Buhari’s Milk Of Human Kindness To “Baby Stephen” By Chukwudi Enekwechi
At his recent sympathy visit to the victims of the Kuje and Nyanya bomb blasts at the Trauma Centre of the National Hospital Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari had compassion on a little girl whose medical bill of about N270,000 was beyond the capacity of her parents. On sighting Mr. President, her mother, Deborah Stephen cried to him over the medical bill hanging on her neck and Mr. President’s compassion on her and immediately directed his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari to settle the bill.
The president also wished the little girl a speedy recovery and his sympathy. It should be recalled that the girl was a victim of an armed robbery attack along with others and was rushed to the Trauma Centre at the National Hospital for medical treatment. Needless to say that the main reason why he visited the National Hospital – to sympathize with the victims of Boko Haram attack – received his full attention, as the federal government undertook to pay all the bills accruing from their treatment.
The point at issue is that President Buhari, a former army general despite his high office was humane and humble enough to attend to the plight of a woman in need. Definitely, this is a trait commonly associated with great leaders and statesmen.
Again, it is with such milk of human kindness that President Buhari is steering the ship of the state. Similar to his kind heartedness is the sense of humour typical of President Buhari. It has been said in certain quarters that his sense of humour is legendary. All of these do not in any way detract from his other virtues of integrity, commitment to the rule of law, angst against corruption and indiscipline.
It has even been alluded that Buhari shares the same values with personages like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, late Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, Mallam Aminu Kano, Mahatma Ghandi and other notable national and world leaders who have made significant impact in the lives of their people and humanity at large.
There is no doubt that personal traits of leaders play a major role in the affairs of every nation and in Nigeria we have seen over the years that the personal dispositions of some people, mostly leaders referred to as “body language” contribute to the progress or lack of it in the country.
Take for example Buhari’s “war against indiscipline” as a military leader. It is agreed even among his critics that his campaign for a disciplined society where values reign rather than rule of the jungle reawakened Nigerians’ consciousness to the noble ideals necessary for nation-building. Unfortunately, the foundation he laid towards the renaissance of a new nation was abandoned by successive administrations.
With his return to office on May 29th this year through a democratic process, President Muhammadu Buhari has once more made a clarion call on the populace to eschew indiscipline in all spheres of our national life.
Pointedly in his October 1st independence anniversary broadcast, he had enjoined Nigerians to be disciplined in their conduct at marketplaces, schools, hospitals, offices and motor parks. Obviously, this patriotic call is intended to rejuvenate national ethos and norms that will reposition Nigeria towards the realization of her manifest destiny.
President Buhari’s exemplary leadership qualities have endeared him to that generality of the people in Nigeria and beyond. With his avowed commitment to bring about sustainable and positive change, there is no iota of doubt that Nigeria will once again witness prosperity and cohesion as far as interpersonal and inter group relationships are concerned.
President Buhari’s humanitarian gesture to “Baby Stephen” and his mother goes a long way to demonstrate that he has milk of human kindness, and as a leader cares for the citizens. This act is commendable as citizens are supposed to connect with their leaders both personally, mentally and spiritually.
Unfortunately, this human angle aspect of our humanity has been missing in the past, and the implication was that our leaders could not feel the pulse of the people directly. In most cases the populace they were elected to cater for were alienated from them as the leaders were misled by a few people in and around the corridors of power for their own self-aggrandizement and pecuniary benefits.
Chukwudi Enekwechi, Journalist and Politician, writes from Abuja