“No ruler is bad, but is made bad by his lieutenants” – General Yakubu Gowon.
Every government is composed of different characters, such as the serious and the not so serious ones or the psychophants, etc., each playing its different roles to keep the government going.
While the serious ones operate from the background, straineously formulating and implementing the programmes of the administration, the not so serious ones or the psychophants operate in the public domain, projecting or selling the government to the people. They are the image of the administration. They make noise, extol and drum support for the administration.
Paradoxically, it is the not so serious ones or the psychophants that usually win the heart of the government. They are also those known by the people. They praise sing the administration and present it as the best thing to happen to the people.
They usually tell the government what they would like to hear, that is, that it is doing fantastically well, that the man at the helm of affairs has no rival, and should never relinquish power, that everybody is happy with him and his administration, that he is the Messiah and liberator of the people, without whom the country would not exist, etc.
They will never allow the man in government to know what is happening around him, where his government is going wrong and need to be corrected. They will try to hide and cover everything from him, but will continue to sing his praises. That is why they are called praise singers.
If there is any trace of criticism against the regime, they will quickly rise to the occasion. They will brand such critics as enemies of the regime and the people, those who chose to close their eyes to the tremendous progress being made by the administration. They will call these critics “wailers” and “bad belle”. They will lambast, lampoon and deride them and call for their prosecution and to be decisively dealt with.
This type of character is seen in every regime. They had ruined several administrations because they will never tell the ruler the truth, but will present everything as so rosy. That was what Gowon meant when he said that the ruler is not bad, but is made bad by his lieutenants. Gowon however realized this long after he was kicked out of power by General Muritula Mohamed.
In 1983, when everybody was complaining about the harsh effects of the austerity measures introduced by Shehu Shagari administration and calling for it’s amelioration, Umaru Dikko came out to lash out at the critics, insisting that Nigerians have not started “picking foods from the dust bins”. Not long after, there was “My fellow countrymen, I Brigadier Sani Abacha….. ”
Perhaps, General Sani Abacha would not have died in mysterious circumstance if had happened to some patriotic voices calling for his exit, instead of listening to characters like Daniel Kanu and his “One million march”, urging him to transform to a military President.
It was those who saw Obasanjo as a Messiah and who believed that without him Nigeria would never survive that led him to the Third Term gamble, just as Jonathan was made to jettison the PDP zoning formula, with the belief that the incumbent will never lose election in Nigeria.
Today, the same character is currently at work. They are telling Buhari that he was the best thing to happen to Nigeria, even when they really know that the man has already lost focus. Many prominent Nigerians have genuinely asked Buhari to take honourable exit after 2019, but the psychophants are blocking his ears.
All over the country, they are falling on top of themselves, telling him that he had no rival and that Nigeria would not do without him. They do not want to consider the pain and anguish many Nigerians are currently passing through. They also do not even want to consider the man’s state of health and his age.
How is the man going to go through the rigors of electioneering campaigns? This is a man who since almost three years he has been in power has not visited up to half of the country’s thirty six states. He will now be forced to begin to jump from one state to another in less than two months of the campaign. Remember what happened to Umaru Yar’Adua when he could not make it to the Presidential campaign scheduled for Ogun state in 2011, “Umoru are you dead? ”
These psychophants are after their personal interests. They do not love Nigeria nor do they love Buhari.