18 January 2019
As February’s presidential (s)election approaches, President Muhammadu Buhari is being wheeled out to talk to Nigerians – something he has tried to avoid over the past three years and more. He hardly ever held press conferences, hardly ever spoke to the Nigerian media. Now with an election approaching, his handlers know that he can’t be seen to be asking people to vote for him without talking to them.
But each time they try to get their boss to speak to the public/media, despite ensuring it is in a controlled environment, Buhari ends up showing why he is clearly unfit for office, physically and mentally.
The so-called town hall encounter on NTA on Wednesday turned out predictably and was even worse than the president’s outing on Arise News earlier this month.
This time around, they brought along the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who looked like a care assistant looking after a geriatric and helping him understand what was being asked. Osinbajo was ostensibly there to provide support, but he ended up showing up his boss as totally out of his depth. At least the VP could understand the questions, even if he seemed to be consulting his iPad on a few occasions.
Watch the full programme below.
Buhari was disoriented, distracted, disinterested and it was disturbing to see a man occupying the highest office in the land and seeking reelection, demonstrating his apparent incapacity in public. It is clear that he should be enjoying his retirement, but his handlers, aka the cabal, want to continue enjoying the spoils of office for four more years. Only Nigerians benefiting from his misrule want it to continue.
Buhari couldn’t understand simple questions, even when repeated to him, he went on to answer something completely different. When he could summon some coherence, it was to shift the blame to others or wash his hands off the problem. So the problem of al-majiris (street urchins) was down to states and local governments not investing in education. While primary education was the responsibility of local governments, the moderator, Kadaria Ahmed reminded Buhari that there was a federal programme, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme that was tasked with guaranteeing primary education for all. Osinbajo had to step in with his boss floundering and after Ahmed had asked Buhari of his “thoughts”. She struggled all through to probe the thoughts of a thoughtless man.
It was the same buck-passing on corruption with the case of Umar Ganduje, the Buhari ally and Kano State governor, who was shown on video stuffing his pockets with dollars, allegedly bribes. Buhari said he was hoping that the state’s House of Assembly and the courts would deal with it. He didn’t seem to be aware that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had a mandate to investigate the case.
Questioned on the endless violence from Fulani herdsmen, Buhari went back to excuses and history. He said they were looking at old maps and old grazing routes from the First Republic. The moderator had to remind him that we can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.
On Boko Haram terror, Buhari asked the media to go beyond staying in a hotel in Maiduguri and visit remote areas in Borno State to presumably witness the extent of his government’s success. But the president has not been to those places either. When questioned about soldiers demonstrating because of lack of equipment and funds, Buhari was more interested in punishment and court-martial for those “not supposed to demonstrate”. There was no emotional intelligence or any other form of intelligence, no coherence and no answer to the question around accountability of the military top brass in terms of defence procurement.
Osinbajo, who looked good in comparison with utter hopelessness, responded to a question that people see the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as “two sides of the same coin”, by claiming that the APC “ideology” was different because of their commitment to uplifting the less privileged. But the PDP also has a similar commitment and state in their manifesto that: “At the root of Nigeria’s political and social problems is poverty and low access to economic opportunities. The improvement in the well-being of Nigerians is the ultimate objective of the PDP’s economic policy, and make accessible to every Nigerian the basic needs of life.”
So both parties say the same things, do the same things in terms of looting resources meant for what they say they will do, and have members switching sides in both directions.
Osinbajo kept trying to answer questions for Buhari and was mildly rebuked at one point with Ahmed, saying of the president: “He can talk for himself, ah-ah!”. On the evidence of this programme, he clearly can’t speak for himself. The evidence from his wife, Aisha, suggests that he can’t run the country either, as a handful of un-elected people are running the country on his behalf.
No right-thinking Nigerian should allow this embarrassment of a president to continue beyond this year. The job is obviously beyond the man and he should be put out of his misery and the misery his presidency has been for Nigerians.