Viewpoint

February 8, 2023

Who is afraid of President Buhari

Palliatives

By Sunny Ikhioya

THE ways of politics are like that of man: wicked, dubious and manipulative; it is only tamed by very strong institutions. Even then, we have seen how these institutions have been challenged everywhere: America,  Brazil, Egypt, India and our own Nigeria, to mention just a few. 

While the institutions have stood firmly in countries like USA and Brazil, it is still struggling in others like Nigeria. So, when you see politicians displaying certain  manners that are not in comformity with the norm, just understand that it is their way. If we are able to deconstruct this, the happenings in our land these past few days will become clearer. People are still at loss over the drama in the All Progressives Congress, APC, involving its presidential candidate and the Presidency. 

My understanding of President Muhammadu Buhari is that he is strong- willed and very difficult to dissuade over any issue that he has strong convictions about. So, why are people misinterpreting his body language by saying he is not in control of affairs in his domain? They are ascribing statements to the presidency and at the same time saying that they are not referring to the President. 

Who is Buhari and who controls the Presidency? Who takes the blame and its successes? Who hires and fires the people working at the Presidency? Can a president be ignorant of the happenings around his presidency?  Is it possible to indict the Presidency without including the President? If so, why? Who is afraid of President Buhari? These are questions begging for answers as we continue to witness the shenanigans going on between the APC candidate and his supporters on the one hand and President Buhari and his Aso Rock team on the other hand. 

It all started when Alhaji Tanko Yakassai drew attention to the President’s body language as it concerns the campaign of Bola Tinubu, the APC candidate. According to Yakassai:  ” What I realise is that, I am not sure if Buhari is happy with the candidature of Tinubu; that is the issue.  “He is the APC because he is the President elected on the platform of the APC. But is he committed to Tinubu’s presidency? I have my doubt”. 

However, the Presidency, through Garba Shehu, promptly refuted Yakassai’s allegation saying: “Alhaji Tanko Yakassai is unknown to the APC. Everyone is entitled to their views, but what we do know is that his insight in a recent interview does not come from within the party or the President’s team”.

 Not long after this exchange, Tinubu was in Abeokuta where he launched an attack as he declared thus: “Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote and we will win , even if they change the ink in the naira notes. Whatever their plans will come to nought”. 

At this point, the question people have been asking is: who are these “they or them” that he is referring to? A spokesperson of his presidential campaign,  Bayo Onanuga, came up with this explanation: “For the records,  Asiwaju Tinubu during the APC campaign rally  in Abeokuta on Wednesday, in his statement, did not mention, blame or accuse President Muhammadu Buhari for the current challenges in the country “. But  at Ado-Ekiti Tinubu, again, fired thus:  “They are hoarding naira so that you can be angry and fight. They want confusion so that the election can be postponed. What they want is interim government. But we are wiser than them. We will not fight. Any rat that eat the rat poison will end up killing itself”. 

Further in Cross River State, he continued from where he stopped at Ekiti: “Today  they moved the exchange rate from N200 to N800. If they had addressed this, if they had arrested this, we won’t be where we are today, we will be greater. They don’t know the way, they don’t know how to think and they don’t know how to do”. And the question again: who are these “they”? The answers have been flowing back and front between the Tinubu campaign organisation and the opposition PDP; nobody is directly mentioning the President under whose watch the attacks being referred to here happened. 

Meantime, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has gone ahead to confirm that there is a cabal in Aso Rock bent on truncating Tinubu’s ambition but he will not put the blame on the President. 

Much ado about APC and the President. It is beginning to seem like the APC candidate can no longer run on the achievements of the present government. With all the happenings around us, they must have to carve their own path; but they must do this without stepping on Mr President’s toes, because of the enormous power that he wields,  which could decide who the next President will be. 

But Buhari is under observation; he has made promises to the whole world that he will run a transparent election before handing over power, the modus operandi for a free and fair election as espoused by the President does not seem to go down well with the APC candidate and his supporters; but the man is determined to forge ahead, nevertheless. 

These people are not giving Buhari his due, they are assuming that he is a president far removed from his government policies. But the man has shown several times that he understands what is happening. His taciturnity is making people to misread his intentions.

The President knows what he is doing and he is getting the message from Tinubu. Recently both of them attended a rally in Lafia where rumours of a discord in the party was dispelled. Going forward, the candidate and his party supporters must be directing their complaints to the right quarter: the President. 

Ikhioya wrote via: www.southsouthecho.com