Rabia: How the Four Finger Sign is becoming Popular Among Nigeria’s Ruling Elites

By Uche Mbah

The Rabia sign has in recent times become a symbol of a quiet movement going on within the Nigerian political space, imperceptibly creeping into our National psyche.

The sign, believed to have originated in Turkey, was first used in 2013 to garner support for the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Egypt. The Turkish president, Tuyyep Erdogan,  was said to have used it in solidarity for the so called anti Morsi demonstrations in Egypt.

But in Nigeria, it is currently being made popular among the ruling elites, who are believed to have copied it from President Muhammadu Buhari, who used the sign during his recent Budget presentation.

Unfortunately, this appears to play into the antics of conspiracy theorists who believe that buhari was using the sign to cover up his palm lines. The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has in recent times claimed that the palm lines of the president has changed from 2016 to what it is now, insisting it is a proof of an impostor in Aso Rock. Shortly after the broadcast, president Buhari started using thae sign.

Of course, this may be pure coincidence. But the sign has since caught on with Aisha Buhari apparently championing the spread. She had made her famous statement that the presidency is run by two people during a conference organized by project 4×4-a reminder of the Morsi episode.  In this case, Project 4+4 indicated four more years of Presidency for Buhari, each hand representing a term. Since then she has appeared in pictures with the Rabia signs-sometimes alone, sometimes with other groups of people.  Is the new movement affiliated to Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood, Sudan, all or none of the above? Or is it a sign for four more yera of Buhari? It remains to be seen. But conspiracy theorists have gone to town insisting there is more to the sign that meets the eye.They refer to the recent opening of the Kano Airport to Sudanese Airline under questionable Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, and the surreptitious way that the documentation has been shrouded in mystery as a sign that there is a hidden movement going on.

But all these may be just a new political sloganeering that is part of taking the change mantra to the next level. Or the next level may be sympathetic to Muslim brotherhood.

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