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Buhari and his problems



Not a few compatriots, including commentators, intellectual columnists, and critics and analysts and dissectors such as yours truly, for instance, will not admit that there is a Nigerian play called “Buhari,” whose hero, or protagonist, or main character, is Buhari.

“Buhari,” the play, even if a very incompetent dramatist or playwright, were to construct and pen it, will always remain the primary problem, and Buhari the hero or protagonist or main character will always remain only the secondary problem. My saying this reminds me of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet the play and Hamlet the protagonist. Hamlet the character and protagonist in Shakespeare’s Hamlet has always had a temptation that has been so especially for many critics of, especially the most dangerous species of critical school or training. I don’t belong here. I don’t belong there, and I will never belong there and here and here and there.


I am not writing “Buhari” – at least for now. I am trying to read and interpret one more time the character called Buhari, our president and the protagonist of our geographical and political space called Nigeria. Since he came on board our country’s citadel of politics and governance a second time (or is it a third time?) We cannot really shower him with praises which we sincerely hoped and nursed to shower him with based on what he tried to demonstrate as a successful coup general and military head of state in the early nineteen-eighties, and as a presidential candidate who has become our democratic president since 2015. All the things he said and promised to do for us during his presidential campaigns pre-2015 and pre- the last presidential elections have proved to be nothing than mirages upon mirages.

The economy is as terrible as any terrible economy can be. Our schools and colleges captured in our falling and fallen poor universities are as poor as any poor educational institutions can be. Our failing, squalid hospitals and health facilities and health institutions are as failing and as squalid as all such failing and squalid institutions can be. Our army and all our security institutions and outfits are as ailing as all such ailing institutions and outfits and establishments can be. I can go on and on. But the simple truth is that Buhari’s design is the design of a character, a political character and a man, a husband, a father, a friend, and a relation of a people who really did not know (and still do not know) him thoroughly and in and out.

Indeed, I will even canvass here that Buhari himself did not (and does not even presently) know himself. The protagonist recently jetted out of our country for a medical second opinion without, as alleged, the knowledge that our resident doctors were on strike or were about to embark on strike on account of his regime’s fake promises and dark agreements with them and others sundry issues. And Buhari’s problems and all our problems began from here – from our president’s lack of knowledge of his environment and of himself. And a man who does not know himself will always and often be a bad and a poor judge of character, of another person’s character – meaning that wrong persons will be picked and chosen by him to help him run his shows politically and otherwise.


No leader anywhere can lead a people all by himself or by herself. He/she must delegate responsibilities to the right people who will rightly and correctly do things and perform patriotic tasks and duties on his or her behalf. Qua a political leader of the right patriotic temperament, the political leader’s work of patriotic governance and leadership must offer us things we can interpret correctly at and for all times. If there is nothing to interpret correctly in accordance with the political leader’s patriotic temperament, zeal, and passion, then we can only criticize it according to standards, in comparison to the patriotic works of other leaders within and without. And for the correct “interpretation” of Buhari’s at this stage at least of his presidency, the big or chief task is to be presented with the relevant facts of his true state of health.

Is President Buhari well enough to lead us further to the promised progressive land as he promised us during his pre-election campaign in 2015? Is Buhari’s regime truly his or the regime of members of his cabal who have effectively corned him out of power and are thus feathering their own nests respectively and collectively? It is obvious or it must be obvious that Buhari has challenging psychological or acute health problems that have incapacitated him, and which his surrogates, who really he never appointed as such, have seriously capitalized on to loot our treasury dry and dry to cause havoc and mayhem in the length and breadth of our land. Or is Buhari feigning ill-health or specifically feigning “dementia” in order to allow his gaolers and arresters in Aso Rock to do as they please in order to escape their “assassination” of him?


From the perspective of historical “facts” at our disposal, no Nigerian head of state or president has treated our countrymen and country-women the way Buhari has treated and is still treating them and every one of us. His wife, our first lady Aisha Buhari, has complained to us time and again that the Buhari we once really knew or we thought we really knew is not the Buhari that has been our president so far. This is one huge problem which he and our heroine is too helpless to do anything good or positive about. She definitely knows her husband’s problem and problems but the Aso Rock mafia and other hangers-on have successfully blunted – so it rightly seems – all her actions and would-be actions to upstage them.

The new strike actions in the land from the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), polytechnic academics, and judiciary staff despite different signed agreements that turned out to be non-agreements according to the gospels of Buhari’s surrogates and acolytes explicitly indicate that whatever negative perspective of this national or central government that we have cannot be faulted. In what way(s) has Buhari’s regime fared better than Balewa’s, Shagari’s, Obasanjo’s, and Jonathan’s respective regimes? I won’t answer this question because everybody knows the answer. All I wish to state at this point is that Buhari’s regime and the man’s problems whatever they may be or truly are, are not to lull but to arouse to action our coming messiah who must come and whosoever he may be.

Meanwhile, dramatists and playwrights who may want to pen a play called “Buhari” must research thoroughly this president’s psychology, and the historical and political circumstances that produce their art, their dramatic art that must dramatize him and his problems factually, truthfully, realistically, historically, and otherwise without blemish and without sentiment. Buhari is worth dramatizing for the wrong and right reasons and for the right and wrong reasons and the wrong and wrong reasons. Buhari’s may end up as the “Mona Lisa” of Nigerian Literature – for the wrong reason(s). And of Nigerian Politics for the right reason(s).

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.


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