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Is Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Bumbling or Conniving?

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Bumbling: Move or act in an awkward or confused manner; 

Conniving: Someone conniving is calculating, scheming, and shrewd — in other words, sneaky and up to no good – Oxford Dictionary

It is difficult to tell what is going on in PMB’s head. If he is bumbling, then this is very sad news for Nigeria. But things might be better if he is conniving. With regards to the PMB’s effort to appoint his closest advisers and ministers, one could suspect a bumbling head of state. 

PMB announced to Nigeria and to the world that he is taking his time in setting up his government because he wants a change: he wants a staff of competent, trustworthy, and non-corrupt members.

Nigerians accepted these terms and conditions. Nigerians and perhaps the world became agitated when the search got to five months. Then the president delivered a product that has a 14% failure rate so far (3/21 appointments screened) or with luck an 8% failure rate (3/36 appointments). 

No engineer or doctor (chemist) would deliver a product with a miserable 8% failure rate talk less of 14%. This is why bumbling is sad news for Nigeria; if that is what is happening with PMB’s appointments.

But if PMB is conniving; then some of us will question his honesty but would secretly admire is shrewdness. Some people (this writer included) believe that Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and Mr. Tinubu stuck out their necks to make PMB possible and ought to be rewarded. 

By nominating Amaechi and allowing him to fail in the senate screening process accomplishes two things at the same time: he rewards Amaechi to satisfy those who believe that Amaechi deserves reward and by Amaechi falling in the senate he gets rid of a powerful but dangerous supporter. 

This is scheming and shrewd which many smart politicians have used successfully. The Amaechi story is the story of Nwachukwu, the presumed Oil Minister.

These are two Igbo appointments. PMB has had great difficulties dealing with the Igbo nationality. When he appointed his innermost circle which did not include a single Igbo he said he wanted only a trustworthy team.

Is PMB then underscoring his overt belief that the Igbo is untrustworthy? Is this the message he is trying to send? 

Conniving is calculating, scheming, and shrewd — in other words, sneaky. This is sad news and portends a bleak future for the Igbo ethnic group. And eventually for Nigeria. A disgruntled 30 million people in a country of 150 million (20%) is a warning signal.

An ex-service man ought to know this.

Where does this leave President Muhammadu Buhari? The Igbo? Nigeria?

Only time will tell.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston, Massachusetts


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