Connect with us


Mr President, jokes apart, can we get serious?



Mr President, jokes apart, can we get serious?

Mr President, jokes apart, can we get serious?

By Samuel Ibemere…

C’mon, what is there to be said about Nigeria that has not been said? The Nigerian condition has become simply too irritating, and this is putting it mildly. The decadence has evolved into a huge sore that has left an overwhelming stench that is threatening to choke both citizens and neighbours.

The last time I checked, our long history of jagajaga rule was beginning to reveal a motley crowd of ill-fashioned comedians whose acerbic jokes were no longer drawing laughter from a fatigued audience, disappointed from years of mis-governance.

Nigeria is fast turning into a big joke in the eyes of the many who refuse to be amused by the reckless glide towards self-destruct. Clownish men, masquerading as lead actors on a collapsing theatre, fail to recognize the jeers and sense the calamitous march into perdition.

Will Nigeria kpafuka in due course? Will the intense hypocritical dance on the badly set up political theatre spell doom? I choose not to play Nostradamus here. Even the Americans who, through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), figured out 2015 as end of the contraption called Nigeria are still licking from the wounds of a bad guess.

From my vantage position, I still can’t see tomorrow but I can vividly recognize the cringing sound of the deformed stilts upon which Nigeria sits at the moment. It got louder on Sunday when ailing President Muhammadu Buhari allegedly took the stage to crack an unforgettable dry joke.

Is it true that he, in a pre-recorded Eid Mubarak audio message, addressed the Nigerian muslim community in Hausa betraying what was supposed to be a major national event? Who got him confused or convinced that all Nigerian muslims speak Hausa? If this overdrive was deliberate, is it not a confirmation of his alleged bigoted vision and the much criticized born-to-rule mentality of the jaundiced northern oligarchy?

And, if Buhari’s badly written joke was poorly staged, does it not further interrogate the whole conversation around a cabal insistent on pulling dangerously on Nigeria’s fragile strings? The unintended consequence of the silly joke is the uncanny revelation that the President is in far worse trouble than he left the country. Indeed, hiding behind a recorded voice is an admission that those propping him and creating make-believe scenes cannot put his face out there.

The President is sick! He has been confined to somewhere in London and has not been seen physically anywhere since he left the country on May, 7. These facts are not lost on his countrymen who have shown great empathy. The syndicated drama sketches of directing the ‘co-ordinating’ President, Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the 2017 budget is only but a fool’s script. His handlers are better advised not to further erode his once rich political capital through idiocy and manifestations of clannish tendencies.

Having been away for 50 days, Nigerians deserve to know what ails Mr President, and how much it is costing the overburdened masses to support his convalescence. This is the least he and his rag-tag team owes indigents like us. The more he allows room for fatal guesses, the more rumour mills will grind with stories of his being terribly incapacitated with danger of further alienation from the citizenry.

Buhari’s faux pas, if eventually confirmed, would be a silly joke taken too far. It would not only pass for an insensitive game but a distasteful joke concocted to hoodwink an unsuspecting people into believing a transparent lie.

Before Buhari, other members of the hood had mounted the beleaguered stage to elicit unlikely chuckles. One by one, they left tales of a seeming brood of drunken actors whose dance steps had gone out of sync with drum beats from the orchestra.

Earlier on, Okoi Obono-Obla, the bullish aide to Buhari who goes by the title, Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, had had his turn. Hmm! Obla, probably, didn’t realize that his joke was on the ruling party which he is part of. He received a thunderous silence from a perturbed audience for his efforts. Many wondered why a supposedly learned fellow was a poor student of history, and not smart enough to recall what became of PDP, a ruling party that once boasted it would govern Nigeria for 60 years.

Speaking at the launch of his book, ‘APC: The Making of a Change Agent,’ Obla was quoted to have said that the ruling All  Progressives Congress (APC) stood a chance of hanging on to power for 200 years!

“I said in the next 200 years APC will be alive. Yes, why not? Because we have done very well and we are going to remain in power for as long as we continue to do well, we believe Nigerian people will always vote for us,” Obla boasted.

His arrogance and unfounded confidence invited hisses, especially because the ruling party is perceived to have made a huge mess of the goodwill Nigerians bestowed on it. The loquacious fellow should be reminded that APC, through sheer mismanagement, infected the country with an advanced form of economic kwashiorkor, also leaving a sad trail of divisiveness that now puts Nigeria at risk of disintegration.

