When Buhari Seeks The Hand of 'Patience' in Marriage





The caption of this piece has a metaphorical expression which is very much on purpose. Sit back and permit me to relate it with the state of affairs in Nigeria. Politics in Nigeria is as uncertain and disappointing as the casual romantic relationships among youths. The Nigerian masses since independence on the 1st of October 1960 have been falling flat for the same old method of aligning with politicians and being left with broken hearts taking eternity to heal at the expense of the country's treasury. Our politicians have always assumed the role of Shylock, offering the masses loans their lives will never be enough to pay back. This is evident in the material tips shared during the electioneering campaign period to win votes. It has conventionally been a case of winners and losers.


In the real sense, the losers are not the political candidates of the contesting political parties. The losers are the electorates who blindly celebrate with the winner they are looking up to for leadership. This maybe a bitter pill to swallow but it only takes the candidate's assumption of office before the blind masses begin to see the future from a crystal ball like wizards. Making reference to the article of the former adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and publicity, Reuben Abati, politics is seen in Nigeria from a business point of view.

Making the decision to run for a political post is the 'entrepreneurial idea', joining the happening political party to start the business is like securing a location to erect your office and getting sponsors to finance the business is the road-map to success so as to develop a wide channel to spread lies. In Nigeria, the best liar ends up winning and I can authoritatively say when  Garba Shehu, the Assistant Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari called Lai (Lie) Mohammed, former Publicity secretary of the ruling party and Minister of Information,  the 'Master of the Game' of the All Progressives Congress, APC during the inauguration of the Ministers of the Federal Republic, he was only being truthful but as usual, the shallow-minded masses laughed it off like it was a joke for them. When the masses buy your lies, you have an edge, you present yourself as the messiah, you study the weaknesses of your opponents and begin to defame him. Nigeria is a country when the politics of character assassination is practiced at its peak and issue-based debates are strayed away from.

Spreading of falsehood about your opponents could also be advantageous. Maybe one day, when Lie Mohammed clocks 80 and is set to write his memoir truthfully like Bode George, the  People's Democratic Party, PDP chieftain plans to do, he will educate us more on the efficacy of propaganda which he successfully used to send our dear former President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan back to the flood-prone hometown in Otueke, Bayelsa state. Again the masses celebrated his exit. One woman who operates a big food canteen around the busy area of Challenge in Ibadan, Oyo state actually gave her food and drinks out for free on the day Goodluck Jonathan made that epic call to Buhari in concession of loss on the 31st of March, 2015. Till date, the woman is gnashing her teeth over that reckless decision as the only 'change' she has seen is the retrogressive one rather than progressive.

In fairness, there has been a 'change', the problem lies with the electorates who didn't understand the full contents of Buhari's change mantra which he is indirectly unveiling to us. Many who are secretly wailing will come out in the media to say its a positive change for fear of not sounding like a Femi Fani Kayode that has switched more sides in politics than a call girl. At least for the first time in 1999, Nigerians are getting poorer according to the Business Day newspaper and the Boko Haram insurgency has come to live with us like the female anopheles mosquito, giving us malaria since inception.

Now, as for President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the hands of 'Patience' in marriage, the word 'patience' purposely sounds like the name of a person but in this context it’s a mere noun that entails ''the capacity to calmly endure pains and uncertainties'' The only patience that strikes the mind of every Nigerian is the former First lady, Patience Faka Jonathan, the comical leader who entertained us with her impeccable sense of humour as a distraction while her husband allegedly looted the treasury for his unborn generation. Diariz god oh!

Buhari who has heavily been neglected over the years as he kept contesting since 2003 unsuccessfully like the presidential seat was his inheritance had a field day during the election campaign period. His campaign promises which many call lies on the social media were well strategized.
The APC intelligently presented him as a poor man as the masses started seeing the image of themselves in him. It was thought that people of the same class will understand each other’s languages better. Hence, the need to present a cattle rearer that cherishes a mud house in this jet age. What a calculated move to sway the electorates!

The key points of Buhari's speeches were Boko Haram insurgency, youth unemployment, ailing economy, poverty etc and ultimately 'Kwaraption' (corruption according to his northern accent). It’s possible Buhari really had the intentions but truthfully, there was no road-map to execute his agenda and the first indication is how it took him about 6 months to inaugurate his cabinet which smells of the politics of prebendalism.

Africans historically have an undue obsession with power e.g the 91-year old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who is planning to rule from a special wheelchair. Paul Biya of Cameroon has been ruling for 33 years, Dos Santos of Angola has clocked 36 years in power, Idris Deby of Chad has been ruling for 25 years amongst several other sit-tight leaders without an idea of how to advance the general will of the people with their power and authority. These set of people will never give room for innovation and fresh ideas from the positive energy from youths in the ever advancing world. They only engage in the recycling of old ideas of stagnancy in growth and development.

