Opinion/Feature | 28 June 2015 18:54 CET

Is Buhari already confused? – Etcetera Writes

By Etcetera

Controversial music act cum social critic, Etcetera has penned another piece in his weekly column for Punch Newspapers.

This week, Etcetera writes on the state of the nation not leaving aside the ongoing tussle in the camp of the All Progressives Congress. Read below.

If there is any group of individuals who can manufacture shock, political punditry out of nothing, it is the All Progressives Congress. They cried out that Jonathan was doing a terrible job as President of Nigeria. They said his inability to run the Federal Government is the reason our country has lapsed into wholesale chaos. He is the reason corruption decimated our population, turned brother against brother. He is the reason our military became weak and our borders constantly breached by Niger, Chad and Cameroonian gendarmes. He is the reason our cities have all lost power and we have reclined back into the dark ages.


He is the reason why thousands of wild dogs/Boko Haram roam our streets and rip our children apart. With democracy being an institution where we worry about how many people 'agree' about certain things, APC must be concerned that Nigerians are actually seeing that Buhari is not the messiah we need. When I wrote that Nigerians shouldn't celebrate Buhari yet, a lot of his sympathisers reached for my scalp with all types of derogatory vocabularies. Now, just a couple of days into his regime and even before the flag is hoisted up the pole, the same people have started singing the same old song that he is too slow. Just like in the time of Jonathan. Why am I not surprised? When I talked about Buhari's age, they said presiding over the affairs of a country is different from being a bricklayer. Why is Buhari now wishing he was younger? What has 'changed' him? Didn't he know his age before 'borrowing' money to acquire the form to contest for president.

Listening to APC and President Buhari's excuses of just being in government for only few weeks is like watching a doctor on 'Grey's Anatomy' pounding on a patient's chest until another doctor has to pull him off and say, 'Sir it's over!' That's what I want to say to President Buhari. Sir, it's over! We are tired of having president with excuses. You didn't give us these excuses in any of your campaign speeches. Nigerians, it's time to move on! There will be other disasters. There will always be presidents with excuses.

The president will cut down the cost of governance. He won't have as many ministers and advisers like Jonathan. How is approving the appointments of two media aides with the same job description cutting down the cost of governance? What is the difference between a Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) and a Special Adviser (Media and Publicity)?

The issue of applying the rule of law in certain matters of state that demands immediate and urgent attention is not why we voted for Buhari. For Christ's sake, the country is in dire straits. We are in desperate times as a country and as such, the streets won't accept these excuses. President Buhari shouldn't be telling Nigerians that he met an empty treasury. We want to hear of measures his government is taking to recover the stolen funds. This government seems overwhelmed and confused already like what we've had in the past.

He should also understand that not having his cabinet in place at this point in time is dangerous. President Buhari should know that he can't govern this country alone. It will take all hands on deck to get this country back on track. He cannot be the president and the minister of defence and petroleum all by himself. He can't be at different places at the same time. Being the president of a huge country like Nigeria is different from being the managing director of a business.

One does not “run” the Federal Government. You can run a train and you can run your own small business, but the Federal Government of Nigeria is bigger than the largest enterprises of this world.

Equating any portion of the Federal Government to a business stretches the meaning of metaphor. No business is attacked by other countries or has to deliberately kill people, or has a board of 469 National Assembly members, majority of which are trying to bankrupt the company in order to make the CEO look bad, nor does any company operate within transparency of allowing thousands of journalists to pore over their affairs, or carry your opponent's opinions as if they were facts, or react to hundreds of lawsuits per day from its own employees, or thousands of lawsuits per day from third parties. No private company is responsible for accomplishing its mission within tens of thousands of laws that deliberately operate against its efficiency.

No private company has a board that authorises spending via commitment of financial resources and then separately approves their payment or its equivalent debt. No business operates from the need to pass legislation in order to change direction, or to accomplish its primary objectives, (environmental safety, energy independence, internet security, university research, election compliance, full employment policies, taxation reform, anti-terrorism, healthcare reform, and intelligence gathering). No organisation has the responsibility to send soldiers to defend its allies or be responsive to the impact that changed laws, policies, and tax provisions have upon other nations, friend and foe alike. And finally, no organisation is responsible for administration and enforcement of tens of thousands of laws, rules, and regulations against millions of separate entities.

Is President Buhari capable of providing direction, implementing a NASS approved budget, prioritising and recommending budget changes, negotiating legislation, submitting qualified candidates for the courts, appointing and supervising staff and cabinet members, including the joint chiefs of the military, and effectively communicating volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous issues to the Nigerian public? Absolutely, NO!…

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