The Oasis Reporters
March 08, 2017
Suddenly, the reportage of
President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency has been reduced to the phone calls he has been making to selected personalities from London where he is observing an extended period of medical vacation.
It now seems a marketing tool to claim that the President just called, with the recipient expected to express much joy that out of the less than busy presidential schedule of Mr. President, such a person was remembered to have been called.
That was the fortune of the Kano State governor, Mr. Umar Ganduje who can now add this special phone call to his curriculum vitae, as one governor out of thirty-six of them in the country to be so privileged and honoured. Kano is a state in the north west, neighboring to Buhari’s home state of Katsina.
But the dispenser of the phone calls largesse, has upped the tally to now include Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello from the North Central State .
His call was on Sunday.
One governor who tongue-in-cheek has been pleading that he too be called to get the assurance that Buhari is indeed hale and hearty, is Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti State in the South west and an opposition figure from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. That call is unlikely to be made, as both men have never been known to be fond of each other.
Unlike former President Olusegun Obasanjo, one former President that would not be called is Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president who handed the reins of power to Buhari, and under whom the inflation rate never got up to 9%, which today has reached 18. 7% .
The contrast in their different approaches to the economy has ensured that the goodwill towards Goodluck Jonathan is tepid and lukewarm or perhaps non existent. Such that when Jonathan celebrated his birthday recently, it was glaring that Buhari did not felicitate with him. Unlike the Jonathan years when he never missed one single opportunity to celebrate Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan won’t get a phone call.
Unlike former president Olusegun Obasanjo who was called on Sunday to felicitate with him on the occasion of his 80th birthday. A statement issued in Abuja Sunday night by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “In a phone call from London, where he is convalescing, President Buhari told the former military ruler (1976 to 1979) and democratically elected president (1999 to 2007) that a time like this provides opportunity to reflect on Obasanjo’s invaluable roles and contributions to the unity and cohesion of Nigeria, the brotherhood of all Africans, as well as peace and amity over the globe.”
He said Buhari described the former president as “a true citizen of the world”.
Recalling their days in the military, President Buhari said: “Those of us who served under you in various capacities recall a man with boundless energy, with razor sharp mind, and one who does not suffer fools gladly. Working with you was a school in itself, and the lessons learnt are worth their weight in gold.”
According to Adesina, Obasanjo wished Buhari good health, saying he stood together with him in prayers, so that he could return soon to continue the good work he is doing for the country.
The president had also been reported to have spoken with the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, who recently lost his wife and with foreign leaders, including President Donald Trump of the United States, Moroccan Head of state , King Mohammed VI and African Union chairperson, President Alpha Conde of Guinea.
Another name that has been mentioned as having received a call from Buhari is former war time head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, though the report has yet to be confirmed by The Oasis Reporters.
According to a report, the
President had spoken thus : “Governor Yahaya Bello, I am impressed by your leadership qualities, what you are doing in Kogi State and all your prayers and support for me and Nigeria. I am resting here and will soon return home to continue our project of fixing Nigeria,” the governor was quoted as saying in a press statement made available by the Director-General of the governor’s Media Team. Responding, Governor Bello was quoted as saying: “Nigeria has won respect globally because of your integrity and the anti-graft war that has been hugely successful.
“We are praying for you. Kogites and Nigerians are solidly behind your administration as we continue to wish you sound health and the grace of Allah.”
Some days ago, The Oasis Reporters had published the elation his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina felt when his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari called him from London.
To him, it was a red letter day, a special moment to treasure for all time.
Unlike his colleague and alter ego, Garba Shehu who missed a call from the President and is therefore full of regrets that for an unexpected split second that he walked away from his phone, it rang, and the President could only console him with an irreverent text message later .
Meaning, always work and walk with your phone. Never be found at any time without it for the President can call you either in your bedroom or in the toilet.
That is now the circus of Nigerian governance from London via telephone chats with selected citizens .
Though the worries of Nigerians about their missing president has eased considerably because with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in charge, all the Buhari tension has eased, the naira has gained some weight and the ease of doing business has reduced, nobody cares any longer how soon or when the president would come back.