.

The moment homosapiens invented language and began using it to communicate with one another, especially to pass information, the possibility of miscommunication and lying because of the fallibility inherent in the entire process must have motivated early humans to watch out for falsehood and seek the truth.

In other words, the effort to detect intentional or inadvertent misrepresentation of objective reality is fundamental to the quest for truth which has reached its zenith in science. The significance of truth is grounded in biological evolution. Given that all members of the earth’s biotic community are subject to the mechanics of natural selection, the more accurate a species can represent reality objectively and communicate it amongst the members, their survivability is enhanced considerably.

That is why human beings are at the pinnacle of evolution at the moment precisely because the human brain, despite its imperfections and limitations, contains the most developed biological equipment amongst earthly creatures for an increasingly accurate representation of the world in terms of auditory and ocular symbols (spoken and written language).

And with the impressive developments in digital technology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and integration of electronic devices into different parts of the human body, including microchips in the brain, the amazing possibilities in human representations of, and engagement with, reality undreamt of by pioneers of these technological innovations seem not to be far-fetched at all.

Now, if the notion of saying it as it is or the correspondence theory of truth is applied to the current situation In Nigeria, it becomes crystal clear that leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have taken lying, deceit and hypocrisy to a whole new level probably unprecedented in the country’s labyrinthine history.

The really interesting aspect of such a disturbing situation is that President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and a handful of top officials of government are devout Muslims and Christians who should be honest and truthful in their dealings with the people. But since the APC took over power over six years ago, many of the prominent Nigerians that projected Buhari in 2015 as a man of integrity and honesty have realised they made a grave mistake when they bought the dummy sold by the party.

That is why many Nigerians who foresaw that Buhari would not make a good President and warned against voting for him in 2015 hardly pay attention anytime Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and several prominent Nigerians who promoted the sai baba myth complain about the terrible state of Nigeria since Buhari came to power.

One wonders how any intelligent and sincere Nigerians conversant with the unsavoury reputation of Buhari, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others that formed the nucleus of APC could believe that the party would provide good leadership. In my view that would be like expecting that a delicious and nutritious pot of stew can be prepared with stale or almost completely rotten ingredients. Probably out of naiveté and self-serving reasons Soyinka and the rest allowed their sense of judgment to be muddled by the vuvuzela propaganda of Buhari and his enablers.

It is really heart-wrenching that President Buhari, a man millions of people thought would perform better than his much-inveighed predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in the fight against corruption, security, economic development and nation-building seems completely clueless and overwhelmed by the burden of leadership such that even diehard buharimaniacs are now bitterly regretting voting for him. Millions of people nationwide have already concluded, correctly in my view, that his government is a failure.

Accordingly, no amount of propaganda and deceptive flowery language and doctored footages from Garba Shehu, Lauretta Onochie, Bashir Ahmad, Joe Igbokwe and, sadly, Pastor Femi Adesina, can obliterate the fact that Nigeria is in a deeper existential black hole than she had ever been since independence, except during the civil war. Indeed, for the suffering masses, Buhari’s government is like a plague they simply have to endure till it runs its course.

Besides, it is annoying to hear Prof. Osinbajo and few beneficiaries of the flawed system proclaim that Nigerians are lucky to have Buhari as President, that he is doing Nigerians a favour by being President or wish that another President with Buhari’s qualities should be elected again.

Tufiakwa: for goodness sake, there ought to be a limit to bootlicking, but Buhari’s praise-singers led by Osinbajo do not understand that or the fact that his mediocre intellectual ability and health challenges cannot allow him to lead optimally.

How can any Nigerian in his right senses feel lucky to be led by someone under whose presidency Nigeria became the poverty capital of the world, the third most terrorised country worldwide and ranks 154 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index? Only a sycophant would wish that a President as flawed as Buhari should ever emerge again as long as Nigeria remains a single country.

Now, in all the interviews he participated in since 2015, President Buhari has consistently displayed low intellectual capacity by giving off-key answers to simple questions, which suggests that he did not understand those questions.

Thus, judged dispassionately by what has transpired in the country in the last six years or so President Buhari is incapable of managing a state efficiently let alone a complex, multiply plural, a country like Nigeria. On several occasions when critics point out the weaknesses of our President, a man who honestly admitted that his age and fragile health are impediments to his effective functioning in office, useful idiots often accuse them of ethnic bias or hatred for the President.

