I have watched with great concern, the ominous silence of Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), over the myriad of violent attacks, fire disasters, loss of lives and properties and Boko Haram attacks, since the inauguration of his government on May 29, 2015. I have waited in vain, for our President to react to these unfortunate incidents, to personally visit the scenes of these incidents, or send a delegation or at least offer a message of sympathy and condolence, but none has happened yet.
1. On May 30, 2015, a day after the President’s inauguration, Boko Haram insurgents attacked Malari Village in Borno State, killing 31 people instantly and injuring about 42 others. The President has not visited the scene of this attack.
2. On May 31, 2015, Boko Haram insurgents raided Gambouru market in Maiduguri, attacked the people there, looted their goods wantonly, raped women and even set a Magistrate’s Court on fire. The President is yet to visit the place.
3. On May 31, 2015, a petrol tanker caught fire in Onitsha and ran into several people, whereupon almost 100 people were burnt and several shops and properties destroyed. The President has not visited Onitsha.
4. On June 1, 2015, another petrol tanker caught fire at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, causing substantial damages and destructions. There were other fire incidents in other parts of Lagos on the same day. The President has not visited Lagos.
5. Several other misfortunes have befallen some fellow Nigerians since May 29, to which the President has kept mute.
I must admit that the President should by now be busy trying to settle down to the business of governance, but he must show concern for the lives of the people he was elected to govern. And he doesn’t need to do this personally, as he has aides and a retinue of public officers, who can handle this on his behalf. The President has already appointed two experienced media aides, but both of them have been silent on the predicament of fellow Nigerians since May 29.
Section 14(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which General Buhari swore to uphold, states as follows:
“The security and welfare of the shall be the PRIMARY purpose of government.”
It is clear that any government that cannot associate with its people, in the time of distress, of calamity and misfortune, does not deserve to remain in power. It would seem that the President and his party, APC, are only interested in power for the sake of it, to the detriment of the ordinary Nigeria.
In the moments leading to the electioneering campaigns, the APC media department was very cerebral, at times issuing multiple press releases in a day. As a ruling party, the APC ought to solidarize with people who have been visited with any form of calamity.
I am worried in particular, that General Buhari has not visited ANY of the scenes of these events and disasters, that he has not met with the families concerned and he has not even issued any statement to commiserate with the victims at all.
The media has, however, been awash with political activities by the APC, of lobbyings and maneuveres, about the leadership of the National Assembly, and has even summoned a meeting in Abuja for the purpose of coercing its elected lawmakers on its choice of leadership, without showing any modicum of concern for the victims of these unfortunate disasters, some of whom must have voted for the APC in the past elections.
The President cannot carry on with this attitude of gross insensitivity to the plight of the very people that he has been elected to govern. A government that has no consideration for the plight of its people shouldn’t remain in power beyond a day.
I appreciate that General Buhari comes from a military background where death, calamity and disaster are common events that do not command the sympathy of gallant officers, but he has pledged to imbibe the tenets of democracy, one of which is that democracy is a goverment of the people, for the people and by the people.
I, therefore, urge the President to show more concern for the people.
God bless Nigeria.