One of the inadequacies of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency is how it has managed to sustain a level of disconnect with its citizens. Since his inauguration as president, Buhari has stayed away from some of the more important events that plagued the nation. Even when Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rann, Borno, were “accidentally” killed by the military, all he did was send a delegation to “sympathise” with the families of the dead and called it a day.
This culture of silence by the president has remained one of the issues his critics have used against him. However, this behaviour by Buhari seems not to be propelled by his ignorance but as a deliberate attempt to stay away from his responsibility.
Buhari decided to make public how informed he was about national issues on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at the Council Chambers during the Council of State meeting but he goofed woefully. The president before taking his seat moved round to exchange pleasantries with attendees. While greeting the Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Buhari asked ‘how is the bulldozer?’ while he simply asked Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue “how are your cattle rearers”.
These statements represent insensitivity to human plight on the part of the president as the issues that warranted both remarks are acts of human right abuse. In the case of Kaduna, the bulldozer was used to demolish the house of a serving Senator by Governor Nasir El-Rufai which was a flagrant abuse of power.
The occurrence at Benue was a national disaster as humans were slaughtered by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the President never paid a condolence visit to the state neither have the perpetrators been brought to justice. It simply shows the level of non-commitment of the government to providing justice for all the lives that have been lost in Benue.
For the President to make a joke out of this is a poor display of effective communication skills which he lacks. This is not the first time Buhari has made rash statements. His infamous 97% and 5% statement is evidence of how insensitive he is. Buhari should learn to be Presidential with his communication.