Having watched carefully, I have since come to realize that more than any previous leaders, Nigerians either fear or respect President Muhammadu Buhari more. How did I arrive at this? All the shortcomings of this administration, the blame has gone not much to Buhari who the buck stops on his table rather every fault is being heaped on those around him. You talk of corruption; the perception is that Buhari is incorruptible but those around him are corrupt.
Does it no longer applies, that it takes some understanding of each other to dine with the devil. Is it possible to get to sainthood romancing and parleying with the Satan? Did the Presidential system not envisage excuses of this nature when it gave absolute power to pick and drop those to work with? Why is everybody shying away from the truth of calling a spade a spade which is the right name?
And that is, that all the happenings in this administration good or bad since May, 29, 2015 have the stamp and seal of one man, the President. At the investiture of grand honours to some Nigerians last week in Abuja to mark the newly declared All Progressives Congress (APC) Democracy Day, speaker after speaker expectedly and sycophantically poured praises on the President but thanks to the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and former Senate President Iyochia Ayu. Prof. Soyinka could not make any sense out of the contradictions from the ceremony that the same President honouring Chief MKO Abiola is also eulogizing his killers.
But the man whose remarks indeed prompted the Musing of today is Senator Ayu who after hitting the nail on the head about the President’s attitude to opposition, his wrong understanding of democracy and on the need for him to learn to develop a large heart went further to knead his back by saying that the President’s problems are those around him.
Nigerians certainly need to seek God’s forgiveness for daily berating a hired people who are delivering instructions as they are handed down and instead of blaming the instructor continues to blame mere messengers whose actions and inactions have continued to impress their principal.
Is this not the same President who rushed home from hospital bed in London to make a broadcast declaring IPOB that has not killed a soul a terrorist group and ordering a Python Dance on the region, but has found killer herdsmen not deserving of the same treatment? In this era of football, a soccer analogy might suffice, if a player is playing badly and the coach continues to field him against the desire of the spectators, should the player be blamed; he cannot declare himself incompetent if the coach continually finds him otherwise. Rather than the player who plays to coach’s instructions getting the bashing for poor performance, it should be the coach.
For three years now, Nigerians have been shouting of lopsided appointments at the federal level especially in security and military sectors, the President initially responded that he was appointing those he knows and he can trust. For three years it has remained so and instead of looking at spade and calling it the right name, people continue to look elsewhere for blames. What a double standard! When something good happen the President takes all the credits but when negative things happen, the blame quickly goes to the cabals.
I am tempted to adduce that these cabals are serving their masters well otherwise he would have fired them long ago. Even when the “transmission” Inspector-General of Police failed to follow Presidential instruction in Benue State nothing happened to him not even a public reprimand because ostensibly he was delivering in more critical areas.
As APC is now at the verge of hiring the insolent former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiohmole ostensibly for further damage to an already heated polity, is his actions not going to be as desired by those routing for him?
During the era of Olusegun Obasanjo, he was such a maximum leader who would not share credit or blame with anybody.
His celebrated squabbles with his Vice, Atiku Abubakar was a consequence of an attempt to share credit with the number two man who acquired some powers when he held sway as Obasanjo globe-trotted in the first three years of his reign. Even Umaru Yar’Adua in his terminal ailment still took responsibility until towards the end when First Lady Turai organised the Katsina mafia to hijack power. In Goodluck Jonathan time which turned out to be the golden era for women, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Stella Oduah to mention just the stars, the bashing wasn’t on them but more on Jonathan, the ‘clueless’, ‘naive’, timid’ and ‘weak leader.’
But here we are with multiplicity of errors and everybody, the opposition, media and civil societies filling the space with news of those around the President being the problem. As unpopular as US President Donald Trump, he has chosen to own up to his cross.
He issues his own press releases through the twitter, takes responsibilities for every action and inaction, hires and fires from the pool of experts available in U.S. labour market and America is moving on under his watch. Even in a parliamentary system that has a lot of limited powers, when the former British Prime Minister David Cameron lost out in Brexit referendums he didn’t go looking for faults among the campaign handlers, he just owned up the failing and threw in the towel. In this country we should learn to hold our leaders accountable because they were elected to deliver goods not excuses or buck passing.
A country of nearly 200 million people cannot be suffering dearth of good heads. What has been happening is that we allow leaders emerge riding on sentiment of either tribe or religion and invariably such leaders find themselves tilting to those sentiments when power gets to them. The picture has been so since the return to democracy in 1999.