BACKLASH: Our President Has Gone Talking Again

By Abraham Ogbodo   |   29 November 2015   |   4:50 am  
Abraham Ogbodo

Abraham Ogbodo

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) is talking too much and I don’t know who to call, to call him to order. He wasn’t talking like this during the 12 years (between 2003 and 2015) that he was in the trenches, pushing to assume the presidency. He had maintained a dignified taciturnity that somehow helped his cause in 2015. If he spoke, it was to say why Nigeria should not be allowed to obliterate under the PDP 60-year power rolling plan. And because he spoke less, the mystic around his persona was maintained. He was seen as a very serious minded retired general, who understood that better substance was in action rather than in propaganda.

But change has come since May 29 and Buhari has changed too. He now exhibits a very annoying loquacity; always talking not even speaking. Some actually say he is talking anyhow on global stages. In 181 days or so, PMB has visited 10 countries. He has visited more countries than he has visited states or even cities in Nigeria. Each time, he has had something to talk about Nigeria and the line has been very consistent. Nigeria is morally bankrupt due to years of bankrupt leadership. He would add that his mission to effect a turn-around is increasingly looking bleak in the light of daily revelations of the depth of bankruptcy the country has sunk.

He said exactly so in the US, Germany, France, South Africa and the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger, Cameron Republic of Benin and Ghana, where he had gone to forge a regional alliance to defeat Boko Haram. In sum, these offshore sermons on both mountains and plain grounds are meant to gain international understanding to the effect that, notwithstanding the loud promise by Buhari and the APC before the May 29 transition, it might take more than the four year presidency of Buhari to wake up the African giant from its deep slumber.

That said, it is one thing to preach a sermon and quite another for the preachment to be understood. Even the Lord Jesus Christ who also gave sermons on mountains and low grounds was misunderstood, how much less a President Buhari who has not made good effort to communicate effectively across his message of change. He is just lamenting like a helpless victim and hoping to extract some remediation from his western sympathisers.

But things don’t work that way in Europe and America. To western leaders, all the issues had been framed and presented in the pre-election campaigns. After the election and handing over of power, they had hoped to see clear plans at addressing the issues raised in the campaigns. To continue the pre-election advocacy, which has since degenerated into a needless lamentation by Buhari, will not move a soul in the west.

Unfortunately, Buhari does not understand. He is still talking like a victim and recently in Iran, he said some looters were returning looted funds on their own volition. He sounded as if that piece of information, in itself, constituted a major breakthrough in his war against corruption .

And when there is some news to break about Nigeria, Buhari never does so in Abuja or elsewhere in the country. He waits until he gets to a foreign land before he opens up.

It was in the US that he said the Federal Government was ready with the prosecution of public treasury looters in the Jonathan administration, especially petroleum subsidy scammers and even added that the process would begin in “a week’s time.” He had waited till he got to France to say that the Federal Government had opened negotiation with the Boko Haram sect to secure the release of the abducted 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. In India, Buhari said that Nigeria was broke and so much so that the Federal Government would not be able to hire and sustain 36 ministers as required by the constitution.

So far, none of these statements has translated to action points. No petrol subsidy scammer has been arraigned to answer for whatever misdeeds. In fact, the only person standing trial from the so-called Jonathan’s camp of looters is former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sabo Dasuki, who had nothing to do with fuel subsidy as such. Former petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke, who appeared the target in this particular quest to skin subsidy scammers, has vanished from the regime’s radar, perhaps, at the realisation that the wild allegation of a stolen 13 billion pounds against her was unsustainable. That amount is not petty cash. It is about 50 per cent of the 2016 N8 trillion budget and it cannot be taken out of a single economy just like that without dire consequences.

All 36 screened ministerial nominees were hired and assigned ministries and they will be paid their salaries and allowances, which one estimate put at about half a billion naira per annum for all 36 ministers. Of course the Chibok girls are still in captivity. On the claim in Iran that stolen money is being returned by the thieves, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has asked the President to name names and amounts returned.

PMB’s words have returned empty to him without result. He has been posturing. If it is part of the overall strategy to explain away the apparent absence of movement in six months, I am afraid it is not going to work. It is like Buhari has not strained his ears well enough to pick the soft responses of his western audiences. Over there, nobody discusses efforts or even constraints. Nobody postures too. They discuss results and if all Buhari has to offer after the hype of a change mantra, are efforts and constraints instead of results, it were better he remained silent.

