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Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2019

On Oshiomhole’s ‘faux pas’ at Buhari’s second term inauguration

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Adams Oshiomhole

A video showing an outstanding breach of protocol on the line up of dignitaries to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari at the Eagle Square venue of his swearing-in alongside his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, last Wednesday has gone viral.
Those familiar with the protocol arrangement at such event say that the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, was not supposed to be on the line-up of those to welcome the President at the state event in the first place.
There are indications that the APC National Chairman was misled into putting himself up for the line-up.
Even at that, Oshiomhole’s critics believe that he, in his usual showmanship and quest to assert his position at all times in national hierarchy, elevated himself above the Service chiefs. A look at the viral video showed that he positioned himself immediately after the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (Ag. CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko, ahead of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin.
He was pulled out of the position by the Commander, Guard Brigade, Brigadier Gen. Umar Isa and was made to stand at the far end.
With the gaffe, one wonders whether the protocol officers at the event failed to school the dignitaries on proper conduct ahead of such epochal event. Those dignitaries at a state event of the magnitude of the inauguration of the President and his Vice ought to have been advised ahead of time of what is required of them.
Oshiomhole’s showing up for the line-up constituted a breach of protocol and the officials ought to be made to answer for such ‘faux pas’.
On the political scene, some argue that the APC boss may have chosen to utilize such opportunity to show his traducers how close he is to the corridor of power. Strategically positioning himself immediately after the Ag. CJN, according to some analysts, was to show that the ruling party takes precedence over the Service Chiefs.
They argue that such was one of the ‘show-offs’ of the ruling party’s Chairman who has never disguised his conviction on party supremacy.
But this is one conviction carried too far. He obviously overreached himself if he actually wanted to score a political point at the event.
Ogunsade Mofoluwaso Oluwafurotimi, who is a public affairs analyst in his comments on the Oshiomhole’s gaffe on his Facebook wall wrote “The man is fighting the battle of his political life right now and he’s doing all things possible to show his foes how relevant and powerful he is in the government. I hope you are aware that everyone invited to be part of the program would have been issued the order of protocol.
The mistake made by Oshiobaba is an indication that his appearance on
the line was not planned but an afterthought by him and the effort to show “I dey there too”.
I’m sure the Parade Commander was being humane and does not want to cause too much ‘kasala’ otherwise, he would have quietly sent him to the VIP stand instead of allowing him to stay at the tail end of the line. Can we objectively ask and analyze the constitutional role he was to play and actually played at the inauguration ceremony?
Oshiomhole fumbled big time!” This position represents the perception of some political watchers.

…and Yari too
Immediate past Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and ex-governor of Zamfara state, Abdulazeez Yari’s appearance at the inauguration ceremony with car bearing the crest of the Executive Governor of Zamfara state caused a stir at the Eagle Square venue of the event.
Whether by oversight or design, the former Zamfara governor came into the inauguration arena with a official vehicle bearing the crest of the Executive Governor of Zamfara State at a time the new governor, Rt. Hon. Bello Matawale was being sworn-in to take over power in Gusau.
The argument was that the former governor was not supposed to have attended the President inauguration with a car bearing the crest of the Executive Governor of Zamfara state since he had ceased to be one.
This action presupposed that there were two governors of Zamfara at that particular time. This has made tongues to continue to wag as to the propriety or otherwise of Yari’s action.
But some have argued that Yari remained the governor of Zamfara until the period of the official hand-over in his state. They posit that as at the time he made official appearance at the Eagle Square venue of Buhari’s swearing-in ceremony, the hand-over ceremony had yet to be concluded in Gusau.
They insist that he could only be accused of impersonation for using the official vehicle of the Executive Governor of Zamfara state if he had done so after Matawale must have officially been sworn-in.

On rowdy inauguration dinner
The inauguration dinner at the State House Conference Centre, otherwise called Old Banquet Hall, was over-attended.
Men and women from all walks of life, including diplomats were invited only for them not to have seats to sit in the main hall. The rowdiness began from the traffic as some of the dignitaries were held up for hours beginning from the Supreme Court end before they could assess the venue.
Organizers of the dinner must have been taken aback by the crowd that turned up at the dinner. Most of them complained that they were invited to a dinner where the food couldn’t go round.
The dinner chaired by the Vice President was overcrowded and guests, including dignitaries, were made to park their vehicles several meters away from the main venue by policemen who had a hectic time controlling the traffic.

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