Buhari Support Group Condemns Shehu Sani’s Faux Pas On General Muhammadu Buhari
The Buhari Support Group strongly condemns the statement attributed to the President, Civil Rights Congress, Malam Shehu Sani, where he alleged that General Muhammadu Buhari is among the former Presidents and Leaders of Northern Nigeria extraction to be blamed for 70 percent of the problems bedevilling the region. It is disheartening, uncharitable and false for Malam Shehu Sani to mention General Buhari alongside General Yakubu Gowon; Alhaji Shehu Shagari; General Ibrahim Babangida; General Sani Abacha and General Abdulsalami Abubukar.
It is important to put the records straight for the benefit of Nigerians who were not born at the period in the history of Nigeria when General Buhari was the Head of State, in order to debunk the assertion of Malam Shehu Sani.
General Buhari was appointed the Military Governor of the defunct North Eastern State (now Adamawa, Bauchi, Bornu, Gombe and Taraba States) August, 1975, to March, 1976, and he performed creditably well. General Buhari therefore had contributed substantial to the development of the North Eastern Region of Nigeria.
As Minister of Petroleum Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from March, 1976 to June, 1978, General Buhari laid more than 8,000 kilometres of crude oil pipelines from the Niger Delta to the North. Also General Buhari built three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.
General Buhari was appointed the Head of State on the 31st December, 1983, and his government ended on the 27th August, 1985, when it was toppled in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida.
It follows that General Buhari was in power at the federal level for barely 20 months (approximately 1 year and 8 months) as Head of State!
However within the short period General Buhari proved his mettle as a courageous and disciplined Nationalist Leader. It is on record that within the short period he was Head of State, General Buhari kept the economy of the country afloat through sheer economic ingenuity and sagacity that is un-parallel in the history of Nigeria. General Buhari’s regime bluntly refused to introduce the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) recommended by the International Economic Fund to revamp the ailing national economy.
However the regime of General Babangida in order to impress Western powers introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986 that laid the foundation for the economic collapse of Nigeria till date. The Structural Adjustment Programme impacted adversely on the economy of Northern Nigeria whose backbone was on commodity trading on agricultural products and the textile industry.
General Buhari beefed the value of the Naira that led to the reduction in inflation and curbed imports of needless goods, curtailing of oil theft and using counter trade policies to barter seized illegally bunkered crude oil for needful goods like machineries and enabling the country to export crude oil above its Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
General Buhari was Chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund from 1995 to 1998 and within this period General Buhari impacted tremendously on the social and economic development of all parts of the country in terms of building and equipping of Hospitals, Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions across the country’s schools. The Petroleum Trust Fund rehabilitated thousands of kilometres of roads across the country.
So it is grossly misleading and unfortunate for Malam Sani to catalogue General Buhari among leaders of Northern extraction that had the opportunity of being in office between four to 9 years.
Despite the fact that General Buhari was in office for a relatively short period he succeeded through great fiscal discipline, transparent running of the affairs of the economy to resuscitate the country that was tottering on the brink of bankruptcy when he took over on the 31st December, 1983.
When General Buhari took over the affairs of the country, most of the States owed Civil Servants salaries for almost one year (in arrears). General Buhari’s Federal Military Government came to the rescue of these States by clearing the back logs. General Buhari also had to pay foreign debts because international creditors had declared the country not credit worthy.
Sir Abubukar Tafawa Balewa was the Prime Minister of Nigeria from 1st October, 1960, to 15th January, 1966 (a period of five years four months).
General Yakubu Gowon became Head of State of Nigeria from the 3rd August, 1966, to the 29th July, 1975 (a period of years of 8 Eight years and 11 months).
The former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, became the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the 1st October, 1979, to the 31st December, 1983 (a period of 4 years, 3 months).
General Ibrahim Babangida became Head of State (later President) from the 27th August, 1985, to 29th August, 1993 (a period of 8 years and 3 days)!
It goes without saying that it is incongruous and bizarre for Malam Sani to attribute the problems of the North to General Buhari. General Buhari is therefore not guilty of the charge levelled against him by Malam Sani.
On the contrary the charge levelled against General Buhari has established beyond a shadow of doubt that the mischievous and false allegation that General Buhari is a sectional leader, is very much unfounded.
In the South, some people hold the opinion (wrongly) that General Buhari had not been fair to the South when he was Head of State and Chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund; and here is Malam Sani accusing General Buhari to be among those that contributed to the under development of the North! This then means only a National Leader like General Buhari would remain impartial to both the North and South of Nigeria (to be sarcastic)!
We therefore urge Nigerians to discount the antics of detractors such as Malam Sani and see General Buhari as a Nationalist Leader, he truly is, who sees and treats every Nigerian regardless of his faith and ethnicity, equally.
Indeed General Buhari manifested this trait while he Head of State; Minister of Petroleum Resources, General Officer Commanding 3 Divisions of the Nigerian Army and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund.
The above records stated above, removes General Buhari from the league of Northern Leaders referred to by Malam Shehu Sani.
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