Like Jonathanians, like Buharists. During the last government, Jonathan’s supporters were given to exaggerations of his successes–if they can be called that. They were also notorious for downplaying or refusing even in the face of evidence to acknowledge his failures.
It was under that government that the Chibok kidnapping and other outrageous failures were shamelessly denied or trivialized while routine government businesses were elevated to acts of elevated statecraft, of transformative success. Unfortunately, we are seeing the same with Buharists.
The exaggerations of the Buharists have been as nauseating as they have been deceptive. I have encountered many, but two examples from just the last two days will do. Yesterday, someone posted an update that the Nigerian Customs had recovered 160 billion Naira from the Seme Border alone and that Buhari had recovered $2 Trillion through the TSA. No links, no quotes. I regarded both claims with skepticism as both seemed implausible but I remained open-minded and wished that they were true for our country’s sake.
Then I saw the actual news stories depicting the true state of things. The Customs figure is 160 million Naira, not billion. The 2 Trillion figure is 2 Trillion Naira, not dollars as this Facebook Buharist had claimed. In the propagandist hands of Buharists, millions became billions and Naira became dollar–all in order to magnify Buhari’s success.
Not only that, the Buharists, perhaps following the example of Nigeria’s incompetent journalists, reported that the government had “recovered” the said 2 Trillion. This is at best an embellishment, an attempt to deceive at worst. The monies were not stolen or missing and so could not have been “recovered.” They were in many bank accounts maintained by MDAs in different banks. TSA implementation simply identified these accounts and then collated the monies in them in one single federal account with the CBN. To use the language of recovery is to insinuate that the monies had been stolen or to claim that they would have been stolen or lost, which we don’t know.
We are too desperate to make our favorite political figures look good or to insulate them from legitimate criticism when responsible, critical followership is what they deserve and need from us. As it was with the Jonathanians, so it is now with the Buharists.