All over the world, being a president demands a fair knowledge and control of major events and activities going on in one’s country. As head of the executive, he is expected to formulate and implement policies to its logical conclusion. To assist him in these responsibilities, the president has a plethora of Ministers, Advisers, Aides and other assistant at his beck and call always at hand to deliver briefing on the state of the nation. He is also the GCFR and head of the nation’s security apparatus.


This has however been far from the reality of the President Buhari led administration. Severally, the president has used his ignorance of the happenings in the country to absolve himself of all liability for the administration’s shortfall. For instance after a long wait for the appointment into the boards of federal parastatals and the several consultation that ensured the delay, names of people long dead found themselves into the list, the president of course was not aware that these men were dead. Abdulrasheed Maina (the sacked, reinstated and re-sacked Chairman Presidential Task force on Pension Reform) returned to the country and assumed his post. Yet, the president “did not know”.

Abdulrasheed Maina

This ignorance by the president is not limited to administrative decisions. On the issues of security, after the maiming and murder of Benue indigenes by herdsmen, the president directed the IGP to relocate to Benue and personally coordinate the security efforts. The IGP blatantly disobeyed a direct order from his boss, yet the president “did not know”. The dreaded group Boko Haram also occupied Baga, a Ngerian territory for which the president is responsible for and despite the mandatory security briefings, the president still “did not know”

This selective knowledge or outright ignorance on the happenstances has been replicated in the president fight against corruption. His Chief of staff was accused of collecting bribe to the tune of 500 million and despite getting the sack has not been prosecuted. So also is Kemi Adeosun for her certificate forgery. The president selective ignorance that they have not been prosecuted leaves a great dent on his integrity.

The most appalling reality is that even his aides have adopted this “the president did not know” tactics to absolve and defend their principal’s ignorance of the going on in the country. VP Osinbajo claimed the president was not aware of the trial of a high profile Nigerian of the CJN status, yet, Executive Order Six was invoked to freeze the CJN account the next day. While being told to allow the president to answer questions and speak for himself on a live TV interview, the VP bellowed that “He doesn’t know” repeatedly.

President Buhari and his Vice, Osibanjo
President Buhari and CJN Onnoghen
President Buhari – CJN Onnoghen
President Buhari at the "The Candidates", A town hall event

At this point one wonders if ignorance of one’s responsibility and the major happenstances in a country he presides absolves him of the liabilities of his inaction and dereliction of duty as president. Ignorance, they say is not an excuse under the law. The Nigerian situation is fighting really hard to disprove this age old fact.       

Oko Oko

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