It was heart-soothing to hear Buhari speak as he toured Nigeria after he has seen life from the perspective of the north for decades. Buhari enjoyed the wet ground which was watered by Lie Mohammed, sorry I meant Lai Mohammed, (They seem the same anyway). Jonathan's widely believed below average performance gave a loophole to penetrate the hearts of his loyalists that for the first time, Nigerians pocketed some money from PDP and refused to give them their support in return. The victims of political scam started tormenting the culprits for the first time in the Nigerian history. People like Raymond Dopkesi, boss of the African Independent Television, AIT and Musiliu Obanikoro who were prominent front-liners in the campaign of Jonathan's re-election saw the bleak future from afar. According to Bode George who took a jab at Obanikoro that is currently observing the Nigerian drama from diaspora, Obanikoro and some other PDP chieftains embezzled the election funds needed to win supporters for Jonathan. I don't know how true this is. Probably, if you meet Bode George in your dreams, you can make inquiries. I am sure Obanikoro decided to cut his losses to avoid losing in both ways which would have been fatal. Nigerians were actually set to vote for Buhari despite him presenting a 'NEPA bill' as his certificate which is like a ghost we all talk about but no one has ever seen till date.

As an observer, I got a glimpse of Buhari's slow start as a president during the campaign period when the social media was awash with memes of Buhari claiming he will 'stabilize the global oil price' like he is OPEC, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Buhari was fortunate there was no video footage to back it up like his goofs on the full meaning of INEC, name of his running mate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and his political party for crying out loud.

The reality of events is that Nigerians are looking up to Buhari to whom much has been given due to his firm campaign promises. He is seen as the torch-bearer poised to lead Nigeria out of the dark cave of the 16-year captivity of the PDP while Buhari himself looks up to the people behind him for direction. Hence, the need to 'Go slow' to avoid falling into the nearest potholes created by unscrupulous contractors and their political cohorts.

Its crystal clear Buhari felt leadership was as easy as making criticisms until Jonathan gave him the keys and the particulars of the 'wrecked vehicle' called Nigeria. Now, Buhari who used to be seen as the African Merlin is begging for 'Patience' like he is not satisfied with Aisha Buhari, his wife. The only 'patience' we Nigerians know is the former first lady from Port Harcourt whom we miss dearly and we are not accepting Buhari's proposal as she belongs to Jonathan. Therefore, on the denial of his marriage proposal, Buhari is urged to 'Go Fast'.

I am a strong supporter of Buhari but the truth must be told. Anybody that believes Buhari has brought a significant change must be a relative or beneficiary of the political appointees. Most of the appointees can be likened to shareholders that made huge investments with business risks and are currently reaping e.g. the Minister of Transport Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who unceremoniously became the highlight of the ministerial screening process at the senate.

According to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Charles Soludo, he stated during the third anniversary lecture of the RealMagazine news  that we should support Buhari to succeed by contributing when we can and criticizing when we must which he described as 'tough love'. It may be too early to judge but I see the same old Nigeria of media talks and no actions. Its on record that the only time Buhari made the swiftest counter-action was on the alleged victimization of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki over a personal vendetta disguised with the law. I wish the president could channel that positive energy to the capture of the infamous leader of the Boko Haram sect Abubakar Shekau who orchestrated the rumoured killing of the 105 Nigerian soldiers and 34 later in Borno if the words of Femi Fani Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation are to be followed for once BUT with caution.

Last time I checked the news media, Boko Haram is still killing (maybe in a reduced form but lives are still being lost), the unemployment rate is still above 60% with an demeaning N5, 000 palliative underway, crime rate has been on the increase with calculated bank robberies across Nigeria and Lagos being the worst hit, kidnapping seems to be vastly replacing a career in the oil sector due to its lucrative nature (The current bank account balance of the U-23 national team coach, Samson Siasia will give you a vivid insight as his abducted mother wasn't released on a platter of gold), power issues are still the same with Buhari giving the same excuses of sabotage of the Jonathan administration, the queues at the filling stations have refused to disappear despite how Buhari and the APC smoothly criticized the fuel crisis of the Jonathan-led government, (The most painful aspect is the difficulty the senate is having summon Buhari who is deputizing as the Petroleum Minister. At least Buhari should appear for accountability and responsibility sake) and many other issues.

As I write this piece, I am struggling with the low battery on my laptop in utter darkness coupled with the scorching heat of the season and mosquitoes providing unprecedented cover for me like the operatives of the Directorate of State Security, DSS while my president is busy junketing with tax payers' money. I am patiently waiting for the benefits of the image he is building for Nigeria in the international scene as advocated by Shehu Garba who is only doing his job well.

The way Buhari is fighting the anti-corruption war in the media rather than in the court is mockingly admirable. I appreciate the way Ayo Fayose, the governor of Ekiti actually challenged him to publish the names of the looters in Jonathan's regime who have been secretly returning their loots as Buhari claimed. Buhari may have reduced the cost of governance by merging some ministries, cutting the size of his entourage at international events as well as the cost of the Independence day ceremony compared to the Jonathan administration but his alleged cost of maintaining his presidential jets in 6 months which amounts to N5.8 billion according to the Punch still shows a loophole for the wastage of funds.

Furthermore, his inability to look into the N25 billion REMITTA and Systemspecs scandal still makes no changes.

The silence of the APC amidst the biting crisis of fuel scarcity before their Twitter message only showed a lack of valid explanation. And again, Lie Mohammed's unusual silence confirmed how lame he could be aside propaganda as many believe.

Fellow Nigerians, this is certainly not the CHANGE we voted for. Let's offer Buhari 'patience' if that's the boost he needs to take us to the Promised Land.

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About Osayimwen Osahon George

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on smile2georgex@yahoo.com Phone number: +2347053302356.
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