Different strokes for different folks, it is often said. But the kind of strokes President Muhammadu Buhari gives Nigerian folks through his administration of the country only leaves behind the feeling of perplexity, not exceptionality.
Nigerians have become accustomed to what Femi Adesina, a presidential media aide, defined as Buhari’s style. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a raging pandemic, economy-threatening protests, mass killing of innocent citizens or the grounding of millions of university students, the retired Major General is just insular, apparently removed from the reality of the hundreds of millions of Nigerians politically put under his watch.
Even his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) is not left out. The last two National Executive Council (NEC) meetings including the one which held on Tuesday, December 8th were held at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, much to the convenience of the president – despite the location of the party’s headquarters within the same Abuja.
The same situation also applies to state governors who now hold closed-door meetings with the president at the Villa.
Therefore, when the House of Representatives summoned the President on Tuesday, December 1, there was a pervading sense of uneasiness as accusatory fingers were reportedly pointed at Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila for allowing such an idea to fly. The notion, it seemed, should have been the House appearing before President Buhari, not the other way round.
And unsurprisingly, news broke that the president would not honour the invitation of the lower chamber of the National assembly. The script is one which had been played over and over, and when public outcry becomes too loud to ignore, a pre-recorded speech is aired for Nigerians, in a manner that appears to rhetorically ask, “what else do you want after this?”
Insecurity is at an all-time high as Boko Haram leader, Shekau, continues to get bolder in claiming responsibility for insurgent attacks. Yet, military forces, despite multiple ‘technical defeats and bad degradation’ are no closer to suppressing terrorism.
Rather, it is accusations of opening fire on unarmed citizens, young and old, that deflect attention from a long overdue overhauling of the military leadership.
Meanwhile, the country is in its worst recession period in four decades, and the Buhari administration has the unenviable honour of overseeing two recession periods in just five years.
The industrial action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had entered its ninth month and after series upon series meeting, nothing tangible has ensued except for fresh reports of the president finding it amazing that strike has gone on for so long.
Now, more than ever, Nigerians want to feel the impact of the President they elected to Aso Villa. However, it seems they would have to make do with a resident whose confinement to the State House continues to trigger everything that could possibly go wrong with a country.
The nature of the current Nigerian leadership can be summed up by the rumours touting former president Goodluck Jonathan for a rerun in 2023. If the Jonathan that was voted out for the ‘change’ Buhari promised has now been deemed good, then…
Over to you thinkers.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.