Anyone who gives credit to Buhari for the firing of Lawal Daura is being disingenuous. This is entirely Osinbajo’s initiative, which may (or may not) put him at odds with Buhari. Buhari is an absent president—in both symbolic and physical terms. That’s a nice way to say he is a lazy, incompetent, detached president who watches blithely as everything around him crumbles, as the nation groans and burns under the weight of his unprecedented ineptitude. And that’s why it takes his physical absence for the country to have a chance to see a semblance of the presence of leadership.
When the IGP openly disobeyed Buhari’s instruction to relocate to Benue to contain the heartrending bloodletting in the state, nothing happened to the IGP. Kemi Adeosun forged an NYSC certificate and outraged the moral sensibility of the nation. Not a word has been heard from the presidency up to now. Obono-Obla, one of Buhari’s points men in the “war against corruption,” has been conclusively shown to have forged his school certificate. Nothing has been heard from Buhari.
Former SGF Babachir David Lawal fleeced internally displaced people in the northeast of millions of naira. Buhari actually wrote in his personal capacity to defend him! It took the same Osinbajo who fired Daura today to recommend Lawal’s firing. Yet Lawal is still a denizen of the presidential villa, hasn’t been prosecuted, and is, in fact, Buhari’s campaign coordinator in Adamawa State as I write this. The examples are almost limitless. Even APC chairman Oshiomhole was compelled to admit recently that Buhari condones “disrespect” to his office, which was a pleasant way to say that the president is an incompetent, aloof “leader.”
Had Buhari been in the country during this primitive, ironclad strangulation of the legislature by forces of the DSS, we wouldn’t have heard anything from the presidency much less see a swift action. At best, we might have gotten one of those dishonest, mealy-mouthed prevarications called presidential press releases. What we are seeing now is a consequence of what I have referred to as Osinbajo’s “symbolic presence” in previous columns, a quality Buhari sorely lacks. Buhari is a blight on Nigeria and may be the death of the country. Nigeria has never had a more clueless president than Buhari.
Farooq Kperogi, is a Nigerian academic, media scholar, public speaker and newspaper columnist. He tweets from @farooqkperogi.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.