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Senator commends Bagudu over handling of Buhari’s ‘admirer’ incident

Senator commends Bagudu over handling of Buhari’s ‘admirer’ incident
March 14
21:10 2020

Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the senator representing Ekiti north, has commended Abubakar Bagudu, governor of Kebbi state, over his handling of an incident involving President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

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Mohammed Gunddare, a young graduate, had rushed towards Buhari at Argungu fishing festival in Kebbi state before he was stopped by security operatives.

The social media was awash with rumours that he had been tortured or shot dead by the operatives.

However, Bagudu later presented Gunddare to the media and he said it was his admiration for Buhari that made him rush towards him while the president was posing for pictures along with some other governors.

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Adetunmbi, in a statement made available to TheCable on Saturday, said Bagudu did very well to present the man to the media in order to douse speculations and rumours.

“Nigerians should be grateful to Governor Atiku Bagudu for thinking it fit to identify and bring out Mohammed Gunddare to give a public account of the incident that happened in Kebbi,” Adetunmbi said.

“This is good news for promoting voice, accountability and deeper discussion on the social consequences of public policy in Nigeria. Governor Atiku Bagudu deserves commendation for giving us more to think about by the simple act of bringing Mohammed Gunddare to face the media.”

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The senator, who chairs the senate committee on national planning and economic affairs, also said it was time for soul-searching in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over growing resentment on social media against the party and the president.

HIS FULL STATEMENT:

Nigerians are animated by the alleged attack of President Mohammad Buhari (PMB) by one Mohammed Gunddare (MG) at a public event in Kebbi on Thursday March 12. It was widely reported and the video footage of the incident went viral, with preponderant views believing that the man had the intention of attacking President Mohammad Buhari (PMB). Mohammad Gunddare was perceived and presented as a frustrated and angry youth that wanted to attack and hurt PMB at a public function in Kebbi. On the contrary Gunddare said his action was as a result of emotional “love for Buhari’s honesty and integrity”. Though Mohammed Gunddare confessed his worshipful awe of PMB, this graduate of public administration agreed that he took enormous risk in an attempt to get the attention of Mr. President. Why would a young graduate seek the personal attention of the President in public in such a dramatic manner? The answer to this rhetorical question will be varied depending on where on stands on and concerning the scale of social inequity in the country.

The confessions of Mohammed Gunddare are comforting to those who were genuinely concerned about the incident though some skeptics will still argue that he was coached or goaded or worse still financially induced to issue a revised motivation for the unfortunate incident. There already were wild rumors of Gunddare’s arrest and torture; some even said he has been shot and taken out by security agencies. At least everyone has heard what motivated his actions and that he is still alive contrary to the rumored claims that he has been killed. It is in this regard that the action of Governor Bagudu should be commended for taking time to ensure that the public is informed by the agent provocateur of the motive behind his action and made to face the magnifying enquiries of the media.

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In my view, though useful, it’s not the material facts of the drama that matter, but the spontaneity of lack of concern, sympathy or empathy for PMB. I found intriguing the malicious celebration of the encounter by several people as evidenced in the way the footage went viral and the toxic comments it generated from the general public. It is particularly worrying given the recent similar experience during PMB’s visit to Maiduguri, though said to have been organized by some disgruntled partisan interest groups in Maiduguri.

Regardless of the source of infraction, the glee with which the random general public turned the footages into mass or viral public jest of the President and APC speaks volume about public perception of our Party and the President. I personally took the Maiduguri and Kebbi incidents as a straw poll of some sort, and we all can see that the result is worrisome to say the least. A few enquiries kept coming to me: could this be a proxy evidence of anger, resentment and expression of bad wish for the President and APC? Otherwise why would Nigerians so happily gloat over unfortunate incidents affecting their President? Or, could the recent oil price shocks, exchange rate slide, inflation, youth unemployment and schisms within APC have contributed to these overwhelming negative emotions directed at PMB and APC? Finally, how do we stem a growing tide of what appears to be a burst of accumulated social discontent that could envelope the country? In a strategic and research driven environment, this type of questions should be interrogated and analyzed to find out if there are deeper underlying reasons for the Maiduguri and Kebbi encounters.

These are the issues that we need to debate and attain proper understanding of their root causes and find lasting solutions to. The lack of depth in the pursuit of unraveling these makes one to agree with those who challenge the capacity of APC current leadership to provide the direction and grit that its mission of change requires.

In conclusion, Nigerians should be grateful to Governor Atiku Bagudu for thinking it fit to identify and bring out Mohammed Gunddare to give a public account of the incident that happened in Kebbi. This is good news for promoting voice, accountability and deeper discussion on the social consequences of public policy in Nigeria. Governor Atiku Bagudu deserves commendation for giving us more to think about by the simple act of bringing Mohammed Gunddare to face the media.

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