BACKLASH: Buhari: Between Poverty And Integrity

By Abraham Ogbodo   |   06 September 2015   |   3:20 am  

OGBODO-CopyWE have been told to exercise patience. It is not a problem, although I would have loved to have another name to replace patience. That word or name had overplayed in the Villa and not too many people were happy while the performance lasted for six years.

Yet, patience is not the only name that describes what President Muhammadu Buhari is asking Nigerians to offer. ‘Patience’ is a noun, which can lexically mutate to an adjective as in ‘patient’ and adverb as in ‘patiently.’

It cannot come as a verb, which commands action. What Buhari wants is simply good action. There is a word that gives that action. There is action when we ‘endure’ than when we are ‘patient.’ And so, and at least for a change, PMB should ask for endurance or simply tell Nigerians to ‘endure.’ That sounds a lot more appropriate than ‘patience’ which Presidency has been preaching.

In fact, ‘patience’ does not capture the national ethos as such. I mean Nigerians are not a patient lot, but they can endure even beyond breaking point. Their capacity in this regard is globally unmatchable. They endured IBB for eight years, the annulment of the June 12 1993 presidential election, Abacha for five years and Obasanjo twice over; between 1976 and 1979 and between 1999 and 2007. They had endured 16 years of democracy and misrule under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now they are enduring the conversion of the Presidency into a sole proprietorship. But it is six days into the month of September and so much can still happen in the remaining 24 days in the month of September.

In fact, so much is already happening. Although the APC spokesman called Alhaji Lai Mohammed and a presidential spokesman called Mallam Shehu Garba had proclaimed that nowhere on earth did Buhari, for instance, even pledge to declare his assets publicly, there was a dramatic turn of events when the President and his deputy woke up last Thursday and publicly declared their assets. This is a most honourable thing to do except that it has opened a vista for new worries.

I cannot tell for now if other Nigerians in the euphoria that will definitely follow this public declaration of assets in the days ahead, will see the bigger picture.

I, for one, I am not impressed and unless we choose hypocritically to pamper the point, the totality of the declaration does not place PMB on any high moral pedestal. Accolades will pour in his direction if we elect to equate stagnation and material poverty with virtue. The man was forced out of office the same way he had entered about 30 years ago at the active age of 41. Given his station, exposure and everything about him, Buhari ought to have done much better than just owning N30 million; some five homes of which two are inherited mud houses and another two built with bank loans; 270 heads of cattle; 25 sheep; five horses and sundry livestock. A good carpenter could have done better in 30 years. More or less, according to the declaration, Buhari has run substantially as a young man of 40 years to his present age of 72 years, on public charity and hands-out.

This is not good enough. Except there is more to what has been put in the public space, the President cannot be celebrated on this score alone. Ability to create wealth cannot be synonymous with corruption. I was in the university when the man came in 1983 and left 1985. I have not seen any record where it was said or written that Buhari in the period under review did things like involvement in NGOs and other charity efforts to improve the lot of society.

My take therefore, is that Buhari can only add value when he operates in the public space as head of state or some other high designation like when he was governor, petroleum minister and chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). The correlation between capacities in the private and public spaces cannot be discountenanced on the expediency of seeking one good man in a country of 170 million people to give new direction. The entrepreneurial spirit is killed when due application of competencies to enhance material wellbeing is interpreted as corruption.

Just as it may be right to say many retired military generals are corrupt, it may be wrong to conclude that all retired generals who are successful in post service endeavours are corrupt. If a general at the point of retirement stole N10million (stealing is corruption please!) and added same to his retirement package, it is corruption. But it is industry and ingenuity if a retired general by reason of wise economic choices turned N10million to $10billion in 30 years. The two must be separated and dealt with separately so that we do not slip into the fallacy of branding all retired generals, including T.Y Danjuma, the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and even Olusegun Obasanjo, who have created value with their post service engagements as corrupt.

To me, the Buhari’s story is not any different from the biblical servant who refused to venture for gains for fear of being chastised and returned his master’s money as he was given. Instead of commendation, which he had anticipated, the self-righteous servant was condemned by his master for being unresourceful. If every capable man embarks on the type of Bohemian restrictions of PMB, who will invest to create job opportunities and other multipliers to sustain a robust economy? We cannot therefore in all sincerity say ‘well done’ to Buhari for perennially remaining materially unimpressive. It is a weakness and it would be fraudulent to promote same as strength. He is a bad example for entrepreneurship, to put it mildly.

