Dr. Wumi Akintide

I am predicting that the Buhari Government is going to have the shortest honeymoon  with Nigerians and many of their ardent supporters in the mainstream and social media and rightly so. Unless Buhari changes his current lethargic and snail speed approach to governance, he is going nowhere but down to put it bluntly.

There is no way Buhari is going to meet the huge expectations of Nigerians if he continues to drag his feet and simply look the other way all because he wants to be too careful and painstaking in taking decision. I know there is a limit to how much we can expect from a 73 year old man who is probably going to fall asleep or take a fall climbing the steps like 91 year old Robert Mugabe has been doing lately to the total embarrassment of Zimbabwe because the man does not know where to draw the line and call it quit. I do not want the predictions of Ayo Fayose to come thru for Buhari who could be going thru mid-life crisis or health challenges as predicted by the loquacious Fayose.

I have reason to believe that Ayo Fayose the embattled Ekiti Governor could do anything. He may have put a spell or a jinx on Buhari from all I am able to see as a Nigerian who would not put anything past Ayo Fayose who claims to be a born again Christian but who could have been paying some nocturnal visits to Okija  Shomorika or Aiyelala shrines in Okitipupa area for all you know. I say that because the man is an outlaw, and would do anything to remain Governor by all means.

Nigerians fully understand that Buhari is not a Houdini or Professor Moshudi Peller, Nigerian greatest magician. Buhari himself has tried to lower Nigerians’ expectation on that score because he probably knows his limitations. Some of you might think it is too early to start passing judgment on Buhari but I am going to do it because I care too much about the man because I knew him in his prime as an incorruptible leader with a very low tolerance level for corruption.

I was a little bit taken aback when the man recently declared his asset. It was close to 900 million Naira. Here was a man who had to borrow 27 million from the Bank to be able to pay for his nomination paper as a candidate. Nigerians now know that the man is far much richer than he wanted Nigerians to believe when he started his campaign. That asset compared to any of his peers like Babangida, Sani Abacha, Obasanjo, Abdulsalam Abubakar, and Ebele Jonathan has to be viewed as only a drop in the ocean. I sure get that but I am still a bit surprised.  The asset he declared was done like the old one where he could not be charged for perjury or over-up if he or his Vice President had lied in the declaration. It was nonsense pure and simple...

I am aware that other African leaders like Mobutu Sese Seko, Houphet Boigny, and Emperor Jean Bokasa were far much richer in their lifetime than most of our leaders, but you still have to wonder how our leaders plunder their countries to get riches. Ebele Jonathan the shoeless canoe man of Otuoke is almost as rich as Bill Gates or Dangote today if you add the wealth of his power-drunk first lady.

I fully understand that Buhari who has voluntarily dropped his title of a General in the Nigerian Army is proceeding with great caution because he does not want to look like a dictator or being blackmailed or stigmatized as one by the PDP, and even by some elements in his own party who want to act and behave like the PDP did for 16 years of total impunity and recklessness in Nigeria

I concur that Buhari needs to proceed with caution but caution is one thing and lethargy, sloppiness and foolhardiness belong to a different kettle of fish for a man who was a former Head of State for 20 months from August 1983 as a military dictator. They constitute a different ballgame and for a man who has sought the office of a civilian President for 12 consecutive years and should have been fully ready to know some of the things he wants to do, and some of the individuals he would need to get the job done. He ought to have known what the Nigerian Constitution would permit him to do with the consensus of his party majority in both Houses of Parliament. He does not come away now like a man who has gone thru that baptism of fire and conviction. He does not look to me like a proactive President right now. He looks like somebody waiting to react to events as they occur which is not good enough.

Buhari should have had a rapid response team in place by now to help him define his order of priorities after March 28 when it became clear he has won the election, and after his nemesis has conceded victory without wasting time. The  magnanimous concession by President Jonathan should have given Buhari a leg up to fine-tune some of his the things he wants to do  on taking over from Jonathan on May 29 just like David Cameron has been doing in Britain. He should have seized the opportunity of his inaugural address to demonstrate that conviction more forcefully than he did.