For instance, Buhari said in Iran that unlike the situation in 1984 when he could put corrupt politicians in protective custody and prison to squeeze from them what was stolen, democracy is making the recovery process most cumbersome this time around. Nobody will applaud him for talking like this.
The Americans, including President Barak Obama, would laugh at him and say: “Cut the crap men! You promised to fix things and you got hired for the job. Get cracking or be fired!” The British and Europeans generally who are far more diplomatic, may not sound that caustic. They would sympathise with PMB in principle and then offer him a range of options out of the quagmire. These may include; currency devaluation, lean government, removal of subsidy on fuel, increased taxes and tariffs and a more liberal fiscal regime that will stifle local initiatives and expose the national economy to offshore adventurers.

They will then wait for PMB to make a move and match him accordingly. So far, PMB has not made any definite move; he has been lamenting and giving excuses for his lack of initiative. The west will also lament and give excuses why all the high promises in aids to reverse the dwindling national fortunes and to join the war against Boko Haram have not come on stream six months after.

Put differently, de-marketing the Jonathan regime as a strategy for marketing the Buhari presidency has failed and woefully too. It is not attracting the right responses from the target market. The President is currently in Malta for the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He has not made any policy statement or said something about his inability to move forward due to the large scale corruption perpetuated by the immediate past regime in Nigeria. It is hoped he will remain quiet for once.
The 2015 UN Climate Change Conference begins in Paris France tomorrow. President Buhari will be there too and it will be his second time in France since May 29. It is hoped too that he will speak instead of just talking and use the opportunity to market his vision to other world leaders, having done enough de-marketing of the regime before his.



  • Lorenz obison

    APC with their much preached CHANGE, we are still hoping to see a single change since they took over from Jonathan… One lesson he buhari should learn is that at the commity of nations, no country is taken serious if they don’t have a word of their own. He should stop doing follow follow to the west because they don’t have something to offer him. He is the President of Nigeria, for GODs sake, let him be a man, be confident, take drastic decisions that will move the country forward. Let him talk less and do more, he is gradually turning into a disappointment.

    • Damilola

      He lost the opportunity already. Anything he decides on now and does would give credence to the opposition’s view that he’s dead brain. That means he doesn’t know nor understand his job. Any decision to lift the Nation beyond this quagmire has already been long overdue and has been explained severally by the public. It seems he only needs to learn from the public, cos he knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. By now I believe his sane supporters- if there is any among them, by now would be bowing their heads in shame, for being so cheap to buy that filthy propaganda. Buhari himself should av just stayed low key instead of coming to disgrace and expose his real mediocrity he’s been hiding for years.

      • Femi

        Human want is insatiable… Jonathan was there for 6 years the economy crashed…. Nigeria is heading for the it’s worst economic disaster in history….. BH was going around declaring caliphate….. Thank God the clueless president did not get elected for a 2nd term…I don’t know what this country would have turned into…. . Buhari took the batton… He has not even spent a year and here a people castigating him already….. I wonder what they would have said if deziani was already in a crate back to Nigeria…. Ruling is not by magic… It’s a process…. Judge him after 2 years at least….

        • Damilola

          Brother Femi, let me take you through memory lane. I will do you dt favour painstakingly cos I don’t like my fellow brother remaining in the dark side of ignorance. I will start from the length disparity btw GEJ 6years to Buhari’s 6month. The moment GEJ start to garner tremendous criticism like this was towards the peak of his administration, when some inactions were felt on his side and taken up by the opposition in an apparent exaggeration. This first gained it’s momentum in the January 1, 2012 activation of subsidy Removal by that administration. The details and the President’s speech in defence of this act is there for you to see on Google. Everyone, I’m convinced including yourself, cried foul. Protests were staged, opposition started gaining momentum by then. If I may ask you, what do we have now? That same class of people are writing and advising the Buhari administration to remove subsidy. Remember APC even called it scam later during the campaign. But when it was to be removed far b4 the election they organised protest against that govt. It is also very interesting that a party that staged Protest against this later came to call it scam and now seeking to pay for that same scam. You can see how “LOYAL , CONSISTENT AND SINCERE” your lords are?