It was not known anywhere that the Great Nelson Mandela was corrupt. He was released from the notorious Robben Island Prison on February 11, 1990 without a rand or dollar, but after his death on December 5 2013 and the family sat to hear his will, it was announced that the grand old man had $4million cash outside fixed assets. What it meant was that Mandela had created huge value outside the Union Building in Pretoria, which he occupied as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999. He received royalties from his books and product endorsements.

For one thing, we are already in the Buhari’s boat and there is no going back until perhaps after four years. And so my prayer is that in the matter of value creation, Buhari should do well to manifest differently as a public administrator because it will be incalculable catastrophe if he remains himself. It is the reason we have to endure instead of being merely patient.

For another thing, the APC is getting increasingly slippery and it is difficult holding it down to its promises. The party had canvassed certain ideals in the build-up to the March 28 presidential election and on the basis of which, I want to believe, Nigerians chose the APC over the PDP. Two documents titled “The 100 Things Buhari Will Do In 100 Days” and “My Covenant With Nigerians” contained mouth-watering promises of socio-economic transformation should the APC win the presidency. Nigerians held their own side of the deal after which they had endured for 100 days, by yesterday, for the APC to follow up.

Instead of the APC to apologize for the none transmissions of the promises to the people as agreed, it has gone on air to say both documents are heresies smuggled into the party’s works by enemies to cause it corporate embarrassment. It added that the only document that is binding on PMB is its manifesto.

Good! The 31-page manifesto divided into 28 sections also said so much. To make it less unwieldy, the 28 sections were compressed into an eight-point agenda showcasing the following: War against corruption, food security, accelerated power supply, integrated transport network, free education, devolution of power, accelerated economic growth and affordable healthcare in four years of which 100 days have been used up preparing to form government.

Even so, I would love the point on devolution of power to achieve true federalism to be tackled first.



  • Garden-City Boy

    You don’t expect Buhari, a blooming lying awusa man to improve himself or add value to his intellect or personality. He completely lacks the altruistic character you find in individuals whose outreach touch on the lives of the less privileged in society meaningfully. Buhari is to obsessed with power-grab and vendetta on his S/E and S/S enemies that the thought of engaging himself in intellectually challenging realms is never contemplated. For him, all you need is a horse whip to be a leader; he sees the rest of us as those cows and goats in his ranch he can whip into line at will. Things get worse when his islamic almajiri culture, his cattle-herder mindset (his format for leadership), the indolent allah-ba’m mba ka mentality coupled with the self-aggrandizing ranka-idede pedestal these awusa elite place themselves all combine to foist the awusa man’s cancerous tumor on the outer society.
    That everything Buhary ever had all his life is by GOVERNMENT ENTITLEMENT is not a topic for debate. No accomplishment of this man ever came by any personal entrepreneurial intuition. It is, therefore, out of this world for anybody to expect Buhari -indolence personified- to come up with ideas that can lift NIgeria’s fortunes out of an economic sinkhole he and his APC has driven it in a 100 fleeting days. All he has is the “Body language” solution ( for “body language” is the latest addicting fancy expression that gets into his head through his thick skull) to everything problem -Boko Haram, Kwarapsion, and you name it. He masturbates doubling as the petroleum minister for the rapacious control of Southern oil and NNPC, at which his wretched cadaverous body and stone-cold soul are both fixated.
    Their bigoted grandfather, Ahmadu Bello, who sowed the seed of festering ethnic hate in Nigeria was so hateful the Igbo man for his entrepreneurial resilience. The Igbo who works hard in his labor camp must not work hard or improve himself, in the anticipation that his hard work be appreciated and his sacrifice rewarded on merit with an upliftment of his employment status.The Igbo man must sit cross-legged all day on on goatskin reciting the koran as his indolent as the awusa almajiri counterpart. man. He must make no effort to improve himself for him to merit acceptance by the ahmadu bellos and the Buharis and deserve assimilation into an establishment dominated by the limp, lethargic parasites. There is nothing good to expect of a man who symbolizes fraud, who lies about almost everything. Looking at Bihari is looking at bad news.

