Buhari President is a terrible comedian

The president's latest joke is terribly insensitive on thousands of displaced people in Benue.

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President Muhammadu Buhari is a funny man.

He does not have a YouTube channel that's littered with funny skits to burn your internet data, but his team of political allies will be the first to tell you that he has a great sense of humour.

This was something that was sent into overdrive during his shambolic 103-day medical leave in London when the president's 'sense of humour' made more public appearances in the media than the man who owns it.

From Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to state governors, to the president's entire media and communications team, the Nigerian people were regaled with tales of the unfamiliar image of the president's unrivalled sense of humour that was a great indicator of his improved health at the time.

President Muhammadu Buhari cracks joke with Delta state governor, Okowa Ifeanyi play He's obviously fun at parties (Twitter/@SaharaReporters )

 

Since the man returned, he has shockingly shied away from taking a stab at stand-up comedy based on the hype that had been built by his team in his absence. The horror.

However, yesterday, Monday, September 11, 2017, while addressing the National Council of Traditional Rulers at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari jokingly disclosed that he considered  fleeing the country if the rainy season had had an adverse effect on Nigeria's agricultural harvest.

The president said, "We are lucky that last year and this year the rainy season is good. If it were not good I must confide in you that I was considering which country to run to.

"But God answered the prayers of many Nigerians. The rainy season last year was good and this year with the report I’m getting, is good.

"We thank God for that otherwise there would have been a lot of problems in this country."

Finally, the GrandPrince that was promised for the elevation of Nigerian comedy stepped up to the plate.

It'd be something to dedicate hysteric laugh tracks to if it wasn't done in such abominably poor taste.

The problem with his joke is not only that he publicly stated that he could ditch the country at the hint of trouble, it's also his mindless dismissal of the terrible effects the rainy season has had on the country in the past few months.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria on Monday, September 11, 2017 play

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria on Monday, September 11, 2017

(Twitter/@MBuhari )

 

So, while the president says he hasn't fled the country because the rain has been merciful on harvests, over 110,000 people that have been displaced by flood due to heavy rainfall in Benue will cheerlessly stand to heckle the president's comic performance.

While it's understandable that the president is elated about the country's agricultural production this year, it's terrible that he's insensitive to the effect it's had on people.

The joke is even more unforgivable when you think about the fact that the president has not exactly spoken about the flood crisis in public.

His only acknowledgement of it was in a press statement issued through his mouthpiece, Garba Shehu, four days after disaster spread across 24 communities in and around Makurdi.

ALSO READ: NEMA's slow response to Benue flood is a national disaster

After a wave of public outcry called on the president to visit the victims of the flood as a show of solidarity, he sent Vice President Osinbajo in his place, 10 days after the flood displaced thousands of families.

In this same time period, the president jetted from Abuja to his hometown of Daura for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations and jetted back after a week without redirecting his course towards empathetic leadership.

President Muhammadu Buhari with First Lady Aisha in Abuja on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 play President Buhari arriving in Not Benue. (Twitter/@Laurestar)

 

The president's cold style of leadership has met with a lot of questions and unticked boxes, so maybe his jokes are supposed to be compensation to soothe a disappointed population.

Only this particular one is anything but soothing. Especially definitely not for the people of Benue who are major contributors to the country's agricultural sector that the president was beaming about.

The president has been in the eye of the storm for cracking a terrible joke before after he dismissed First Lady, Aisha Buhari's criticism of his administration by saying she belongs to "my kitchen and my living room and the other room".

It's understandable that everyone will occasionally produce terrible jokes at some points in their lives, it happens to the best of us; but the bar is a little bit higher for the president of a country who has to tailor every utterance towards moving the nation forward.

Like for many things Mr. President, you can do better.

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