          • Ade O

            Read ur views and I don’t agree with all you wrote. When you criticise the presisdent you must be able to objectively profer solutions on how you would ve done it differently. Can you sincerely say PMB actions with d military n bokoharam is wrong? He has provided enough political will and manpower in that aspect and like you and I he is hoping for results. While we all agree it took him a long while to form his cabinet we must also acknowledge that it appears the right people were selected. See even in business everything is a process. Corruption can’t be effectively fought if we have citizens sympathetic to the views of the looters in regards the law. Left to me any corupt individual deserves what he gets and I m never in support of using the courts to delay the punishment. I respect the rule of law but I detest corupt individuals using it as a tool for protection.
            For me PMB has shown more desire and knowledge than GEJ ever showed. It seems people have forgotten the way things were during GEJs administration and d state of d military. Let’s give PMB 2 years at least before crycifying the man.
            You want instant fix and you keep ignoring that there’s no money for that. It’s like living in denial. We live in a country where we give pathforms to the likes of FFK and fayose to dish out insults to a sitting president when both FFk and fayose have failed in thier respective dutues.

          • TAJ

            It’s obvious you’re living in another world.

            Buhari clearly has no plan for Nigeria. His junketing across the globe while Nigeria burns, with No Fuel, No Light and No jobs. All these globe trotting can be interpreted as an opportunity to recoup what he couldn’t make in 1984/85. For your information he is paid not less than $20,000 per night as estacode for all these trips. He is now a comfortable multimillionaire-in dollars within less than a year.

            On the Economic front – Nigeria is being de-marketed on a daily basis by Buhari at international fora. FDI’s have dried up, rather major investors and private investors are moving their money out of the country. Joblessness is on the increase. There are no clear fiscal policies, Our macro-economic indicators is in shambles, our GDP is declining at a fast pace and the common man on the street is finding it more difficult to survive, the poor are been pushed to the wall.

            On the Security front, he has shown himself as a total failure. Boko haram that was almost extinct at the twilight of the last administration is now stronger and have dispensed more than 1500 people to their graves since Buhari was sworn in. They are now more virulent and for the first time killed more than 140 Nigerian soldiers within one week. From the bodily damage done to these soldiers it was clear that mustard gas or some other chemical weapons were used. There is no hope for Boko haram ending in the near future. The real fear is that suicide bombing might be replaced with chemical weapon attacks on the populace.

            A new form of crisis has also reared it’s head with Biafra agitation, his incompetent handling of the situation is evident. This growing monster is likely to consume him and his administration. The Niger Delta Militants have already issued warning shots with piracy off the coast of Nigeria. Nigeria’s security architecture is already bursting at the seams, even without the full pressure of Boko haram, Biafra agitators and Niger delta militants conflagrating at thesame time.

            I’m sorry to say that Buhari is obviously brainless and grossly incompetent at leadership of a country like Nigeria. In saner climes he cannot even be considered for the position of a mere councillor.

          • Ade O

            Obviously you belong to the fani Kayode hate fan club where you just copy and paste anything with making sense.
            When was Boko Haram ever almost defeated? With which weapons? It seems convenient to skip your mind the massive deflection of soldiers or the state the military was then. if u believe d 6 weeks media propaganda of the GEJ administration in a desperate effort to win votes then I m sorry for you as you would believe anything.
            How exactly has Buhari mishandled biafra agitation? Was he the one that made kanu ask for guns? The fact that more than half the entire population of Nigeria don’t support it says it all. When did it become a sin for a sitting president to attend world meetings and conferences with other world leaders present? Pls don’t being delusional. Wake up and stop being easily manipulated.
            Nigeria’s present crises was not caused by Buhari but by Jonathan.
            It’s shallow of you to haul insults at your sitting president when you don’t appear to have the knowledge to solve the problems. You sound like an highly emotionally unstable person that can’t even handle a business not to talk of a country.
            It’s a complete waste of time trying to make people like you see reason. Goodbye

