Posted by News Express | 12 February 2019 | 1,059 times
There is a wise saying: “If you are roasting corn for a blind man, you have to whistle for him to know you are not eating the corn you are roasting for him.” “But, when a man is roasting corn for two blind men, definitely the man will disappoint one of the blind men.” At present, this is the situation with President Muhammadu Buhari’s men. In their quest for vote from the people of South-West and South-East regions at the forth-coming presidential election, they are promising the regions an All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential position in 2023.
It beats the imagination of discerning minds, when some principal officers serving under the leadership of President Buhari went to two different geo-political zones recently to promise them a presidential position in 2023, thereby raising the question of trust. The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, in a recent town-hall meeting in the South-west, disclosed that “a vote for Buhari in 2019 elections guarantees a return of power to South-west in 2023. Did you know that power is rotating to South-west after the completion of Buhari’s tenure, if you vote for him in 2019? I am sure you will vote wisely.” Fashola also delivered same message through a proverb: “Your child cannot surrender her waist for edifying beads and you will use the beads to decorate another child’s waist.”
At another forum, Vice-President Yemi Osibajo equally told leaders of the South-west geo-political zone to support the re-election of President Buhari, in order to get the presidential slot in 2023. He assured them that victory for Buhari at the polls would pave way for the region in 2023.
“Yoruba have a lot to contribute to Nigeria in 2019 elections. It is for us Yoruba; if you understand. We are not looking at 2019, but 2023. If we don’t get it now, it may take some time again.
“We have to look forward to that: that is before us. Though there could be some challenges, but what I know about President Muhammadu Buhari is that he is an honest man. If he says he will do something, he will do it,” Prof Osibanjo boasted of his boss as a promise-keeper.
Earlier, Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who represented President Buhari in a town-hall meeting in the South-East had assured the people that the zone will get its turn in 2023, after President Buhari’s second term in office. Mustapha told the crowd that the President would hand over the reins of power to an Igbo man, after his second term. The question arises: Can the President alone hand over power to the region? Interestingly, the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, told his Igbo brothers and sisters that he is a “prophet” they should listen to. Ngige, while speaking at the APC meeting in Anambra, said: “It is in the interest of the Igbo to vote for President Buhari of APC in 2019, because that would be the shortest way to achieving an Igbo presidency in 2023.”
The devastating effect of making same promise to the people of both regions is far-reaching. However, if these open pronouncements by these men in the President’s cabinet were true, then it goes to affirm the assertion from some quarters that President Buhari is not aware of what is going on in the country or the lies his cabinet members are feeding the public with. It would be recalled also that Osinbajo claimed that President Buhari was not aware of the plan to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen over an alleged non-declaration of his assets. The vice-president, a Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, informing the public that the President had no prior knowledge of such sensitive public matter is embarrassing to the nation.
The discordant tunes in such a manner among cabinet members in the quest for vote – as well as defending President Buhari as if he cannot speak for himself – is questionable. This is exposing the President to public ridicule. Please, let Mr President speak for himself rather than making mockery of him with twisted hypocritical political propaganda.
•Aligbe, a public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.
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