Again, Buhari goes low on critics

May 2, 2021
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President Muhammadu Buhari and his team in the Nigerian presidency and the federal cabinet appear to consistently go very low in responding to critics, often deviating from the substantive issues to extraneous matters to ridicule a critic. There are indications that either the president is naturally averse to truth or is being mismanaged by those appointed into the presidency.

Recently, it was the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo SAN, versus a musical artist, Eedris Abdulkareem, on how the latter approached the minister for financial help, which he did not receive. The whole world was told the story by the minister – real or fiction.

As expected, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, did not disappoint Nigerians over potential blackmail of Father Mbaka after he descended on the president, calling on President Buhari to resign or face impeachment over the intractable insecurity and the collapsed economy in Nigeria under the Buhari administration. There were expectations that Father Mbaka could be dragged in the mud of corruption after regretting his support for President Buhari in 2015 and 2019, telling the president to quit office for leadership failure. In his benevolence, the SSA Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, shifted from over corruption allegations to seeming folktale of demanding contract from the president.

Rather than drawing lessons from public concerns or criticisms, the SSA Media in a statement indicated that “Father Mbaka is everything apart from what he claims to be.”

Garba was of the view that an outsider distilling the avalanche of verbiage, will be surprised that after supporting the President two times to win the Presidency, Father Mbaka has made a complete U-Turn, preposterously asking President Buhari to resign or be impeached.

The presidential media aide narrated that the point of departure was when Father Mbaka asked for a meeting at the State house, and to the shock of Presidential Aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. He said that the President graciously allowed them in, “and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support.”

Garba noted that anyone familiar with President Buhari knows that he does not break the laid down rules in dealing with contracts or any other government business for that matter. He added that the president requested the appropriate authorities to deal with the matter in accordance with laid down rules. Ironically, Garba did not present any project proposal signed by Father Mbaka in evidence.

According to Garba, “inside the Villa, discretion prevailed, that if those pictures and requests were made public, the followers will turn against the religious leader. None of it was released. Now, this is what is eating Father Mbaka.”

However, the presidency had generated wide disquiets since the issuance of the statement at the weekend after Father Mbaka made the famous public outcry. However, Nigerians challenge the presidential media aide to release the video clips he claimed discretion constrains the presidency from making public.

Nigeria is currently in obvious insecurity crisis – the frequency of kidnapping has been high with associated ransom payment, the northwest has become prone to banditry, Boko Haram terrorists have remained uncontrolled in the northeast, killer herdsmen are having field day in the southwest and southeast.

The insecurity crisis has exacerbated to high altitude that the bandits, Boko Haram terrorists, emergent unknown gunmen now take the battle to security operatives, killing police officers and soldiers at will.

Father Mbaka was not alone in his demand on President Buhari. several other Nigerians, including members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) share similar view.

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