The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been on vacation for over a month now, a day longer than Donald Trump has been President of the United States of America – let that sink.
In that time, the Presidency has continually pushed out statements and photographs that – if they truly were effective – would have convinced the country by now that we are not in for a repeat of the episode with the late Yar’Adua. But they haven’t and we know it. Even they know it so we may as well move on from that. Except they won’t.
What’s more interesting are the questions we are not asking. Like why does everybody keep calling Professor Yemi Osinbajo the “Acting President” when he’s really just a Vice President performing the functions of both his own office and that of President Buhari?
Speaking of the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo deserves a shiny gold star in his assessment for how he’s handled the situation so far. For one, he and his media assistant Laolu Akande have stayed as far away as possible from the politics of President Buhari’s absence as much as possible.
The Vice President has also within the short period managed to overhaul President Buhari’s insidious grand plan of military response to the insurgency in the Niger Delta region. We are not sure yet how the Vice President’s own choice of a dialogue tour will eventually play out to put the violence to rest for good but what we do know is that the Avengers haven’t been as angry as they were before the President left. One unarguably great decision he’s made is the promise to work with operators of illegal refineries as opposed to ordering air strikes against them.
He has also continued with the FG’s Social Investment Plans around the country and across sectors.
Although moot, his response to the IStandWithNigeria protests was as complimentary as it could have been from the Presidency that Nigerians marched against. And we seem to finally be making some sort of progress at the Finance Ministry – although we may do well to hold off on that praise.
All of these to say that things haven’t been so bad in the past one month and maybe we should finally take Femi Adesina’s advice and stop being “haters” of a vacationing President who has no desire to speak with his electors unless some intervention is made on our behalf.
Maybe it’ll be better for us to move on from a relationship that was starting to turn toxic – and probably very expensive because who’s money has been used to sort out this vacation, the medical bills and shuffling feet so far anyway?