The Muhammadu Buhari administration is slowly, slowly building a reputation as a gaffe-prone, careless administration, especially with recent pronouncements by some of its leading officials. In just one month, there have been three different pronouncements by officials of the government which have been condemned as inappropriate.
First was the one made Pres. Buhari himself during a scandalous interview on the Al-Jazeera network in Doha. The president said that Christian “bigots” who are complaining about Nigeria’s addition to the Coalition of Islamic States against Terror should “go and fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militancy in the South.”
Then just last week, it was the turn of the minister of state for petroleum to show some insensitivity. Since last year, Nigerians have been groaning under the weight of fuel shortages which is made worse by the fact that the power supply have fallen drastically. Many Nigerians spent both Christmas 2015 and Easter 2016 in long, winding queues. When asked about this terrible state of affairs, Kachikwu said “one of the trainings I did not receive is that of a magician.” For his tactless comment, Kachikwu has come under fire even from leaders of the ruling APC like Bola Tinubu, the national leader who issued a broadside asking him to apologise or resign.
The latest example of insensitivity in one month by an administration official was made by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity who was a guest on a Channels TV program on Sunday. Adesina, who earned notoriety last Christmas with his “wailing wailers” Christmas greeting, was equally flippant when asked about the worsening power supply in the country.
Adesina said that pipeline vandals were responsible for the power shortages. “If some people are crying that they are in darkness they should go and hold those who vandalised installations. That’s it,” he said with a tinge of irritation in his voice. He however assured Nigerians that the target of 10,000MW of generated power promised recently by Pres. Buhari is achievable.