Friday, January 26, 2018

Buhari’s Low Bar of Governance.

Buhari has lowered the bar of governance so low that all it would take for any president who comes after him to impress us is to:

1. Constitute his cabinet within a few days of being sworn in

2. Appoint members of governing boards of government agencies in the first few months of being in power

3. Not be so incompetent as to appoint dead people in government—and living people without first consulting them

4. Periodically speak to Nigerians through the domestic media, not when he is abroad

5. Personally visit sites of national tragedy, show emotion, and make national broadcasts to reassure a grieving nation.

6. Have an economic team made up of economists and not, as Buhari has done, appoint a diplomat as an economic adviser and then push him to the gaunt fringes of the Vice President’s office.

7. Reflect token religious, regional, and national diversity in appointments.

8. Not lie shamelessly about self-evident facts.

9. Not budget billions for Aso Rock Clinic and yet starve it of basic medicines and then fly to London for medical treatment at the drop of a hat even for “ear infections” and “breathing difficulties”.

10. Not have a compulsive runawayist impulse that ensures that he travels out of the country at the slightest opportunity and for the silliest reasons.

11. Even pretend that the whole of Nigeria is his constituency—including those who gave him “97%” of their votes and those who gave him “5%” of their votes.
12. Add to the list...

Sadly, these are really basic things that we’ve had in previous governments that we thought were irredeemably bad. There is no greater evidence that Nigeria has regressed really badly in almost every index in Buhari’s less than 3 years of being in power than the reality of these grim facts. And he wants you to extend this national tragedy for another 4 years in 2019? Well, it’s up to you. If that's what Nigerians want, who am I to deny them the "luxury" to inflict self-violence on themselves?

Farooq Kperogi is a professor, writer, and columnist. Visit: to learn more about him.

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