Buhari, 73, Beams As Nigeria’s Knight In Shining Armour, By Alaba Yusuf
“Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari, is showing the positive path to African countries in terms of good governance, hence I visited his country in solidarity with his principled leadership” – Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General (2015).
It is commonsensical to believe that the world’s largest black population, Nigeria, is both naturally endowed and abundantly blessed in human capital resources – but lacking and lagging behind in patriotic and competent leadership.
Ideally, leadership is the hub that holds the spokes of state to perform their roles for the enrichment of the commonwealth, and engender the greater good for the generality of the citizenry. Suffice then to say that Nigeria, in the immediate past, was like a headless chicken or a rudderless ship. A huge body without a soul; brawn without brain – all pain without a gain! What a cumulus cloud of reputation deficit hanging on a hitherto destined great nation?
But a political silver-lining of pleasant surprise suddenly sliced through the thick blanket of past frustration; paving way for the change mantra of 2015 presidential election, which brought on the saddle of governance a symbol of integrity, modesty and transparency – President Muhammadu Buhari, a strict military disciplinarian and former Head of State, now a self-confessed “converted democrat.”
And since the arrival of PMB on 29 May 2015, like a bolt from the blues, Nigeria and Nigerians are now alert and jolted. For it’s no more business as usual. And corruption, the main bane of our society, is right now on the slaughter’s slab for butchering. Unlike before, there are no sacred cows. Overlords of yesterday and looters of the commonwealth now sit in the dock to prove their innocence, legally.
By the way, let’s recall that the train that brought the new Czar to town never had a smooth ride. The checklist of odds and obstacles are varied and myriad. Imagine the vitriolic sponsored media campaign of calumny and annihilation against the Buhari candidacy by the unpopular but resistant Jonathanians and PDP hatchet men -peaking in Femi Fani Kayode, Col. Sambo Dasuki and Godswill Orubebe’s weird show of shame and public nuisance. All thanks to the beleaguered but sagacious electoral umpire, INEC boss, Prof Attahiru Jega, whose gentility and humility delivered the day.
For those of us who had the rare privilege of working for GMB, and on the side of the people without money and federal might, it was sweet victory worn from energy sapping trenches. The All Progressives Congress Presidential Media and Publicity Committee headed by the indefatigable and versatile media manager, Mallam Garba Shehu, actually uprooted the gargantuan PDP mahogany sustained with diverted public funds. It was a yeoman’s job of a kind. And a casestudy for political scientists, public affairs analysts and contemporary historians.
In short, President Buhari has never minced words as per his utmost commitment to sanitizing Nigeria’s Augean stable. He keeps urging Nigerians to join hands to “kill corruption before corruption kills Nigeria.”
In fact, as a global publicist and public relations buff, I wasn’t too enthused when the President (then a contestant) kept talking with scientific exactitude such as ” I will not have a corrupt person in my cabinet.” I used to reason aloud, how will that happen in a country so corrupt that children ask their parents for “egunje or shuwa shuwa” to run routine errands!
Truly, the vulture culture of Nigerians had reached an alarming proportion locally and globally. So much that musicians sing mostly about cheap money and clerics preach prosperity without work equivalent. Some even claim they have worked in heaven are here on earth to pick the pay. In the same vein, you often hear people having as praying points “little work, huge wage.” It was amidst this oddity, that I once penned a piece titled: Buharism as a culture to nurture for the future. For he’s a Lone Ranger in a mumbo jumbo jungle.
However, like the philosopher kings of yore, Buhari’s tenacity of altruistic purpose, clear vision and focussed mission fused with capacity, competence and undoubtable character, is beginning to return Nigeria to the path of honour and sanity. The effect of his unrelenting efforts and well-thought out policies have turned the hunters and looters of yesterday into hunted boot-leggers. Accordingly, the days of the jackals are numbered – Dasukigate, Diesanigate, Orubebegate and so on! Order is now back on track.
Meanwhile, watching PMB’s frank state of the nation maiden media chat 30 December 2015, I cannot but agree that at last my country now has her best export far bigger than crude oil – a leader the world can belief and one that his followers can trust. His take on “the good, the bad and the ugly” that made up Nigeria’s socio- economic and political spectrum – from hope on employment to dwindling revenue and insecurity, cannot but glue his lovers and haters alike to their seats in utter awe.
Buhari is an oasis amidst the vast sand dunes of 170 million souls. Very much like the Great Nelson Mandela of South Africa or Mathamas Gandhi of India, PMB is on course as Nigeria’s father figure for positive and enduring national heritage for self-sustenance and global comparative advantage.
Not only has he repositioned and rebranded the country on the world map, but his regal presence amongst the A League of global leaders, tantamount to the most intangible reward of his presidency. It is an aura that is radiating across all facets of the Nigerian fabric – be it in sports, politics, economy or general behavior of the people.
Buhari, without an iota of doubt, beams across global horizon as Nigeria’s knight in shining armour – even at the graceful age of seventy three. He has proven that he is here for “everybody and for nobody”. May his legacy outlive him and confound his critics – once the Nigeria Project starts to work again as a dream well steamed by patriotic and selfless team.
Long live President Muhammadu Buhari, my Man of the Year 2015. And a wish of a prosperous New Year to all Nigerians home and abroad.