In separate interviews with this newspaper on Wednesday, the former commanders-in-chief, who spoke on strict anonymity, said Mr. Buhari should be very worried about the direction his administration is headed.
“I strongly reject the notion that Buhari is helpless in his own cabinet,” one of the former leaders said. “I would never have allowed such humiliating insubordination in my administration. It was unthinkable that my own appointee would oppose my nominee at the National Assembly. No one could have tried that with me. He or she would have paid dearly for it.”
“What happened showed clearly that Buhari is not in charge.”
The second official said what happened in the Magu case was “entirely inconceivable in a presidential system anywhere in the world.”
In a painful effort to make sense of the development and convey his “rude shock”, the former leader said Mr. Buhari might actually be the one behind the “repeated humiliation of his own nominee”.
“Unless he is the one behind the whole controversy by deliberately double-dealing with his own nominee and other subordinates, there’s no way I would have thought a situation like this will play out as someone who had been privileged to hold that position.
“As far as I am concerned, things seem to have fallen apart. It is also possible that he has never been in control. It is very unfortunate.”