President Buhari: A Disrespectful Employee? By Efe Wanogho
In a democracy, such as we purport to practise, it is a given that ultimate political power rests with the people. The citizenry decides to collectively bestow some of this power as a form of delegated authority from the grand repository of political power, on its elected public officeholders. The President is technically, and in fact, an employee of the electorate who appointed him to serve via the mandate freely given to him at the polls after he presented himself for office. Though this appointment, or employment, if you like, is for a fixed term of four years, and subject to a renewal at the will and pleasure of the citizenry, being the employers; it is not a helpless, irreversible and definitive surrender of the power of the people to the President.
The implication of the foregoing is that an employer does not go to sleep simply because he has contracted the services of an employee. If anything, the employer provides a job description for the employee and regularly calls the employee to order, whenever he feels the employee is straying from his job description. The employee is not callous and does not treat the employer with disdain, knowing that the employer has the right to hire and fire.
While the corporate picture painted above may not be directly replicated in the sociopolitical landscape, stricto senso; key parallels ought to exist. This is not the exclusive preserve of democracies, as totalitarian regimes under the headship of tyrants have been known to bow to the power of the people when they get sufficiently angry and tranform that anger to organize against despots. In the end, the will of the people must prevail.
Thus, it beggars belief that the Nigerian Citizenry would be treated with such ignominy and callousness by no other, than the administration of Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari was contracted by the Nigerian people to do a job. He in turn contracts his Ministers and Presidential Aides to assist him deliver on his electoral mandate. You won’t believe this. These aides of Mr. President, who is himself an employee of the people, dare to be arrogant to the people, who are themselves the employers of their principal. You don see dat kind thing before?
How do you explain Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, reprimanding Nigerians for daring to complain over poor electricity supply and having to go through excruciating pains and dehumanizing conditions, before they are able to buy petrol at cut-throat prices? Mr. Adesina, as uncultured and ignorant as he is, asked Nigerians to go after criminals who vandalize oil and gas installations; a job that his principal was elected to do, in the first place. Well, he probably is following in his master’s footsteps, who rather than explain the merits of his subscribing to the Saudi-led Islamic coalition against terrorism (if any), stated – and shamefully too – that those Nigerians who are not happy, should go to the North-East and South-South to fight Boko Haram and militants, respectively. Is it not something like this that Pastor Tunde Bakare termed as the arrogance of impunity?
Do you remember what Chris Ngige said about Nigerians who complain of hardship as beign PDP members or apologists, or something to that effect? What about Lai Mohammed who says Nigerians are expecting magic from the administration? Thank goodness for Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Senate, another of the President’s appointees, Ibe Kachikwu has apologised for talking down to Nigerians.
President Buhari has to understand that he is serving and not ruling Nigerians. He is to feel the pulse of the people and take dressing, as they say in the military. As an Officer of the Nigerian Army, Buhari was taught to respect his superiors and obey all lawful orders. He has to realize that he is still in service, though a higher service this time around; and his superiors are the ordinary Nigerians who he swore on oath to see to their security and welfare. He should caution his aides to treat his employers with some measure of respect. If public service is too humbling for their arrogant selves, they should resign from office. He does not want to contemplate the ire of a people going through a tortuos period of hardship.
The hardship may not have been inflicted on Nigerians by Mr. president, but he was elected because he put himself forward as the panacea to the hardship that Nigerians face. He was elected to provide solutions to the myriad of problems that confront Nigerians and not to talk down to them or engage in the blame game. Let him be guided.
Author: Malik Shabbazz
Freelance Writer and Political Activist