Buhari gives thought to his place in history

Buhari gives thought to his place in history

Buhari gives thought to his place in history

Like all great leaders, Buhari has given thought to his place in history. And the verdict he wants for himself is unmistakable. He says, when he is done, he hopes he would be remembered as the fellow who gave his best to make the country he met a better place. That is typical Buhari in action: modest, self-effacing, honest. I bet, history will be kinder.


In the face of the unrelenting Buhari-bashing currently trending, that is a very bold call. But when we discountenance all that emotions and mind sets, and look properly with an eye for the future, the objective observer would realize that the present government has achieved a lot; not just for the present, but even more for the future.

The first, is the respect for the independence of the separate arms of government. Democracy advocates partnership in progress. It was this principle of non-interference that threw up the leadership of the last National Assembly which was unfortunately used to serve other ends to the detriment of the polity.

Buhari stuck with his principles and that finally paid off with the current leadership. The executive and the legislature are not competitors for power in a properly functional democracy, but partners in progress; and that is what we are seeing perhaps, for the first time, in the history of our democracy. The outcome of this healthy collaboration is supposed to benefit the ordinary people who elected them in the first place.

Another very unprecedented development is the removal of ‘abandoned projects’ from our political lexicon. This was no accident, but a deliberate policy of the Buhari government. That apologists of the previous administrations could suggest rather mischievously, that the present government had not executed any projects in its first term, is evidence of how that policy has gone. Simply put, ‘Abandoned Projects’ was a recipe for massive corruption in our system.

So, Buhari finished the Abuja-Kaduna railway project which he inherited at almost 70 per cent completion level and acknowledged it. Partial work had been done on the Lagos to Ibadan and Benin to Sagamu road at the inception of this government, but over 95 per cent of the work has been done now. The artery to the only major port at Apapa has been completed through a PPP. New ports, including a first deep sea port, have sprung up and others are being developed throughout the country.

The Second Niger Bridge, the Mambilla power project, the Ikom to Bodo road project, Lagos to Kano and Lagos to Calabar rail lines are legacy projects that would change the complexion of the economy forever and for the better when completed. What is more, many of these projects have been on the drawing board for upwards of 30 to 40 years before now. Even Ajaokuta steel project is receiving a new lease of life. The Nigerian Content House that sprang up in Yenogoa and the Microsoft Offices in Lagos are just two of the recent strong statements of intent for the future of this country.

In agriculture, the simple but enduring things are being done. Rice which we had forgotten how to cultivate is being produced again. So are maize and groundnut pyramids returning. Growing up in this country, we never thought the day would come when local farmers would harvest wheat. We are almost there now. Imagine with the war in Ukraine, how much worse we would get without some of these initiatives in agriculture.

On the foreign front, never before have Nigerians attained this level of prominence. A Nigerian is the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, the Director General of the WTO, President of the AfDB. Another was recently seconded to the WHO as deputy chief, and the list goes on. One cannot easily forget the elation he felt as a Nigerian during the presidency of Professor Bande at the UN, when President Buhari took his turn to address the world body and was surrounded by fellow countrymen at its commanding heights. For a president who has been maligned as knowing next to nothing about diplomacy and economic management, these achievements are probably unprecedented.

Buhari is a silent worker, a man of very few words, who would rather his actions speak for him. He was right when he called on our Benue brothers to find accommodation for the genuine Fulani herders amongst them. As vindication, about 119 ranches and farm settlements are going to spring up in the country over the next 20 to 30 years with a lot of potential for integrated modern animal and crop farming.

As we have previously counseled, we must continue to find creative ways to separate the grain from the chaff. He was right when he referred to the IPOB (not all Ibos) as a dot in the circle. Such self-confessed outlaws cannot be allowed to take hostages and abridge freedoms of others freely in a sovereign country the way they have done, no matter how genuine their grievances may be. He was right too, when he said, some (again, not all) of our youths are lazy, and I might add, some of our elders, are wayward!

One is not unmindful of the counter narratives out there. If you care to listen, you would hear that the country has never been so divided, never been so challenged on all fronts, and as a result is on the brink of collapse. But pray, for long has this country been tottering, and on the brink? If we must be honest, this is a familiar rhetoric, especially when elections are around the corner.

Not meaning to be disrespectful, it is indeed a familiar elite pastime who always position to reap the gains of the whirlwind they sow at such inauspicious times. Otherwise eminent lawyer Afe Babalola would not have been making his interim government call now. Not when Ernest Shonekan has gone to find rest with his maker! The Apo cleric would not have been targeting the president for not visiting Kaduna, when Governor el-Rufai and Vice President Osinbajo reported promptly for duty. Do they care how democracy works?

That is why whether it is former President Obasanjo, writing his infamous letters and calling for state police, or the respected Bishop Kukah delivery his homilies as political manifestoes or even TY Danjuma throwing shades in some times past, President Buhari takes them all calmly in his stride, and all always welcome to the dinner table, knowing that tomorrow is the best judge of man and his intentions.

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