By Segun Bambo Ojomo.
In my editorial opinion letter to the Punch Newspaper published on Wednesday 18th May, 2016, page 20 and titled ‘Fuel Price Hike Brouhaha’, I mentioned the importance of harnessing all available media and communication tools into bringing this present government closer to the people of Nigeria, especially at austere times and conditions, if the genuine intentions of leadership were to be understood by the populace….continued.
I made the statement at that period of uncertainty about the actual intention of government on the availability and pricing of petrol and while I believed that government was trying its best on tackling the factors hampering procession such as diversion of the product to neighbouring countries, sharp practices by petroleum products importers/marketers and the inability of the CBN to provide enough dollars for products’ importation, I still reserved the inadequate transmission of government’s intentions to Nigerians through its media and communication agencies.
I have again brought this reasoning to the fore in relation with the President’s recently taken leave from official duties to sojourn in the United Kingdom cum its resulting effects and consequences on the process of governance.
A lot of reactions have trailed the President’s prolonged stay out of the country especially as it had been claimed and affirmed by a good number of ‘political stategists’ and genuinely concerned Nigerians that the retired General took seriously ill before embarking on his trip, to seek comprehensive medical attention. The major questions from the lips of many a Nigerian was- why would it be impossible for the generality of Nigerians to know the state of health of their President especially as it was claimed by a good number of unprofessional reporters that he was ill and why would the President, if he was hail and hearty as claimed by his allies and aides, refuse to grant a press conference or appear for a broadcast, at the least, to douse palpable tension?
While I am diminutive to assert that it was compulsory for the President to have communicated with the people of Nigeria on issues bordering on his travel, prolonged stay out of the country and his state of health, I deliver that the people would have been more convinced of their inclusion in governance, at least as democracy refers, if the President had taken a little of his crowded schedule to speak with his constituents.
I actually found it very worrisome that some Nigerians, in connivance even with fake foreign media, went all out to employ sights and sound to propel evil and fake news about the purported death of the President and its surprising that despite all the false and negative reports, it was still not imperative to see a live movie including the President.
And a recently circulated news via the social media, claiming a show of elation and jubilation by a Special Adviser on receiving a recent call from the President, if anything to go by and by my candid opinion, does not depict the insufficiency of the humble official but desperately points to the abysmal level of involvement of serving officers in the process of governance.
With due regard and respect for the office and personality of our dear President, I suggest that alongside the war against corruption and insurgency where laudable marks are being scored now, he also embarks on a stepwise and gradual demystification of the servile aspects of political office holding. It is commonplace in African democracies that when a leader is a venerable, his surbodinates in governance tend to always bow to his wishes even when such propositions are seen to be counterproductive by a majority. There had existed cases in history of governance in Nigeria when at meetings of stakeholders, a surbodinate held a view contrary to the leader’s and was immediately declared as disloyal, not even by the leader but by other constituents- a phenomenon elemental of psychophancy.
Again, the people want to see and hear their President speak!
‘Segun ‘Bambo Ojomo, Communications’ Specialist, www.segoj64.blogspot.com,[email protected]