Ever since he was sworn in as a democratically elected president of Nigeria, it is increasingly becoming worrisome—in virtually all ramifications—the way and manner General Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressive Congress, have been consistently bringing shame upon our beloved country—Nigeria.
Just shortly after his inauguration as President, Mr. Buhari had swiftly forayed into what was later to be tagged “shuttle diplomacy” by Alhaji Lia Muhammed, the spokesman of the All Progressive Congress, which is understandably, and merely, a tour across countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency that are currently and jointly participating in the prosecution of the war against the insurgents.
Though necessary as this trip by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government was, especially considering being a newly elected government and more so, the need to familiarize itself with the goings-on drawn from the perspectives of the leadership of neighbouring countries that are equally affected by the dastardly activities of the Boko Haram sect, it is nonetheless quite embarrassing that the All Progressive Congress could shamelessly claim later that President Buhari had by merely making this debut tour to Chad and Niger Republic purportedly achieved what ex-President Goodluck Jonathan could not throughout his term in office. This claim, to say the least, is not only nonsensical but also totally infantile and risible at the very best.
For goodness sake, why won’t Mr. Buhari and his All Progressive Congress quit playing politics with the Boko Haram insurgency, knowing that Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the APC-led government to quench the burning fire of terrorism within the two-month timeline given to Nigerians by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari during the Presidential campaign? As any rationale mind would like to know, where exactly is that non-existent achievement that the APC wants Nigerians to celebrate pertaining to President Muhammadu Buhari’s clearly fruitless efforts so far in containing the unabated terrorist activities of the Boko Haram sect? Indeed, it is unimaginable that the APC could be too callous to be revelling in making a fuss about President Buhari’s imaginary achievements within thirty days in office in the area of security, when in fact no fewer than a thousand innocent Nigerian lives have been lost at the hands of the same vermin (the Boko Haram Islamists) recently referred to as “our brothers” by no less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari himself.
That aside, not even his recent visit to Germany soon after his inauguration to attend the recent meeting of the G7 (the Group of seven advanced nations of the world) was devoid of public shame both to himself and the entire people of Nigeria. According to news reports, President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly referred to the well-known German Chancellor as President Michelle of West Germany. As shocking as this gaffe is, even granted that his use of the title President in reference to Chancellor Angela Merkel - the German Head of government - was a slip of the tongue, if the contention of people briefing President Buhari is anything to go by, where then could the justification be situated in his ignominious reference to Germany as West Germany? Could this also be regarded as another pardonable slip of tongue or an ample evidence of the kind of unprecedented embarrassment the APC has brought upon Nigeria and Nigerians through our new president?
Apparently in an attempt to acknowledge the growing negative impact of old age upon his mental and physical coordination, especially with respect to his conspicuously lacklustre performance and snail-pace style of governance so far—which has aptly earned him the appellation “Baba go slow”—President Muhammadu Buhari told his Nigerian audience in the far way South Africa (during a visit to the country for the recently held African Union summit) that he wished that he had become Nigerian President in his prime age of 30s. By implication, therefore, it is not incorrect to submit that President Muhammadu Buhari may have just begun to tell himself the bitter truth that he is in fact not the right candidate to have been chosen for the onerous task of presiding over the affairs of Nigeria at this point in time in our history as a nation. But supposing this is not his present thinking, one wonders why in the first place this complaint or issue about age vis-a-vis his performance as an incumbent President had to be brought to public attention, knowledge and consideration. And could this not be rightly viewed as yet another aspect of shame on the Buhari Presidency? More so considering the fact that an aged man is only beginning to realise with hindsight the overwhelming adverse effects of old age upon his performance (and mentality) as president after his hitherto obvious manifestation of desperation for power and/or use of threat to further destabilize the polity in the event of failure to secure power by all means? For clarity, however, there is nothing wrong for an old man to aspire for power, but there is certainly a good deal of wrong when the old man eventually acquires that power and begins to advance old age as a reason for his inability to make good use of the power so acquired to change the cause and history of humanity and posterity for good.
What is more, it is by no means less shameful that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch and the APC-led government thus far, our National Assembly complex has been turned into an arena for wrestling contests. As a leader of his party, at least in the estimation of Garba Shehu and a faction of members of APC who share in this belief, one had expected that the Buhari Presidency would wield enormous and legitimate control over APC members of the national legislature—at least to an extent that would have restrained the beasts in them from publicly rearing their ugly heads out during the failed attempt by ‘Honourable’ members of House of Representatives to appoint their principal officers which degenerated into a fierce struggle and wrestling contest for the maze. Though by his self-confessed pretention, it can be understood that President Buhari belongs to “everybody” and thus does not belong to” anybody,” yet the big question remains: does it truly make sense that a leader and President who purportedly belongs to “everybody” could be pushing for the imposition of the so-called party supremacy on the legislative arm of government after he had initially described the election of the leading actors of this independent arm as a “constitutional occurrence”? Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari does not belong to “anybody” in much the way he is a leader in full and legitimate control of men and women of his party, the All Progressive Congress (?).
Onyiorah Paschal Chiduluemije, a Journalist, writes from
Abuja via [email protected] – 07012130204