Buhari, Aso Rock non-essential staff, go “home”

Could it be that enjoying the fact that he has become a non-essential member of staff at Aso Rock, Buhari has heeded the British call to go “home” until things calm down since the other members of his family are already tucked away in Dubai, UAE?

By Ikechukwu Amaechi

In his kairotic moment at the UK House of Commons dispatch box on January 31, 2022, Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labor Party since 2020, gave the then UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnsona full dressing.

It was a remarkable speech. Johnson “is an unashamed man…damaging everyone and everything around him along the way,” Sir Starmer said.

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What was Boris Johnson’s crime?

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Britons were asked to make the most heartbreaking sacrifices in what Starmer described as “a terrible collective trauma, endured by all, appreciated by none”, a period during whose funeral was missed and dying relatives were not visited, Johnson, whose administration set the rules and who should lead by force of personal example, routinely broke the rules.

For taking the British people for fools and scorning the sacrifice of the people, the Leader of the Opposition said the Prime Minister had shown himself unfit to perform his duties.

The British people, he said, “believe the Prime Minister should do the decent thing and step down”.

But he doubted that possibility. “Of course he won’t. Because he is a shameless man. And just like he has throughout his life, he damages everyone and everything around him along the way,” Starmer lamented.

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He was wrong. Just seven months after Starmer’s damning speech, Boris Johnson’s tenure at 10 Downing Street came to an abrupt, albeit ignominious, end with his resignation on September 6, 2022.

In Alaigbo, a shameless man is feared because he is capable of committing the most heinous atrocities without flinching. If we extrapolate it to the position of leadership, a shameless leader is more dangerous than an ignorant leader. A political party without any sense of shame is a national scourge.

I decided before now not to comment on the calamity that befell this country in 2015 because it amounts to talking to the deaf. The Buhari administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC) that brought it into existence are oblivious to the reasoning.

But recent events have proven that what we are dealing with goes beyond incompetence and lack of capacity. In President Buhari, we are dealing with a leader, just like Boris Johnson, shamelessly, a man who is busy damaging everyone and everything around him without caring about the world.

How do I mean? It is sheer shame for Buhari to leave Nigeria at a time of unprecedented flooding for South Korea to attend the so-called Global Organic Summit, an event organized by the Korean government and the World Food Organization. health.

The idea of ​​the summit was to bring together leaders from the vaccine and biotechnology industry to discuss innovations and ways to strengthen global health security.

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Of the roughly 300 people who attended the summit, apart from President Yoon Suk-yeol, whose country hosted the event, Buhari was the only other head of state present. Besides Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa and former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, other participants were representatives of global organizations and multinational pharmaceutical companies.

Buhari is not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. So what was he doing at the Summit? What does he know about problems? What value did his presence add?

I can picture in my mind some of the scientists surreptitiously glaring at the man in the resplendent agbada, wondering what he was doing in their midst at Grand Walkerhill Seoul, the venue for the Summit.

Defending the inexplicable and brazen junket, presidential aides said Nigeria was invited to the summit based on its selection along with five other African countries by the WHO and the European Union (EU) at the EU-Africa summit in February in Brussels, Belgium, for the transfer of mRNA technology and bio-manufacturing of vaccines on the African continent.

And so? Should President Buhari be present? Could one of the CEOs of Nigerian pharmaceutical companies, the CEO of NAFDAC or at most the Minister of Health, people who know the issues well, not represent Nigeria? Why were the presidents of the other five African countries not present?

The fact that Buhari attended the themed summit – The Future of Vaccines and Bio-Health – where his presence added no value underscores how hopelessly idle he is in Aso Rock.

But most appalling is the fact that as he embarked on this journey, floods killed at least 603 people across Nigeria, leaving 2,407 injured and 1.3 million others displaced from their communities.

These chilling statistics were released by none other than the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who also revealed that around 82,053 houses were totally destroyed and another 121,318 badly damaged. . While 332,327 hectares of land were completely washed away, 108,392 hectares were seriously affected. In total, more than 2.5 million people have been affected by the floods.

In Bayelsa, the most affected state, 300 communities and villages in seven of the eight local governments were totally or partially submerged and 700,000 people displaced by the time Buhari left. The two main points of entry into the state by road from Delta and Rivers states were impassable as water had washed out most of the road.

Yet Buhari did not find it necessary to visit any of the states, nor to address the nation as any president worth his salt would in such circumstances. In fact, even if the president was traveling abroad, such a natural disaster would have forced him to return home. But in Buhari’s case, it’s the other way around. Truth be told, Nigerians have slacked off this president too much.

As if that were not enough, Buhari, who could not forgive Nigerians for the flood disaster, was quick to send his heartfelt condolences to President Yoon Suk-yeo, the government and the people of the Republic of Korea. South, as well as the families of victims of last Saturday’s stampede in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood in which at least 150 people were killed. His condolence message arrived less than 24 hours after the tragic incident.

On Monday, Buhari sent another message of heartfelt condolences to the government and people of India following reports that at least 141 people died after a British-era bridge collapsed on Sunday night.

As I write, Buhari is in London for medical tourism. This follows terror alerts issued by the US, UK and other foreign missions last week. Countries have not just issued security advisories, they have taken the very telling step of evacuating non-essential personnel and family members from Abuja, the seat of power in Nigeria.

The Buhari government has been huffing ever since, taking umbrage at countries that warned their nationals of an impending terrorist attack in Abuja.

Yet after all that bluster, he hopped on one of the many presidential jets and headed to London for a “routine medical check”. Aso Rock said he was expected back in the country in the “second week of November” as if Nigerians cared.

Could it be that enjoying the fact that he has become a non-essential member of staff at Aso Rock, Buhari has heeded the British call to go “home” until things calm down since the other family members are already in Dubai, UAE?

It is sad that the irony of this trip at a time when other countries are asking their non-essential staff to leave Nigeria is lost on Buhari. It is the mark of shameless leadership.

Michelle J. Kelley