Buhari Is Back... And So?
The president arrived early on Friday and opted to land at the military base in Kaduna and not the recently upgraded Kaduna International Airport. I wonder why.
He stepped out of the plane gingerly and didn't do his customary clenched fist pump in the air. It was obvious this ailment has taken its toll on the 74-year-old.
Smiling broadly and walking unaided Muhammadu Buhari shook hands with top government officials and boarded a chopper to Abuja. He was received by the vice president and he finally spoke to Nigerians.
Nigerians are usually sympathetic when it comes to health matters especially one as life threatening as the president suffered. At least he admitted as much when he said 'I have never been this sick all my life not even as a young man'.
What appeared surprising to me was how Nigerians kept asking the same question - 'And So'?
Buhari was elected to power in 2015 on a campaign that vowed to root out corruption and CHANGE the tide of the rich getting richer and the poor going hungry. But all that seems to have nosedived as the president appears less popular than May 29, 2015 when he said "I belong to everyone and I belong to nobody".
They Said, He said, You Said
The idea that having senior, mid-level and junior aides doesn't translate to efficiency. This administration is becoming much more popular for miscommunication especially among its topmost officials.
At first it appeared Garba Shehu had all the information on the President's health status while Femi Adesina was left in the dark.
But Mr. Adesina received most of the heat because he wasn't in London and received third party information which he fed the nation. As each day passed his statements became shorter and scantier. For a government that ran an effective campaign on social media in 2014 and 2015 to seem confused now is unacceptable.
Then came the emissaries to London in their batches and numbers. Each one with the same tale - Buhari is fine. At the time, Nigerians needed more, they got nothing. The government turned gestapo communicating with a select few through phone calls.
The Osinbajo Effect
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown wasn't the testimony for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The former Acting President performed his role effectively and kept his eye on the target.
He took decisions as an unbiased administrator focusing on the nation's interest first. Yes, I agree that the presidency should work as team and his success is this administration's success but he deviated from the party's political script.
Osinbajo, a lawyer, held in Buhari's absence cabinet meetings and finished work on an economic reform plan needed to secure a World Bank loan to help plug a deficit caused by low oil revenues.
He visited several states in the Niger Delta and spoke to their leaders face-to-face. He wasn't there for a campaign but to end cases of attacks on oil facilities. Did we record any attack on oil installations in the last 51 days? Your guess is as good as mine!
Did he mention the Jonathan administration as an excuse in any of his statements? Did he blame corruption for inefficiency in governance? Did he respect the third arm of government enough to swear in a substantive Chief Justice of the Federation? Please keep answering, thank you.
The Era of ‘Inconclusivity’
I believe this word doesn't exist but I will use it. Inconclusivity used to be limited to polls conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, now its extended to the president medical vacation.
There has been no statement or public address concerning the nature of his, as yet, undisclosed illness.
So, when he returns to the UK to continue his leave don't be surprised, "I am feeling much better now...there may, however, be need for further follow up within some weeks.”
He ran tests for over 7 weeks so it will soon be time to commence treatment abroad while thousands of Nigerians die in poorly equipped health centres. #afact
A Plate Full of Worries
While the president does all the formalities to enable him assume powers as Commander-In-Chief from Monday March 13; I think it’s time he understands there is really no time to rest.
Today is March 12, 2017. In exactly 12 months from today, March 12 2018; all eyes will be focused on the general elections in 2019.
This administration has 12 months to get the economy out of recession, restore the confidence Nigerians had in them in 2015 and find another word to replace change in their agenda.
The honey moon period and the blame game are both expired. There is growing uncertainty in many families across the nation. People can't feed, school fees and house rents are outstanding. There are more young people roaming the streets seeking profitable employment.
Famine is looming. Many people will go hungry without immediate intervention from the government to ameliorate the worsening situation in the north-east.
In case they have forgotten, several trials of detained former government officials are still foot dragging. Dasuki and his co-accused have not yet been convicted or released on bail.
Security concerns are growing with each court victory earned by the self-acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. His and El Zakzarky, leader of the Shiites’ continuous detention are in violation of court orders.
And just in case you are thinking the APC had it figured out; INEC last Thursday announced the dates for the 2019 general elections. Some people (names withheld) are still very ambitious and there are some persons within the party that are really eager to have a go at the slot.
They won't admit it now but time will tell.
Shall we describe them? One national leader, one prominent lawmaker and a former vice president.
Yes, the president is back but I am still asking, when will Nigeria Return to winning ways?