President Muhammadu Buhari: THE WORLD IS WATCHING US

By Shamsudeen Ayeni

At the 2019 Budget Presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari on the floor of the National Assembly yesterday, different dramas unfolded. It was a moment of jeers and cheers as reported by our journalists. I can't confirm that the jeers had the day because they were in the minority. However, reactions that trailed the event thereafter strongly suggest that the boos had the day. Little have been said about the conduct of the 'Sai Baba gang' on the floor of the National Assembly (NA).

That is a concern for another day. As the drama went on, our President tried to caution the booing lawmakers but to no avail. He was quick to remind them that the world had implanted its CCTV cameras everywhere in the NA complex. In his words, Buhari told our lawmakers that the 'world is watching us' yesterday. This comment has gone down well with those pointing accusing fingers at the booing lawmakers. You hear: 'Baba comported himself well'. 'He proved his calmness, maturity and responsibility among them'. On this singular comment/act, Baba Buhari scored grade A among his teeming Sai Baba fans.

But as a person, I am equally glad to learn from Mr President that we have outsiders who are not only interested in Nigeria but also watching our conducts and monitoring our actions and inactions both outside and inside the country. I am glad to equally remind Mr President that the world didn't start watching us yesterday. The world has been watching us since colonial era to say the least. The world does not only follow our plenary sessions in the National Assembly. The world also follow the executive activities in Nigeria.

To imply that the world only watched Nigeria yesterday is totally wrong. Yesterday's drama was not the first the world would watch. In fact, the world should by now be tired of watching our dramas. In Nigeria, it has been one day, one week one drama. We have been a laughing stock in the comity of nations for too long. The world has lost count of our political correctness or dramas. So Mr President must note this!

But come to think of it, what exactly did we do wrong yesterday that would draw the irk or applause of the world to Nigeria? Is booing a sitting president who was reading out figures or statements that contradict the realities on the ground a serious offence in any democracy? Don't lawmakers have their own right to protest, express their grievances, disagree with one another and even with the number one citizen of the state? What is the brouhaha about some lawmakers exercising their fundamental human right? Have we forgotten that what transpired yesterday between Mr President and the lawmakers happened in the NA complexity- office of the lawmakers?

An adage says when two supposed friends enter a room and come out smiling at each other, one can infer that the two friends have not told themselves the truth. But when they come out of the room frowning faces at each other, that suggest to a large extent that they probably told each other nothing but the truth. I am one who believes that too much familiarity breeds contempt. The business of government is not a family business and at no point in time should it be treated so. People must respect our laws and ready to operate within the confines of our laws.

President Muhammadu Buhari is not the only leader that had been so booed in the world. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May was recently booed by her fellow parliamentarians. President Donald Trump got boos from Democrats during his first State of the Union address, after he criticised chain migration. The list is endless. Thus what happened yesterday was nothing out of place in a democratic setting. It was democracy in action, Senator Olusola Adeyeye representing Osun Central submitted.

If we are talking about developments that would probably get the world turned against us, yesterday's drama would be the least to consider. No reported lives were lost or injured. No property was destroyed. It was only the noise, disorderliness, rowdiness and exchange of verbal insults that characterised the whole event from the beginning to the end. If we are to talk about those economic and political events that really got the world talking about us, most likely in a negative tone, it is definitely not the drama that took place yesterday.

The world has not forgotten how the Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram and released except Leah Shaibu. The world watched with consternation how this same National Assembly complex was laid siege by the men of our State Security Service in the early hours. The world cannot in a hurry forget about the preventable and regrettable herdsmen attacks on innocent lives and properties across Nigeria. The world cannot forget about how our economy entered into recession resulting into job losses, increased poverty rate and devaluation of our currency. Indeed the world is watching and keeping records of happenings in Nigeria.

Shamsudeen Ayeni, a socio political commentator writes from Akute, Ogun State. He can be reached via [email protected]

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