It is instructive to note that since coming to office Buhari and his cohorts have been blaming the immediate past government, a strategy they now complement with hyperbolic claims about his modest achievements. The claim that critics of this administration hate Buhari is one of the most stupid accusations anyone can bring up. Why would any Nigerian waste emotions hating Buhari when there is enough evidence that the man is unfit to govern? What exactly would hating Buhari or any other politician contribute to making one’s life better? Anyone wasting emotions hating the President must be unintelligent.

The hellish living conditions in the country today is such that the average Nigerian must mobilise his emotional energy to provide the basic needs for himself and his family, and not waste precious emotional energy in a futile hatred of a leader that does not even know or care whether he exists or not.

One of the reasons why I think that President Buhari is not a good leader is the levity with which he treats the concerns of ordinary Nigerians, particularly his condescending and aloof attitude towards them during a crisis. Even if one decides to ignore the bizarre pro-Fulani manner he has been handling the herdsmen terrorism across the north-central and southern parts of Nigeria, his tepid response to the current fuel scarcity caused by gross incompetence of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) clearly indicates a leader intellectually and emotionally alienated, insulated or disconnected from the pains of his people.

Buhari is the petroleum minister, and the topmost echelons of the NNPC under his watch are dominated by northerners. Knuckleheads who supported Buhari appointing himself petroleum minister argued that since he occupied the same post under the military he has valuable experience for the job.

But they forgot that in serious countries a man of Buhari’s shaky educational pedigree would not have been appointed to such a critical post in the first instance and that he is too old now and not fully fit to superintend the extremely complicated petroleum sector at this time.

Having said that, why would a caring President who presides over the oil ministry abandon suffering Nigerians and travel abroad during biting fuel crisis for a meeting of doubtful value to the people instead of staying behind until the problem is resolved and those responsible punished – an event his deputy could attend on his behalf anyway?

Why was the delay in holding accountable top officials of NNPC involved in the importation of contaminated fuel that precipitated the current fuel scarcity? The truth is that the APC government under Buhari is a collection of avaricious bulimic politicians whose primary objective is to serve their own selfish interests together with the vested interests of Fulani caliphate colonialists and their enablers both in Nigeria and beyond.

From experience, none of the top officials of NNPC will be punished because they are sacred cows. In the end, it would be business as usual – no accountability or sanctions against those whose greed led to the present hardship of getting fuel.

Nigerians with their legendry shock-absorbers for enduring leadership-induced suffering would move on with their lives until the next crisis erupts.

The ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a pointer that this government is pachydermatous due to its inability to learn from the past.

Several years ago I wrote a series of essays on the ogbanje phenomenon of a strike by lecturers. Looking at holistically, successive governments especially in the last three decades or so have unwisely neglected education at all levels.

However, frequent stoppages of work by university teachers is damaging the very system they are trying to save from collapse, and in the last few years, each successive strike brings diminishing returns.

Of course, the insincerity, foot-dragging and plain refusal to deal with the problem decisively by the government can task the patience of Job to breaking point. Still, ASUU ought to continue discussing with the relevant officials irrespective of the irritating delay tactics of the latter.

In future negotiations, the union’s representatives should focus on the welfare and emoluments of its members and stop grandstanding on inessentials.

It must be observed at this point that the disbursement of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) which is a stop-gap measure or palliative for lecturers is too complicated and prone to manipulation by ASUU executives and management in various universities. In my opinion, it should be discontinued immediately and mainstreamed into the salaries of lecturers.

The University of Lagos, Akoka, is one of the very few universities that seem to be doing the right thing with respect to using the approved template in disbursing the funds.

Still many lecturers there are dissatisfied for good reasons despite efforts by those in charge to deal with each complaint on its merit. In fact, across various universities, nationwide unscrupulous lecturers, heads of department, top management officials and members of ASUU executive present false information and manipulate the process in order to increase their own share of the money, thereby short-changing others including Professors.

Again, in some schools, ASUU leaders organise meetings where members purportedly approve that some percentage of the EAA should be set aside for one project or another, a practice that clearly negates the purpose for which the EAA was instituted in the first place. As far as I am concerned the EAA has outlived its usefulness and should be scrapped. To be continued. 

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