Double standards was invented in Nigeria.
If there was ever going to be a competition for proficiency in saying one thing today and amending it for personal expediency tomorrow, I swear, no country will beat Nigeria to it. Na so e just be.
In addition to that, so many of our people live their whole lives in dreams, almost in perpetual denial of the truth. But why does it bug me, aren’t we all in this together. If the heavens decide to fall one day, it will fall on all of us, including those who insist that they can see, hear, or say no wrong about Nigeria’s leadership for the next four years.
Just a few months ago, we could count the number of times our president travelled, literarily take a microscopic scrutiny of his itinerary and entourage and accurately identify how much of public resources would have been spent. But now that the name of the helmsman has changed, there must be some sense in every travel no matter the situation of the electorate at home.
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari flew out to Iran for the 3rd Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF). He attended in his capacity as President and Commander in chief as well as Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum. Buhari took his junior minister Ibe Kachukwu and Power Minister, Babatunde Fashola along with him. That was at a period in which the nation had grappled with scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for about three weeks.
If GEJ had tried that 12 months ago he would be on the firing line. But not this special one. There must be an excuse for every trip that this man takes even if the nation is not benefiting anything from it. Even if dissent, hunger and terrorism are ravaging us at home.
A senior colleague of mine, who is like a full time defender of the president, put a succinct tone to it on his Facebook page some days back. He says: “Which befits Nigeria, a cocooned President or an internationally acclaimed and respected President?”
But I ask how condescending can we get? By the way who is this internationally acclaimed president? Are we talking about an Olusegun Obasanjo here or have we just elected Wole Soyinka or Emeka Anyaoku President?
Let us even assume without conceding that our President is the international celebrity that my friend says he is, how does his status affect a woman who spent 12 hours (6am-6pm) at an NNPC fuel station in Kwara State just to be able to buy the product at the official price but went back home without joy. How does it affect hundreds of millions of Nigerians who are at the mercy of a confused system?
How does PMB’s being out of the country for 40 days out of the 240 days (stats not original to me please) benefit the country? Has the United States started to sell military equipment to Nigeria now? Have Germany, France and all those countries come to solve the Boko Haram challenge for us? Are they going to help us with the hunger and anger and despondency at home?
Okay, maybe we really cannot ask the president not to travel but that would be after we see him do something concrete about the challenges that his people face at home. And if his ministers cannot represent him on some of these trips, they can at least hold the forte for him and give direction or even words that can assuage the citizen’s feeling in the period of the president’s junketing (apologies to Saharareporters.com).
And speaking of ministers, they are going to be three old weeks in office and I do not recall any other than Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, make as much noise as the president told us they would be making during one of his international trips in September.
Like their principal, they seem to have imbibed the slow and steady style. But does every problem answer to such slow steadiness? And please, is Kachuckwu still the GMD of the NNPC? I am just curious, please.