Buhari and the devil’s alternatives



IN seizing power from General Gowon (80), the then Military ruler, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed (1938-76) told the nation on July 30, 1975 that “this Government will not tolerate indiscipline.

The Government will not condone abuse of office.” He kept his word. He retired over 10 thousand public servants including top military officers. He set up a committee that reviewed the performances of all public officers.

At the end of the exercise, only two Ministers were found not guilty, Alhaji Shehu Shagari (90) and Shettima Alli Mongunnu (89). At that time Nigeria had 12 states governors.

Only two of the Governors, Brigadiers Oluwole Rotimi and Mobolaji Johnson were cleared of corruption. Quite a number of public servants, Ministers and Governors had their assets seized.

No one was prosecuted for corruption. In taking over power from President Shehu Shagari, the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari (72) told the nation on January 1, 1984 that “the change became necessary in order to put an end to the serious economic predicament and the crisis of confidence now afflicting our nation.”

He said “the situation could have been saved if the legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities. Instead, the legislators were pre-occupied with determining their salary scales, fringe benefits and unnecessary foreign travels, et cetera, which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented”.

To mark his 100 days in office on April 7, 1984, the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari further told the nation that “we took over from the defunct civilian Administration at the Federal and State levels a financial situation of vast indebtedness.

In fact, the depth and seriousness of the financial predicament of the State Governments and, by implication, of the nation has become clearer and clearer, day-by-day.

The Federal Government had to assist State Governments recently with a sum of over N600 million as loan to enable them pay all arrears of wages and salaries before the end of April 1984”.

At that time he was 42 and still vibrant, resounding and resonant. As a military officer with regimental discipline, he turned to decrees to administer the nation.

He also set up the Recovery of Public [Property] Special Military Tribunals Amended Decree 8 of 1984 which he signed into law on April 5, 1984.

In setting up the Decree 8, he created in addition, tribunals in five zones of the country. The Enugu zone made up of Anambra, Imo, Cross River and Rivers states was headed by Air Commodore M. Muhammed. For the Jos zone which comprised Plateau, Bauchi, Gongola, Benue and Borno states. Brigadier Peter Ademokhai was named as the Chairman. F

or the Kaduna zone made up of Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Sokoto states and the Federal Capital Territory, Navy Captain M.A. Elegbede was named as the chairman. For the Ibadan zone made up of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Bendel and Kwara states, Brigadier C.B. Ndiomu was named as the Chairman. As for the Lagos zone made up of Lagos State, Brigadier P.U. Omu was named chairman.

Major General Buhari at that time was young, vibrant and patriotically adventurous. On August 7, 1985, he was toppled at 6.00 a.m. via announcement by the then Commander of the Armoured Corps of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier Joshua Dongoyaro.

On that day Major General Ibrahim Babangida took over as the head of state. Major General Buhari was detained for three years thereafter.

He was first detained in a government house at Alagbaka in Akure, where he became my neighbour before he was eventually transferred to Benin City.

On November 24, 1993, General Babangida signed the forfeiture of assets (release of forfeited assets Decree 24) and returned some of the forfeited properties to former governors under General Gowon including Faruk and his wife, Brigadiers Samuel Ogbemudia, David Bamigboye, Alfred Diete-Spiff and Chief Edwin Clarke who served as Gowon’s Minister of information.

The Decree rubbished the anti-corruption crusade of General Murtala Muhammed. In taking over on May 29, 1999 from General Abdusalami Abubakar, President Olusegun Obasanjo set up three panels to probe the administration of General Abdusalami.

The three panels were headed by Dr. Christopher Kolade, Brigadier (rtd.) Oluwole Rotimi and Alhaji Igudu Inua. No one has so far been prosecuted.

But it was understood that the Kolade’s panel recovered some money to the coffers of the Central Government. Now President Muhammadu Buhari is back in power. Fully experienced and cautious.

At 72, having passed through many ordeals, he is now more scrupulous and punctilious. In the last few weeks, the country has been treated with stories of massive looting by the Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

It appears it is the misfortune of President Muhammadu Buhari to head a corrective regime instead of a regime of continuity. Things have to be so bad that he has to step in to remedy a worse situation.

That is the cross he has to carry. To his credit, and in the words of President Barak Obama, “he is a man of integrity” – a befitting testimonial that is very rare among leaders of today’s world.

