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Three things Buhari admits he was clueless about

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The disclosure that  President Muhammadu Buhari was unaware of the allegations of non-disclosure of assets brought against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen until two days after, has again raised concern about the level of awareness of the president. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Wednesday that the president did not have any fact of a financial misdemeanour involving the CJN until Saturday evening.

“I must tell you in clear terms that President Muhammadu Buhari, his whole approach is that institutions should just do their work, I can tell you for a fact that he did not even know about this until Saturday evening.

“He did not even know that there was going to be any kind of trial until Saturday evening, he has said categorically don’t interfere with whatever institutions are doing, sometimes it has consequences such as we have today, such that people say how can such an important person be subjected to trial without the Federal Government but I can tell you without any equivocation that he is not aware,” Osinbajo said at a one day conference organised by Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) with the theme: Free Press and Objective Reporting in the 2019 Election Year

The president’s claim of ignorance of this event follows a pattern that allows Nigerians to suspect his alertness of mind.

Buhari did not know that former IGP, Idris did not spend 24 hours in Benue State

January 2018, after the gruesome murder of 73 people in Benue State by suspected herdsmen, President Buhari handed a directive to the then Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to relocate to the state to restore security there.

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But three months after the directive when the President visited Benue, he expressed shock that the then police chief did not heed his instruction to relocate to the state.  He was told that Idris did not spend up to 24 hours in the state.

“I’m not aware that the I-G did not spend 24 hours in the state as directed by me, I am getting to know in this meeting,” the president said in surprise.

In his defence, Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesperson,  said President Muhammadu Buhari did not know about the absence of the Inspector General of Police in Benue because he is “not omniscient”.

But when the president became aware, he did not institute any disciplinary action against the erring IGP for defying his order up till the police boss retired last Tuesday.

President did not know who padded 2016 budget

In 2016, it was discovered that the national budget was greatly doctored by some unknown persons.

The president admitted that the budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly late December 2015 had been utterly doctored but condemned the distortion in the document by entrenched interests he vowed to deal with.

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The president would later add that he was never aware of that word or those who padded the budget.

“Never had I heard the words “budget padding”. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The Minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it.

“What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished,” President Buhari told Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia.

While in London he told journalists that he had never heard the word padding before.

“I never heard the word ‘padding’ until this year. I never heard about it. And what does it mean?,” Buhari told journalists from four media houses including Channels TV and The Cable.”

But when he became aware, the president failed to bring an action against those suspected.

 

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