By Eric Elezuo
Having spent a large chunk of October criss crossing foreign lands, President Muhammadu Buhari will again from today embark on another 15 days trip to London in what he described as ‘private trip’. The trip will see the President departing Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Saturday to England. The reason for the private visit, as usual, is not known.
Nigerians have read through the lines, captured the innuendos involved and analysed the irony of the situation. This is imagining a President who only recently read riot acts to his ministers and other public officers as regards foreign travels. Buhari had said while placing embargo on foreign travels that the reduction in the number and duration of foreign trips for ministers and other categories of government was a ‘cost-saving measure’ to achieve fiscal prudence. Does Buhari make separate laws for his officers, and a different kind of laws for himself. It is obvious we are dealing with a ‘King Don’t Tell Me’, who is well versed in the theory of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. Otherwise, is it not proper to lead by example. One may not begin to count numerous promises that hit the walls as the administration of Buhari took off in 2015. But one may not also forget to remember that the President questioned the rationale behind traveling out of the country at every given opportunity and beat his chest to do away with it; one may not also forget in a hurry that the President promised to convert all planes on the presidential fleet to national carriers, and within one year add more aircraft; or is it the promise that the office of the first lady will be abolished as it adds nothing to the economy.
Well, those were integrity-back promises, but which of them has been fulfilled till date. If you ask me, na who I go ask. Maybe, ‘the matter we you see so, e get as e bi’. We can only count our teeth with our tongiue to ascertain if the man at the helm of affairs is actually the much awaited Mr. Integrity. Buhari must understand that those that live in glass houses, don’t throw stones. In the same vein, it is not mature to talk the talk when you cannot walk the walk.
In April, Buhari was also on a 10 days private visit to London and has budgeted the sum of N1.75 billion for personal foreign trips for the year 2020 in the proposed 2020 appropriation bill. That appears like the image of one who is taking his countrymen for granted. And funnily enough, the people have become dumb and no longer responsive to external stimuli, so everyone is silently eating the bread of sorrow, waiting for the coming of 2023 when the President not a few has termed irresponsible to the plight of the masses leaves office. But nothing in the horizon shows that 2023 may ever come.
For 20 days and counting that Buhari will away, the government will practically shut down as the instrumentality of transferring power to the vice president was invoked. As a result, the vacuum will remain until his return on November 17 as Femi Adesina announced .
As the years are running into months, and to weeks and days for the president, it is imperative that he amends what is left of his ways. Stop speaking tongue in cheek – speak the truth somethings and regain the people’s confidence if he ever he had it; walk the talk and as Punch editorial will put it, stay at your duty post.