Buhari’s Speech: Changing sitting order in a stuck Titanic? By Louis Odion, FNGE

Sat Guru Maharaj Ji….The man who wants to heal President Buhari

The cartel of political
prayer-warriors are bound to lay claims. But if anyone
deserves credit for at least “fast-tracking” the return
last Saturday evening of President Muhammadu
to, as they say, continue his “good work” in Aso Rock,
it must be the procession of contrarians who had laid a siege to Abuja and their comrades who barricaded Abuja House in London, regardless of official posturing to the contrary.
By openly
declaring himself fit but waiting for the doctor’s formal discharge, PMB had inadvertently made himself
vulnerable to accusations of “moonlighting” away in London while the situation at home was
growing precarious.

Carried away apparently by the euphoria
that engulfed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International
the moment the presidential jet landed or maybe out of sheer
empathy with a patient struggling to rise from the nadir, the media would
effectively downplay the candle-lit vigil by the motley crowd of Nigerians who
had assembled in front of Buhari’s London camp and heckled the president
all Friday night till the morning of the day he departed.

Buhari: Nigeria needs him more…


Had PMB not taken off that day, there was a certainty those pesky
Nigerians, who had secured London
police permit to so assemble and protest, would resume their heckling behind
the nation’s green/white flag with the prospects of the name-calling
degenerating to an international embarrassment.
That could not be the kind of
atmosphere you expect an old patient to convalesce effectively. His misery
would only have been compounded. 

Governor Nyesom Nwike…Gave a ‘Surprised’ Appearance at Buhari’s return

But of the entire spectacle that
later unfolded in Abuja that day, the
most unsettling must be the appearance of Governor Nyesom Wike.
A political master-stroke no doubt by the wily PDP gladiator from Rivers against his rivals now holed up
in Abuja. Political difference, he
seemed eager to demonstrate, should not result in death-wish. (Not surprising,
his bitter political foe and Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi was missing at the welcoming party.)

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi…Missing at Buhari’s return ‘party’ at Abuja Airport


Expectedly, since Saturday,
sycophants have been trying to outdo each other across the land in continuation
of the culture of “eye service”. Not helping matters are those whose
deeds tend to border more on profanity than holiness by issuing loud
statements announcing plans to fast or pray for Buhari, as if the creeds of all faiths do not already oblige
genuine believers to always remember leaders in prayers as a matter of
The vitality of the king, we are
already told, is the well being of the community.
One governor declared public holiday
for “thanksgiving” even though he had for a whole week lived in
denial of a grave pestilence that claimed no fewer 60 people in his

Sat Guru Maharaj ji….Want to heal President Muhammadu Buhari


Buhari’s sudden return would, however, seem to have spoilt things
for someone like Sat Guru Maraji,
just when many were beginning to expect to hear the day he would make his
own appearance in London. Long
before the much revered Pastor E A Adeboye of the Redeemed Church wrapped up penultimate Thursday the flurry of august
visitations from Nigeria, the Ibadan-based mystic had relentlessly
offered to heal the ailing president like “I
cured IBB”.

General Ibrahim Babangida….Healed by Sat Guru Maharaj ji?

But while laying claims to omnipotence,
it seems completely lost on the self-styled prophet that the same IBB has over the years continued to bear
the pain resulting from an injury sustained during the civil war with grace and
today cuts the perfect portrait of forbearance against the agonizing ravages of
Well, we can only hope that with Buhari’s return and gratitude formally
expressed in his Monday broadcast for all the “prayers”, such comical
distractions will now stop. 
Reacting to the same broadcast,
however, embattled Rep Abdulmumin Jibrin
(of the “padded budget” fame) said what he heard sounded more like a
“coup speech”. On the contrary, I thought I saw a president very much
in a hurry to get back in Abuja
groove and reassert his authority.

The Author, Louis Odion FNGE….Captures the President’s return in deep analysis

Maybe, Jibrin
was tempted to say that because the president evoked the picture of antiquity
by not availing himself of latest technology in a teleprompter and instead
chose to read a script, clumsily shuffling the sheets before viewers. 

Anyone familiar with the production
of television broadcast by a political leader will readily attest it can be
very, very exacting indeed, much more for a recuperating septuagenarian. 

Kogi State’s Governor Yahaya Bello….Declared Holiday for the President

In terms of content analysis, the
speech was rather too fleeting to speak to the nuances of burning national
issues the president obviously wanted to address.
Hopefully, as he gets more briefing
in the coming days, the commander-in-chief will gradually get a fuller picture
to enable him better appreciate the dangerous shape things assumed while he was
Perhaps the most memorable line in
the broadcast was this: “The
consensus is that, it is
better to live together than to live apart”.

Late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu

Clearly, Buhari, being a war-tested General, seems obsessed with only the
security dimension of the national question.  By recalling his extensive
conversation in 2003 with Emeka Ojukwu,
the now late Biafran folk hero, Buhari appears too eager to demonstrate
to neo-Biafrans the futility of
seeking to disinter the old sepulcher. 
But the real challenge is the need
to understand what could have led Ojukwu’s
political grandchildren into nostalgia for the path abandoned 47 years ago.
What this grave hour calls for is exquisite leadership skill to win back their
trust and enlist their talents in the enterprise of nation-building.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Overall, it is reassuring to hear Buhari speaking firmly, restating his
promise to tackle decisively merchants of hate, kidnappers and “farmers
versus herdsmen clashes” (sic). But the president needs to understand that
these are only symptoms of deep structural defects long detected in the federal
union. What remains is to summon the political courage to fix things and
guarantee the union’s sustainability.  
Issuing threats or deploying maximum
force will, at best, only secure temporary relief. Without rooting out the
cancerous growth, administering tranquilizers today is tantamount to the
laughable futility of thinking that merely changing the sitting order in a Titanic in the face of an approaching
iceberg will eviscerate the looming existential threat. As we read of the
proverbial Titanic that succumbed in
the Atlantic Ocean, clueless janitors
were busy rearranging the decks even as the sybaritic band continued playing
while the vessel was sinking.

APC Leader, John Odigie Oyegun


In Buhari’s absence, the Council of State directed the Inspector General of Police to explore
the possibility of community policing. This could only have been inspired by
the realization that the present policing architecture can no longer meet
today’s needs. 
Hopefully, Buhari will also get to know in the coming days that even his
party, All Progressive Congress (APC), has since realized the futility of
living in denial that generally speaking, the national structure as presently
constituted is sustainable. Apparently reading the national mood correctly, it
has already raised an in-house committee to fashion its own response.

IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu


This inevitability was
succinctly expressed by Tunji
, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, in a keynote delivered
at the Nigerian Bar conference which opened in Lagos on Monday. His words: “The practice of the current skewed federalism or what I call
military federalism” being camouflaged as genuine federalism must stop as most of
the States are currently hemorrhaging socioeconomically”. 
by logic, a federation derives its strength from its constituents. So, how then
do we reconcile the recent proposal that the power to organize local government
elections be taken away from the states and added to the functions of the
national electoral body controlled by the government at the centre? If we say
the reason is because the ruling party in the state tends to win all seats in
council polls, what is the guaranty that it will also not become the turn of
the party that controls the government at the centre to make a clean sweep of
all the council seats as well?”
The ailment has been diagnosed; what
remains is to cure it.


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