by Alexander O. Onukwue
President Buhari has received the Acting President, 11 Governors, one party Chairman and one Minister, and there is every possibility that another delegation will be on its way to London in no time.
Only that, instead of the usual entourage of Public officials, some persons are calling for ordinary citizens to be granted the next audience with the President.
To be sure, calling it an “audience” is a glorification of the intention of the visit; the clear objective of the two visits so far have been to project the impression that President Buhari is indeed recuperating and is on his way to returning to the country sooner than later.
In line with that desire, why not send professional actors to meet with the President?
The veterans of the Nollywood arguably have more appeal amongst the masses than any politician on either side of the divide. It does not seem either Nyesom Wike or Ayo Fayose would be interested in a visit to Buhari, and neither is Femi Fani-Kayode. These three have been the most unapologetic in their attacks on the Buhari Government.
With actors, however, it will be reasonably easier to inspire Buhari into taking up more spontaneous positions for those action photographs that would further project the image of the President as in full recovery mode.
But why would this – convincing action photographs – even be necessary if there could be even a brief video of the President in any of the past visits with the Governors? At the risk of political vulnerability, would it be totally out of place for there to be a one-minute address by the President sending a message where he personally thanks Nigerians and continues to ask for support and prayers?
The President’s handlers should be clear on what the intention of these visits are. Expensive visits and photo-ops rehearsed around showing that the President is bubbly and in high spirits are not cutting it with the Nigerian people. Rather than generate interest and enthusiasm, people are scrolling to the next headline after seeing these pictures.
But if that’s the route they wish to pursue, they might as well use the most professionally qualified and popularly accepted persons who have no partisan affiliations.