The optics, as they say in public relations, is not looking good.
On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele from Ekiti State, opened his mouth like basket (apologies to Fela Kuti) and told the whole world that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has gone into hiding on account of mounting pressure from different quarters regarding his ministerial list.
Vanguard reported the story thusly: “…the President decided to go into hiding for the next 48 hours to enable him come up with a list of nominees that would be acceptable to all Nigerians. This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) at his 60th birthday anniversary lecture and presentation of two books on Leadership, Communication at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.”
Two days earlier, Premium Times had sounded the alarm that “After about 56 days in office, Tinubu has till Friday to appoint ministers.” For weeks now, the airwaves have been buzzing with different readings:
Idan is missing!
Jagaban has been tamed!
Tinubu to announce uncommon ministerial list!
We don’t have the list – Senate!
Wike attacks Tinubu over ministerial list!
Tinubu is Lagosnising ministerial list!
Ministerial list: Governors insist on their men!
And in all of these, not one word from the Jagaban of Borgu, the Asiwaju world-wide, the Emilokan himself. The one who told the world that he has been thinking of becoming president since he was in kindergarten.
What is becoming clear, as we countdown to the constitutionally allowed 60 days, is that Tinubu has discovered to his chagrin that Abuja is not Lagos. The federal government is not a state government. The man has bitten off more than he can chew.
In the movie, Murder at 1600, a character tells another character that “men have got to know their limitations.” Tinubu clearly has not watched that movie.
Since that goof on May 29th, when Tinubu said “subsidy is gone” Nigerians have rued the day they accepted him on the ballot. Fuel is now N617 and that is when you find it. Nigerians have discovered a new national pastime called TREKKING and unreliable sources say applications have flooded the Guinness Book of World Records from Nigerians applying to beat the world record in trekking.
On the economic front, inflation hit 22% in June 2023, the highest since 2005, while the naira has become a lot more worthless, exchanging at over N860 to the dollar.
There have also been policy somersaults at an alarming rate.
The N8,000 announced as palliatives for 12 million Nigerians has been sent for review following a deafening outcry, leading one to wonder why the rush? The increase in tuition fees for federal universities has been described as “discretionary charges by each university for hostel accommodation, registration, laboratory and other charges. They are not tuition fees.”
And while Nigerians groan, members of the National Assembly are waiting to collect over N100 billion as allowances.
Former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who was arrested ostensibly because he allegedly committed gargantuan economic crimes was finally charged to court for possessing nothing more than a shakabula!
58 days after his inauguration, Tinubu who has been preparing for Aso Rock, who said it was his turn, has not even been able to pack his things into the Aso Rock he has coveted for years.
Something is wrong!
If care is not taken, Tinubu and his officials would soon claim that they never removed subsidy.
As a wag said on Twitter, sorry X, Nigerians are seeing shege and all this under a man who said he had all the answers. An anonymous fellow with the “uncommon” name Unaneva C Anything has even published a book of doom!
Tinubu since assuming office has been left consistently on the back foot. There has been neither movement nor motion and almost 60 days since assuming officer he has not been able to cobble together a list.
Moses did not spend 60 days waiting for the 10 Commandments.
Many state governors, some of them drafted in as proxies, have released their list of commissioners so what is keeping the Jagaban?
As we await Tinubu’s “uncommon list” of ministers one thing remains clear, Opeyemi Bamidele did him a disservice with that public service announcement and with friends like him, Tinubu does not need enemies.
A whole Asiwaju should not go into hiding over a simple list. Haba!
The worry really is how do we expect a man who takes almost 60 days to come up with a ministerial list to solve the myriad problems staring Nigeria and Nigerians in the face?
–Alphonsus Momodu wrote in from Benin City