Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Muslim cleric, says before President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, he knew the situation of things would be worse compared to the time of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The cleric said the country needs a leader who can be trusted during an interview with PUNCH.
He accused the president of not doing enough to unite the people, saying the masses are now “very skeptical” of Buhari.
“Even before Buhari came, I was one of the few people that advised him that the Nigerian situation at the end of Jonathan’s regime was not the best for him,” he said.
“He was going to make things worse, not better. If you are bringing in a patient who has broken all his limbs to the hospital, the doctor will be concerned about whether his blood is circulating and not about his broken bones.
“The doctor will not be looking at the protruding bones but those standing by will be looking and wondering why the doctor is not concerned about the bones. The doctor is concerned about how to save the life of the patient. That is how Nigeria is. When you are concerned and obsessed with what can be fixed later, you are rather killing Nigeria. That is what I see in the government.
“When I see a leader polarising or dividing the polity, no matter how he claims to be good, he is not good for the situation. You see, it is not every time you have a leader that is good for a situation. Every situation has its own remedy. We need in Nigeria a person who can listen and bring everybody together and also have a way of negotiating in the murky water of politics.”
The cleric stated that the “deification” of the president has made it difficult for a lot of people to criticise him.
“The deification of Buhari has made many people to be afraid of criticising him because the next thing, you will be alleged to either be involved in murder or EFCC will be looking for you. That is why Jonathan’s record is better,” he said.
“The senate president was alleged to be sponsoring bank robbery and you know the reason. People are afraid. It is just giving dog a bad name in order to hang it. It is not democratic. We thank God we are privileged because we have not done anything with government.
“These are the reasons why people are suffering in silence. I know somebody who said I love Buhari but he was being sarcastic. He needs our help. He should be rescued. People are clinging to him to be relevant but they are not performing. It is not an easy ride.”
He also spoke on why he believes it would be difficult to change the mindset of the president.
“You cannot change Buhari. He is already cast in a mentality. He believes that most Nigerians, if not all, are rascals, thieves and 419,” he said.
“He believes only his own circle are the good people. You cannot get across anything. He has castigated Nigerians in many fora and everybody to him on knows that.
“He is somebody who always blames others; he does not take responsibility for anything. We are not castigating him. We are talking about this publicly for two reasons: first, his followers have to accept something is wrong.
“Secondly, for our own conscience, when something is getting terribly bad, people will say look at that clergy, he did not say anything. We always remember that when there is serious problem, nobody will come and say Sheikh Gumi did not speak. We spoke from the beginning.”