On The Character Of Governments

Governments, like individuals have character. And the thing about character is this — once something is part of your character, it finds a way to express itself in different actions in your life, at home, at work, at play, anywhere, everywhere, in anything and in everything. Such is the nature of character. The second thing true of character is this — people remember your negative character traits much longer and deeper than your positive ones. It is the nature of human beings.

So what was the key negative character trait for example that people remember of the Goodluck Jonathan government? It has to be corruption; corruption that was both humongous in amounts involved and the impunity with which it was carried out. Because it was the character of the government, it found expression amongst multiple players in the government in multiple different areas governance.

Fast forward to today. What are the negative character traits of the Buhari government? I have identified a few.


This is perhaps the biggest. Things don’t get done at all, or don’t get done well, or don’t get done on time. Important things. Minor things. In places as far apart as prisons and ports. And then when the wahala starts, blame everybody else. But you, who has the responsibility and power to do the things. And no matter how deep the display of incompetence is, do not punish the person responsible for it. This character trait is like the primus determinus of screening those that get into this government. It is that pervasive.

A Lack Of Respect For Nigerians/Nigerian Lives

Whether expressed in a lack of will to communicate with Nigerians, or condescension in communication or not visiting when Nigerians die, or telling lies to Nigerians that make you cringe, or telling Nigerians that change begins with them while not making any changes and many other expressions, or flying out on vacation days after a “mistake” bombing of an IDP camp without visiting that IDP camp whilst flying back and forth from The Gambia, a lack of respect for Nigerians forms another one of the negative character traits of the Buhari administration.

Saying A and Doing B

The word the English give this is hypocrisy. When you tell Nigerians that medical tourism is a problem and budget big for your clinic but fly out for medical vacations, or say you are cutting cost when cost is ballooning, or that you are floating currency when you are holding it down like a kite, the character trait is clear. Not much more to say of that, but I’m sure we can all think of these examples.

These are the three that top my mind. I’m sure some of you will disagree with this or want to add your own. Feel free to say so in the comments section.

And in my opinion, I think the first (incompetence) is the most dangerous of all these.