The handlers of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently in London for, depending on who you ask, a “meeting” with his doctor or a “medical review”, have outdone themselves in the celebration of mediocrity. The Presidency tweeted yesterday:
1/ President @MBuhari was the 1st African Head of State invited on a State Visit to China following the December 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC) Summit.
2/ President Buhari was the 1st sub-Saharan African Head of State to visit the Trump White House.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 10, 2018
Are these people expecting Buhari to be given a medal for these meaningless and costly foreign junkets? They probably think Nigerians are fickle enough to forget how Buhari was condemning similar foreign travel by then president Olusegun Obasanjo, while running for president in 2003.
Buhari has since coming to power in 2015 spent nearly 200 days receiving treatment in the UK and he has never seen a foreign junket that he didn’t like. He even attended a “Supporting Syria Conference” in London in February 2016. What this had to do with Nigeria was anyone’s guess. A month later he was off to Washington for a nuclear summit and the whole world knows that Nigeria is yet to dabble in nuclear technology in any meaningful way.
Buhari has since been scoring a lot of firsts. He must be the first president to attend conferences where his country has no interest. He is the first Nigerian president to spend over 100 consecutive days abroad. He is the first president to tell Angela Merkel that a woman’s place is in the kitchen. He is most likely the first president to not cancel a foreign trip when dozens are massacred in his country.
Last month, Buhari’s wife also jumped on the mediocrity bandwagon, as she tweeted presumably from the kitchen, after the massive achievement of her husband going to the White House:
— Aisha M. Buhari (@aishambuhari) April 30, 2018
Comedian Chris Rock once joked that George Bush was not just the worst president in US history, he was the worst person to ever be called “president” of anything, whether PTA, or youth club. Buhari is currently making a strong fist of becoming the worst person ever to be called “president”. And you know this when his handlers are scraping the bottom of the barrel to present foreign visits as “achievements”.
In fact, this could be the first time that something most Nigerians, including Buhari, criticise presidents for, is now something worthy of praise. There has been no president as mediocre as Buhari and he is the first president to inspire a cult-like worship and celebration of his mediocrity. If wallowing in mediocrity were an Olympic sport, Buhari’s followers would have guaranteed a gold medal for Nigeria.
Napoleon said: “When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end up by reducing them to their level of mediocrity.” Buhari, a small man with a small mind that didn’t escape his hometown Daura, attempted the great enterprise of leading Nigeria and has ended up reducing it to the level of celebrating foreign trips.