If the words of Nasir El-Rufai are anything to go by, the ongoing calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to step aside are not out of place.
Although El-Rufai, the current Governor of Kaduna State, has not openly asked the president to resign, he did say in the past that there was nothing wrong in telling even a successful leader to do so.
“Nothing wrong with asking a president to resign, even presidents that are useful to their people get asked to resign when they get it wrong,” El-Rufai said about Buhari’s predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.
El-Rufai made the comment via Facebook and Twitter on July 23, 2012. The social media post was in response to an article published by blogger Japhet Omojuwa. In the article, Omojuwa quoted Pastor Tunde Bakare’s several allegations of corruption against Jonathan. The pastor, as Omojuwa reported, then asked the former president to resign.
Here is the full version of the comment on Facebook.
The social media post, via which El-Rufai endorsed the demand for Jonathan’s resignation, is making the rounds again as Buhari’s Aso Rock, which El-Rufai also endorses, continues to let Nigerians down.
The economy is in a bad shape. Inflation is over 14 per cent, the highest in four years. Kidnapping is now a lucrative business. The naira is taking a beating against other currencies. Nigerians are a laughing stock in Ghana and other countries. Tens of millions of Nigerian children are out of school. And the Nigerian Army, which should be focused on exterminating Boko Haram terrorists and bandits, is trapped in apparent lies over its allegedly deadly involvement in the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos. But the Buhari government, in a shameless misplacement of priorities, seems only obsessed with regulating social media so as to rob Nigerians of their right to criticise glaring incompetence.
To top it off, the president, according to critics, continues to go “slow and sleepy” and refuses to engage the youth who are angry over unending police brutality. Buhari has not had a live media chat since 2015. When Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu told Buhari about compensating victims of police brutality, the president laughed.
The state of the nation has made many Nigerians conclude that President Buhari is useless to the country.
According to El-Rufai, “even presidents that are useful to their people get asked to resign when they get it wrong”.
It remains unclear if the Kaduna governor will hold Buhari to Jonathan’s standard.
It is, however, dubious, critics say, that while El-Rufai could use social media to criticise the government in 2012, information and culture minister Lai Mohammed, who employed the same media to berate the government in the past, is not happy with the way Nigerians are repaying Buhari in kind.
Hiding under the umbrella of “fake news” and “hate speech”, Mohammed said Nigeria must acquire the technology to “shut down the internet at will”. But shortly after Buhari defeated Jonathan in 2015, Mohammed met online piblishers in Lagos and promised them that the new president, being a “reformed democrat”, would make no move to regulate the social media let alone shut down the internet.