With Buhari in UK, aide’s advice on Made-in-Nigeria patronage sparks backlash

A call by President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide for Nigerians to patronise locally-made products, ironically at a time the president is receiving medical treatment outside the country, triggered a social media ruckus on Friday, with many accusing the presidency of hypocrisy.

Bashir Ahmad, a media assistant to President Buhari, earned the ire of mostly Twitter users after advising Nigerians to help drive up the value of naira by patronising locally-produced goods.

The clash began when Mr. Ahmad, 25, propped up a newspaper report that said the naira had been making gains against the U.S. dollar at the parallel market, following this week’s foreign exchange decision by the Central Bank.

“Within the last 48 hours, dollar crashes to N470, it was N520 before — and external reserves rise by $3.2bn,” Mr. Ahmad posted. “Good for the Country.”

The jubilatory tweet drew a backhanded response from a Twitter user, Toyin Olakanpo, who sarcastically reminded Mr. Ahmad the president promised an equated dollar and naira during his electioneering campaigns.

“We are waiting for it to crash more. You promised $1/N1,” Ms. Olakanpo, @ToyinO1, said.

To that, Mr. Ahmad offered a seemingly innocuous reply: “When we stop going to overseas for everything, start patronising only #MadeInNigeria this may not be far from possible. Govt can (sic) do it alone”. He apparently meant to say the government cannot do it alone.

Critics promptly leapt at the evident irony at a time the president is on extended vacation in the United Kingdom.

“Buhari that went to Overseas for Medicals when we have state house clinic must be a foreigner then. You just shoot yourself, brother,” a user, Mr. Tony, said.

Another user, John O. Balogun, using ‏@orllumeeday, tweeted “@BashirAhmaad @ToyinO1 You mean when Baba buhari and other govt functionaries begin to equip our hospitals & seek medical help in Nigeria???”

One user even used a parody account of President Buhari to chide Mr. Ahmad.

Tweeting at @idealBuhari, the user said “Bashir, you should’nt say things like this when I am getting medical treatment in the UK, not Nigeria”.

Others accused Mr. Ahmad of passing a subliminal insult at his principal.

“President Buhari is still alive and you’re subbing him this early. You’re the first to decamp! Brother!” @alegallawyer said.

Mr. Buhari has been on medical vacation in London since January 2019. The trip is the third of such since he became president less than 2 years ago.

The first officially disclosed vacation was in February 2016, barely eight months in office. He took the second one in June 2016, apparently to receive treatment for ear infection which Nigerian doctors insisted was not above their paygrade.

The frequent foreign trips by the president was in contravention of his own policy against state funding of foreign trips.

Although Mr. Buhari did not particularly ban public officials from seeking medical abroad, he made it clear his government “will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard-earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria.”


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  • George

    Useless Hausa people this bingo just misfired and he got fire in returns.

  • gosgos

    Ignorant and dense people that Bubu surrounded himself with.The same people who would literally lift/steal portions of another person’s intellectual property and pass it off as part of a speech written for their Principal.People who are unable to speak basic,simple English,yet,they are made presidential ‘media Assistants”.Who ever says” going to overseas”.?Blind leading the blind!

    • gosgos

      Someone please tell Bashir Mr.Ahmad that, people ” go overseas”,they don’t ” “go to overseas”.Thank you.

      • Otile

        Buhari’s aides have touched the depth of imbecility.

  • Otile

    Bashir Ahmad should be receiving his own monthly salary in manure not in decent money.

  • Impulse400

    It is not like we don’t have leaders in this country. We have… it is just that the leaders we have in this country don’t think straight. And they impose the products of their crooked thoughts on the remaining level headed Nigerians.

    Is it CBN? Is it Adesina or Shehu Sani or this imp Ahmad? Or is it Lie Mohammed? Is it Amaechi? Is it Raji Fashola (SMH)? Is it Wike or Fayose? Is it the Mole Alli Modu Sheriff (Political Party vulture that is inserted to divour every ailing opposition party’s carcasses since the days of OBJ)…? No point ranting more names according to reputations. You get my drift.

  • Joe Joe

    “Mr. Buhari has been on medical vacation in London since January 2019. The trip is the third of such since he became president less than 2 years ago.” Please get the record straight Mr. Ogundipe. “January 2019?”

  • AryLoyds

    Haha Buhari is the president , he has blue blood , see no evil hear no evil.I will be taking my own medical vacation in Coutonu.