With eminent and close friends like Major General Mohammed Magoro (rtd.), Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), Alhaji Mamman Daura, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Lt-General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade (rtd.), Alhaji Gidado Idris ,the only SGF who served two Heads of State, Alhaji Hayatudeen, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Prince Tony Momoh, Alhaji Sule Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ismaila Issa Funtua, his in-law, General T.Y. Danjuma (rtd.), former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie – his classmate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, former SGF, Dr. (Mrs) Mallia Zayyad, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and others around him, I am sure President Muhammadu Buhari will never walk alone. • Teniola, a former director at the presidency, stays in Lagos.

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  • Chibuike

    I just read your piece. In fact, I woke up to read it. Personally, I like Buhari. He is not my uncle and he will never be. He is not from Imo State and he does not need to come from South-East. He is called Okechukwu by some Igbos but he is Buhari, and that is one fact we must allow to sink in.
    He has started well as far as my conscience is concerned. But, Mr Buhari, I think the new crop of players you have now are all from North FC. The league is a big one! We are right in the middle of tough fixtures – boko haram, unemployment, poverty etc. Do not negate those beautiful words you employed on the day of your inaugural speech : “I am for everybody and I am for nobody”. Let it not be an administration that will only be correcting issues but constructing bridges on which democracy in Nigeria can walk with proud sense of rejuvenation.

    • Malik Isah

      thanks bros

  • Uzoh63

    I hate Buhari and his evil govt for marginalizing south East for whatever the intention was for and by the grace of God Almighty it will never be well with this govt.Ndigbo are Jewish people and God assured of eternal love and protection,H has done it before and we are certain Buhari no reach and can’t stop us.Let him make these one sided and skewed appointments but he will not have peace throughout this four years,if he will be there by God’s grace.

    • obiora

      Very immature comment. You are in an aircraft with over 160 million passengers and you are praying for the pilot to crash the aircraft. What do you think your fate will be? You have allowed your hatred and greed to blind you eyes. Do not bring Ndigbo into the matter as if you speak for the igbos. You are speaking for your greed and selfish interests. You are more interested in your father becoming a minister than the nation moving forward. Change your mindset and pray for the nation so you’ll reap the benefits when it comes.

      • Mosun Aig

        The Bible says that we should pray for our Rulers. Not appointing Igbos to this Government may just be the hand of God. It is time for the so called Ndigbo to get their acts together. The SW that voted for Buhari are not any better in these appointments but these Ndigbo are so noisy that it is almost irritating. They need to gather themselves together and have an open mind.

        • PlusOne

          Matthew 18:15-17

          Titus 3:10

          Listen, we can only support Buhari if he’s not accomplishing his Northern Agenda.
          As much as we pray for him to succeed, where you see doing wrong I think we should equally speak!
          What is the ration of those working under his leadership at present
          Housa leads, Youruba second and the rest following, is that equality for you or do you want me to show you what the bible says about equality?

          You’re making it look like only the SW voted for him, please don’t be socially mal-adjusted.

          • Mosun Aig

            PlusOne, my point is that the Igbos should look beyond these appointments and learn to have long term objectives. They need to sit together, confer and speak with one voice consistently. Some are shouting foul, others are visiting and cheering Buhari, it is confusing. Igbos must learn lessons from what has happened to them so that it does not re-occur. Their current tactics will earn them being Drivers, Cooks etc in this dispensation. At that time, they will not have anybody’s sympathy.

            Igbos need to step back to launch forward. The current appointments may appear skewed, however, I wish the Igbos can learn to sit and watch whilst planning for the future. If you spend all your energy shouting, people will at some point take you for granted. After all what will you do? We are almost getting to that in Nigeria. Sometimes, the treatment is as if they are blacks in America or Isreal some countries want to wipe out of the surface of the earth.

            Pause for a minute and ask yourselves – Assuming Buhari ignores all the noise and maintains current distribution in subsequent appointments what will you do as a people. Those are the questions you need to begin to answer as a people.

            Meanwhile, I like civility. Please drop the names.

          • Malik Isah

            there is only one person who is socially maladjusted here and it is you. i wish you will stop disgracing yourself. i hope you know that you will personally reap your negative prayers if you dont repent.

          • Femi dasilva

            A wrong application of Scriptures

        • Malik Isah

          thanks my brother for the understanding and still be patient as you are already doing for just a little while more.. i do not think anyone has lost out. VP is from South West and one of the most important appointments so far, GMD of NNPC is igbo even though they have chosen to say he is delta igbo. it is like saying and Ijebu man from Ogun State is not Yoruba.
          Buhari has just started, while it is good to keep reasonable pressure on to avoid too many missteps, ( i bet we need that) we must understand that we need not be as unreasonable as the funny plusOne here as you have rightly noted. we yeaned for positive change and God helped us. our efforts shall not be in vain. by God’s grace, positive change it shall be! anyone who wants to sow bad prayers for this country shall personally reap the seed s by himself.
          God bless Nigeria.

