By Sunday Oyinloye
I belong to a WhatsApp group where many of the members are die-hard supporters of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari though only a few are politicians.
In fact, more than half of the members are public servants, just about two or three are politicians. And even those who are politicians on the platform are professionals who chose politics not because they are “hungry’’.
Because of the nature of my profession, I am supposed to be neutral and I have been trying to be just that. On a few occasions, I have had cause to disagree with the fans of Mr. President on the platform and this they sometimes misinterpret to be hatred for the president or his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) . I do tell members that I have high regards for the office of the President of Nigeria and the person of Retired General Muhammadu Buhari.
As a matter of fact, I have told them on a number of occasions, that remove Buhari from APC, what you probably get are chameleons changing parties after wreaking havoc in their former parties. There is actually a thin line between members of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and APC, same looters changing parties (though not all). Nigerians know them. They are in the Executive and the Legislative arms of government both at the federal and state level. The mindset of an average politician in Nigeria, regardless of his party affiliation is to share and eat the proverbial national cake, so also the mindset of a good number of Nigerians as corruption is not limited to politicians alone.
However, my narrative this week is actually not about corruption, rather it is about the image of Nigeria and some of the characters around the President. It is obvious that some of the appointees of Nigeria’s president are working at cross purposes, we have seen inter-agency rivalries and an instance where an agency gave a negative report about an appointee of Mr. President whose name was sent to the National Assembly for confirmation.
The ill-health of the President has also been poorly handled by those around him. They have benefited and are still benefiting from it because they are the only ones who have direct access to him. It is not a sin to be sick, after all, Buhari is like any other human being who could be sick at any time. But many needless lies were dished out to Nigerians about Buhari’s health condition and his movements which attracted negative comments and suspicion from the general public.
Typical of Nigerians they were sincerely concerned about the health condition of their president who returned last week after 104 days of medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
Some Nigerians would naturally expect him to get back to work almost immediately while many would expect him to take a rest before fully resuming in office. This is so because Buhari’s health condition has been politicised.
Giving reasons why the President would work from home, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, attributed it to renovations to be carried out in his office because of the damages rodents did to furniture and air-conditioning fittings in his principal’s office.
The statement to me is not only embarrassing to Nigeria but highly undiplomatic. Yes, he can say the President’s office is to be renovated, but he doesn’t have to say that rats have destroyed furniture inside the office.
Why did I say this? Rats here in Nigeria live in unkempt environments. The statement credited to Shehu also means that the Villa is not routinely fumigated. Yes, it may be true that damages were done to the President’s office by rats, but not many Nigerians will buy the “rat report’’. It shouldn’t have come from a Media Adviser. I have said it severally, there is co-ordination among the appointees of the president and where some of them stand is difficult to know.
The problem of Buhari is not Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and his motley crowd of professional critics.
At least you know where Fayose, their standard bearer stands, so he could be easily “tackled”, but the real problem has to do with enemies pretending to be friends.
It is rather unfortunate that Buhari who has been likened to a “Lion king” is being embarrassed by human rats . The question is: Will the rodents succeed in causing more damages to the ‘’Lion King” ? Your guess is as good as mine.
The problem with the Villa and indeed the Presidency has nothing to do with rodents, but human beings masquerading as rodents. My advice to Mr. President is to “kill” the dangerous rodents around him and bury them in faraway places so that they won’t give him Lassa fever and indirectly kick him out of office.