Is the claim by the nation's first lady, Aisha in an interview with BBC Hausa Service in October this year that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has been hijacked by a powerful cabal true afterall? The president has again come up for heavy criticism. This time, the convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform, Ayo Opadokun, is speaking against the backdrop of the non-confirmation of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu. He said the development is an indication that Buhari is no longer in firm control of his government.
Opadokun, who spoke with journalists at his country home in Offa, Kwara state, said that it also indicated that the presidency was divided.
According to him, it was surprising that the Department of State Services, a part of the executive arm of government, wrote a report against Magu, the head of the anti-corruption war, whose nomination for confirmation by Buhari was at the Senate.
‘It (the non-confirmation of Magu by the Senate) is an unfortunate development, very unfortunate dimension to our national crisis. Our national crisis of identity is being further damaged by the conduct of the Nigerian state.
“First, I like to say that President Muhammadu Buhari by conduct and behaviour over Magu’s confirmation is indicating to his admirers and those who voted for him that he is no longer in control of his government. There are two or three major unfortunate developments that are showing a divided presidency, clearly telling Nigerians, perhaps that the Buhari we thought we knew in the 80s is totally a different personality now.
“The fact that the so-called DSS will now be writing a spurious and pedestrian report on Magu is an unfortunate dimension. I see this as humiliation of what Magu stands for and it is an unfortunate dimension to our so-called anti-corruption determination of President Buhari. Let me say clearly, President Buhari needs to be on his guard. The only reason that people voted for him was because of his promise to fight corruption because if we do not fight corruption, corruption will fight us and it fought us too badly.”
He also lamented the degeneration of social services and infrastructure in the country and called on Buhari to address security concerns in the country, saying that though the Federal Government had dealt a decisive blow on Boko Haram insurgents, there were still killings and herdsmen attacks in the country.
“The Nigerian state today cannot provide social services. The social services are terribly inadequate; the human development index of Nigeria is one of the worse.
“The fact that Nigerian state cannot provide adequate medical services for the citizens is because of corruption. So if President Buhari fails to get Magu confirmed, he must have lost significant portion of his admirers and those who voted for him.”
“I believe that it is a misadventure that President is now setting up a so called committee to probe allegation made by the DSS against Magu. It is an unwarranted and unfortunate one because it is clear that the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami is one of the members of the kitchen cabinet of the presidency that is divided.”
He alleged that many of the senators facing prosecution by the EFCC might have contributed to Magu’s ordeal so as to weaken the anti-corruption war of Buhari’s administration.
“If anyone is deceiving him that the voters still remain in his support, that will not be an honest understanding of where we are as a nation. People are really agonising. Their fortune has gone deeper than it was even in 2015. He needs to act.”