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    Mr. President Buhari’s long and short memories

    A thank you dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari penultimate Thursday for chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC may have further unveiled what many close associates of the president describe as the Buhari persona.

    The dinner was to appreciate those the president claimed were helpful to him in the realisation of his pursuit of the presidential office.
    President Muhammadu Buhari during the FEC Meeting held at the Council Chambers in Abuja
    Among the outstanding persons captured by the television images were former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso, the national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu among several others.

    Appreciating his guests for honouring his invitation that night, the president said: “I thank you for honouring my invitation, and I am telling you that if I didn’t ring you or call you, it was not because I ever forgot how you supported me at one stage or the other over the years from 2003 till now.”

    President Buhari’s action in calling the select APC chieftains to thank them for his 2015 victory nearly three years after the event may be provocative, but as the president humbly stated that day, it is better late than never.
    However, what was more shocking to some was the president’s recollection of those he claimed helped him to win the election. One stakeholder was confused as to what role Senator Nnamani as a chieftain of the PDP in 2015 played in the campaign? Even more astonishing was the role that Governor Chime who only recently defected to the APC may have played in the campaign.

    Inviting party chieftains three years after the deed to dinner to thank them may have been infuriating, but inviting the wrong persons while many of those who stood for you have been laid aside is astonishing.

    Perhaps it was to correct that slip that the president last Tuesday played host to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the man who arguably more than anyone else helped him to win the election.
    Besides Tinubu, there were several others who should have been at that table many of whom have today been jettisoned. Dr. Haruna Yerima, a long-suffering Buhari associate from Borno, Dr. Usman Bugaje; Hon. Temi Harriman and undoubtedly, Hon. Uche Onyegocha, one of the most enduring Igbo associates of Buhari while in the trenches.

    Onyegocha was recently hounded out of the APC in his native Imo State after waiting for nearly three years to identify with the administration that he championed for, but which as Aisha Buhari said, went about empowering those who were strange to the struggle.

    Ms. Harriman, dubbed Headmistress by her local supporters in Delta has simply refused to give in to the contraptions of those who would erase her idyllic but memorable revolts against the PDP.
    Bugaje has simply moved on with the formation of APC Akida, a rebel group championed by some Northerners to recover the party from those who have seized it.
    Many of such persons who played significant roles in the evolution of the Buhari presidency have simply been tossed aside. One Buhari aide told this correspondent that many of them did not know how to play the brutal game for power which those who came over from PDP were more adept in.

    Understandably, none of Buhari’s jilted friends could respond like Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president who last Tuesday gave what has nationally been celebrated as a fitting response.
    Obasanjo’s response was not just because his eight-year record that had been continuously blemished by Buhari’s blame games, but also because of his perception of the failures of the government in its core competences of security and anti-corruption.

    While some saw that Thursday gathering as reflective of the president’s short-memory on friends, his statement also told us that the president has a long memory on issues.
    It was on that day that he justified his dithering procrastination on issues. Noting the rashness that shadowed his outing as military head of state 33 years ago, he said:
    “I have gone through it over and over again. This is why I am not in a hurry virtually to do anything. I will sit and reflect and continue with my clear conscience.”
    However, many Nigerians have questioned the aptness of his delayed decisions. Is it the six-month delay in picking a cabinet, the near three years dithering in filling boards of federal parastatals or the many equivocations on resolutions of the National Assembly concerning graft and grills that indicted his aides?

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