Photo op in Lagos after brutal killing of 23 Nigerians: is hypocrisy the legacy of Buhari? – Seye Olaniyonu

Photo op in Lagos after brutal killing of 23 Nigerians: is hypocrisy the legacy of Buhari? – Seye Olaniyonu

What will President Muhammadu Buhari be remembered for, especially in view of his reaction to the wanton loss of lives in Nigeria?


”When about 60 students were killed in the terror attack on the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, in February 2014, President Jonathan never visited the scene to commiserate with the families of the victims. When over 80 people were killed in the first Nyanya bombing in April 2014, President Jonathan went dancing ‘Azonto’ in Kano less than 48 hours later.”


These words were uttered by none other than the current Minister of Information, Lai Muhammed in 2014.


In the aftermath of the Abuja bomb blast and the infamous dancing by former President Goodluck Jonathan at a campaign rally in Kano in 2014; the All Progressives Congress (APC) went to town with their criticisms and vitriolic attacks on President Jonathan. Unfortunately, President Buhari has done worse.


Hours after 23 persons were burnt to death by bandits, Mr. Buhari was in Lagos State to jolly with his fellow politicians. The occasion was the launching of a book by Bisi Akande; the same crime himself and his party once almost hung Jonathan for.


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In May, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, who lost their lives at the tragic plane crash Kaduna, were buried at the National Military Cemetery, along Airport road in Abuja. But Mr Buhari was too ‘busy’ to attend the burial. The distance from the cemetery to the Presidential Villa is less than 12 minutes’ drive.


But the president could not be bothered. Nevertheless, he would have gone to the UK that same day if invited by Boris Johnson or to France, if at the behest of Emmanuel Macron.


The president would rather jet out to any mushroom conference or summit than visit the family of the deceased; while asking Garba Shehu to issue a lame-duck statement. It is fair to say that Garba Shehu does not need the permission of Mr. Buhari to write those statements anymore.


Ordinarily, the death of 23 persons should be a day of national morning with flags flying at half-mast. Unfortunately, flagrant killing has become normalized under Buhari and rarely shocking again. More or less like the abduction of the Chibok girls. Under the Buhari administration, mass abductions are no longer newsworthy.


Even Katsina, the state of the president is a killing field for bandits. It is not just the lack of empathy or aloofness that is concerning, it is the cluelessness. The current administration seems to have given up the fight against the killer bandits.


It was not this bad under Jonathan.


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Despite this dire situation in the north, Buhari is more concerned about photo ops. He never misses an opportunity for a good photo-op. As far as security is concerned, the only legacy President Buhari and his party has is that of hypocrisy. Every single thing the APC attacked Jonathan for, the party has gone ahead to do worse.


The APC exploited tragedy to get to power. They did not care about Nigerians dying. They saw tragedy as a means to an end; thereby exploiting our collective tragedy to get to power. Now they have the power. Unfortunately, the response has been abysmal.


Can President Buhari comfortably retire to Daura after his presidency? Can he tend to his cows without the protection of the Nigerian Army stationed at his house? These questions need no answers, because they are clear as the blue sky.


What next for the President? Jet out to London or Dubai, oooop— thanks to Omicron, the President is stuck here for now.

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