There’s no question that many senior officials at Aso Rock and the MDAs would have privately expressed their shock and disbelief at some of Buhari’s comments and actions. After all, millions of Nigerians expressed their disbelief when he made a distinction between “the 97 percent” that voted for him and “the 5 percent” that did not in rewards and conduct paradigm; when he accepted without question that Nigeria was a fantastically corrupt country; when he said the country’s youths were lazy; when he expressed surprise that Abdulrasheed Maina, on EFCC wanted list for pension fraud, had been recalled to service and promoted; when he said he wasn’t aware the police Inspector General Ibrahim Idris disobeyed a presidential order to relocate to Benue State; when he reinstated Executive Secretary Usman Yusuf of National Health Insurance Scheme, suspended by Health Minister Isaac Ajewole on allegations of gross misconduct; when he pleaded with the people of Benue State to embrace herdsmen that had been killing them and destroying their farms; and when he made dumb comments on scores of other issues or opted to hide behind the veil of silence for inaction. The tragedy though is that, unlike in the US, top Buhari aides instead of “working to insulate their operations from his whims,” would rather take advantage of the internal disconnect to advance their personal agenda.

“The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”

President Buhari has taken Nigerians for a joyless ride in the last three years. He seems to enjoy the perks and glamour of being president, yet has failed to apply himself to the rigours of the office. Detached and distant, some of his aides naturally appropriated the powers of his office, exercising presidential duties in his name and with little consideration for public good. It is a measure of how badly he has performed that scores of politicians are gunning for his seat. And the language of discourse is indeed very low. Very few in the crowd of presidential aspirants have thought through the problems ailing the country and worked out solutions to them. We have allowed our emotions to be caught by the hook of the so-called anti-graft war; hence public discourse is driven by bitterness and anger and name-calling and hate and blackmail.

“There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put the country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favour of a single one: Americans.”

I did state at the beginning of this piece that it would be a tall order expecting any quiet resistance from within the Buhari administration to arrest the ever-widening division along ethnic and religious lines. Most Nigerian politicians and public officials are too greedy to be bothered about public good. The last three years has adequately shown that Buhari does not have the vision, knowledge, capacity, capability, tolerance, social skills and emotional intelligence to lead Nigeria at this time. There’s no question that Nigeria cannot afford a second term for Buhari as the health of the republic is already endangered. The HSBC, in its latest reports on Nigeria, was only stating the obvious that another four years of Buhari in the saddle will stunt the country’s economic development. The conditions for Buhari’s defeat in the 2019 polls are so ripe that the main opposition coalition, as The Economist Intelligence Unit rightly pointed out in its latest research, should win. Unfortunately, w e cannot trust the motley crowd of career politicians who retire to bed in APC and wake up in PDP, or vice versa, to help birth a new course. We the people would need to rise above politics, break out from the prism of all delimiting labels, elevate our discourse and chart a different course.