From the Archives: THE ATOMIC DICHOTOMY OF PMB’S PRESIDENCY



Please do not over analyze the title of my piece. It is just an oxymoron. Because knowing the nature of Nigerians that we love to analyze to the point of overkill. An example is the way we have over analyzed President Buhari’s vacation to the point that the man now calls us, his initially-beloved-but-now-not-so-beloved people mischief makers. Largely our fault because we have not minded our business, incessantly poking our nose into the private and personal affairs of Nigeria’s number one public figure. Such indiscretion and indecorum on our parts. In fact, I suggest that when he returns, just like organized prayers have been made for him in his absence for quick recovery, we should have a national “Apology to Mr. President” rallies across the length and breadth of Nigeria. NTA should be able to beam this live to our TV screens as a national service without charging a dime. This is the least we can do to show penitence and warm our way back to the large heart of Mr. President.

Now that I have cleared the air on the title of my piece, let’s try and deconstruct it. An oxymoron is a combination of words with contradictory meaning in the same sentence. An Atom is the smallest indivisible part of an element. Dichotomy is synonymous with a split, a division or a separation. Nigeria is officially the country of oxymoron, a people of unfortunate ironies. The Giant of Africa yet dwarf in thinking and achievements, oil-rich yet poverty stricken, myriads of Professors and record breaking achievers yet high illiteracy level. This list goes on. Recently, a most valuable governor’s wife award was organized when a large percentage of the governors are not even adding any value. If in doubt, ask the civil servants and the pensioners who are languishing due to salaries owed or take a look at the uninspiring IGRs of a large number of the states which is a testament to the lack of creativity. So where is the value? The elected husbands who are the constituted authorities (my bad, I mean governors) are not providing value but the unelected wives are the ones providing value. What an irony! Perhaps the award organizers were not specific enough, maybe value in this context is in relation to the ‘other room’.


The presidency claims it is atomic, one and indivisible and so we should not try and split PMB and Professor Osinbajo, the Vice President. They have loudly reminded us in case we have forgotten that it is a joint ticket and both PMB and PYO are one. We know. The President’s media aides have tried so hard to inform Nigerians that PMB remains the president while the vice is just acting on his behalf. This we know too. They also want us to know that all that PYO is doing now are the instructions left for him by PMB to carry out before he travelled. I am awed by this revelation. You mean the Presidency knew that a dollar was going to reach a record breaking five hundred naira in the parallel market and so PYO was given a step-by-step detailed instructions on what to do to bring it down when it gets to that level before PMB went away. Aren’t we blessed that we have a prophetic presidency. Never mind that the naira kept crashing helplessly amidst a hapless economy while he was around.

The acting Presidency should not even be an issue at all in the interest of Nigeria and the media aides should just relax and focus on more important assignments. Nigeria is not a mafia organization therefore it is silly to subtly craft the narrative that PYO is trying to outshine his boss. Are they no longer one? Can one outshine himself? No matter that they say or the number of press releases or interviews, the judge in this matter is the populace. It is Nigerians who will decide whether the Presidency under the leadership of PMB and under the leadership of PYO in acting capacity is one and the same. They are the ones that will measure the progress made in the twenty months PMB was in charge till he went on vacation and the progress made in the last two month of PYO in charge. Nigerians are not blind, they are not dumb, they can decipher between lethargy and pragmatism. On this matter, no fancy words, big grammar or reprimanding statements from media aides can influence the perception of the Presidency when PMB was here and now that PYO is acting on his behalf. Actions speak louder than words.


On a last note, this is my two cents; PYO’s designation presently is Acting President. The prefix is a verb which is defined as an action word and where I come from, the elders say “oruko omo ni o n roni” meaning a child’s name influences his persona so don’t be surprised that PYO is active and acting the script supposedly written for him by PMB before London beckoned on him. The word President is just a noun, nothing indicative that it must be full of action so on this note we can excuse any lethargy from the Presidency pre and post PYO’s season. Did I hear someone say “Seriously?”

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