By Bayo Oluwasanmi
I feel helpless not to mock or inveigh the parade of buffoonery that has become daily libations in the senate. The political landscape in the senate is littered with dubious merchandising acts by terrifyingly corrupt and unrepentant pimping senators.
The criminal jumbo salaries, bogus perks, lewd life styles, lurid spending recklessness, multiple conduits of malfeasance, and stinking corruption form the signature national priorities of the Barbarian senators. It is evident that the political system has metamorphosed into a reign of terror. The atmosphere in the country for poor Nigerians is like a funeral. There is nothing to be proud of in Nigeria. For 58 years, it has remained a country of misery characterized by rainbow of misadventures. The citizens of a country blessed with the world’s most abundant resources live in one of the hellish places on earth.
With almost two years into his presidency, with little sign of success and some questions about whether he’s even up to trying to turn his campaign platform in to a real legislative agenda, it’s more and more glaring that President Muhammadu Buhari is on the road to being Nigeria’s weakest President. Some of the disappointments of this presidency have not been his fault. He inherited a vast array of socioeconomic problems. President Goodluck Jonathan behaved with reckless, maniac irresponsibility in prevaricating over Nigeria’s urgent needs and priorities. He elevated corruption to another new level with a new meaning, by saying “corruption is not stealing.” But none of these things is the point.
Presidential weakness is bad. It becomes dangerous enough for a failed country like Nigeria. Buhari has been the man in charge for almost two years. He is bereft of that indispensable political skill, the ability to turn things around and effect sweeping changes. He has failed to display the political skills to get things done. Without a strong president to push hard on the legislature, to prod departments and agencies, they are liable to atrophy. The bureaucrats running these departments and agencies are not capable and well-meaning. In a corrupt climate like ours, the bureaucrats are known for ignoring pressing problems. They are tempted by laziness and flat out corruption. They are more likely to continue to give in to that temptation when the departments and agencies are not being challenged to fulfill presidential requests and mandates.
While Nigerians are crying for leadership in all fronts, the president is obsessed with war on corruption that’s going nowhere. President Buhari who took office with fanfare and high hopes, now cling to Aso Rock amid confusion and collapsed hope. Today, we find our economy almost paralyzed. Majority of Nigerians believe the country is headed the wrong way with the economy in the doldrums. With a disillusioned and frigid administration, Buhari’s presidency looks like a holiday camp freak show.
It is now clear that the emperor has no clothes. By July 29, President Buhari could become largely irrelevant. Unless he turn things around, he’s about to be a lame duck before his time. Right now, Nigeria is currently passing through a moment of danger. The Nigerian economy is stalled with untamed unemployment. Corruption has not only fought back, corruption has won.
Flares of unrest, protests, horror stories of killings, insecurity, fear, hunger, prohibitive food prices, increased hopelessness and helplessness have simmered the faith and hope of incurable optimists of the administration. Nigerians now see Buhari as a weak president. He does not command the National Assembly or the confidence of the Nigerian people. He refused many times to pull the trigger of his presidential executive powers on vital, urgent national priorities. He has failed to match his actions with his words.
President Buhari has failed to articulate the vision of where the country is going, and a plan to bring it there. The president neither projects personal charisma nor powerful influence to gain the support of the country. The president remains an unyielding taciturn who doesn’t communicate his vision with the Nigerian people and the actions he would take. He has not demonstrated a strong mind and incredible capability to synthesize, process, and understand the complexity of demands and expectations of his office. A strong president sets the right goals, gets things moving. He must do more than perpetuate the status quo. Nigerians expect a lot from President Buhari. We want him to take quick action on problems facing the nation such as unemployment, protracted trials of corrupt Nigerians, healthcare, and decadent criminal justice system.
As a weak president, Buhari has shown a remarkable tendency for backing off when met by the slightest resistance. He’s frustrated because he can’t enlist the senate, the courts in his war against corruption. His acting corruption Czar Ibrahim Magu of the anti graft agency EFCC, was twice rejected to be confirmed as the Chairman of EFCC. The bill for the establishment of corruption courts continues to languish in the senate cellar. The president is held hostage by his own APC party that controls the senate. The Barbarian senators now dictate the rule of engagement on how to fight his war on corruption. They insist the only way they can work with him is to drop the criminal case against Mesujamba Saraki.
In 1995, US President Bill Clinton wanted to raise the debt ceiling but the Republican controlled Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling unless Clinton agreed to a package of sweeping cuts on programs he ran on. Clinton didn’t bulge. The Republicans shut down the federal government for one week. Public opinion was overwhelmingly against the Republicans. Republicans backed down. Not only did Clinton got what he asked for, it cost the Republicans their majority in the House and the Senate. That’s being a strong president!
Because of his presidential weakness, many factions within his administration are able to manipulate Mr. Buhari into softening his stance or completely immobilize him from carrying out his big policy initiatives like the badly needed restructure of the federal system, creation of local and state police, and other major reforms. With Mr. Buhari as a weak president, ambitious or reckless people with crackpot ideas are running wild in his government with potentially catastrophic outcomes. All of these are threats to our country and of course are potential threats to democratic government.
We should not waste more words on the Barbarian senators whose unfitness – morally and intellectually – for the greatest elective office is manifestly zero. The senate is a senate of fools, blockheads, ignoramuses, and idiots. Bunch of callous, corrupt, indifferent, crooks, and intelligently disabled legislators, they are bent to run Buhari and his administration out of town. Though, there have been pockets of protests here and there against the brain dead senators, the criticisms and impassioned message of poor Nigerians strikes an echo with majority of Nigerians save in the senate of fools. The real enemies of our people are not the Boko Harams. They’re right there in the senate. The incredible cruelties of the Barbarian senators are unparalleled in the history of our nation.
The President is not a king. He must share power, abide by the rule of law and be accountable to Nigerians that gave him authority. However, he could still get the senate to pass his legislative priorities. He’s not using the “Bully Pulpit” to drum support for his policies, and expose the obstructionist senators. Mr. Buhari could take out his saboteurs in the senate by creatively using the law to oust many of the senators published by SaharaReporters few days ago titled “The Senate of Alleged Thieves and Rogues.” With speedy trial and stiff lengthy sentences, we can haul them into the penitentiary without wasting more time and resources prosecuting them. Through referendum to gut the hollow senate which many Nigerians had called for, President Buhari can permanently get rid of the liability chamber for good.
A clueless, aloof, detached, distant, and foot dragging president and a senate of rogues and ruffians. The president is missing in action, and the senate is dysfunctional and detestable. Nigerians are trapped between a rock and a hard place. Trouble looms ahead!
You can reach Bayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.