Most of us are familiar with the over-dramatisation in Nollywood, especially the low-budget versions. Nothing seems quite real, from the fake blood to fake display of affection, fear or whatever feeling.
Femi Adesina, the roly-poly spin-doctor for absentee President Muhammadu Buhari, was in full Nollywood effect when he released what he claimed was a transcript of a phone conversation he had with his boss, who left Nigeria for London on 19 January allegedly on “medical vacation”.
The statement is reproduced in full here:
At exactly 2.43 p.m today, Saturday, February 25, 2017, my phone rang. Who was at the other end? Tunde Sabiu, personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari. “Hold on for Mr President,” Tunde said. And in a matter of seconds, the very familiar voice came: “Femi, how are you?” (He calls me adesina most times, but today, he opted for Femi) I screamed :”Mr President, I have missed you. How are you sir?” He first laughed. That familiar laugh. Then he said: “I am still resting. Thank you for holding out against mischief makers.” I said it was my duty, the very least I could do, adding how happy I was to speak with him. “How is your family?” I said we were fine, and he asked me to extend his greetings to them. “I hope to call you again, ” Mr President said, and I bade him farewell, adding: “Best wishes, sir.” It was a defining moment for me. For more than a month, I had always spoken with aides who are with the President in London. Not once did I ask them to take the phone to him, deliberately so, because I didn’t need to speak with him to validate the fact that he was alive. And since he was on vacation, he had a right to his privacy. Of his own volition, President Buhari spoke with me. It made my day. Even if he hadn’t done so, he would have remained my President, my leader, and my man. Any day.
Buhari may or may not be sick, but Adesina’s sycophancy was enough for many Nigerian to reach for the sick bucket. This very public brown-nosing, done entirely without any sense of embarrassment, shows how lickspittle dogsbodies like Adesina don’t care about their audience or about their own dignity, as long as whatever they do keeps them in a job.
Most discerning people would see his Nollywood-like fake display of affection for what it is, not concern about his boss, but arse-licking of the worst order.
Adesina and his fellow propagandists have spent over a month lying to Nigerians that nothing was wrong with their missing boss, yet, his drivel above was served up to demonstrate his relief at hearing the voice of someone he was worried about his well-being.
The irony is that a president and his handlers, who have spent over a month covering up his ailment and not coming clean to Nigerians, turns around and calls people speculating about what is wrong with him “mischief makers”. The real mischief is lying to the people you are supposed to serve. The mischief is insulting the intelligence of the public claiming the president is “hale and hearty”, when it is clear something is wrong. It is very mischievous to ignore the public who are funding your extended stay in London. It is downright devious to hide something serious enough to keep a president away from the country for over a month from Nigerians who are actually his employers.
The deception and amateur dramatics belong in Nollywood and not in public service.