By Reno Omokri
It is no longer news that we have a draught of men of integrity in Nigeria. However, what is new is that never in our history have we had such a profusion of men and women who speak from both sides of their mouths as we have today.
With what can I liken President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration? This government is like spectators who watch a game and criticise the players but when the players switch places with them they cannot perform!
Look at Babatunde Raji Fashola who said that the only way to have regular power is to vote out the PDP. Today, the PDP has been voted out but Fashola is delivering regular excuses instead of regular power.
Look at Nasir El-Rufai who called for restructuring under the Jonathan administration now calling those asking for reform ‘unpatriotic opportunists’.
In fact, in an August 10, 2010 ThisDay interview titled, ‘It’s Time to Restructure Nigeria’ Nasir el-Rufai, now the governor of Kaduna State said ‘the present situation of things where all the component units get monthly allocations from the Federal Government only makes the states lazy and unproductive.’
Today, he has completely repudiated everything he said in that interview because he is out of office.
Can we now see why former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote in his memoirs, ‘My Watch’ that he “shudders” at El-Rufai’s lies?
But the worse is that President Buhari, who accused former President Jonathan of favouring the Niger Delta during his tenure, has himself removed the gloves and temporarily made Hausa our official language by delivering his Sallah Message in Hausa!
There may be one or two persons who may think I am just taking the Mickey out of this APC administration but let me just show you with the benefit of evidence that I am doing anything but. Let us go down memory lane.
On March 10, 2010, President Muhammadu Buhari said, “The Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, owes the nation a sacred duty by ensuring the ongoing confusion is resolved by declaring Yar’adua incapacitated to pave the way for his removal from office through impeachment.”
Recently, Shehu Sani, a senator and an activist of whom I have so much respect for called on Nigerians to pray for President Buhari like he was our father.
I want fair-minded Nigerians to ask Senator Shehu Sani if President Muhammadu Buhari behaved that way in the case of former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, a man who was then in need of sympathy and compassion.
What about Lai Mohammed who on December 21, 2009 said, “As we have said many times, the health of President Yar’adua, as a public figure can no longer be of interest only to his family and friends. Nigerians have a right to know”.
He had further gone on to say that “It is clear to discerning Nigerians that those pretending to speak authoritatively on the President’s health are deceiving the public since they are neither well-informed on the issue nor competent to speak on it.
Therefore, a daily briefing by the Minister of Information, based on authentic details provided by the President’s doctors, should start forthwith. As we have said many times, the health of the President, as a public figure can no longer be of interest only to his family and friends. Nigerians have a right to know.”
Does Lai Mohammed suffers from multiple personality syndrome? I ask because whereas his 2009 persona believed that Nigerians have a “right to know”, hear what he says today.
According to the Lai Mohammed of 2017, the President is entitled to his privacy!
In fact, the hypocrisy reached fever pitch when the Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress said, ‘Only the president’s doctors abroad could decide when he would be fit to return to the country.’
Does the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, know the import of saying ‘only the president’s doctors abroad can decide when he would be fit to return’?
Is Nigeria still an independent country? Because from that statement it appears that the headship of Nigeria’s government is dependent on the decision of foreigners. Another word for that is dependence.
In other words, we will not have a substantive President for the foreseeable future unless and until foreign doctors deem it appropriate! Under Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is only independent in name and not in reality!
And the sad thing is that the 77-year-old John Odigie Oyegun continues to speak in ways that makes it very difficult to afford him the respect due his age.
On the 3rd of July, Chief Oyegun said, “I do not even know what they mean by restructuring. Go and read our party manifesto and see what we said there, we did not promise restructuring.
How can John Odigie Oyegun say he does not know what restructuring means? He ran for governor of Edo under the Social Democratic Party, a party that campaigned on the progressive issue of restructuring. What is happening here? Have the elite of the APC been hypnotised? How can you spend your political career advocating for something only to turn around and advocate against it when you get the power?
What did Jesus say in Mark 8:36? “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
As I speak to you, Nigerians have no clue as to the health status of the President and I must say I commend the spokesman of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi for having the boldness to say the truth that both Lai Mohammed (be careful how you name your children) and Chief John Odigie Oyegun could not say.
Asked by Channels Television to tell Nigerians the truth about the President’s health, Mr. Abdullahi said, “I don’t know the health status of the president…the party (APC) does not know either.”
Now since Chief John Odigie Oyegun is also a member of the party and in fact its chairman, what Abdullahi has just politely done is to call him a liar!
So President Muhammadu Buhari continues to be holed up in London and whereas we as Nigerian citizens are paying for his treatment from the public treasury, we do not have a clue what we are paying for. And these are the people who called us clueless!
And while President Muhammadu Buhari is continuing this greatest duo with London, Nigeria continues its free fall on almost every index on the Human Development Index.
In the last couple of months, Nigeria dropped from #38 to #39 in FIFA rankings, dropped from #1 to #19 in Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment ranking, we additionally fell from the 94th position to the 170th position on the Ease of Doing Business ranking. We also moved backwards five places to 119 out of 127 economies ranked in the 2017 Global Innovation Index. We occupied number 114 position in 2016. As a matter of fact, about the only ranking we increased on is the The World Economic Forum’s list of the most dangerous countries in the world where we are now number 5!
These marked drops as measured by independent and reputable global institutions just go to prove one thing: the Buhari administration has been a total failure in office.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Oriental Times