Dear President Buhari, Please Look In The Mirror

By Dr SKC Ogbonnia
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Dr SKC Ogbonnia

Dear Mr. President,
I am beginning with an Igbo proverb which says that a heedless lizard falling from a tall palm tree typically wrestles to clutch at any available straw on its path before its imminent crash. My father also never fails to tell me that a habit of excuse is the best friend of failure. Nowhere are these sayings more manifest than the case of your presidency.

Today, the general view is that you are at it again, trying so desperately to cling on to another excuse to avoid responsibility for the crises that have befallen our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and, by consequence, the entire Nigeria. The most bloggable of these crises, of course, are the wave of defections from our party to the opposition and the prevailing imbroglio with the APC party primaries. The situation has seriously diminished our great party—both in power and prestige. Yet, instead of leading, you are resorting to another round of excuse.

For instance, before your London holiday, when confronted on the internal crisis rocking our party, you were quoted as follows:

“none of the defecting federal lawmakers has any specific grievances against me or the government I lead; neither do I harbour any ill-feeling towards any of them” (Buhari).

But our new party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, also had something to say:

“So, if there are issues between any one of our members and leaders, with local forces across the 36 states, we have a duty to intervene and ensure the spark is properly extinguished.” (Oshiomhole).

Mr. President, I beg you to go back and peruse those two quotes one more time.

So, when you realized that the problems were local, did you, Mr. President, demonstrate the desired sense of “duty to intervene and ensure the spark is properly extinguished” as our chairman suggested should have been done?

Before the response, let me quickly remind you that one simple definition of a true leader is one who gets the job done to the admiration of followers without much excuses. It goes without saying that you, Muhammadu Buhari, failed to lead and have continued to fail to lead.

Instead of dormant excuses, it is about time you finally admit that the failure to honor your standing vow to serve only one term in office is the root of the crisis in the party and in the country. This inordinate ambition for second term is what led to the eventual defections of powerful party figures, particularly Bukola Saraki, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Atiku Abubakar, Aminu Tambuwal, all of who aspire to be president in 2019, and the crises that followed.

Writing in the Premium Times, the eminent scholar, Jibril Ibrahim, might have read my mind when he asked: “As the crisis had been brewing over the last three years, the question is, why wait till these political actors were at the departure gate before seeking to show them love?” So, why, Mr. President?

The answer is simple: Instead of leading at the time, you were busy looking for another excuse. And when the damage was already done, you decided to truly do something by changing the leadership of the party, using every instrument of power to catapult Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to the top. Just about every member showed party loyalty, queuing behind the famous comrade, believing that you did your homework this time. Unfortunately, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree: Adam Oshiomhole thus far has been an embarrassing failure.

His Excellency, where do I begin or where do I stop? Other failings apart, let us take a look at the current affair. That is, how can one explain the roving shame that barely one month to the INEC deadline for primary elections, the ruling party under your man (Oshiomhole) is yet to have a clarity on the mode and date of the primaries and cost of nomination forms? What is actually going on? Where does the buck stop here? Hmmm….

Mr. President, please quietly go to one of the private rooms and look directly in the mirror. What do you see? Forget the meaning, for now, but you are looking at a good man whom God used to rescue Nigeria from the hand of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). You are also looking at a president who may mean well but has left his party and nation in crisis due to political nescience along with a pattern of torpor resulting from a combination of old age and poor health.

Dear President Buhari, the moment is now. Quintessential toadies are falling on top of each other propping you to pick up a nomination form for another term. But before you do so, please critically examine yourself and the crises that have defined your presidency, and juxtapose them with the defining expectations of a true leader. Thereafter, consider that Nigerian masses are yearning for that leader who has the desired competencies to meet the challenges of the 21stcentury. Finally, see how you can come to terms with the reality that a majority of the Nigerian people, as well as the international community, now see you as the main problem with the country. Then ponder the implications of a return to power of the opposition anchored by the PDP which your potential candidacy is likely set to provoke. There and then emerges a clear reason you ought to grasp the true meaning of what you saw in that mirror: The time is up, and the posterity beckons.

SKC Ogbonnia, An APC Presidential Candidate, can be reached via: [email protected]

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