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Buhahahari and the over-promotion syndrome

President Buhahahahari on Channels TV this morning said he returned from the G7 Summit where he met with “the Chairman of G7, President Michel of West Germany.”

Watch the video here:

Never in the history of Nigeria has a ruler made so many blunders in one short sentence with so few words.

The German leader is a “Chancellor” and not the “president”. The president of Germany is Joachim Gauck and he is the Head of State, with a ceremonial role. Chancellor Angela Merkel is the head of government.

Her name is not “Michel” and “West Germany” ceased to exist in 1990 with reunification of the East and West.

A secondary school student in Nigeria should be aware of these facts that seem to have flown over the head of our president, who is probably still stuck in the 1980s.

But it should have been well clear to any but the dangerously deluded that Buhahahari had no business running anything in this modern age, apart from his farm in Daura. Any interview before he won the (s)election should have made clear to the viewer that Buhahahari’s grasp of the issues were non-existent. His shambolic performance during the 2011 presidential debate was clear evidence that he had no clue about the world he wanted to operate in as Nigeria’s leader. His advisers, who had carefully packaged him on a vacuous platform of “change”, wisely steered him clear of taking part in another debate during the last (s)election.

Many Nigerians chose to ignore the obvious signs that this was a man not up to scratch. But this type of incompetence can’t be hidden for too long.

Buhahahari is a product of the Nigerian malaise of being over-promoted beyond one’s capabilities. Through connections, accident of fate, deviousness, the elimination of more suitable people, nepotism, and so on, he managed to find himself a “general” in the Nigerian army without the competencies, intellect, leadership qualities, and even battlefield nous required for such high rank. Similar over-promotion led to him becoming Head of State in a dictatorship in which merit never came into play.

He is now president under civilian rule – a role in which you have to communicate, deal with the media, sell a vision to Nigerians and the wider world, negotiate with the Angela Merkels of this world, and our president is as equipped as the guy that went to a gun fight with a penknife.

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