A few days after Fulani herdsmen allegedly slaughtered up to 50 people in Ukpabi-Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who is from that senatorial zone and had been pictured shedding tears at the scene, was then seen in photographs at Aso Rock, Abuja, smiling with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ugwuanyi was apparently in Abuja to “brief Buhari on the herdsmen attack”. But that smile is turning into a major PR disaster for the governor, whose handling of the atrocity in his state has been nothing short of amateurish.
If his tears at the scene were a bit off-putting, at a time that called for robust and strong leadership and reassurance that steps were being taken to protect lives and property, the smiles with Buhari were insensitive and outrageous, showing that many Nigerian rulers are woefully inadequate when it comes to leadership.
The reaction to the smiles from Nigerians on social media was predictable. One tweeted: “9ja politicians are mostly charlatans. One would’ve expected Gov Ugwuanyi to still be wearing his Solemn Mood”.
Other comments on Twitter read: “So Ugwuanyi shed crocodile tears on the massacre of his people if he could be caught laughing with Buhari days after”.
One guy wrote: “ugwuanyi is a massive failure. Not fit to rule”. Another predicted: “Mark my word: this photo is the beginning of the end of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s political career. He has lost my respect”.
But Ugwuanyi seemed more interested in worming his way into Buhari’s good books than earning the respect of Nigerians.
As if the smiles were not enough, as the people of Uzo-Uwani were morning their dead, Ugwuanyi went partying afterwards that night with Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy (also from Enugu State) Ike Ekweremadu, who was launching a book he wrote.
No one should ever doubt how out of touch Nigerian politricksters are after observing Ugwuanyi’s crass insensitivity.