Mr. President, Don’t Blame Our Stars

Eddie Mbadiwe

“The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves”. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
In the above quote, Julius Caesar was urging Brutus to pay attention to what he was about to unfold. In the same vein, we urge President Bola Tinubu to listen to what the people he governs are saying. It is more than a year since the Bola Tinubu administration took over the reins of government in Nigeria. Late Stephen Osita Osadebe who was a philosopher of Igbo music waxed a record ‘Osondi Owendi’ which literally translates to some people will like you while others won’t.
Irrespective of what transpired at INEC, the Courts etc. the fact is that there is a government in place and it is in the interest of most Nigerians that it succeeds to reduce the level of suffering in the land. There will therefore be criticisms which the government will be advised to take in its stride.

Up till now, what Nigerians seem to be getting is surfeit of “be patient, be patient”. A friend of mine asked rhetorically whether we have to be patient unto death.
Some actions of government defy rhyme and logic and one recent example is the speed with which the National Assembly and the Presidency reintroduced the old National Anthem. The point that it was written by an English woman is puerile and silly as it lacks logic. The name Nigeria was given by the wife of Lord Lugard. Have the Presidency and the Parliament bothered to take a look at the National Flag which is as dull as it is uninspiring? One sometimes gets the impression that the government is more absorbed in chasing shadows than tackling the pressing national problems.

When Buhari was running for the office of the President, a journalist asked what he would do with the Presidential fleet and he said he would fly by commercial airlines and sell the fleet. He didn’t. Rather when he had health challenges and had to go to London for treatment, he took a Presidential Jet which was packed in London paying daily parking charges until he was well enough to come back. Bola Tinubu now seems to be following in Buhari’s footsteps.

During Democracy Day June 12th in memory of M.K.O. Abiola, the President slipped at Eagle Square. I don’t think anybody wishes Bola Tinubu to be sick but any and everybody could be sick. The spin doctors who are Tinubu’s handlers rather than leveling up with the people came up with the ridiculous message that the President was doing ‘dobale’ to the Nigerian people. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, another Yoruba President, who served two terms did not ‘dobale’ to Nigeria. Yar’aduwa and Buhari did not do the asalamaleku somersault when they were President.

You win the people’s sympathy and love when you are openly level with them. Tell the people the truth. Being a superman is not a prerequisite for the job.
When Bill Clinton was President of America and the most powerful man in the world, he had to undergo surgery and this was on live television to the whole world and the same also when his wife Hilary had a blood clot, the whole world watched her surgery until the clot was dislodged.
Now the Parliament has approved two new planes for the President and the Vice President. This is probably to rob the President’s and the VP’s back for the N160 million SUVs for members of Parliament. It looks like a case of scratch my back, I scratch your back.

It is important to remind the Parliament and the Executive that the British Prime Minister Flies First Class British Airways when he goes on foreign trips. The President of Uruguay is still riding a 1987 Volkswagen. He says that is all he needs. His security is only two policemen and a three-legged dog ‘Emmanula’ and he and his wife live in the wife’s farm house.
Mr. President, my advice is that you don’t let your spin-doctors cast you in a fuddy-duddy mold of a decrepit old fart. They are not doing you any favours, rather they are alienating you from the people.

Very recently, two Prominent Nigerians, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief E.K Clarke, on different occasions have said the Tinubu Presidency is suppressing the Igbo people just like Buhari did. All I will add is that as long as the Igbo are not given the level playing field to express their full potential, so long will Nigeria not occupy her rightful position in the community of nations. Nobody can dispute this. Mr. President, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
Let me sign off with the words of Lady Patience Jonathan: “There is God ooooo”

•RT. Hon. Dr. Eddie Mbadiwe writes from Abuja

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