How Not To Defend President Buhari.

By Moses E. Ochonu.

  1. Do not instinctively deny the president’s mistakes. He is human, fallible, and thus capable of errors like all of us.
  2. Do not assume that good intentions always produce good outcomes. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Intentions are only meaningful for citizens when they are translated into policies and actions that benefit the majority of citizens.
  3. Do not defend the president by arguing a negative — that is, that that without Buhari’s ascendancy to the presidency, things would be a lot worse.
  4. Do not defend the president by repeatedly invoking Jonathan’s record. It is getting tiresome.
  5. Do not question the patriotism of those who criticize Buhari. You are not more patriotic than them. Supporting Buhari is not the same as supporting Nigeria, and vice versa.
  6. Do not defend the president by blaming civil servants or political appointees for missteps by the government. The buck stops at the president’s desk. If a document goes out in the name of his administration or is presented to the national assembly by him, it is his document.
  7. Do not defend the president by always assuming that people are out to get him. It is a paranoid mindset that will produce irrational, unconvincing, and in some cases deceptive defenses of the president’s actions.
  8. Do not dismiss the groaning of those who complain that Buhari’s change has not reached them or is too slow to manifest.

In conclusion, the best way to defend the president is to begin from a premise that the failures and disappointments for which he is being blamed and criticized are real. The next step is to help the president make amends and correct his course. Being too defensive will only increase the pressure on the president.


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