You cannot give what you don’t have.


If it took you over forty years to come up with your WAEC attestation, is it safe to assume that applicants to that university will also have forty years to do the needful?


You cannot give what you don’t have.


I think that the name ‘Muhammadu Buhari’ and ‘University’ are like two parallel lines: they should never meet.


Again I must confess that sometimes, I wish that all these things are just rumors and opposition propaganda.


Just that Nigeria is the original theatre of the absurd.


Anything goes.


People all over the place trying to give what they do not have.


God help us!




About The Author

Lilian Osigwe

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.

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