House of Scraps: How Buhari could get his house back in order

by Alexander O. Onukwue

A source in the Presidency has described President Buhari’s reaction to the pre-FEC face-off between Winifred Oyo-Ita and Abba Kyari as one of being “embarrassed”, according to Sahara Reporters.

The presence of very senior members of Government, including Vice President Osinbajo and Senate President Bukola Saraki, did not deter Mrs Oyo-Ita and Kyari from having a little go at each other right inside the council chambers. The President was not present and it is reported that he asked to have word with both officers.

The corridors of power are usually esteemed for the power games that are played between key officers. In the present case of the Buhari Aso villa, it is safe to describe it more a house of scraps than a house of cards.

It was literally a house of rats in August when the President returned from his 104-day stay in London. More than two months after, the President has not started using his main offices as renovations are supposedly still in progress. But it has not stopped more scraps from coming through: Kachikwu vs Baru, the dire state of the Aso Rock Clinic, and the rolling effects of the Maina affair have served to add volumes of putrefaction to the depleted ambience Buhari met on his return from Abuja House. The sack of Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke has done some masking, but the odour remains.

President Buhari has been criticized much for his ability to manage people. It is not uncommon to hear commentaries attributing any success he achieved as Head of State to the then deputy, Tunde Idiagbon. Such claims have been repeated in his second-coming with much praise going to Osinbajo for accolades such as Nigeria’s improved rankings on the ease of Doing Business and relative peace in the Niger Delta.

As much as it might be a sign of weakness, perhaps it might be in the President’s interest to acknowledge this deficiency and make better use of his Vice President to govern more effectively. Much was done to emphasize the oneness of the Presidency when Buhari was away and Osinbajo was commendably running the affairs of State. It should not now seem out of place to more pro-actively employ the mediatory expertise of the Vice President to navigate the current torrents of irregularity that plagues the Aso Villa at the moment.

A leader should know his strengths and use them most effectively to make-up for apparent short-falls. To do so is strength and the result will be serenity.

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