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Buhahari talks the talk at Chatham House

Buhahari chats the chat at Chatham House

After much speculation about his health, and “will he/won’t he”, all over social and mainstream media, Muhammadu Buhari kept his date at Chatham House this morning.

The joint was so sold out our reporter could not get in and had to make do with sending us photographs of those that could.

Nigerians arriving for Buhahari's speech
Nigerians arriving for Buhahari’s speech

I never thought I would see the day that such a dull public speaker as Buhahari would sell out a joint in London.  Our reporter also missed Buhahari’s arrival and any of the pro or anti Buhahari scenes that went down later.

Buhahari’s APC claimed that Femi Fani-Kayode, the PDP presidential campaign chief, had rented a crowd of London-based Naijas to welcome Buhahari with boos.  The APC seem to have countered this with their own rented crowd.

Buhahari looked fairly well for a Naija man in his 70s coping with a mild London winter.  I couldn’t see any signs of illness from the video of his performance.  Not that I’m qualified to comment on such things.

The speech itself was only remarkable in the sense that it said some things that we agree with here at  This goes to show that Buhahari’s handlers have the sense to hire some decent speechwriters.

Watch it here:

However, they would have been better served steering their principal away from commentary on unconstitutional behaviour.  He said any attempt to extend the voting day beyond 28 March would be “unconstitutional”.  This type of talk is rich coming from someone who overthrew a constitutional government.

The speech took a turn for the better when it endorsed our point that “democracy” is not just about elections, but about improvements in the lives of the majority.  But it was pretty short on how Buhahari intended to do this, and no indication that he had any plan different from what the current mob were doing. It was like another Naija coup plot speech (“our hospitals have been turned into mere consulting clinics, etc”).  He said what was wrong with 16 years of PDP criminal rule.  He forgot that many of his crew, including Rotimi Amaechi, who accompanied him to Chatham House, were part of that criminal enterprise.

Muhammadu, we know things are bad, we know things are wrong, we just don’t know what you are going to do to resolve things.  And you don’t either.

The really interesting bit was the end when he said why he was running for president for a fourth time:

“because the work of making Nigeria great is not yet done, because I still believe that change is possible, this time through the ballot, and most importantly, because I still have the capacity and the passion to dream and work for a Nigeria that will be respected again in the comity of nations and that all Nigerians will be proud of.”

Buhahari, I’ve got a few questions for you.

How would you make Nigeria great?

Why do you think you represent “change” when you have been Head of State, state governor, federal commissioner and did nothing to “make Nigeria great”?

Why do you think you have the “capacity” to make Nigeria “respected” again when you can’t seem to provide a coherent answer to what needs to be done?

What makes you think “passion” can make a difference when it is clear there is precious little in terms of ideas, vision and plan to deliver “greatness”?

If “the work of making Nigeria great is not yet done” where is the evidence that you are the one to do it?  Nigerians have resoundingly rejected you three times already.  Why should they accept you now?  There is only one possible answer to the question why you are running again.  It is arrogance.  It was the same arrogance that made you overthrow Shagari.  The arrogance that makes you think you have a right to fix Nigeria’s problems even if you have no clue how to fix them.


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