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Thérèse Margolis’ Alternative Facts

“The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water,” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in “Don Quixote”
By The News · 23 of March 2017 11:09:24
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari smiles as he resumes work following seven weeks of medical leave, in Abuja, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari smiles as he resumes work following seven weeks of medical leave, in Abuja, Nigeria March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALE. NO ARCHIVE., photo: Reuters/Stringer

The following is an abridged version of a letter sent to The News by Information and Culture Counselor Dayo Balogun of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria:

“The attention of the Embassy of Nigeria in Mexico City has been drawn to an article titled “Where is Buhari?” published in the online edition of your esteemed news journal (The News) on Friday 3rd of March, 2017. In the article, the author — Thérèse Margolis — took the liberty to make several unsavory comments on the Nigerian president, Mohammandu Buhari, who had been on vacation in the United Kingdom since last January 19th.

Among the comments hauled at the Nigerian leader were, inter alia; a) “The polemic Nigerian President …”, b) “The absentee Nigerian leader … seems to be up and about, meeting and socializing with senior British Officials and popping into the likes of Harrods to spiff up his Presidential wardrobe”, c) “The Nigerian people are losing patience with their wayward leader”, and d) “… if he remains derelict to his obligations …”

It is imperative to prove what a canard Thérèse’s article on the Nigerian leader is. To refer [to] President Buhari as a polemic, is to claim that (according to the dictionary definition of the word), he indulges in “a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.” or “a person who argues in opposition to another; a controversialist.” If the first definition of polemic above is what Thérèse had in mind in penning that article, and if she is using the word within the context of Mr. President’s unwavering fight against Nigeria’s hydra-headed ills, including corruption, then we want to believe that she is right. He has been vehemently against the “doctrine” of corruption both in word and deed. If, however, the author is accusing the Nigerian president of being a polemic from the perspective of the second definition, then we can rationally conclude that some mischief is at play.

Not done, the article went on further to accuse President Buhari of “… popping into the likes of Harrods to spiff up his presidential wardrobe.” Anyone with this opinion of the respected Nigerian leader is displaying crass ignorance of that persona. He is renowned for his spartan approach of materialism. And to give Thérèse the benefit of doubt, one would want to ask, is Harrods of London stocking Nigerian fashion these days? The answer is an emphatic NO!!! [The] President Buhari that we know dons only Nigerian fashion — specifically the kaftan or the agbada (or babanriga), that are fashionable, in different variants across the length and breadth of the West African Sub-Region.

Then on to “the Nigerian people are losing PATIENCE (emphasis ours) with their wayward leader.” The choice of the word wayward here speaks volumes of the author. To describe a leader, any leader, and in this case an elected one, as wayward is an insult not just to that leader, but to those who exercised their franchise in electing him. This, in itself could be viewed as some form of waywardness in the practice of that novel pen profession […]. Let us hasten to mention just one more of the outrages in the said article, to wit “… if he remains derelict to his obligations…”

If the author is familiar with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, she would have known that a seating president proceeding on vacation must do so only after duly handing over to his deputy, to hold forth in an acting capacity. This was exactly the country’s Senate and his correspondence to that upper chamber of Nigeria’s legislature was read on the floor by the Senate President. Is this, therefore, a dereliction of his presidential duties? We stand to be educated!


Nothing underscores the character of the Nigerian president that what the authorities of the United States War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, wrote about him in a letter dated June 13, 1980, addressed to then Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Aladi Akinrinade. The letter signed by Major-General Dewitt C. Smith, then Commandant of the War College, described the then Brigadier Buhari as “most distinguished international fellow,” commending him further for being “a man of extraordinary aptitude who demonstrated a broad knowledge of current international problems” and whose “obvious research and analytical facilities far exceeding that of majority of his contemporaries.”


The quotation above from the renowned 16th century Spanish fiction writer tells it all — truth will always float on alternative truth. We rest our case!!!”