The conspiracy of silence around President's absence is irresponsible

President Buhari has abandoned a nation that is largely wallowing in regret right now.

Basic infrastructure like safe roads, clean water, adequate power supply, protection of life and property, and generally, the best possible life that can be afforded based on the nation's strengths, are simple necessities the government is expected to make possible.

These basic things are not too much to ask of a responsible government. Unfortunately for Nigerians, its government hasn't quite stumbled its way into what is close to that, and these things are a luxury.

Since the country entered its longest stretch of democracy in 1999 with President Olusegun Obasanjo at the helm, its politics has been plagued with what one can only describe as unbelievably poor leadership; an arena where the most incompetent, self-centered charlatans have wormed their ways into the corridors of power, and thrived at the disadvantage of the people they should be obligated to.

The only thing that the typical Nigerian politician can effortlessly and consistently offer the people is neglect.

To arrest this culture of bold-faced incompetence, the Nigerian masses rallied together during the 2015 Presidential election and voted out President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in what was regarded as a significant victory for the power of the common people as President Muhammadu Buhari was put in the country's highest seat of power.

Jonathan's PDP had been the face of everything that was wrong with the country's politics, so Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) was supposed to be that new wave of hope to take the country to the great heights it is capable of climbing.

Two years and a stinging recession later, it hasn't been smooth sailing.

One of the most well-documented criticisms of Jonathan's administration, among too many to count, was that he was too quiet and too lukewarm in reacting to issues of national concern.

This was why majority of the Nigerian populace put their feet down and went to the polls in 2015 to vote out the man who sneaked his way into Aso Rock in a rather fortunate manner.

When President Buhari's spokesman, Femi Adesina said, “You don’t have to hear from the president on that matter" in response to why the President was silent on the quite troubling issue of the ongoing mindless slaughter of Nigerian citizens in Southern Kaduna, it was not surprising to most observers, just disappointing, because this administration was supposed to be a departure from what Nigerians have been conditioned to endure. It ran on that promise to be better.

Instead, we have been served up more of the same slice of non-accountability that's seen the country drag its feet towards true progress since independence.

The hallmark of Nigerian politics is one of gods and unquestioning worshippers.

The President's silence on the Kaduna killings is a damning indictment of his administration, but it's sadly been the one thing he's consistently offered the country; frustrating silence.

Since the President's inauguration in May 2015, he's played mute on a lot of worrying events when Nigerians have looked up to their leader to offer comfort and assurance.

One would think the President is only here to share the good times and go into hiding when things get rough, and Nigeria has witnessed a lot of rough times since 2015.

The killings of pro-Biafra protesters; the menace that is the free reign of terror in the country by Fulani herdsmen especially in the Southern Kaduna killings many have labelled a genocide; and the accidental bombing of innocent lives in Rann by the Nigerian military, rank high in a dishonourable list of events that has seen the President parade  his spokespeople to address the nation instead of what should be his reassuring voice.

It's telling when you think about the fact that the most notable national issue the President has directly reacted to is the very public criticism from his wife that she wouldn't vote for him a second time because of the disappointing performance of his administration.

And he handled that with as much grace as one would expect from someone trying to get rid of a swarm of blood-sucking mosquitoes, drawing widespread criticism that he, again, did not acknowledge, never mind apologise for.

Not only did the President not directly address the nation concerning the Rann bombing on January 17, which is unarguably one of the most tragic events in Nigeria's recent troublesome history, he departed for the United Kingdom on a ten-day "work leave" three days later while the nation still reeled in shock and horror.

What has followed since the President got on that weary jet has further exposed his reluctance to communicate with the people that swept him into power, the same people he was wooing only a couple of years ago to give him a chance to steer the nation's course.

The President's health has always been an issue of concern, most especially during election season when the opposition tried to discredit his candidacy with what they pointed out was a frail health that couldn't handle the stress of being the head of a demanding nation like Nigeria.

The concerns have not gone away, and it has intensified in the past couple of weeks that the President has been away, with a whirlwind of rumours circulating on his ill health, with some even claiming that he is dead.

Other than a tweeted picture of the President watching television in London with his back to the camera, Nigerians haven't heard anything from the President in two weeks now.

One would think the intensifying rumours of the President's suspected death - a sad replay of the unfortunate demise of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua - would force him to grant the simple courtesy of addressing his nation to calm tensed nerves, but one would be expecting too much from yet another typical Nigerian politician.

The puzzling indefinite postponement of the President's leave in London has left more tongues wagging as to his status and frankly, this is a situation that a responsible leader would easily recognise as an unnecessary distraction, and quickly put to bed.

A proper democracy is supposed to run on absolute transparency, and even though Nigerians already suspect this democracy isn't matching up to what one is supposed to look like, it doesn't have to fall any further than it already has.

The President's leave is over. He should hurry up the maintenance of the jet and start heading home.

President Buhari has abandoned a nation that is largely wallowing in regret right now.

His continued silence is not just frustrating anymore, it's wildly irresponsible.

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