The ability to communicate with the public, lucidly and intelligently is how many world leaders sell their countries to the international community. Vibrant leaders with even moderate oratory prowess are able to sell their ideas and visions, but Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President has at best been demarketing Nigeria. His conducts and utterances as President for almost four years, have subjected Nigeria to public ridicule. Instances include him referring to young Nigerians as Lazy Youths, Ministers as ‘noisemakers’ with less role to play in government as long as there are civil servants.
The “other room” remark, which went viral, a comment made following public outbursts by Aisha his wife that the President is not in charge of government but certain clandestine elements. Added to this, his inability to present himself as a vibrant, thoughtful leader also contributed to the rumoured comment by Donald Trump, the United States President, that he never wants to meet ‘anyone that lifeless’ again.
In his defence, supporters have often said Buhari is not given to speaking many words and that while he may not have great mastery of the English language, he has ‘good intentions’ for the country. Agreed, we are all learners, since English is after all a borrowed language. Not being proficient in the Use of Language, does not necessarily make a person unintelligent or “illiterate” although exceptions exist. President Buhari is however, deficient in intelligence, charisma, and moral uprightness required to be at the helm of affairs in Nigeria.
It would be fine if he was unable to express himself, but could at least direct the affairs of Nigeria Positively. He is unable to do either of these. For Aisha, his wife to have been reported on at least two occasions, lamenting that her husband is not in charge of running the country, shows a lot is wrong. She has often complained of a cabal that has hijacked government, especially two supposed individuals who operate like mafia bosses.
Any vote for Buhari this week will invariably be a vote for these puppet masters pulling the strings behind the scene. The ‘faceless presidents’ should not be given a chance to run Nigeria into the ground and continue holding the country back from making progress. As captured in a BusinessDay editorial, there is a very good chance Buhari deliberately delegates a lot of his duties to aides and subordinates so that if anything goes wrong, he could deny responsibility.
That is why the president has denied virtually all his campaign promises from 2015 because they were made by the party and not by him directly. Even this time around, he has handed over his re-election campaign to others. Should he be elected and he cannot fulfil all the promises that are being made in his name, he will again deny the promises.
It is difficult to find videos of Buhari, making declarations of what he wants to do for Nigeria. This largely accounts for why the President conveniently denies responsibility when the citizenry try to hold him accountable for government failing on certain deliverables.
His 2019 campaign stops have so far been overshadowed more by his blunders in announcing wrong candidates, and less about his plans for the country. His lieutenants, who are often appointed to speak on his behalf, are more or less thrown under the bus when the President reneges on whatever pledge was made to the public.
It will not be out of place to assert that this President called Muhammadu Buhari is never ‘aware’ of anything. Either mischievously or due to his inadequacy, Buhari is never aware when his aides are executing lawless activities, capable of jeopardising peace and national stability. Yet, as President, the buck is supposed to stop at his desk.
Muhammadu Buhari’s conducts and comments have polarised Nigerians, and made the country a subject of jests in the international community. Worse still, he appears lacking of the intellectual capacity to successfully conceive plans, policies, and strategies in managing Africa’s largest economy to prosperity.