    • Mub Roche

      Garden city boy. Your ideas are purely racist and tribalistic. I am not a Buhari symphatizer but I will say it is wrong to judge or blame a person’s(In this case, the President) slow productivity as you see it on his ethnic affiliation. It is hate comments like this that instigate anger among other ethnic groups like the Igbos. No Igbo or Hausa man would see this comment and be pleased, the Igbo man would continue to hate the Hausa man for reasons you just sighted and the Hausa man would feel offended by your comments on the way he chooses to live his life. Buhari never tried to impose his way of living on every Nigerian, if he does so then it would be obvious that he has overstepped but as he hasn’t, you have no right to judge him based on his ethnicity. We need to work together to move this country forward and drop all these tribalistic views. No tribe is better than the other. We are all human beings with flaws. I plead with you and every other person not to think in this way, not only in the Buhari case but also in our everyday life.History has taught us that disunity brought about ethnic differences has never brought about fortunate tales.

      • Garden-City Boy

        Now, listen, my friend. Love and hate are inner human perceptions of other entities. The way we react to those entities is the manifestation of those perceptions. Again, in all cases of the outward manifestation of those perceptions, a mutual, two-way feedback mechanism is established in the aftermath.
        What I am saying is that love or hate is a two-way traffic thing. The Garden-City Boy makes no pretenses about his deep hate for these obnoxious barbaric people called awusa. I am yet to be told what there is to love about a bloodthirsty clan (this time awusa clan) who arrogate to themselves the right and authority to take other people the lives.
        For the awusa man, it is cultural ritual that enjoys koranic approval to lynch Igbo people……. because they are NYAMIRI KAFIRI’N BANZA. How many awusas have ever been arraigned for the murder of over 50,000 Igbo men, women and children across awusa North in 1966? How many of Buhari’s almajiris have been arrested for the post-election massacres of 2011, when over 800 Southerners were lynched including scores of YOUTH CORP WORKERS? Your Emir of Kano was reported to have led a parade in Kano, displaying Gideon Akaluka’s severed head at the end of a pole.
        But you write your post, pretending that these issues did not happen or wish them away. Had awusa not been consistent with this barbarity, you would have a case for your advocacy. You awusas hailed and applauded when Boko Haram were all over the place mowing down Igbo people wherever they were found. But, you worry when, after there were no more Igbos to kill, your Boko Haram brothers resorted to a phase of attrition to sustain their blood-lust. You wouldn’t have minded had the victims continued to be Igbo people….true or false?
        So, if you can tell me one good reason…just one…. why these cold-blooded awusa murderers should be loved by any man in his right mind, I’d gladly be your convert and apostle. I’m sorry if you find my “tribalistic and racist” dispositions offensive. You want to ask why I do not have the same feeling of hate for Yorubas or even Igbo people. To tell you the truth, Nigeria would have been the greatest nation on the face of the earth but for the awusa infestation. We need to get rid of the bastards.

