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An Interview that Tested President Buhari

Arise TV, a Television broadcasting arm of ThisDay Newspaper, went all out of its way to conduct an interview with President Buhari over the weekend, despite all of the stringent conditions and spurious demands imposed by the presidential media advisers.

It is no news that the President is local media shy, or perhaps his aides have made him appear so. Ever since he was sworn in, he has only engaged in a presidential media chat. Albeit even more controversial that most of the time when the President decides to speak about issues concerning the country or himself, he prefers to do so with international media while on his frequent foreign visits. So it was a shocking relief that ThisDay eventually got to speak to the President.

Issues bordering on security, job creation, economy and corruption were discussed and questions received satisfactory answers; these answers seem to disprove the argument purported by members of the PDP regarding the senility of the President Buhari. In fact, the President seems prepared enough for questioning and this may be to the surprise of those who believe he may not show up at the presidential debates slated for Saturday, 19th January.

However, in an egregious remark to Ijeoma Nwogwugwu of Arise TV, the President stated, “You work with figures, I work with facts.” This makes one wonder if at all the presidential team make use of the data and economic reports which comes from government agencies such as the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for economic planning. If it is true that the President does not believe in anything the agency reports, then how are we ever going to progress with policies? Would this mean that such schemes championed by the Ministry of Agriculture to improve farmer output were not based on any useful data? Would this also mean that the popular TraderMoni scheme which the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, vigourously champions around the country in wasteful taxpayer spending is actually not based on any measurements, economic calibration or empirical data?

Would it be true to say that the recent unemployment figures of 23.1% and the spiking double digit inflation figures released by the NBS are all lies too, according to the President? What is the fate of the country whose president believes rather in ‘factual’ lies than thoroughly examined and reviewed figures?

In the same interview, President Buhari made a comparing of the mode of fatalities of the pre-2015 era to the pattern with which ISWAP/Boko Haram, herdsmen, and bandits continue to wreck the country. Would it be right to compare patterns of violence if one form of violence is not different in the view of the victims of these fatalities? When the President mentioned that he knew the military service and security chiefs have performed abysmally with respect to all these attacks, yet had left them on seat for fear that sacking them might cause chaos across the ranks, one is again tickled to call into question the sanity of those at the helm of affairs.

It is no longer a rumour in political circles that the President surrounds himself with a cabal who continues to lie to him and cheer him on sycophantly. Even the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has confirmed this fact with bursts of alarm from time to time. Now we know what the President believes in.

It would be rather damning on the part of citizens to allow these cogent lapses by the number one citizen to slide and not call for further questioning on these controversial utterances which culminated from this interview.

What is however strange in the whole interview is the fact that the President did not mince words despite the fact that a lot of what he calls facts were half-truths which himself and his confidants have continually fed one another in a cycle which threatens to throw the country into disarray.

As Election Day draws near, in less than 5 weeks, the ball is in the court of the citizenry to separate the seed from the chaff, the real facts and figures from the illusion and cast the decisive vote that will set the nation rolling again on the path of progress.

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Macaddy Gad

Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you



  1. Avatar


    10th January 2019 at 10:18 am

    Your write up is full of the negatives from the interview – sad!!!

    • Adedoyin


      10th January 2019 at 10:26 am

      You are at the end enjoined to look on to the positive sides. Thank you

  2. Avatar

    Feyisayo Johnson

    10th January 2019 at 5:24 pm

    There is no similarities between fact and figures!
    Our people remain zombie for they lack clear vision and to make positive contribution that will bring mother Nigeria to all form of stability.
    One thing I know is that the beautiful one is not yet born!
    The fate of this country is in the hand of minority tossing everyone around, we all need liberation, freedom from mental enslavement.

    Let me add this writeup, it will go some mile to correct our wrongs!

    In a story, an African man was given the opportunity to ask for
    anything he wants. The condition was that, whatever he gets, his
    brother would receive double. He thought about asking for a
    house; but he did not like thought of his brother having two
    houses. So he thought about asking for a million dollars to go to his
    bank account; but again, he was unhappy with the thought of his
    brother having two million dollars in his account. The man sat down
    and thought hard, “What can I have and still be better than my
    brother when he has double?”
    So, he thought of having one of his eyes removed so that his
    brother might have his two eyes gouged. This sounds like a very
    unlikely story; however, this is the typical mentality that has set
    Africans backward for ages and caused witchcraft to thrive in
    Africa. An African wants to be better than his brother at all costs.
    The African man is only careful to share his beer, not his books; to
    spread his diseases, and not the cure; to transfer his problems, and
    not the solution.
    When an African man fails, he wishes his brother same fate so that
    he won’t be the only one who had tasted the bitterness of failure.
    An African man is happy when evil besets his brother.
    When most African men succeed, they want to enslave their
    brothers; they try to make the class gap between them and their
    brothers widen daily. An African man wants to outperform his
    brother in every area and most African men do not want to let their
    brothers have any chances of success because they want to be the
    only ones succeeding.
    When an African man gets to sit on a seat of authority, he wants to
    keep it to himself and refuses to give anyone else a chance to sit. In
    African schools, students who can afford textbooks do not let
    other students borrow their textbooks because they want to stay
    top of the class or they don’t want to give another student the
    opportunity to perform better than them. When one
    independently discovers the way to success, an African man who
    refused to give directions would still do all he can to stand in the
    way of that success. An African man is ready to spend money to
    intimidate his brother and make him look like nothing.
    Africa will become better;When we begin to share books to pass
    knowledge, not just our drinks. When we begin to let others also
    lead without our influence. When we begin to give the same quality
    of food and clothing to both our children and our maids. When we
    let our servants eat on the same table with us.When the boss lets
    his lower staff get paid before him. Africa can become progressive
    when we begin to look out for each other rather than stand in the
    way of one another. When we can sincerely say, “let my brother get
    it too, and if I can’t get it, let me help him get it”

    Excerpt from the book *The Problem with Africa*

    • Adedoyin


      12th January 2019 at 4:38 am

      Thank you

  3. Avatar


    11th January 2019 at 10:35 pm

    This is sad. I don’t know why our people swallow anything. So many glaring things yet they choose to believe ‘factual lies”

    • Adedoyin


      12th January 2019 at 4:39 am

      Thank you Chinwe

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