First, they claimed that Boko Haram were “technically defeated” just before Christmas in 2015. Before the ink was dry on the newspaper headlines, the militants continued their mass murdering exploits. According to the BBC, the terrorists killed more Nigerians in 2016 than they did in the preceding year.
Now, Garba Shehu, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spin-doctors has come with a new “technicality” when he claimed yesterday that the president “had technical stopover in London and will be on his way back soon.” “Soon” is a technicality that is hard to quantify. Buhari left Washington on Tuesday after his much-lampooned meeting with President Donald Trump, apparently heading for Abuja, Nigeria.
This was confirmed in a tweet by another member of the propaganda team – Bashir Ahmed, who goes by the title “Personal Assistant to the President on New Media”:
President @MBuhari has departed Joint Base Andrews Airport for Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja after a Working Visit to Washington DC where he had a bilateral talks with US President @realDonaldTrump, and met with a group of business executives. #PMBinDC pic.twitter.com/QgFgDYN2Sv
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) May 1, 2018
The tweet was “technically” a lie. By Wednesday night, a source had informed Naijiant.com that Buhari’s presidential jet had arrived in Stansted, London. Ahmad has since kept his “technical” peace on this issue, preferring to focus on other propaganda duties, while Nigerians were none the wiser about the whereabouts of their president.
It was left to Shehu to scramble for explanations. After many Nigerians went to town on social media about his “technical” explanation, he has come out hastily with yet another “technical” clarification: “The big jet is under repairs. It has been taken for major repairs. So the president is using a small plane and there is a limit to the distance the small plane can cover.
“So the technical stopover I talked about is that the journey from US to Abuja is broken into two. Technical stopover is that the plane stops at a point, refuel, do some checks and then proceed on the journey.
“It is a routine thing. The plane can do Abuja-Washington, that’s about 12 hours and the maximum the plane can fly is 12 hours, 40 minutes. But you don’t need to push it to the edge. This is very normal. There is nothing unusual about it. In any case, they are already on their way back home.”
Shehu didn’t explain, technically or otherwise, why there wasn’t a similar “technical” stopover en route to Washington from Abuja last weekend. There was also the “technically” small matter of the president’s propagandists claiming months ago that all but one or two of those presidential jets will be sold.
Anyhow, many Nigerians are not buying what Shehu is selling, even on technicalities:
BREAKING: Buhari has gone to London from America to meet his doctors. The disguised Commonwealth event was not enough.
NEVER AGAIN will our money be used to maintain Buhari’s expensive medical lifestyle.
— Adeyanju Deji 🇳🇬 (@adeyanjudeji) May 3, 2018
Femi Adesina, yet another Buhari spin-doctor, has now claimed that the president will be back in Abuja this evening. Perhaps, he will be “technically” back, while still in London. If he doesn’t return “soon”, his media handlers should stop insulting the intelligence of Nigerians and, at the very “technical” least, take some steps to improve their lying technique.