Muhammadu Buhari’s “suspension” of Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) four months after prematurely approving a second term for her (months before the end of her first term) is yet another powerful instantiation of his dangerously degenerative dementia.
Think about this: which half-way self-aware and sentient human being would approve a tenure extension for a CEO six months before it expires but then turn around and suspend the same person two months to the end of the first tenure over allegations that date back to more than four years? Before you extend someone’s tenure, shouldn’t you first audit their current one and be satisfied that they have no ethical and moral stains that would warrant a reversal of the extension?
Well, the truth is that Buhari has literally no mind, and any aide, associate, minister, or even friend who has exclusive access to him can get him to sign off on anything. Hadiza Bala Usman’s backers initially had access to Buhari and caused him to buck convention by hastily approving a second term for her. Then Rotimi Amaechi had another chance to meet with Buhari and got him to temporarily fire her. I can guarantee that when her backers have an opportunity to meet Buhari again, they will make him sign off on a reversal of her suspension.
You see, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out since 2018, dementia has made Buhari a pitiful puppet who is easily manipulated and swayed by anybody with private access to him. I called attention to this more than two years ago in hopes that it would alarm people enough to work to prevent the catastrophe of a dementia-plagued Buhari second term, which is now unraveling.
In my January 19, 2019 column titled “Buhari’s Physical and Mental Health is Now a National Emergency,” which I encourage people who missed it to read and people who read it before to re-read, I wrote:
“People around the president are intimately familiar with his considerably diminished sentience and his notoriously declining short-term memory. As a consequence, he is being taken advantage of by several people close to him. Aso Rock insiders say Buhari doesn’t remember anything, so no one even obeys his instructions—if he gives any at all. The last person to see him gets him to do whatever they want. Someone from the Presidential Villa told me it’s precisely because of this fact that governors frequent the Villa several times in a week; they are in a race to be the last people to see the president before he takes decisions and signs off on them.”
The pendular swings in the tenure elongation and then sudden suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman as MD of NPA is only the latest example of an uncomfortably lengthening cascade of inscrutable, dementia-fueled presidential decisions that Buhari has taken in the last five years.
For example, in my February 22, 2020 column titled “The Tragedy of the Abba Kyari Surrogate Presidency,” published about two months before Abba Kyari’s April 17, 2020 death from COVID-19 complications, I brought to light how Kyari manipulated Buhari’s dementia to get him to sign off on his shady, unexampled appointment as a member of the NNPC Board.
Here’s what I wrote: “In his surrogate presidency, Kyari is redefining the limits of audacious impunity and primitive acquisitiveness. For instance, in an unprecedented move in July 2016, he appointed himself a member of the NNPC Board and got an insensitive Buhari to sign off on it!
“When Air Vice Marshall Mukhtar Muhammed, Buhari’s close friend who died on October 1, 2017, read about Kyari’s appointment to the NNPC Board, he was concerned because there was no precedent for it. So he called Buhari to let him know that the optics of the appointment were bad, but he was shocked when Buhari told him it wasn’t true that he had appointed his Chief of Staff as a member of the NNPC Board, even though he actually signed off on the appointment.
“It turned out that Buhari didn’t know what he signed off on. Someone close to the late AVM Mukhtar Mohammed told me this story a few months after it happened. That was the moment I began to suspect that Buhari was held hostage by dementia. No one knows this more than Abba Kyari, who is taking advantage of it to the maximum.”
Sahara Reporters also reported on March 24, 2021 that Buhari’s driver by the name of Sa’idu Afaka got Buhari to sign off on fraudulent documents for an NNPC contract from which the driver made millions of naira. He was betrayed by Buhari’s former ADC who was initially in on the fraud but who got furious because he was out-schemed by Afaka, according to Sahara Reporters.
“SaharaReporters further gathered that it is generally known in the President’s circle and among his cabinet members that Buhari has been showing some symptoms such as forgetfulness, limited social skills and impaired thinking abilities,” the paper reported, confirming what I wrote more than two years ago. “Therefore, he does not go through the rigours of reading reports or properly vetting documents as required of his office.”
When Sahara Reporters reported that on March 24 that Afaka was arrested and detained by the DSS, there was no official response. But when he died on April 6, 2021, in typical manipulative, mind management fashion, the presidency said Afaka died “after a prolonged illness.” And after Sahara Reporters said he “was tortured by the DSS before he was rushed to the State House Clinic, Abuja, where he later died,” the DSS was instructed to deny this.
Sadly, there are many more instances of Buhari’s insentience being weaponized and used for all kinds of things by people who are close to him that the public isn’t privy to. The truth is that Buhari is in an inexorable cognitive and mental free fall. His dementia-powered presidential pendulum swings are merely outward expressions of a deeply decrepit and dysfunctional personality who shouldn’t rule any country.
Alas, it’s too late to do anything now. The only legitimate course of action at this point to salvage the situation is for the National Assembly to invoke the constitution to impeach and remove him. But everyone knows there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. Certainly not with the unscrupulously servile automatons who currently head the Senate and the House of Representatives. So we’re stuck.
Connecting the Dots Between Aisha Buhari and Armed Invasion at Aso Rock
When Sahara Reporters reported on December 5, 2020 that Aisha Buhari fled to Dubai because of “insecurity in Aso Villa,” it sounded both incredulous and humorous.
Well, on May 10, Peoples Gazette reported that “armed men” “invaded” the Aso Rock residences of Ibrahim Gambari, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, and Abdullahi Maikano, an Aso Villa admin officer, and carted away “valuable assets.”
The presidency all but confirmed the story but added the obligatory official lie that it was only a “foolish attempt” at burglary. Well, connect the dots.
If even the most fortified place in the country isn’t secure enough for Buhari’s wife to stay in—and his Chief of Staff is vulnerable to armed raids in it—where’s safe?
It’s worse when the person who should be most concerned about this isn’t even alive enough to know what’s happening around him, much less what’s happening in the country.