President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated his cluelessness afresh on Sunday when he blamed herders’ act of horrific violence on the shrinking Lake Chad and alleged biased media reports.
His narrow narrative seeks vainly to explain away the campaign of terror and mayhem by bandits on the displacement of herdsmen from the lake area and hang the seeming helplessness of his administration in curbing the rampage on the mass media. This is ghastly.
It is inconceivable that Buhari will attribute the rash of herders’ killings across the country to the mere fallout of desert encroachment. But it is all in his character. Buhari has displayed a signal lack of understanding of issues and demonstrated an embarrassingly low quality of empathy with the larger segment of the people he leads.
For instance, while his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, called for humane treatment of his countrymen making the hazardous desert journey to Europe and foreign investment to create jobs when Germany’s Angela Merkel visited, Buhari’s response was that Nigerian youths risking it were on their own. He was equally reckless at the recent Nigerian Bar Association annual conference where he dismissed the supremacy of the rule of law as a sacred canon of democratic and civilised governance. Nigerian youths have not forgotten how he dismissed them as lazy and desperate for quick money rather than hard work.
But justifying Fulani herders’ bloody campaign against mostly innocent people won’t wash. Insecurity on his watch has run riot precisely because of such wrong diagnosis and failure to apply the law objectively.