By Muyiwa Olayinka
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act, George Orwell
What manner of man is Jesus, Halleluyah 2ce
He made the blind to see, Halleluyah
He made the dumb to talk, Halleluyah
He made the deaf to hear, Halleluyah
Halleluyah Amen 2ce
This song is a Christian popular song, to depict the humane, kindness, caring and the compassionate character of Jesus Christ. The song aptly applies to this article
Muhammadu Buhari is a retired four star general in Nigerian military and former head of state until he was forcibly retired in a palace coup by his then Chief of Army staff, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in 1985. Buhari can be regarded as a well-grounded administrator in terms of public service because he served meritoriously both in military formations and in public governance. He was trained in some of the best military schools in the world and held many military postings including a one-time General officer commanding of three different military formations and was a military secretary at the Army headquarters.
A war hero that fought alongside the federal forces during the civil war of 1967 to 1970, he was appointed the military Governor of the then North Eastern State that was divided into three states Bauchi, Borno and old Gongola. The old North Eastern has been broken down to six states, namely, Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe and Gombe states.
Buhari became the first minister and chairman of the newly created ministry of Petroleum resources (then called Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and natural resources) supervising the nation’s cash cow (the oil industry). His integrity was put to test during the crisis of the missing N2.8b oil revenue and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the panel that investigated the scandal.
Buhari retired to private life in his hometown, Daura, became a pastoralist tending to his farm. He was later appointed the Chairman of Government intervention agency Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in 1994 by late General Sani Abacha.
With the return to civil rule, he was involved in politics and went on to contest for the Presidential election in 2003 but he lost to the incumbent and his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo. He tried again in 2007, 2011 until he won in 2015.
The second coming of Buhari to public service
The fourth republic is the longest period Nigeria experienced democratic rule since independence (from 1999 to the current date). During these periods, it has been able to deepen democratic ethos, though it has not been able to meet yearnings of Nigerians or achieve giant strides in national developments. Obasanjo handed over to late Umaru Musa Yar’adua in 2007 after he completed two terms but unfortunately Yar’adua died before completing his first term in office. His Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan completed his term, contested in 2011 and won.
The government of Goodluck Jonathan was not able to meet the expectations of Nigerians regarding the state of the economy despite the quantum increase in oil prices, lax security and fighting corruption. The level of security was so appalling as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, his government was not able to tame and curtail the ferocious attacks of the terrorist group. In the midst of this, the secondary government school girls located in Chibok town in Borno state were kidnapped. The tardy way Goodluck Jonathan’s government handled the Chibok girl’s saga brought it to the lowest ebb and caught the attention and had international dimension. The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) protests came to the fore at international forums.
As oil money was flowing with the increment of oil prices, the newfound wealth was frittered away on senseless and frivolous spending while many found ways to private pockets. President Jonathan was unable to check the excesses of his appointees, lieutenants, government contractors, most especially the sleaze in the subsidy regime of the downstream sector, corruption was rife and no practicable steps were taken to stem the tide and bring suspects to justice. He also inherited the bad and negative perception of the then ruling party, People’s Democratic PDP that was in government for sixteen (16) years, later became complacent and arrogant but recorded modest achievements.
Many Nigerians were tired of PDP, they desired a change of guard, it was so easy for Mr. Muhammadu Buhari and the opposition party, All Progressive Congress APC with the “change mantra” to connect and convince many Nigerians. Buhari campaigned on three promises namely;
Fight against corruption
Fixing the economy
Fixing the security challenges
Buhari won the Presidential election of 2015 and warmed his heart to many Nigerians with his popular declaration on the day of his inauguration “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”
This article is going to focus more on the promises made by Buhari, especially on security and providing qualitative leadership after 5 years in office.
Boko Haram crisis
Ensuring security of lives and properties is the basic and primary responsibility of a responsive government all over the world. Nigeria is not an exception most especially in taming the tide of the Boko Haram pogrom that claimed many lives and properties, especially in the north eastern part of Nigeria. Buhari inherited this problem from his successor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; it was such a horrific, horrendous and almost a helpless situation when he came on board.
Some local government areas were under the annexation of Boko Haram; the kidnapping of Chibok girls brought the world to the plights of the residents of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and part of Bauchi states. Buhari who is familiar with the terrain as a one-time military Governor, took some drastic measures like relocating the military command structure to Maiduguri, the heart of the troubled areas, appointed General Buratai (an indigene of Borno state) as the Chief of Army staff and also General Monguno as the National Security Adviser (also a son of the soil). He sought the support and cooperation of the neighboring countries like Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic in smoking the insurgents out of their territories. These drastic measures achieved initial success as the insurgents suffered mortal losses of commanders, fighters and foot soldiers through aerial bombardments and were completely driven out from Nigerian territories.
Unfortunately the initial success could not be improved and sustained, some of the Chibok girls are yet to be accounted for, and sadly, more Nigerian girls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped thereafter. The whereabouts of some of them are still unknown.
Presently the Boko Haram conundrum is still a thorny issue in Nigeria; it has resumed onslaughts in many towns and villages in these troubled areas. While it is obvious that there is need to reinvigorate the security architecture and redefine the military engagements, controlled and dominated at the top by the North, President Buhari has been adamant and refused to adhere to repeated calls from the National Assembly and cross section of well-meaning Nigerians.
