Ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders about what lies, half-truth, alternative facts and co that she has had to always put out there just in defence of the president – it’s never an easy job defending a president who boldly curses the rule of law, stamps on moral norms and abuses the intelligence of the people that placed her in power. All of President Buhari’s mistake and that of the people incompetently placed around him have revolved around 3 important communication points.
Firstly, they have astoundingly failed to understand that public perception is more powerful than the facts or scripts of any office. Secondly, they have failed to understand that the aggregate voice of the people should be placed above any loyalty or ethnic bias. Lastly, he and his cohorts have impressively failed to understand that the multiplier effect of their actions are superiorly raised far above the letters of their presidential statements.
Would it be ignorance to say the President has unfailingly misused the moral leadership of his office to confuse Nigerians about his stance on corruption? Is he the one at play here or his gang? How wouldn’t you understand in the 21st century that perception has gotten stronger, travels faster and becomes stickier in times like these due to the multiplier effect of social media? No presidential statement here can cleanse the mess of reinstating the NHIS boss and instead of you to listen, you indeed turn deaf ears to the average pulse of every well-meaning Nigerian about your administration.
For all those who delightfully deceive Mr. President or who lovingly mislead him with half-truths and bias, I hope you understand that the aggregate voice of the people should be placed far above any form of loyalty or ethnic bias. Even Trump knows this, He knows that there are basic transgressions that his office can never uphold despite him being a flawed man – which means no president should ever be greater than the office he/she occupies. Rob Porter was accused of domestic violence and the next thing was for him to resign from the White House and this is the most confused and disorganised White House in decades. This isn’t us asking too much, whatever loyalty you or your gang bear to Yusuf, you should have patiently waited for the investigation to be over before taking an informed decision on the matter but no, is it not President Buhari? He has never ceased to nose-dive on basics.
When the armed policemen arrived the NHIS headquarters on Monday morning, this is what I call “Presidential Grandstanding” – Don’t you understand that the multiplier effect of your presidential action(s) are superiorly raised far above the letters of your presidential statement(s). When these basics are understood, you would have humbly withdrawn you order of reinstating Yusuf. Even Trump wasn’t ashamed to withdraw nominations of appointments he made without sound information when they began to shame his administration in front of the house and senate committees. Where there is understanding of the fundamentals and basics, you would experience outstanding progress but where ignorance is chosen, you would witness the stagnant old but with a lot of grandstanding.
Conclusively, If no one advises the President well on the political and moral implications of matters like this, then shame on Mr. President because he appointed people who will further a bias agenda and not the Nigerian agenda. The order on the reinstatement of Yusuf should be withdrawn, the Maina issue should be transparent and people should be held accountable – that is how you effectively communicate an agenda. Lastly, where truth and transparency is lacking, it would just be a matter of time before the castle comes crumbling. You need prove? Just wait for the Mueller investigations to be over.
Steven Haastrup is a Communication/Public Speaking Consultant in Abuja, Nigeria