All through last week, I couldn’t stop hoping that Nigerians will soon wake up from their hypnotistic power of hero-worship and realise that our current leader is human after all. One of the reasons why Nigerians fell so much in live with President Muhammadu Buhari , even in his days as a candidate is the fact that they don’t see him as part of the community of the average Nigerian politician.
But I am wondering whether recent events have inspired a change in our disposition. That recent utterances by the President would make us realise that Buhari is just like any politician run by ambition. Or how else do we explain his promise to expand his cabinet and fill the board of parastatals while addressing members of the National Executive of the All Progressives Congress, APC last week.
The President did talk about reshuffling his cabinet for the more efficiency o. He spoke about enlarging to satisfy the desires of members of his party who have grumbled about alienation for long.
During this meeting, which was indeed long in coming, Buhari was quoted as saying that the: “compressed Federal Executive Council will be expanded to bring in more SUPPORTERS (emphasis mine) at federal level, with fresh ideas to be injected into the government”. This statement and one or two more things the President said in the course of this meeting indicated that he was planning to expand the cabinet in satisfaction of rumblings within his party.
This argument can be extended further to speculate that President Buhari is persuaded to do this, possibly in spite of himself, in an attempt to swing opinion in his favour in the scramble for his party’s presidential ticket in 2019. Like all of them, ambition has coloured the President’s judgment; he has caught the bug!
I know someone will be saying now that the President has to satisfy his political party to remain relevant, but such sentiment should not betide a man, like Buhari who suggests that he is not like the ordinary politician whose interest is usually above that of the state.
Was it not the President who spoke about the need to shrink the structure of government and conserve national resources? Was he not the one who spoke about the need to save for the rainy day and put an end to profligate governance? How come this austere apostle now suddenly sees the meagre improvement of the country’s economy as a leeway for inviting more people to come and share of the national cake? At a period when the economy, even if they say is improving, is still on palpably shaky grounds?
The wonder increase this last Friday when the President was quoted as saying that he would revisit his lopsided appointment. Now, the admittance of any form of lopsidedness is as worrisome and the promise for a redress.
According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Buhari had said : “On the question of one-sided appointments, we will look at it. I have given instructions that a list of all heads of parastatals be submitted to me and I know they will not delay in doing that,” he said.” That this happened just a few days after the same presidency brought out a long list of appointment to justify his fairness in the distribution of appointments is really curious.
But that would be for those who do not want to see the issue for what it is. What has happened is that the President now realise that he wants a second term and he needs the support of all Nigerians. Now, it does not matter whether these things work in the interest of the country again in as much as it buys support for his ambition.
So how is the old man different from any of the other politicians? Aren’t they all the same, people who think about the next election over the future of the country?