#Babasitathome: The need for Buhari to stay at home
#BabaSitAtHome – The need for Buhari to stay at home
Last week and over the weekend, Twitter was awashed with tweets from Nigerians at home and abroad in response to different thought provoking trends. Among them were #BenBruceAt60, #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira, #LVGout etc. However, #WakaWakaBuhari and #NeedfulWaka commanded the highest number of tweets.
Nigerians took turns to lampoon the President for travelling out of the country in his usual manner despite the weak and sick state of the economy. Although, persons believed to be members of the ruling party led a counter campaign tagged #NeedfulWaka, it didn’t achieve desired results because it backfired.
As if that was not enough, a list of countries the President has visited from May 2015 to February 2016 also circulated social space and platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp. They are attached below.
COUNTRIES BUHARI HAS VISITED IN JUST NINE MONTHS (300 DAYS) IN OFFICE
1) Niger Republic (May 2015)
2) CHAD (June 2015).
3) Germany (June 2015).
4) South Africa (June 2015).
5) United Kingdom (May 2015).
6) USA (July 2015).
7) Benin Republic (August 2015).
8) France (September 2015).
9) Ghana (September 2015).
10) India (October 2015).
11) Sudan (October 2015).
12) Iran (November 2015).
13) France (November 2015).
14) USA (November 2015).
15) South Africa (December 2015).
16) Benin Rep. (December 2015).
17) UAE (January 2016).
18) Kenya (January 2016).
19) Ethiopia (January 2016).
20) France (February 2016).
21) Utd. Kingdom (February 2016).
22) Egypt (February 2016).
23) Saudi Arabia (Februay 2016).
24) Qatar (February 2016)
The breakdown ended with the words “exchange rate is now N400 – $1 and N505 – £1”
In the course of reading the amusing tweets and broadcast messages, I recalled Garba Shehu’s November 2015 piece “We Don’t Want A Domestic President” where he praised the sense of humor of Nigerians for making amusing comments and questions over the President’s frequent oversea trips. He justified the trips by making a sharp contrast between PMB and former Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha.
He wrote – “Those of us who were around under Abacha read all the taunts about him being a sit-at-home leader. Abacha was despised for not representing his country abroad.” This made me curious and led me to log on to Google to search for “Nigeria’s economy during Abacha regime”. The results were stunning – especially the first one.
“Abacha’s regime is controversial; although it brought dramatic economic
growth to Nigeria”
I opened the link to read more and I was heldbound by another shocking revelation. Here’s an excerpt –
“The Abacha administration became the first to record unprecedented economic achievements:  he oversaw an increase in the country’s foreign exchange reserves from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997, reduced the external debt of Nigeria from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion by 1997, brought all the controversial privatization programs of the Babangida administration to halt, reduced an inflation rate of 54% inherited from Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to 8.5% between 1993 and 1998, all while the nation’s primary commodity, oil was at an average of $15 per barrel.”
A 2014 post by Premium Times where the Goodluck Jonathan led Federal Government defended it’s reason for honouring late General Abacha during the Centenary celebrations also corroborated the claims on the Wikipedia page. It reads “Mr. Abacha’s administration was also credited with creating the most ‘comprehensive and realistic blueprint’ for Nigeria’s development through Vision 2010 committee chaired by his predecessor, Ernest Shonekan.
Quoting a tweet by Charles Chibuike (@meandmyearth) “A good product’ll sell itself. Traders would say. When we fix our economy, you don’t need go beg anyone to come invest. #needfulwaka”, it is imperative for the President to sit back at home and take the bull by the horns. In the face of a controversial budget proposal, falling currency, heightened insecurity, massive loss of jobs and astronomic rise in the price of commodities, Nigerians need to say to the president “#BabaSitAtHome”.
Comr. Jeremiah Olatinwo
Former P.R.O, NANS ZONE D (Southwest)
National Coordinator, Coalition for Human Rights Advocacy and Social Action (COHRASA)