The top echelon of the military command are from the North and dominated by: Lt General Tukur Buratai (COAS), General Babagana Monguno (rtd) NSA, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar (CAS), the Minister of Defense, General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), Muhammed Abubakar Adamu as Inspector General of Police leaving only Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas as Chief of Naval staff (CNS) from the South. This is a microcosm of many slanted appointments, across the board, made by the President that claimed he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody.
Last week, the President as usual threatened sanctions against the security chiefs and expressed unhappiness with the current security of the country but refused to do the needful. While he’s delaying and foot dragging, Nigerians, both military and civilians are being sent to their untimely deaths on daily basis from the ceaseless murderous campaigns of Boko Haram
What manner of man is President Buhari?
Aso Rock becomes Fuji house of commotion.
Fuji house of commotion was a popular television series created and produced by late Amaka Igwe in the late 90s. The rested sitcom series depicted the house of a polygamous Yoruba home with many wives and many children overreaching and falling over themselves to get attention and dues from the head of the family, Chief Fuji played by Kunle Bamtefa.
Nigeria’s seat of power, Aso Rock can be likened to Fuji house of commotion as the wife of President Buhari, Aisha Buhari has been battling many forces against her in her husband’s government. It was Aisha Buhari that revealed the rot at the Aso rock clinic that could not meet the medical needs of the first family.
When she could not get a breathing space to do as she likes, she disclosed the presence of “cabals” that have hijacked Buhari’s government. She posited for shake up in the administration but nothing has been done about this startling revelation. The members of this cabal are the unseen hands that have been pulling the strings behind the scenes discreetly.
The altercations between Mrs Buhari and one of the members of the cabal have brought the seat of power to odious and opprobrium. Not too long ago she battled the family of Mamman Daura the President’s nephew and an alleged member of the cabals. Aisha claimed she was locked out in one of the rooms in Aso Rock by Mamman Daura’s daughter, Fatima. A pure domestic affair that should have been resolved behind the scenes has become a ding dong and public affair between her and Mamman’s family.
The latest is the reported gunfire that led to Aisha Buhari’s chief security officer to be arrested and detained on the orders of the Inspector General of Police. This is another case of serious security breach at the seat of power, and in the midst of this confusion, President Buhari neither hears nor sees any evil.
I ask again what manner of man is President Buhari.
The ruling party All People’s Congress (APC) that brought the President to power in 2015 has been enmeshed in different political crises. The latest is the imbroglio that bedeviled the party over the upcoming September 19th 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo state. The recent crisis was induced by the protracted and intractable battle between godfather and the chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on one hand and the incumbent Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, on the other hand. All efforts to reconcile the two have met a brick wall. The battle is not for good governance but for the control of the purse of the state government.
It got worse to the level that the Governor was denied a second term and disqualified by the screening panel the party inaugurated to verify the suitability of the contestants. The governor went to Aso rock to meet with President Buhari but was directed to the Chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. Obaseki resigned his membership and joined the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party PDP, to realize his aspiration.
Accordingly, the President is the national leader of the party expected to give the needed direction, but Buhari has been shying away to stem the tide. Since 2015, the party has been unable to have a Board of Trustee BOT due to rancorous animosity, hence the party has been enmeshed from one crisis to another leading to the losses of Zamfara, Bauchi and Adamawa states to PDP in the last general election. Edo state may eventually go to the opposition party if the crisis is not well managed.
Sadly Buhari and the party have lost the goodwill it enjoyed in 2015 due to unfulfilled promises leading to perverse poverty in the land, despondency, confusion and frustration from the cross section of the country. Internal rivalry, discord and discordant has been the lot of the ruling party, and I think it will be a herculean task to reverse the downward slide. The body language of Mr. President shows lack of interest in the affairs of the citizens since he’s on his last and final constitutional second term.
What manner of man is President Buhari?
The hopeless and helpless situation of Katsina, Buhari’s home state
The state of insecurity that engulfs the nation from north to south is still raging and has finally birthed in Katsina, the home state of President Buhari. The state is under state of anarchy and has been sacked by the activities of bandits that operate freely unhindered. These murderous gangs kill, destroy, maim and leave sorrow, tears and blood.
The state Governor Bello Masari became helpless, ran and appealed to President Buhari to come to his aid. As the situation got worse without the needed intervention and support from Aso rock, Masari had to negotiate and establish a truce with these criminals for temporary reprieve. Unfortunately, the truce had broken down and the people of Katsina have been left to their fates, hence the killings have intensified. Not too long ago, some indigenes went on protest march, burning down the Governor and President’s posters to show their grievances to the senseless killings currently going on in the state.
Buhari’s Minister of communications and digital economy, Sheikh Isa Pantami publicly shed tears while giving accounts over the incessant killings in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Borno states in Northern Nigeria.
With the intimidating credentials and record of public service of President Buhari, I wonder why his government has not been able to positively influence the lives of Nigerians. I don’t know the missing link.
Will President Buhari be alive to his responsibilities of giving quality leadership and protecting his country from the state of insecurity that has engulfed the nation?
Will he be moved by the tears of one of his ministers or continue to be taciturn and unconcerned until his term runs out in 2023? Will Nigeria be able to sing this Christian popular song by the time he finally retires to Daura in Katsina state?
Time will tell