Editorial

The demystification of Buhari gradually reaches a crescendo

by Editorial

November 7, 2017 | 12:55 am
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I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, with these words during President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech, it appeared Nigeria finally got it right. In the months following his election, many Nigerians spoke of improved electricity supply, and like every other thing that appeared to be magically ‘turning out well’, all were attributed to the president’s body language.
Two years later, and it appears the president’s body has either run out of language styles or those in the corridors of power have simply found it to be all ‘barks and no bite’.
In the early months of the Buhari administration, it would have been unheard of that an alleged pension thief (now a fugitive on account of arrest warrants) will be smuggled into his former office, right under Buhari’s nose. Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, allegedly stole over N2 billion of pensioners funds and since 2013, has been on the run. Interestingly, the saintly government of President Buhari – if accusations and counter accusations in the presidency are anything to go by – saw the Attorney General’s office, writing the Federal Civil Service Commission for Maina’s reinstatement. This is at least according to Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the Federation.
The now controversial reinstatement of Maina is however just one piece of the puzzle. The powers that be in the President’s inner caucus just didn’t develop the temerity to take such an audacious step overnight. No. It has been a gradual build up as it became increasingly clear that the Commander-in-Chief had even less control (and consciousness) of events going on around him.
In April, Babachir Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was suspended over alleged violations in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE). The suspension came after months of a baffled public, wondering how the presidency’s ‘coordinating arm’ as it were, had lost the saintly credentials expected of Buhari’s cabinet members. The former SGF is by no means the only member of the Buhari administration who has been ‘found wanting’, he simply got caught, at least by the report which indicted him.
Like the former SGF, even Ayo Oke, former director general of the National Intelligence Agency, did not think being a saint was still required by the Buhari administration, at least not after two years of ‘initial bravado’. Oke thought it wise to run his own show with millions of dollars stashed away in at least one Ikoyi apartment that we know of. All was going well until EFCC’s Ibrahim Magu burst his bubble. Like the erstwhile SGF who once asked “who is the presidency”, Oke has also now been shown the door. In saner climes, one would expect their exit through the door to be definite. But recent turn of events almost suggest a person like Ayo Oke could even become a service chief ‘without the president knowing’, while Lawal could find himself back in office, courtesy of ‘memos from the Attorney General’s office.’
One is also tempted to ask, just like Lawal; who really is the presidency? We choose not to err on the side of conspiracy theorists who do not hesitate to mention certain names of the president’s supposed relatives, as those in charge of this government. This is for no reason other than the fact that it amounts to a complete mockery of over 15 million voters who put their faith in one man, Muhammadu Buhari, and not his nephew(s).
The ‘action man’ many Nigerians thought was voted into power is today, at complete variance with the personality who currently occupies the seat of President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We believe it is time for President Buhari to get involved in governance, not only when issues appear not in the interest of certain blocs, but at all times. President Buhari should take charge of all apparatus of government and if truly his body had any mythical language which on its own caused change, now will be a good time to regain that rhythm.


by Editorial

November 7, 2017 | 12:55 am
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