          • Damilola

            I will take you up on the first issue you raised. How many times would solutions be proffered for this administration. Do you want to tell me you’re new to the numerous advices to this people? On subsidy, economic path way, unemployment, security, etal. Tell me one thing the govt had done in the military that we’re expecting a result? The president came and shifted the military command to Borno, a laudable step that cannot take life of its own unless we have some follow up. What follow up has been done? How many bullet, just single bullet had been bought to fight the monsters? If truly the past administration didn’t purchase any, what are they using now? Why haven’t we bought or ordered for new arsenal? What happens to this moral boosting strategy of evacuating the soldiers on ground for years fighting BH and replacing them with new ones armed and trained to the teeth? The ones evacuated could have time to refresh, get back to training and ready for deployment for the next batch to be evacuated and fresh bloods come in. Tell me the incentive(s) implemented to boost the moral of the standing Patriots at war? And tell me their is a will different from GEJ here? People like you are not even aware of what led Nigeria to black market and subsequently to the East for ammunition, all you hear and believe are what they want you to see and digest, a propaganda that can never last a time.

          • Damilola

            Besides Ade, can you lay out the Economic policies of this administration for us? Can you tell us the direction this administration is taking? Can you just explain what they’ve been doing for 7months running? Can you mention areas of your own life or your community that has improved in the 7months? Some of your people say it is too early to call this govt a failure. How is it too early to ask a govt to take decisions and clear cut on policies? The only proposal this govt had pushed forward to the NASS Is based on spending and not producing, in 7 good months. NASS is to approve #479b or there about in which 413b is to go for subsidy Baba Gaskia never believed in. What does that tell u about the govt? So we need 2 years to start examining their inactions huh? Grow up man.

        • Jackson Imarhiagbe

          Bro Femi, Let me just remind you and Nigerians of this wise saying –” If a slave observed that one of slave mates is being used for sacrifice, he should not laugh because———- ( May I request you to complete the sentence). We are all reaping the fruits of our seed. Be not deceived, for whatsoever a man sows that he shall also reap. In the word of Majek Fashek, you don’t expect to sow rice and reap coco yam.. Our people talk say, Masquerade wen go dance, na once dem tey they know am .
          PDP and Jonathan are not my friends neither is APC and Buhari my enemies. What Nigeria and Nigerians need at this moment is a man with sound economic policy . The earlier those economic policy are planted the better for us all

  • Speaker23

    Very logic point but let us give this man a year at least.

    • Prince Olayide

      Six month is long enough to let us have action plan instead of gallivanting around the globe without anything in the pipeline for the people that cast their vote for PMB even not for APC

  • Hajenu

    I voted for Buhari, but I want him to stop washing Nigeria’s dirty linen outside the country. With the end of the Malta and Paris conferences, the President should now sit down in Abuja and get some serious work done, especially now that he has ministers apponted. He may not realize, four years is a very short time in power, and at this rate of performance, I really fear…….

  • Prince Olayide

    It’s quite unfortunate that people don’t address issues whenever they have the opportunity to do same “won fi ete sile won lo npa lapalapa”, “ani ka penu po ka bole wi wonni ibi toni nkan fisi ni Koda”, advise PMG to stop behaving like stark illiterate, let him ask for directions and he surely be directed…

  • Patarium

    Shuttle Presidency: From Gas summit in #Iran to Commonwealth in #Malta, then off to #COP summit in #Paris and then #Vienna for OPEC meeting. Afterwards to South Africa again. PMB has spent more than 43 days travelling the Globe and all his message there is how broke, corrupt and terrorized we are back at home. I pity this country. The earlier this President and his goons realise the West has no interest in his complaints the better, cos’ 2019 is not too far away for a party bragging to hold power for the next 100years.

  • Basho

    I am just tired of all these, we thought the Messiah had come when PMB won the election. I can only say this. Thank God PMB won, now we know the stuff he is made of. If he had lost, PMB would have gone down history as the best President Nigeria never had. Our children would have been taught in primary and secondary schools that at one time in the country a demigod who would have saved us came and contested 5 good times and the people rejected him. These was when we lost the savior of our country.

    I thank God now that everywhere the heroic act of PMB’s conquest to lead this country out of darkness is read, the revolutionary and historic election will also be applauded and then the analysis of his terrible misrule, setback and directionless actions will also be reviewed.

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