How To Criticize #Buhari Without Pissing People Off

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How To Criticize Buhari Without Pissing People Off

buhari1111About a month ago on May 29th, Buhari delivered his inauguration speech. I was so moved by the speech that I declared on twitter that that was the best speech I had ever heard from a Nigerian President in my life (I meant it).

And it was definitely a BIG step-up from GEJ’s November 2014 Declaration to run for Presidency speech. Which I criticized on my blog for being grossly out of touch! Not only did I criticize the speech, I criticized the Newspapers who made GEJ’s declaration announcement to run their front page news story behind the then recent Yobe BokoHaram massacre that killed over 60 people in Potiskum. And the first comment/response on the former article was that I was biased!

And that response reminds me about my past 2 weeks on Facebook…

I have been called an anti-Buhari critique, anti-APC, biased, not-objective. And I don’t get it. Anyone who has really followed my writings and rants, will know that I have been consistent with my criticisms of the Nigerian government regardless of who is in power.

In 2011, GEJ had just won the Presidential election and amidst the celebrations that a “revolution” was about to happen in Nigeria I kept on questioning why everyone was excited about a President that ran away from a Debate. I even entered a heated argument with my Dad who is very Pro-GEJ who said debates don’t matter. I disagreed because I believe in debates. So in 2015 when Buhari decided not to debate … I said the same exact thing.

In 2013 when Rotimi Amaechi won the Governor’s Forum election only for a GEJ/PDP backed Jang declared himself winner against all logic…I protested, I said it was wrong and undemocratic. So in 2015 when an APC/Tinubu backed Lawan attempted to hijack democracy by forcing himself into Senate Presidency only to be thwarted by an equally deceptive politician in Saraki, I said the same exact thing I said in 2013 … let democracy work.

Buhari 11And then in May 2014 after watching another disappointing GEJ Presidential Media chat where the Journalists seemed to be more excited with being in the presence of the President than asking hard questions, I wrote a stinging satirical article. An article that mocked our artificial Government-Journalist relationship … in fact the article was so pertinent and well received, that I got a call from Ikenna Azuike to write for the Whats Up Africa show on BBC (then RNW). And thus in 2015 after I learned that AIT was escorted out of a Buhari Media conference, I spoke like I did in 2014 against government interference with the media. Same consistent criticism.

I have not even done a sketch to the level the one I did on GEJ where I showed him without a brain and people are getting pissed-off already? =/

So back to the original question “How do you criticize Buhari without pissing people off?” The answer is null, because it is impossible. People will always get pissed off! My job as a writer and citizen of Nigeria is not whether or not people get pissed off. My job is that truth is being told.

And the truth is this, the first 3 weeks for APC has been embarrassing and it has been poor from one issue to another. But this is expected, they are a party created from several parties thrust into the position of “ruling party” for the first time in 16 years.

But they will get better, Buhari has the potential to change Nigeria. I heard and saw it in his speech, but he and APC will not get better because of excess praise like “O look Buhari took picture with Obama” or delusional praise like “Light has already improved in my area” They will only get better because of honest and sharp criticism from you and me.

Remember change does not happens in the ballot box but outside the ballot box.

Buhari 1

Pictures by Bayo Omoboriowo

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of
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Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

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16 comments on “How To Criticize #Buhari Without Pissing People Off

  1. Omali on said:

    “Remember change does not happens in the ballot box but outside the ballot box.” Best summary!

    There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

  2. Wonderful @Remember change does not happens in the ballot box but outside the ballot box.

    We need constructive criticism to enable the government know what to do.

  3. VeekieToria on said:

    I have been almost lynched for daring to criticise the new govt. I wish everyone just knew that criticism brings out the best in people. Nice job as usual

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      Thanks Veekie. I have been really tried of the hypocrisy this past weeks. We need to call a spade a spade.

  4. Nuratu on said:

    Its human nature to oppose criticism. It takes wisdom to accept that criticism from opposition and ally alike is crucial to proper decision making. It will be heart shattering to admit that one in which so much trust has been bestowed can do wrong. Its for this reason fanatics will rather have faith and accept everything. At the end, what counts is the truth. The truth triumphs over everything open or concealed. Indeed lets call a spade a spade.

    • edidiong on said:

      Very true @ Adaeze, sentiments, that’s where the problem lies. I myself know I have a soft spot for Baba and what he stands for. But even I know that the gloves have got to come off soon, else we lose the very essence of what we faught so hard for!

  5. Omooba on said:

    it’s the person we criticize that we love. I learned that growing up. Keep up your constructive criticism for the love of Nigeria. May we be rewarded by better policies and govt action thereby.

    Another take-away from this write-up is, that you criticize someone today does not mean you can’t see a good thing in them tomorrow! So when d fair writer does praise d person he criticized yesterday, it does not mean he has been “bought”.

  6. toyin on said:

    I think my writer is always on n pls for new followers of my writer don’t just crictised him for mere say (yes I don’t joke with him) if u crictised him saying he don’t pay his thithe yes I know n he has say it pls don’t crictised him anymore because he is not always right but his fact are on point (and he is not perfect self) himself not human being ooooo

  7. For the most part, we’ll have to fold our hands and watch events unfold, hoping they would be in our favour. But really, while I’ve got my ‘beef’ with the present government (which matters to no one anyway), I hope to God we did the right thing!

    God bless Nigeria!

  8. i like ur last statement change does not take place in d ballot box but outside d box. i hope d after 4yrs we all b smiling lets keep praying for wisdom and peace for the leaders of dis great country

  9. Chima on said:

    Straight to the point. This write -up is very apt and crucial. Nigerians wake up from the euphoria of change, and engage the government constructively or else the change will forever remain a catch phrase.

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