He should have given his listeners some concrete ideas about where he wanted to take Nigeria beyond his election campaign rhetoric. That we still don’t know who is Secretary to Government is going to be up till now is a proof the man is far from ready to lead. It could also be a proof that there is a big division in the rank and file of the APC. That is not something they can be proud of having waited for 16 years to come this far. Chairman of the Party, John Odigie Oyegun as a former Administrator and Permanent Secretary should have known that

By failing to do a few things, Buhari is beginning to lose some credibility and traction in my judgment sad to say. The APC ought to be fully aware that they have their job cut out for them because the PDP is not going to give them a breathing space at all because the PDP is understandably aggrieved and very unhappy to have been kicked out of office and denied 4 more years of anomie and total hopelessness that have become their legacy as a the biggest party in Africa.

The APC has woken up a sleeping lion from its slumber and some of their members are going to go after the APC with vengeance, and rightly so, because Politics is a blood sport in much of the third world believe it or not.

That someone would pay attention to the Cartier wrist watch Aisha Buhari wore to the Inauguration ceremony tell me loud and clear that the PDP is not going to let go on making Nigerians know that the change they thought they have voted on March 28 for was a day dream. The PDP wanted to prove that Aisha is not different from Dame Patience Jonathan who had built a crawling estate in Rivers State using her position as first lady to enrich herself. The speculation has put Aisha on the defensive. It has put her in an embarrassing or awkward position to now admit that the wrist watch she was wearing was a fake Cartier she bought in some flea market in London or New York for only 129.00 Dollars and not for 35,000 Dollars from Macy’s or Savoy Row in London where celebrities shop as rumored by some elements in the PDP who want to damage the first couple irredeemably as closet capitalists pretending to be social democrats. I have heard some people say the APC is no better than the PDP. Their members are going to loot Nigeria pretty much like the PDP has done. I am beginning to think that they sure have a point. If the APC allows such impression to gain traction, it has done itself a disfavor to put it mildly.

I agree that the speculation is a little irritant, but it is one that Buhari does not need this early in his Administration. I once mentioned what General Murtala Mohammed did on taking over from General Gowon in 1975. He gave the nation a laundry list of what he wanted to do and his order of priorities. He actually challenged or dared the Press and the Media to put his feet to fire if for any reason he did not keep his promise.

He was sure of what he wanted to do and he gave a very swift indication of that when he canceled the 1973/74 Census with immediate effect and automatic alacrity by taking the advice of Obafemi Awolowo hook, line and sinker.  There was no pretense about Murtala Mohammed for the 200 days he was head of state. What you saw was what you got. Nigerians cannot say the same thing of Buhari if you are judging him by what he has done in his first week in office as a catalyst for change in Nigeria.

I thought Buhari should have made a pronouncement on the 60 military officers and soldiers who are awaiting execution for deserting the war against Boko Haram on the excuse they lacked the arms and weapons to fight back. If Buhari could not talk about their fate with his inauguration address, he should at least have said something about them within a day or two of his inauguration.

I had expected him to issue some statement on what should be the fate of Captain Sagir Koli who blew the whistle on the complicity of Brigadier-General Aliyu Momoh on the well-documented rigging of the Ekiti election in favor of Governor Ayo Fayose at the Spotless Hotel at Ado Ekiti. The poor man had been forced to become a fugitive offender in his own country for doing what was expected of him as a commissioned officer with an oath of allegiance to Nigeria.

Up till now, Buhari has not found the time to address that issue and to show that he cared a hoot about what has happened to that captain and his 13 year old brother who was illegally detained and imprisoned against his own will just because he is the brother of a whistle blower.

That development should have forced Buhari to immediately sponsor a Bill on a whistleblower protection law as the first order of business by the APC-controlled Parliament in Abuja. If he was too busy to put together a bill because of other pressing national issues, he should, at least, have issued a statement to show that he cared.  As a professional soldier and a general for that matter, he should never have allowed that issue to go unaddressed within a week of his assuming office. I found that reprehensible to say the least. Rigging of election in Nigeria is never going to stop until and unless our leaders begin to demonstrate some sensitivity and revulsion against the malfeasance.

