Now that President Buhari is Back

Now that President Buhari is Back

By Festus Ogun

“Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power” – Robert Greene

The first of the 48 laws of power postulated by Robert Greene is: “never outshine your master”. Greene, in this book, made series of illustrations and analogies to drive well home his points — that it is quite dangerous to outshine one’s master. At this critical stage of our national history, this issue of outshining master is now of serious concern since it is a notorious fact that the elected Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has (appeared to have) outshined or is outshining his master, President Mohammadu Buhari, if not in all ramifications.

But I’ll be glad to tell my fellow Nigerians that this outshining is quite very reasonable, sensible and needed in delicate situations like this. In my view, it has no ugly side effects at all, since him outshining his boss is for our national advancement and development and not for any other intention.

Nigeria has been in serious quagmire for a while now since  President Buhari has been elected in 2015. Hardship, hunger, anger, mourning and all of that.

Somewhat miraculously, since he left the country for vacation abroad over 50 days ago, things appear to have turned the other way round, at least in some little ways. The economy is now moving. The hardship level has reduced a bit.

Owing to this kind of development brought about by the President absence, some citizens have prayed for Mr Buhari not to return home yet. They believe once he returns, all that has been refurbished by Osinbajo may be utterly disrupted by his presence within a twinkle of an eye. Does this necessarily mean the President is incompetent and not trusted? I don’t know. Maybe this set of citizens are saying this because of their fear and hatred for poverty and hardship. You know, hardship isn’t “bae”, not fun and not nice. It’s hard!

See, we must not be too hasten to canonize Osinbajo a saint and throw stones of blame on Buhari. That will be quite unjust. The duo are both equally responsible for this administration shortcomings. Take for instance, Osinbajo, an erudite lawyer, has been the head of the country’s economic team from onset. And even while he  headed our economy, recession has been everywhere. At this period, many of us passed all the blames on the President, without considering the economic team or its leaders, even for once.

Now that the Vice has made the same economy a little better in his capacity as the acting president, should all the glory be accorded to Osinbajo alone without considering the President too? I’m smelling the aroma of our hot hypocrisy here!

Glory to God, Buhari is back. But, the popular notion that he may come back here to wobble everything for us shouldn’t be the concern. Our ability to put it straight to him on what ought to be done is what remains very paramount.

The president must continue from where Prof. Osinbanjo stopped. Now that he is back, taking the right steps at the right time and in the right direction is something he must adhere to. He should not be ‘sleeping’ on pressing issues. In my humble opinion, what made Osinbajo to perform so excellently is his adherence and observance of the forgoing instruction.

Additionally, the President should restrain himself from much talking. Our people will say “plenty tori nor dey full basket”. If my memory serves me right, before he left for his vacation, the presidency has been talking more than acting. And in a country like ours, we need more action for us to progress as opposed to sweet words. Yet, this does not necessarily mean the President shouldn’t address the nation on cogent issues as at and when due.

Though, we understand that President Buhari is a very tall man, he should endeavour keep his head very low below the law. There is no amount of tallness that should compete with that of our laws. The law is above everyone, including the President. As such, the President should not act as if he’s above the law since he and his office are both creations of law. I kept pondering whether you can be above what created you, the same way man can never be above God, the creator. Executive lawlessness is not  a thing that ought to be condoned in this clime. Executive lawlessness is not a stranger in this Buhari administration, who even knows maybe that’s why we are not progressing.

On his war against corruption, I have written vehemently that corruption is not everything. The same way Boko-Haram issue is not everything. The war against terrorism should be fought, corruption should — in fact must — also be fought. Yet, all governmental concentration should not just be on that. Every aspect of the economy should be touched. President Buhari too much concentration on the duo above, at the expense of other key challenges, is one of the reasons why we are here today.

Above all, our president must learn the art of taking simple instructions; not just from his aides and paid advisers but from ordinary citizens — or rather mischief makers — like this writer. He should be very ready to put on his humble robe by learning from his vice. From this little period Osinbajo has spent as Acting President, Buhari should have spotted few of his mistakes and should be ready to make changes.

As he resumes office on Monday, I pray for his success.

No going back, Nigeria must be better.



Festus Ogun is a 300level Law undergraduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University. Contact him via


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