          • Femi dasilva

            Very candid.

        • Andy_Obi

          You are as foolish as they come. Sort out your problems and stop mentioning the igbos in your statement.

          • Mosun Aig

            Foolish????? I have no problems to sort out – this is just my opinion. The fact that we disagree at this time does not make me foolish. I respect your views but I just disagree with them. Let us practice civility and inclusiveness. It pays.

          • Malik Isah

            you are not foolish at all Mosun, you sound too polished to be foolish. the one who is foolish here is andy obi, people who buy certificates and pretend to be educated. it shows in his communication here.

          • Andy_Obi

            If you were not foolish, you would not bring in ethnicity into this discussion. monkey.

          • Mosun Aig

            I would not dignify you with a response.

          • Malik Isah

            andy obi, calling someone foolish to me is also an igbo problem

          • Andy_Obi

            mumu, “foolish” is an English word.

          • Malik Isah

            the foolish one who used it turned it to an igbo problem

      • Malik Isah

        God bless you

      • Oluwafemi

        God bless you Obiora, we need more of you in this country.

      • Femi dasilva

        Thanks Obiora, you made it clearer for Uzoh63 to comprehend

    • Malik Isah

      you will personally reap what you have sown in Jesus name!

      • PlusOne

        Malik Isah, I thought you’re a Muslim – Confused man.

        • Malik Isah

          you thought? keep thoughting now. it is wise for people to pray for their country. you do not pray for a plane you are in or any other plane for that matter to crash. use your tongue to count your teeth. so me and you who is confused now?

    • Samuel

      But you are the one not having peace and hope you can keep at it for years. Or don’t you think it is too early to start gnashing your teeth when the baptism is yet to start. The sensible thing to do is to stop digging if you are in a whole. If I am in position I will truly call the Ibo’s bluff. Sometimes these people don’t realize that they are landlocked and so can easily be decimated when the come comes to become. What has been the benefit of the Ibo’s being at the centre of governance since 1999?

      • Prince Man

        Let peace rain.the bible says pray with out seasons.let us pray for chenges in our country nig.nig is our home.and igbos hausas and yorubas are thesame brothers.why r we fighting each others.and bibiting each other.stop. Stop.stop.let there be love shares among us.

    • Femi dasilva

      You will need to reword your opinion. It bothers on enmity and not curative nor empirical.

    • Prince Man

      Nig is one.why wont us walk as one.and stop all this racesyms.we shoud remember what happened in egipt.when the people are working together to build a tower to reach where our God is.they really doing it and it moving great every day.if not that God is the suprem.he saw the handwork of working together in accord.he said if i live this people.they will build this tower reach hear.he now put confussuons in them.thats how God destroys their plans.my brothers and sisters ..nothing pass unity and love.let us use the egipt tower to learn the power of unity.

  • anger israel

    all human. religious. ethnic and political sentiments should be put to death if we must be logical in our analysis. if the government of president goodluck was accused of issues like one sided appointments it would be good but it was based on issues of corruption. poverty and insecurity. i am happy that today we have left those major issues and we are talking of appointments. that means there is change in the positive dirrection. we must not forget that you need men with your vission to succeed your mission even if they be foreigners.

    • New Nigerian

      I like your piece. One-sided appointment (that Buhari is accused of) is a no-sin, while corruption, poverty and insecurity (that Jonathan is accused of) is a major sin.

    • DonZenith Obi

      God bless you bro. You will live longer than you think….lol

  • Chiotu Nnamdi

    This article reflects what is happening currently.Mr Presidents constituency is really limited.He need to consult outside these circle too.

  • DonZenith Obi

    God bless you dear for this piece…. You will live to enjoy all the benefits of buhari’s government. I dont care where the water is flowing from, all we need now is good water to drink. I don’t care who was given the bread to serve, hence he’s walking towards me with loaves of bread…. I dont care if all the cabinets are hausas all we want is good governance. A man will use the tools he’s mastered with to produced the best. Last time, he tried to please every tribe in his appointments but he was sabotaged. Now i think he doing the perfect thing. So buhari is on point…….

    • Femi dasilva

      I agree with you. But he needs to keep an eye on the present scandals in the SSS whereby officers who had been sacked based on criminality are now being reabsurbed, while those with clean slates are being sacked: This will truncate the nation’s democracy