Buhari ought to have made statements showing that he was proactively thinking about what to do about the excessive salaries and allowances our legislators pay to themselves and the implication of the Immunity from public prosecution for any criminal act some of our leaders in Government may have committed during their tenure in office.

It is as if that problem is no longer an issue for Buhari and Osinbajo and the power brokers in his party now that the ball is in their court, and they are on the receiving end. I deeply regret this observation and so should all Nigerians. The APC leaders all talked a good game about that while they were still lobbying Nigerians to give them a chance. Once they get elected, they appear to want to completely sweep the subject under the carpet.

Some of us are not going to let them get away with it. I for one supported Buhari and the APC because I thought Nigeria deserved a change. Their criminal silence about the subject bothers the hell out of me. That is why I am writing about it now to remind Buhari and the APC that they are already beginning to fall short. Many of you may not agree with me on this concern, but that is the way I feel and I am going to keep harping on it until they hear me loud and clear.

The most disturbing development to me right now is the impunity Governor Ayo Fayose has continued to demonstrate in Ekiti after Jonathan has handed over to Buhari. I could not believe my eyes that Ayo Fayose was allowed to deploy the Nigerian Police and State Security to continue to intimidate the 19 Ekiti legislators including their Speaker who have been driven out of Ekiti with the complicity of President Jonathan.

I can understand Ayo Fayose using his own State Police, if he has one to do what he has been doing with reckless abandon in Ekiti. It is the Federal Government that controls the Police and the State Security in Nigeria because unlike America State Governors in Nigeria do not have their own Police Once Buhari took over from Jonathan on May 29, the Nigerian Police, the State Security and the Nigerian Military now have to report to him and no longer to Jonathan because the PDP has been ousted from power.

The Chief of Defense Staff, General Barde, the Inspector -General of Police, Mr.  Arase, and Alhaji Dasuki, the Director of Security were all supposed to take their orders from Buhari as President and Commander-in-Chief from May 29th.

Nigerians want to know who authorized Governor Fayose to deploy the Police to continue to harass the 19 Ekiti APC legislators. How could the new I.G. in Abuja and his Police Commissioner in Ado- Ekiti look the other way while Ayo Fayose was using the Police and his thugs to barricade all the roads leading to Ekiti and to the Ekiti House of Assembly? Ayo Fayose deliberately wanted to deny those legislators any access and free movement in Ekiti until his new legislators come on board on June 6th or thereabout.

He barricaded the entrance to the Ekiti House of Assembly because he wanted to make it impossible for the 19 legislators to carry out their lawful duties as legislators or to impeach him if they wanted to? I can understand Ayo Fayose doing that under Goodluck Jonathan because Jonathan had no respect for the rule of Law. All he cared about was protecting the PDP and their criminal activities in Government. It is abominable to have Ayo Fayose doing that with Buhari as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.

The implication of the silence of Buhari makes me wants to throw up. What exactly was Buhari up to or thinking to give Ayo Fayose that kind of latitude?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Buhari is going to be away from Nigeria visiting Niger, Chad and Cameroons for a few days. After that, he would be travelling to Germany to attend some meetings. By the time he comes back, Ayo Fayose would have gotten away with his criminality in Ekiti.

I call the development “Okaraba Baba Edi” meaning that Buhari and his party leaders and power brokers and Inspector-General of Police. Arase have all been hypnotized by voodoo or something to go to sleep and not pay any mind to what is happening in Ekiti. It is simply insane that Buhari would have closed his eyes to what is happening in Ekiti and leave the country without doing something about the situation.

Time is of the essence. If Buhari does anything after he comes back from his trip, it is going to be too little too late. Osinbajo as an attorney should have known the full ramifications of what Ayo Fayose is doing to humiliate, oppress and victimize 19 APC legislators in Ekiti. What are those legislators supposed to think of their own party and their President? I am not saying that two wrongs make a right but right is right and wrong is wrong

If Buhari and the APC continue this trend of gross negligence and apathy towards their own members and interest within reason, they are going to have the shortest honeymoon with Nigerians, and they would deserve to lose in 2019 when Nigerians have another chance to keep the APC and Buhari in power or vote them out.

I rest my case.

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