The President has a gun pointed to his foot!! -By Umar Hassan

Filed under: National Issues |



Its one thing to shoot oneself in the foot. Just don’t reload the gun”- Lindsey Graham

President Buhari’s speech to the Nigerian community in South Africa during his visit there set off the alarm bells in my head.Though ours is a nation where most people are quick to tag every Senior citizen a Statesman, only a few are befitting of such title.I wouldn’t expect a respected Elder Statesman like Muhammadu Buhari, talk more a President Muhammadu Buhari to utter these words-

“Everybody is repeating what the other person has said instead of to keep their mouth SHUT”.

But he did.Mere mortals like us are allowed to speak in such a manner connoting a total disrespect for the audience because we aren’t Representing the most populous black nation and it most certainly won’t be on the front pages of every newspaper if we did.But asides being President,PMB represents what we have being meant to believe no Nigerian politician is.I dare say never has a politician being so loved.He has being depicted as the epitome of every positive adjective you can possibly come up with.When a lot of us complained about his age, we were told maturity is what the country needs and not someone who has turned our nation into a playground for him and his cronies.There are a million other ways of subtly passing that message across, a lot of them sure to elicit a few laughs than outrightly telling your countrymen away in another land to “Keep their mouth SHUT”.

The second part which I must say baffled me beyond words read thus:

“I am pleased that Nigerians,wherever they are whether South Africa or Saudi Arabia,Europe or even Alaska for that matter, you will make an impact both positive and NEGATIVE”.

Now, whether or not the President should have left it at “Alaska” and not gone on to include the words-“For that matter” is a topic for another day.But the crux certainly is Mr President being pleased with the fact that there are Nigerians making negative impact abroad.This is most shocking.I actually expected to learn some rib cracking jokes from what I thought was an imminent Social media circus but (Un)fortunately there was none.God Forbid the day a Nigerian sentenced to the gallows in Malaysia and Indonesia for drug trafficking will tell the world he is dying proud because his President is ‘Pleased with the Negative impact’ he has made.’Yahoo boys’ in the states will start to think of forming an Association down here.No Sir!.You aren’t pleased they are making a negative impact.Or better put, am sure you aren’t.

After another read and making sure I wasn’t in need of more sleep,I switched off the bells in my head.Our parents would try to deter us from going out as kids by telling us scary ‘Ojuju Calabar’ (Masquerade) stories and when you fell ill and blamed it on ‘Ojuju’, they told you not to.You were just being paranoid. Perhaps I was just being paranoid.There was no cause for alarm, at least not yet.I chose to focus more on our collective goal-A better Nigeria for all.Only a petty individual would want to run our much heralded ‘Messiah’ ragged before he has even moved into his office.I even chose to ignore the PR blunder he committed by coming out soon afterwards to talk about us expecting limitations to his capabilities as a result of his age which many felt was as a result of having rightly thought of his speech as embarrassing.I am quite sure a seasoned media practitioner like Femi Adesina knows the defence he issued on his behalf was merely ‘fulfilling his duty’ as Senior Special Adviser and nothing more because such stains can hardly be removed no matter how hard you spin the mess.

Then the most ludicrous assertion I have seen in recent times and trust me I have seen quite a lot.President Muhammadu Buhari,a supposed man of Integrity, honour and self-respect,a few days ago,in a Q&A session in the US while responding to a question on the Niger-Delta particularly Amnesty,Bunkering and Inclusive Development (All sensitive issues if you ask me) said Constituencies that gave him 97% shouldn’t expect as much from him as those who gave 5%.That It was fair he showed appreciation and also went on to say they would be justice for all.Whatever that meant if you consider the blatant promise of injustice and adoption of the cardinal rule in the Constitution as amended by the pigs in George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM-“All Animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.He had already fired the shots at himself.Everything else would amount to massaging a gun shot wound.

President Buhari ought to know our Constitution specifies the attainment of a certain age before contesting for office.He came across as being too immature to sit on that seat.The Northerners complained of marginalization during President Obasanjo’s tenure and GEJ’s perceived favouritism of his South-South brothers was as brazen as awarding multi-billion dollar Pipeline Security Contracts to glorified touts (Ex-Militants) in what many see as handing the keys to our house to thieves for safe keeping.Yet they all defended these perceptions of them with all they had.OBJ never agreed with his critics and GEJ did ‘give a damn’ in that regard.

PMB is by miles not only the oldest President we have ever had but also the most experienced.Maturity is chief among the ingredients of the ‘Change’ he portends.Certain things are what he should be seen cautioning the younger leaders about and not proclaiming.Spewing such gibberish which ought to be kept inside if at all it exists is most regretable.

Every one irrespective of who they voted for should be treated equally.If that was the yardstick for dispensing the dividends of Democracy,then I wonder what sort of nation we would have by 2027 if everyone adopted this measure by our statesman ‘per excellence’.

It doesn’t help that his critics had several persuasive points to support their arguments of him being a long standing ethnic and religious bigot in the run-up to the elections and it certainly doesn’t help that most of his appointments have been his fellow Northerners.Even if he justifies it, a smart leader would know there is a need to appear impartial and the last thing he would do is to indirectly tell the South-South and South-East to expect less in unequivocal terms.To borrow his words-“it is a political reality”.

I really don’t envy Messrs Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina one bit.PMB is a PR nightmare,a man who has his finger on the trigger of a gun pointed at his foot.He seems to be hell bent on making you forget his huge strides and hate him outright.

I don’t think this is an ‘Ojuju’ case.I am certainly not paranoid.The President’s utterances call for concern.

Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.