YNaija Editorial: The problem with the APC governors’ visit to Buhari is that these leaders still don’t get it

One of the biggest stories from the past week was the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke‘s conversation with alleged co-conspirators, Kola Aluko and Chief Jide Omokorie. In transcripts of phone conversations she held with the others, the former Minister can be heard elaborating on some the activities and acquisitions which had been carried out using laundered funds.

Nigerians world over have been outraged since then. And rightly so. The only problem with this outrage, one can say, is that it’s too little, too late. Diezani has been under the radar for corrupt practices for about five years now. The EFCC seized and confiscated the first $18 million’s worth of property from her in connection with corruption in 2015 and they haven’t stopped since. But for the most part, the issue many Nigerians have with the allegations levelled against her is that “a woman would commit such heinous crimes”.

About three weeks ago, several parts of Lagos got submerged in dangerous floods again this year and while resident traded flood jokes made “sense” of the situation through funny internet memes, the State governor attended the wedding of a colleague’s daughter. He later registered his attendance of that event on his Instagram page for all to see.

This week, our guess is that Nigerians will do a great deal of talking about the visit of APC governors to President Buhari in the UK – about which governors were chosen, and what President Buhari looks like in the photo that is now making its way around the internet, about whether the photo is even recent, about the food they were photographed eating; the size of the bananas. All very interesting angles to consider the almost laughable issue from.

But what the discussion is not likely to bring to the table is the fact of the disrespect with which these elected officers have chosen to treat Nigerians. The same element that was missing in the discourse about the Lagos floods and the governor’s choice of activity on the day it happened. And the same element that continues to b amiss in the discourse on Diezani’s blatant theft of national resources.

These governors have taken the pain to go see Nigeria’s ailing President who has been receiving medical treatment outside Nigeria for the better part of 2017 while hospitals in Nigeria still grapple with the same issues the same President promised to fix if elected. A President who continues to disregard the voices of his country as they plead to be enlightened about the nature of his illness.

But because several voices have been raised to question whether or not the President is truly still alive in London, these leaders decided that the way to fix the situation will be to visit the President and take a photograph with him while sitting at the table prepared for them in front of their enemies (or the weaker animals, hyenas and jackals, if you will).

While the photo may satisfy the curiosity of a few thousand Nigerians, the problem is that these governors and the handlers of the sick President thought that a photo like this is the solution to all of the problems that his absence have and will continue to raise. Not only is this singular act of extravagance an insult to our collective intelligence as a nation – as if a photo is all the solution that the issue of an absentee President needs.

As if a 57-year-old country could not do better than an incapacitated President for the second time in one decade.

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