If you see a frog running in the afternoon, it is either something is chasing it or it is chasing something. Also, if you choose a cattle rearer as a leader, don’t be surprised when he starts wandering all around the globe.
There is no doubt in the minds of Nigerians that President Buhari loves travelling. He has visited 25 countries in the first 10 months of his tenure. Between January and February 2016 alone He visited the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Ethiopia, France, United Kingdom, unknown country for 5-day vacation, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As I write this, he is in Washington D.C attending a nuclear summit where he is discussing the national budget (Matter miss road!).
Hian! What other statistics do you need to prove his love for the skies? This newly discovered tourist past time of President Buhari is however contradictory to a campaign promise he made a few years ago while running for presidency with the Late Chief Okadigbo. He was very quick to shade the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s many travels, promising that he would sit at home and solve domestic issues rather than globe trot. He soon forgot his promise as he came into power and is now doing worse off, globe trotting more than any other president in the history of Nigeria.
While Mr. President is sipping on Kunu on board his private jet flight to another exotic country, here are a few things I would like the presidency to consider.
The cost of the president’s travels:
Am I the only one wondering what Budget and money is catering for the private jet lifestyle of President Buhari? The oil refineries have been shut down for months, the queues at fuel stations keep getting longer. Now, the Minister of state for petroleum says he’s not a magician. The electricity power plant is under-producing megawatts and there’s no light.
What do we call a leader who spends most of his nights lodged in luxurious palaces, 5 and 7-star hotels while his citizens roll and toss in bed having sleepless nights because of the epileptic power supply for which they are ridiculously billed. I hear that it costs the president about $1,000,000 for each trip with over $500,000 gulped by estacode, transportation, accommodation, honorarium, media coverage, contingency and other expenses on accompanying Presidency officials. Isn’t it sad that at a time when Nigeria needs to cut her coat according to her cloth, Sai Baba has decided to cross various countries off his list of ‘countries to visit before I die’?
Biko, what happened to delegation of duties?
It is not every meeting Nigeria is invited to that the President needs to show up for. What then is the use of having a Vice-president or a working cabinet? When a father appears at every meeting, insult is inevitable because he would soon wander into a gathering in which an errand boy should have represented him. “He’s trying to repair the nation’s bad image.” the presidency says but so can the Vice-president and members of cabinet with simple body language or selfies or else why did we sweat so much over the ministerial screening?
It reportedly costs thrice the amount spent on the Vice-president or a minister’s travel for President Buhari to take to the skies every time. It’s beginning to look like President Buhari either has major trust issues or he’s hiding something from us. Take the recent trip to Qatar for instance, there was absolutely no need for the president to have witnessed the signing of an agreement to open a direct air route from Nigeria to Qatar. Of what economic importance is Qatar to us? What do they buy from us? How are they helping our economy? Waste of precious time!
If president Buhari would sit at home for one month, perhaps he would notice that Nigerians have gradually become Intenally Displaced Persons living on queues at fuel stations. Perhaps if President Buhari left the skies for the birds, he would notice that each time he claims Boko Haram has been defeated, more people are killed.
If President Buhari spent time in his country, we probably would have a budget rather than having the country run like a headless chicken.
If President Buhari loves waka waka so much why not visit the IDP camps and see the plight of the people who risked their lives to vote him into power. Perhaps, he would have attempted to visit Apapa and see how the country’s major Sea port is in shambles. Why not visit the Niger Delta and see how people are suffering?
A president who spends more hours inside “Eagle One” than in Aso Rock Presidential Villa is definitely not what we imagined. We are in the 11th month of President Buhari’s administration and we are yet to see what shaking hands with cool white men in prim suits or immaculate white gowns and checkered turbans or standing in front rows for photographs has produced.
Someone please tell President Buhari to sit at home, solve our domestic issues and stop going around cap in hand to beg for investments. When you put your country in order, they will lust after Nigeria with investment offers.
A wise man doesn’t wander far from where his corn is roasting else it gets burnt.