        • Mub Roche

          I need to make a correction. You have jumped to a conclusion that I am Hausa. I am not Hausa. But it doesn’t mean I should keep quiet when I see posts like this. You talk about the 1966 massacres but you fail to understand one thing. The intention of the Igbos to break away from Nigeria is treason. It is not acceptable under any constitution and military force is mandatory in other to maintain the sovereignty of the country. If it was an Igbo man that was in power at the time, the same military action would have been carried out and do not forget that general yakubu Gowon met with colonel ojukwu to agree to terms of a ceasefire but he refused. If you claim the Hausa man is bloodthirsty then what about the Igbo man who you claim to be better than Hausa refuse to a ceasefire. Why did the Igbo man decide to forcefully break his people out of a unified Nigeria knowing full well the consequences of his actions. If the Igbo man wasn’t bloodthirsty, he won’t have gone on a self imposed exile when he lost the war. I believe you are aware that the war wasn’t a war of Igbo and Hausa, it was a war between Nigeria and the treasonous Biafra, it is rather unfortunate that it was an Hausa man that was in power at the time. A Yoruba man or any other man would have done the same thing to maintain the unity and sovereignty of his country. I am sure you are aware that there were casualties on both sides, if the Igbo had won the war at the time then a different tale would be told today. It would be a tale of how a bloodthirsty tribe called Igbo committed treason and wasted lives for an illegal cause. But what good will any of these do us in the end? Does it solve any of our problems? Are our youths not still unemployed? Are people not still stricken by poverty? Or will the world news say the Hausa Nigeria is in peril or Igbo or Yoruba or efik Nigeria in peril? It would say Nigeria as a whole is in peril. Please do not take my comments to mean I am taking sides with the Hausas. It is just that there has been all these hate speeches and none of them have solved our problems, instead it’s more bloodshed we see. And if I may correct you, if you claim that Buhari is the propagator of boko haram then why is it that the killings have been taking place in northern Nigeria and not in the south where the Igbo people that these so Hausa people hate reside? We all need to be circumspect in our accusations. I understand where you are coming from but if we all continue like this then at what stage to we become like the Hausa that we claim to be bloodthirsty hounds? Are we not supposed to be better than this? If people are doing bad then it’s in your hands to be the better person. I tell you it is going to be more satisfying that filling your hearts and hearts of your followers with what I’ll call misguided rage. We need to come up with thoughts that would help move this country forward. What guarantee do you have that the Yoruba you claim to love won’t turn out to be worse than the Hausa man who you so despise? A southerner was the previous leader of this great nation and he had his accomplishments no doubt and now a northerner is there, let us assist him as best we can and also check his excesses. If we assume that everything his administration does is evil then it would always seem evil to us no matter how prosperous it is and we would never have self satisfaction in that way. I know you don’t want to see your country fall so let’s give this man who may have actual plans to make this country a better place for every Nigerian and not just a specific few. I want you to take a moment to review all your shouts of evil on the side of the Hausa and check if it has actually made any positive impact on any Nigerian other than instigate hate feelings that never lead to a good end. I know you have your own ideologies and I know it would be difficult to drop them but trust me when I say you’ll feel a lot better when you let go of all these misguided temper towards the Hausa man. Even if Buhari fails by you, it is your duty as a citizen of this great nation not to give up on it and hope and work towards a better Nigeria. I believe in a great Nigeria and if you do so too then you would know that anger towards a particular group would not do anyone any good

          • emeka

            Which came first, the massacre of 1966 or the civil war of 1967? Pls don’t put history on its head.

          • HealNigeria

            Thank you for your comments. We all need to join hands together to make this nation work. It is a shame that we forget that what divides us are the same things that pulls us together.

          • Garden-City Boy

            You talk about TREASON. Are you serious? What did Gowon, Murtala Mohamed, Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalam and BUHARI commit? The reason you talk this way is because there is no one at home to line up these bandits and drill them with hot lead for high treason. You need to construct your logic from the head, not from your tailpipe.
            You may not be awusa ( or you may be, but lying about it as usual). The thing is, you reason the same way awusas do, which may be due to the inferior awusa DNA in your genes. You exude that characteristic awusa eat-my-cake-and-have-it attitude. Would you still fault my conclusions?

      • Nazerine

        “No tribe is better than the other”. That what it should be but does Buhari know that? Does Buhari apply that principle in words and in deeds?

        • Mub Roche

          What has he done that shows that he doesn’t follow it? He hasn’t fair in his appointments? If so then I’ll tell you that you shouldn’t judge based on these appointments. I fall back to saying these appointments should be based on merit and not tribal views. If a Yoruba man has a history of doing it better then let him do it and the same applies to the Igbo man and every other tribe. Okay let’s even accept for the sake of argument that Buhari is this devil, he is bad okay but do these hate speeches make us any better? We complain about it all but are we any better? Okay Buhari is the devil, please name a better person. Who can redeem us just name anyone then I will know you all are serious

  • PMB doesn’t have agenda to devolve power. He is just consolidating it.

  • Ify Onabu

    Fair enough, but it is wrong to posit that Danjuma created wealth after he left public office. The man simply cornered some oil blocs in the Niger Delta and became a billionaire overnight. Such fellows cannot be described as wealth creators. If, by virtue of the office I occupy, I succeed in grabbing oil blocs in the Niger Delta, that does not make me creative, neither does that qualify me to be classified as a wealth creator. Any dummy who owns an oil bloc can be a billionaire!

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