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I Want To Go To London… To See Buhari – By Reuben Abati

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Traditional rulers, bloggers, public intellectuals, trolls, and journalists! I think we should also be invited to London to have tea with Mr Buhari. 

When 15 million plus Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 General elections, their expectation was that he would be available to serve them 24/7/365, and that those who fielded him as their candidate had done their homework to avoid what is curiously becoming the Katsina problem in Nigerian politics.  

Katsina!

But we have now found ourselves in a situation whereby our President is now in London, for more than one month sir, ma, and we are here, and we have an acting President, who according to everybody, including the extremists and the mischievous, and the politically partisan, is beginning to try his best, with his admirers, now praying for the worst. 

For that reason alone, we have an emotionally, politically and spiritually divided country on our hands. 

Don’t mind what they tell you, and don’t deceive yourself, the Nigerian Presidency is in turmoil. It is not our wish. It is not what the voters asked for. 

But that is how democracy works. You cannot predict the results that democracy produces.  Not even in America. Or Russia.

Now that we have found ourselves in this situation, anyway – an absentee President trying to remain relevant and an acting President struggling to put up appearances, and struggling harder not to be seen to be ambitious (sorry, Prof. I was your student but I have something to say sir, I don’t mean any harm – truth be told), where should the Nigerian people stand? 

For the past one month, we have all been trapped in a post-truth situation, pretending as if all is normal. We should stop pretending.

Those who supported and are supporting the APC that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power and office cannot talk. 

They cannot talk due to embarrassment and shame. They are busy putting up a face. But for how long can they do this? 

The Nigerian media is also on its knees, looking so pitiable, with the exception of a few blogs, newspapers that we can’t even trust, professional media consultants who are in disarray, a few bloggers and then some gentlemen: Pa Ikhide, Farooq Kperogi, Sonala Olumhense, Omoyele Sowore, Pius Adesanmi and Okey Ndibe who have since been specially illuminated as they journeyed to Damascus.

I will return to this subject some other day. But I think right now, we should begin to take the subject of the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari more seriously. 

Bukola Saraki, our Senate President has visited him in London, twice, within two weeks. 

I don’t think we should leave this business of visiting the President to party chieftains, the executive and the Federal Legislature.  

If care is not taken, Senator Saraki may be tempted to visit the President again next week. 

And the week after and he may even be tempted to travel with all the members of the National Assembly. There must be equity in this matter.

Figure it out as follows: we all know that President Buhari is now in London and he is the man Nigerians chose as their President in 2015.  

We cannot forsake him. He is in London on working leave, for more than one month now, and we don’t know when that leave will end. 

We have been told it will end soon. Later. One day. Whenever. We are not God. Let the leave end when it will.  

But we, the people, have a duty to stand by our President. This is the point of this article. 

We are Africans. We have traditions. We respect elders. We don’t joke with old age. The time has come, right now, for Nigerians to behave like Africans.

We should therefore, not leave this business of visiting to Senator Bukola Saraki alone. 

Party chieftains have visited Mr. President.  The leadership of the National Assembly has also gone to London to be part of President Buhari’s working leave. 

I think Vice-President-Acting-President Yemi Osinbajo should also visit his boss, this week, next week, or ASAP. 

Henceforth, he should be in London at least once a week.  Let us stop pretending that the President is not in charge. He is.  

If Aso Villa is now in London, let us make it work. The Acting President and the real President need quality face time.  

If the acting President must go to London every day, let him do so, but don’t let us run Nigeria by telephone or DHL. 

Am I making sense? I am not talking about common sense. I mean real sense. So, do I make any sense at all?

After the Acting President’s visit, all former Presidents should also start going to London to see the President. 

Those former Presidents are not as harmless as they pretend to be. 

They are projected to the public as advisers but they are more than that: they all left something in Aso Villa that makes them eternally powerful.  

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