On the night of Friday, 30th October, 2015, obviously being conveyed from the airport on arrival from India where he attended the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit, commuters were subjected to stopping and waiting for close to 30 minutes or thereabout for the president’s unusually long convoy to pass.
While the President made a gallant and majestic entry into Aso Rock, poor mortals like us who mean nothing in the reckoning of the powers that be were subjected to a needless, unnecessary and avoidable standstill even if some among us had any emergency more urgent than President Buhari’s oppressive entry.
This is more serious when one remembers that such actions as this was the same one APC rode on to power while chanting “Change” that has since dissipated into thin air thereby increasing the number of countless unfulfilled promises by this administration and an ever increasing number of broken covenant with the people.
More blatantly vain is the number of cars on the president’s convoy. Running close to thirty or more, one wonders if the mantra of the nation being broke is actually true considering what it takes to put each of those vehicles on the road whenever the president embarks on his parades of conquest of a helpless, hapless and despondent people that we have all become in a nation basking with euphoria and rated very highly just as at May 29, 2015.
Little wonder we have not heard anything to be done with the fleet of jets in the presidential fleet for which the APC condemned the previous administration and heartlessly, albeit naively, accused it of wastage. Not even plausible explanations from the Jonathan administration were cogent enough to abate the series of attacks from the APC then. Nearly 6 months after taking over, the Buhari administration still keeps those jets and have even subjected them to banal use as even the Comptroller-General of Customs now fly in such jets for local assignments.
The import of this editorial, beyond raising the alarm over the shocking hypocrisy exhibited by the Buhari administration so far, is to call on the present administration to stop holding citizens to ransom whenever he is on a journey into or out of Aso Rock. Need he and his aides be reminded that this is a democracy and that such actions are an infringement on the inalienable rights of the citizens to move freely?
The argument that President Jonathan did the same during his tenure does not hold water at all. President Jonathan had to put some extra-ordinary security measures because of the constant threats he received from some perpetually belligerent citizens especially from the north which culminated in the stoning of his convoy twice in Katsina and Bauchi States respectively. The campaign of calumny, hate and open threats to the former President required extra security measures which, in any case, received a barrage of condemnation from the then opposition party. But Buhari, what of Buhari whom Nigerians love so much that they preferred him to Jonathan? Why cordoning off roads just because a beloved president is passing? Why would the same people who just six months ago voted for him as their President be made to wait nearly endlessly to make way for the Conqueror thereby making some of them miss important appointments, get disoriented for the rest of the day/night and making emergency cases quickly turn fatal?
We advise, in the strongest possible terms, the president and those managing him to not only live and let live, but they should also learn to pass and let pass!
Article Written By Jude Ndukwe
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