Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:59 am
By Tunde Asaju
Why was I neither shocked nor surprised that President Buhari was ‘misled’ in Plateau to commission a project that wasn’t implemented by his government? For those who have been cured of party or religion-induced amnesia, this shouldn’t be a surprise.
Four years ago, when the Ottawa Airport Parkway Pedestrian bridge was commissioned, I was among local residents that trooped out to see then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. If you grew up in Naija where presidents commission street culverts with pomp and fanfare, you expect national leaders not to miss a photo-op at such an important occasion. Harper was a no-show. Since then, more important projects have been completed and put to use without commissioning. Canadian politicians are snubs with very disappointing leadership style! Ontario’s premier Catherine Wynne won’t leave Queen’s Park to receive Justin Trudeau, she expects the PM to use a GPS. Both of them are Liberals!
I do remember a funny, if embarrassing story of a Naija governor who commissioned a borehole that had no water. His officials filled his cup for the photo-op. Some of us know of boreholes that dried up a day after they were commissioned with fanfare. No need to find out how NTA covers such events, television college teaches a course called patriotic journalism in which thirty million viewers can’t be fooled!
Embarrassment, like empathy is neither a presidential requirement nor an attribute in Naija governance. Just watch the president’s sartorial dressing on his recent visit to scenes of carnage and destruction in the past week to reconfirm that you were in the wrong PR class. There were idiots complaining about the red carpet laid for the President in Dapchi as unwashed parents of 110 schoolgirls waited to see him. To lesson the impact, he compares his lack of empathy with that of his predecessor. American pupils lost less than two dozens but had the temerity to boycott classes last week. Their parents gathered 7,000 shoes at the Capitol to protest the number so far killed in gun violence at schools. They are counting. Scores are lost daily and hundred others kidnapped beside Chibok and Dapchi – who is counting?
The president is not just unflappable in the face of disaster, he is so unshockable that even where he appoints, he’s incapable of disappointing. Pa Bubu as some of his friends call him, ordered his chief of police to move to Makurdi; the chap moved 100 kilometers close. In the mind of Pa Bubu who was not aware that the Berlin Wall tumbled, Makurdi, Lafia and Jos are part of the old Benue-Plateau state and his order was not technically flouted. When he discovered the truth, consciousness that you do not fire an IG that presided over the manufacture of millions of votes at your election cannot be dismissed with ignominy, so Pa Bubu rebuked him silently. Is there anything wrong with that?
From the loud complaints from da aza room, excusing the indefensible is a leadership style. After all, if your die-hard followers gave you the sobriquet of mai Gaskiya, or the truthful one, you naturally expect truth to flow in the veins of all your appointees.
We are not a nation that makes demands. American schoolchildren heckle Donald Dumb more than Naija voters demand accountability of their ruiners. American children are not fed on a dose of religion and tribal-induced nepotism. Those asking for the sack of the IG should increase their fasting and prayer. A Trust reporter was kidnapped at the National Assembly Complex and was said to be on the way to a state where a governor wouldn’t mind setting him up for assassination, torture or disappearance, under police escort.
We are not a nation that makes demand of our ruiners; on the contrary we deify them. Check the rented crowd on the president’s contrived tours for proof. Femi Adesina even became Ortom’s spokesman reporting how the Benue governor thanked the president for his prompt response to the massacre in his domain.
So, Shehu Sani gave us something to chew with the story that each member of the Red Chamber gets over N13.5 million monthly (about $37,000) for transforming indolence into fully remunerated art.
Read the Shehu Sani interview here: http://thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2018/03/there-is-civil-war-in-buharis-government-shehu-sani/
We’ve all pretended to be surprised because we were not aware that Abdulmumin Jibrin went on a two-year suspension for confessing his role in the legislative padding of budgets. We were sleeping when Ali Ndume was suspended for 90 days for drawing attention to Dino Melaiye’s dubious certificates and Bukola Saraki’s bulletproof Range Rover. In 2008, we were too busy enjoying the dividends of democracy when ex-DIG Nuhu Aliyu described the senate of his time as filled with drug dealers and 419ers. Of course Eso Jinadu is not Buruji Kashamu the drug baron wanted in America but making laws for us.
A nation is only as good as the people it elects. Now we have a president whose eyes are too holy to behold the log of corruption in his yard but offer to help Ghana fight the speck in theirs. Ignorance may not be a defense in law; it is certainly an excuse in Naija politics and governance. We demand nothing of leadership here and we’re satisfied getting nothing in return.