The Oasis Reporters
January 23, 2019
One cannot but help shake his or her head from side to side in sadness at the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari during his televised interview with Nigeria’s international broadcaster, Kadaria Ahmed recently. Those who missed the live broadcast on NTA network, are able to watch it online, anytime on the Internet and verify.
It was sad, especially for Nigerians who knew the ramrod tough talking Buhari of the military regime between 1984-1985.
In contrast, the man who was on Kadaria Ahmed’s program was a shadow of the Buhari that we all knew. Nothing wrong really, with ageing. Every one ages. But what is important is how the ageing process goes, viz-a-viz the onerous responsibilities attached to the position of the gerontocrat.
From his performance, it was obvious that the man has lost touch with his environment. And he also has auditory problems with the inability to mentally process questions and responses, only left with nostalgia of high moments in his younger life.
The bewildered looks on the face of the members of his entourage said it all. Somehow, like a well scripted movie with a great director, the live camera panned and beamed on the face of Chris Ngige, a medical doctor and Minister of Labour in Buhari’s cabinet. He used to be the governor of Anambra state who cheated with the ballot and then got impeached. His medical face and body language spoke volumes, and it was easy to read his diagnosis of the Buhari performance and condition.
Another interesting face to watch was Buhari’s helper, his Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo. His face was most times, serious and cast down, almost looking sad. But he is a professor of law. And all lawyers must know a thing about the act of theatre.
Yes, he cut in to rescue Buhari a couple of times, putting on his best. One could almost read the inevitability of the interview and live performance. But ordinarily, the feeling is there that he would have wished no one knew his behind the scenes frustration with a non performing principal, at least until after the Presidential election, such that if push comes to shove and they win, whatever happens can’t be too bad for his prospects as a politician with an eye for the big offer.
No one is immune from the chance of senility at advanced old age. Therefore we must bear with our senior citizens.
But then, how would we fare with a non performing leadership at the helm of affairs for an excruciating four years ?
Nigerians would recall that in 1984-85, Nigerians awoke with the shocking news of an alleged government sponsorship of a daring kidnap attempt on late Umaru Dikko in London. The attempt was a complete failure, nonetheless, and it heaped opprobrium on the then military regime of General Buhari, leading to a cut in diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Britain.
For whatever it was worth, it showed an action government, albeit, the wrong kind of action.
Recall also that before Buhari became Head of State in 1983, he as a military commander pursued rebel forces that strayed into Nigerian territory from Chad. He hotly pursued them deep into Chad without obtaining permission from the country’s president, late Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari.
Ironically, the same man who wanted to kidnap Dikko back to answer questions cannot chase rag tag kidnappers out of his home state of Katsina. His own Katsina people now flee to neighboring Niger Republic to live and sleep well. Governor Masari of Katsina state now bemoans his fate as leader of his people under the jackboots of kidnappers.
Finally, as Nigeria begins to count days to the election in mid February, who are the APC supporters voting for as their choice?
Is it President Buhari, the faceless cabal or Osinbajo ?