After his act, came that of Lai Mohammed, the (in)famous Minister of Communications  and Strategy. This time the joke was on El ZakZaky, leader of the nation’s Shi’ite sect whose over 300 members were mowed in cold blood by agents of the Nigerian state under the watchful eyes of President Buhari. Taken into custody, Zakzaky has been granted but denied bail for what Lai Mohammed says borders on ‘protective custody.’ Put differently, the Shi’ite leader needed to be saved from himself!

Now, here is the comic relief. Lai had hinted that government could not let the religious leader go because nobody wanted him as a neighbour.

“He is in what is called protective custody. The court ruled that he be released after his house has been rebuilt but nobody wants to accept El-Zakzaky as a neighbour. So, we have been unable to build the house. So, where do we release him to?” the Minister queried. He must have thought himself brilliant but the puerile joke fell flat in his face.

So, having admitted that the courts had ruled in Zakzaky’s favour, and that his home be rebuilt, is it not nonsensical and autocratic to hold a man against his will? One is not sure Mr Lai intended that the joke would generate a prolonged laughter. He failed, and woefully so, because he rose to defend injustice. He should have noticed the sarcastic look from Nigerians when he said that the government cannot obey the rule of law all the time. Sad times, indeed. And we dare ask, ‘Oga Lai, who are Zakzaky’s neighbours at present?’

Tufiakwa has become the riotous and dominant cry of the many who believe that we can bound and lose ourselves into pretentious solutions. Apologies to all who take pleasure in fancy spiritual flights. But this is where the jokes must be put to a stop. No nation that I know has attained greatness by living a lie. Neither have nations wrought miracles just by decreeing technological advancements into existence. It takes years of immersion, not in shallow waters, but critical strategic studies laced with vision.

Nigeria has been misled by too many charlatans, both in and out of the ruling party. It is deeply worrisome how common folks fall on the alter of men with dubious access to power and who feast on their poverty to unleash tokenism as a system of governance. Thanks to Ayo Fayose, the enfant terrible from Ekiti, the real reason for stomach infrastructure has been decoded. It is the veiled march towards Aso Rock to unseat Buhari. Fayose wants to be president of Nigeria in 2019!

So, when next you find the loud mouth from Ekiti strut the streets and visit the nearest buka to eat amala and ewedu, know that it’s one huge joke. Have a hearty laugh and remind him you now know what he knows. His tactic is a revised strategy to curry the grass roots.

Mr President, Nigerians are tired of the endless jokes which unfortunately have you as chief conductor. We can’t live this lie anymore. Give a new meaning to leadership and don’t allow this crumbling theatre to cave in permanently under your watch. Let’s get serious!


RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears

Click here to download the Ripples Nigeria App for latest updates

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now

Click to comment


  1. Oise Oikelomen

    June 27, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Hilariously brilliant piece. I hope Mr. President listens, if he still has the capacity to do so that is.

    • Balarabe musa

      June 27, 2017 at 8:33 am

      You are a mumu. Baba Buhari has no time for nonsense like this. He has better things to attend to when he’s back

      • Oise Oikelomen

        June 27, 2017 at 8:48 am

        You can disagree with my view without resorting to insults. You can even attack my view if you like, but to attack my person because you don’t like my opinion gives you away as small minded, petty, intellectually weak, and maybe vindictive. It’s people like you who make some people think, albeit erroneously, that Northerners are generally backward mentally. Please repent.

  2. yanju omotodun

    June 27, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Time for seriousness indeed. Thanks to the astute journalist Sam who occasionally comes up with punching and reflecting essay so we can know the way forward. But all same Mr Sam, for El Zakzaky case, I totally disagree with you because a man can’t be a lion threatening all other animals in a zoo because he believes he is the king. I am in support of caging El Zakzaky till eternity.


      June 27, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Then, there is no rule of law in Nigeria. Court has granted the man bail, and you are saying something else, they just have to adhere to the rule of law and we don’t want to hear irrelevances. Release Dasuki and El zakzaky

  3. Abeni Adebisi

    June 27, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Let’s thank God these guys are not smart comedians! Else, they will continue to crack our ribs for four years (if not more) without anyone knowing. They’ve failed in all their comedic efforts, leaving one loophole or another for questioning

  4. Animashaun Ayodeji

    June 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

    As long as APC remains in power and we have Buhari as our president, lies and deceit will never leave this country. Obviously, APC lacks the knowledge of ruling Nigeria, they are as confused as hell!

  5. Anita Kingsley

    June 27, 2017 at 9:14 am

    A word is enough for the wise! However what we have here are more than a word, the federal government has no excuse not you adhere to these words. Well, this government has been silly all along, I won’t be surprised if it draws another dry joke from this intelligent piece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − 2 =