Last week, three ministers in the Muhammadu Buhari administration through their utterances and or actions helped to validate some of the observations pointed out by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his recent open letter to the administration. They are Mansur Dan Ali (Defence), Malami (Justice), and Adebayo Shittu (Communications).
Amidst the dust generated by tensions arising from the recent killings in Benue State, the in your face comment which was attributed to Minister of Defence to say the least was very unfortunate. His utterances after a reported security meeting with President Buhari sounded as if he was the spokesperson for the ‘killer herdsmen’ blaming the anti-grazing laws for the violent killings in Benue and elsewhere which could be correctly interpreted as taking side with the herdsmen thereby justifying the killing.
To say the least, the administration response to resurgent security challenges arising from violent herdsmen has been very unsettling. The other time the IG of Police was reported to have described the killings as communal clash before he apologized for the comment.
Secondly, the comments by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice also justified Obasanjo’s observation of a “culture of condoning” by the Buhari administration. If not, why would Malami be gloating that he has “no regret for meeting Maina”, a fugitive on the run in Dubai in his capacity as Nigeria’s justice minister? Nigerians would be glad to know the names of other alleged looters of our commonwealth that he has met anywhere in the world aside Maina since we still have many of them on the run or was it only Maina who has volunteered to give him “phantom” tips of prospective recovery?
The third act of ignominy was the attempted distribution of campaign items at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting by Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication. It’s not enough that the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha reportedly halted the distribution. By even having the temerity to distribute the item (a face cap) during the FEC meeting is a gross indiscretion by Shittu; more so against extant elections campaign restriction at the material time.
These three rather than helping President Buhari have created more opprobrium for his administration. In other jurisdictions, when top government officials commit such blunders, they tender unreserved apologies or resign their appointments.