Friday, 17 June 2016

Buhari And The Praise Singers (1)

                President Muhammadu Buhari
It is indisputable that the greatest undoing of the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration is his praise singers. Since he assumed office on May 29, 2015, they have been moving from one television and ra­dio station to another speak­ing vehemently in support of whatever decisions he has taken so far. His supporters who have the flair to write are also keeping the newspapers awash with opinions defend­ing his actions too.
Recall, when Buhari wasted six months searching for his proverbial saintly and incor­ruptible ministers, the praise singers eulogized him to high heavens insisting it was the best decision ever taken by any Nigerian President. But when the names of the “angelic ministers” were re­leased, the same people were perturbed and disappoint­ed. Within the six months of searching for the sanctimoni­ous ministers, Buhari ran the country as a sole administra­tor and the poor management of the economy are the pains Nigerians are reaping at the moment.
By November 2015 when he clocked 181 days, Presi­dent Buhari had travelled to 12 countries under the de­lusion of seeking foreign in­vestors. By May 2016, he has made 26 foreign trips! With the scenarios painted above, one can imagine the num­ber of foreign trips he would make at the end of his four-year tenure in 2019. Reports had it that Buhari spent about N64 billion on foreign trips alone in just one year in of­fice!
Since May 29, 1999, he re­mained the greatest critic of successive administrations. He criticised former Presi­dent Olusegun Obasanjo for his excessive foreign trav­els. He took the same hard­line position against the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua, but his criticism became more acidic and ven­omous against former Pres­ident Goodluck Jonathan’s foreign journeys. As the Pres­idential candidate in the 2011 general elections under the defunct Congress for Pro­gressive Change (CPC), one of the political parties that merged to form the All Pro­gressive Congress (APC), he chided Jonathan over his for­eign trips. CPC spokesman, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, stat­ed: “It is conventional wis­dom that charity begins at home. Unfortunately, Pres­ident Jonathan has not im­bibed this. Where did the in­cessant shuttles of Obasanjo’s eight years lead us to in terms of foreign investment? Did it positively affect our balance of trade?
Former National Chair­man of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), now part of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, chastised Jonathan for his foreign trips too. Akande spoke through Mr. Lani Baderinwa and said: “We are not saying he should not travel abroad, but the mood of the country should dictate his sojourn abroad. The Bra­zil summit is likely to benefit Nigeria, but of what use is the summit when Nigerians are being killed on a daily basis?”
It is therefore baffling that the same people who con­demned Jonathan for his for­eign travels are extolling Bu­hari over his excessive travels even in the midst of inces­sant massacre of Nigerians by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.
No doubt, the purported N64 billion that President Buhari has spent so far on foreign trips is a misadven­ture which ought not to, giv­en the antecedents.

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