An Abuja lawyer and human rights activist, Kayode Ajulo, has criticized statements attributed to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, in which he called on Nigerians to exercise patience as President Muhammadu Buhari was still in “a honeymoon period”.
Describing the statements as “diversionary and mischievous”, Ajulo who is the National Secretary of the Labour Party wondered why the APC chieftain would resort to insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians after Nigerians had vested confidence in the party’s candidate and voted him in as president of the nation.
“It is actually shocking that a person of the caliber of Bola Ahmed Tinubu would trivialize the challenges confronting Nigerians by asking them to cut President Buhari some slack because, according to him, the president needs time for honeymooning.
“The numerous issues confronting Nigerians are not on recess, are they?” he queried. “Why advocate for a honeymoon period of 100 days? Nigerians are battling with many issues on a daily basis, and here you have a man who should know better asking Nigerians to allow the president some time to holiday”.
Speaking with journalists at the Labour Party National Secretariat on Wednesday 29th July, the Labour Party scribe who is also the founder of the Egalitarian Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization committed to seeking equal rights and opportunities for all people regardless of social status, accused the National Leader of the APC of subtly encouraging the president to take the challenges of leading Nigeria lightly.
“The statement is quite unfortunate and actually also very revealing; it leads me to wonder if Chief Tinubu really wants the best for Nigeria. For a man who insists that his priority is the welfare of Nigerians, encouraging malingering on the part of the president calls into question his professed patriotism.
“I gather he made references to the practices common to developed nations in which political analysts cut elected leaders some slack and commence evaluation of performance only after about three months in office. That appears to be an attempt to hoodwink Nigerians into non-vigilance and to mislead them from holding government accountable,” he said.
He further clarified his opposition to such statement stating that Nigerian realities cannot be compared with other nations because "our situation here is unique", and leaders in those nations are not burdened with the challenge of leading an ailing nation like Nigeria and hence need no urgency in governance like Nigeria does.
“The realities confronting us here as Nigerians are a different ball game from what obtains in these nations he made references to. Leaders in those nations can actually afford to take a six-month vacation after assuming office but it is different here. Nigeria is in dire straits, the nation is critically sick and there is no time to dilly-dally at all. We need men who are willing to work overtime in fact, and not those who will seek excuses to play truant, or leaders given to absenteeism.
Ajulo called on Nigeria not to relent from their constitutional role of holding their leaders accountable as citizens, stating that without an atmosphere of non-vigilance would only encourage indolence on the part of elected leaders.
“We all know that popular- eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, so I want to urge Nigerians to ignore Chief Tinubu’s call for patience on the part of Nigerians. We did not elect the president so that he could go honeymooning or holidaying. Besides we all remember the president’s numerous promises during the campaign season when he vowed to hit the ground running, and to work assiduously to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians,” he stated.
He said even though it is common knowledge that President Buhari is indeed a honourable man who is expected to live up to his words and keep his side of the bargain with Nigerians, it is only natural and expected that Nigerians should hold him accountable and demand that he fulfill his campaign promises.
APC National Leader Bola Tinubu made the call for Nigerians to exercise patience and allow President Buhari to have his “honeymoon period”, while addressing journalists at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday. He appealed to Nigerians to wait till the 100-day benchmark before commencing performance ratings on the president.