J’accuse: A Political Indictment of President Buhari (1)

Muhammadu Buhari

Anthony Kila holds President Muhammadu Buhari accountable for all the infractions under his watch

Dear President Buhari

I don’t know if you have noticed it, but some Nigerians have a penchant for saving the head or the one in charge and leader whilst blaming the body and those that work on behalf of the leader. That mindset is what makes people say “the President is good but those around him are bad…” Let us be clear and fair: It is not something that started with your presidency, it started before your presidency and it continues. That mindset, is in my view, a perverse one that stems from the minds of those that tend to be weak with the strong and strong with the weak.

Well, some of us are not that way.

Some of us are more inclined to believe that there should be a sign on the desk of the President that reads: “The Bucks Stops Here”.
I want you to know Mr. President that I personally despise and dissociate myself from the perverse and dangerously indulging mentality that makes people say “the president is good but those around him are bad…” or the annoying “how many things can the president do himself ? ”

Mr. President, you need to know that I hold you responsible for everything that happens under your watch. In fact, today’s epistle is directed to accuse you of everything happening under your watch and since you became president. It is a political indictment, Mr. President.

Let us read from latest to earliest.
Corruption is the theme of the latest episode of the troubles we read about and the leading actors of such drama are those close to you. Allow me to call it palace malaise: Your chief anti-looting officer is being investigated for looting. Your Minister of Niger Delta affairs is accused of actions that borders on extortion, exerting undue influence, outright stealing and sexual harassment. That is just now, before then, there have been tales of many close to you with sudden and miraculous wealth including your own personal assistant and a General that has missed the chance to teach Nigerians how to make millions from snake farming. You did not invent the trouble of corruption Mr. President, but for corruption to be seen as alive and thriving under your watch and close to you is a damming political indictment on you.

In moments of absolute truth and nothing but the truth even your most adherent supporters will agree that you are not a Barack Obama and that your oratory skills were never your attraction for most Nigerians. Though you were a governor and later minister and thus describable as versed in Nigerian affairs, most Nigerians never associated your name with dynamic and innovative economic policies nor do they associate you with great diplomatic skills. Anticorruption was your strong selling point. You were sold as a one function gadget.

If we are to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, then there is no other way to put it than to admit that on this symbolical ethical and aesthetical issue of corruption you have so far failed all good people politically.

Scholars of Nigerian contemporary politics and history owe us some pages on the process, considerations and influencing values that you have used and continue to use for your nominations. A detailed report from them on what is actually going on in your palace might eventually exonerate you, but for now, based on perception, we cannot but accuse you of failing in your ability to inspire greatness with your nominations and delegations. To many, a loud and important many, we must add, see your nominations as slow, confused, uninspiring and clannish. The second biggest duty of a leader is deciding who works with him and I accuse you of failing on that score Mr. President.

Yes, many of those pointing fingers at you are doing so because they want to show your weakness and they are doing so not for some inherent goodness or patriotism but for partisan benefits. Yes, all these can be tough I know, but amidst laughter, I say yes, Mr President, all that is legitimate and it comes with the territory called democracy. In partisan liberal democracy, opposition points out and even exaggerates flaws of the government of the day with the hope of replacing such government as soon as possible and the government does its best to avoid such flaws by being careful, thoughtful, proactive and deliberate. In such process, which in reality is a series of tough battle, citizens gain. That is how we roll in democracy.

As you very well know, and contrary to what some mischievous or simple minds might think, I write you with no partisan agenda or interest. I write you so that you can know that we are not all sleeping with our heads in the same direction, this epistle is written so that the truth is told and so that prosperity can see that not all were mute when we should have spoken

Professor Kila can be reached @anthonykila