Buhari as a metaphor - Gboyega Adejumo

Buhari achieved the seemingly paradoxical feat of being both too slow and too fast: he was too ponderous when he was campaigning for the mandate in 2015 and too rash when he eventually got elected. When he eventually became president, he became too slow in tackling the main issues of rebuilding a divided polity, the economy, the trust and in building the much needed consumer and foreign confidence in the economy. He was too fast in placing Northerners in every aspect of national position, completely shattering the very basis of an already fragile unity. Too fast in picking mostly imaginary enemies and indulging in military exercises against the sections of the country he labeled as “enemies”! It was a strange dichotomy which seemed to expose some fatal limitations as a leader of a diverse polity - perhaps the conglomerate of the most diverse people ever assumed, assembled together as a nation.

Buhari as lacking in capacity, admitted as much when he got back from his first medical vacation on 10th of March 2017, when he said to the Acting President, Osinbajo, that he appreciates, his youthfulness and his education, while crediting himself with his military experience and old age — hardly the prerequisites to bring to the table, but then Buhari is grossly lacking in education, having no secondary school certification.

Preponderantly all about bombs and bullets as his cash crops, Buhari was ab initio a recipe for a disastrous outing.

So, Why do some folks still support Buhari?

There are only a few reasons why Buhari still has a near significant support, and of course a belief system that is based on shaping opinion through reportage of carefully selected items have not helped matters. Though the initial support base has whittled down considerably, a huge number of those still holding out some fealty to Buhari are Nigerians who live abroad. They are of course removed from a daily awakening to a traumatized existence–a pot of soup that used to cost N650 now costs, N6,500! Abroadians do not feel this, or they simply forget that a similar situation of a pot of soup rising from N65 to N650, drove them out of the country in the first place. They hear of the largely media creation of hugely exaggerated corruption burst-up and they see a reason for holding on to a fading notion that “we the people” should be alright. How that changes the fact that many families cannot afford a pot of soup eludes their minds. The Nigerian living in Nigeria is daily in fear, trauma, not knowing where the next meal is coming from.

On the other hand, there are the disappearing class of Nigerians, too shocked to believe their dreams of a change have gone up in smoke. With so much buyer’s remorse, occasionally like a freestyle swimmer, coming up for air, hoping a miracle of a turn around will happen. A spirited effort at a half-hearted defence comes up, temporarily, not every so often, still they keep fleeting hope alive.

And finally, the class of stubborn followers, totally averse to reasoning, completely disheveled in their mental state, not tidy at all, just keeping appearances, illogical. We also have the lowest in the rungs of Buhari’s supporters, those who do it for the money. The Buhari Media Centre and those peripherals, who are in it for the promises of what is derivable and receivable.

In all of these realities, Nigeria is not getting better, school fees are being owed, rents are not being paid, debts are not being settled and payments are being delayed. The country is stagnant. The drums of war are beating and mostly the psychology of it, lies in Buhari himself.

The country exists on life-support, living and hemorrhaging at the same time. Shall we take the first step at trying to come out of coma by releasing the congenital cord of attachments to emotion and stupidity by collectively asking President Buhari to step aside for the much needed breathing of life to permeate the polity?

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