BY FEMI AKOMOLAFE
“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the notion that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.” –
The TakeitBack (Sowore2019) Movement strongly condemn the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, in which he was quoted as saying that he should not be blamed for the spate of violence rocking the country. A statement released by the President’s spokesman, which has not been denied, read: “As President Buhari indicated lately, there is evidence of involvement of some politicians using criminals to perpetuate the killings.
In another statement, the president was quoted as saying: “When some (people), for clearly political purposes, attempt to suggest that this government is doing nothing about the killings and that I, being Fulani, must be encouraging these satanic acts, it seems to me that there is no limit to the evil in the minds of men.
“Otherwise, how can anyone in their right minds suggest that I, as an elected President even with substantial votes in the affected areas, will for any reason do harm by an act of omission to those same people?
“Secondly, the problems in all these areas, as you all know, are historical. There is no administration that has not had to contend with killings in these same areas over the years.
“Indeed, in 2001, you may recall that after thousands were killed in Plateau State, a state of emergency was declared and a governor was replaced by an administrator. To suggest that our administration is doing nothing is terribly unfair.
Another statement credited to the president read: ‘‘I will continue to pressurise members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the Constitution as the Commander-in-Chief. About 8 days ago, we had five hours of security meeting of the service chiefs and the IG of Police.
What happened here in Jos is very bad. The question of leadership, from your household to whatever you are, is justice. The bottom line is justice. That is why wherever I go, I will always appeal to the leadership of the communities, the law enforcement agencies to always have control of their constituencies.
Whatever is being given to the media, we have to be very responsible about it. Take for instance the situation in Benue. The Benue subsistence farmer knows that the Nigerian cattle herder that he knows doesn’t carry nothing more than a stick, occasionally sometimes something to cut grass to feed his cattle.
But the present herder, I am told, carries AK47 and people are even blaming me for not talking to them because maybe (they say) I look like one of them. There is some injustice in these aspersions.” It beggars believe that Nigeria’s Executive President could make (or be credited) such outrageous statements.
Why does President Buhari think that Nigerians need history lessons when he should be providing them with security? It is incredible that the Executive President of Nigeria can, without a hint of irony, tell citizens that he has evidence of law-breakers, without telling them what he has done about it.
President Buhari, who do you expect to arrest those who break our laws and threaten our national security? What citizens expect in times of national grief is a Leader who shows clear empathy and is seen to have a strong commitment to stop the suffering of his people.
Alas, President Buhari’s legendary aloofness suggests an uncaring, emotionless leader who cannot relate to his own citizens at a feeling level. Unfortunately for Nigerians, our president continues to cut the picture of an Automaton!
Sadly, Nigerians are saddled with a leader who appears to be totally out of his depth. His whole body language makes him look pathetically clueless.
One does not need a degree in Security and Defence Studies to know that Nigeria currently suffers from very serious security lapses.
The ease with which armed men roam the length and the breadth of the country and kill with apparent ease clearly demonstrates that our security apparatuses are not up to par, and badly need serious rejigging.
Alas, the president, a former army general and a man who rode to power on the strength of his military background, appears to be unable to fathom the depth of the problems that confront the nation.
Unfortunately, our Elderly president appears not to know that the Buck Stop at His Desk!
What Nigerians want to see in their Chief Executive are not emotional outbursts, but concrete steps being taken to make them feel safe and secured.
What exactly does President Buhari expect citizens to do with all the unintelligent statements credited to him?
Citizens want to feel safe in their homes, farms, places of work and on the streets of their Hamlets, Villages, Towns, and Cities.
Unfortunately, under President Buhari, life in Nigeria has become truly Hobbesian – nasty, short and brutish. Innocent Nigerian lives are being wasted in numbers that would shock even war combatants.
And all that President Buhari could offer citizens are illogical banalities.
Does one need to remind our president that he is the Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, or that he is the only one who his constitutionally empowered to deploy the forces that are necessary to guarantee the security and safety of Nigerian citizens?
Quite illogically, the president blamed external forces for the herdsmen violence, and yet go ahead to proposed the setting up of ranches.
It is indeed sad, ridiculous and most embarrassing to see Nigeria, a once very vibrant country, a country whose citizens are noted globally for their confidence and enterprising characters, being led by a leader who cannot do anything better than to read handouts crafted by his retinues of fawning court-jesters.
The progress of a nation is determined solely by the quality of its leadership – Rwanda is the latest testimony. We can also cite the examples of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and, of course, China.
Wherever a people had wrought economic, social or political miracles, it is the Leader that dazzled citizens with the brilliance of his architecture and carried citizens along as the Leading Light. Another incontestable fact is that this miracle is possible within a generation.
Rwanda today is Africa’s leading light. About 23 years ago, the country was on her knees, ravaged by one of the most brutal civil wars in history. Not only has Rwanda firmly buried the ghost of the past, the country today leads Africa in almost all the indices of development. All thanks to the Exemplary leadership of President Paul Kagame.
The task before us as Nigerians is stark: how do we intend to make progress and join the rest of humanity in building a safe and prosperous country with a leader that does not appear to grasp the urgency and the exigencies of the times?
We can forgive our Elderly president his seeming aloofness, what is unpardonable is to continue to be led by a man who is not only emotionally incapable of leading us, but one who is clearly intellectually and mentally unfit to do so?
A Nigeria that seeks progress cannot afford to be led by a Mental Lilliputian and an Intellectual Dwarf! The TakeitBack (Sowore2019) Movement says it is time to take Nigeria back from the claws of a vicious, visionless, clueless, and irredeemably corrupt otiose elite.
Akomolafe is media consultant, The TakeitBack (Sowore2019) Movement