Buhari: A Man of the People, By Chukwudi Enekwechi
In the history of world politics, there are few individuals who have commanded what some writers refer to as a “cult followership” among the peoples of their various countries. In India, we had the famous Ghandi family, mainly Mahtma Ghandi and Indira Ghandi. In America we can mention J.F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and others, and in South Africa we had Mandela, and so with other countries.
These are a few examples of personages who have made tremendous impacts on their nations. Back home in Nigeria, we can boast of Ahmadu Bello of the former Northern Region and Mallam Aminu Kano; Obafemi Awolowo of the old Western region; Nnamdi Azikiwe and Emeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu of the former Eastern Region.
Lately, General Muhammadu Buhari has emerged as not only a crowd puller, but a leader who has turned into a rallying point for all Nigerians. In today’s Nigeria, there is no person on the political horizon that stimulates the interest of the talakawa and ordinary Nigerians in politics like Buhari. Indeed, he has metamorphosed into a phenomenon that political scientists ought to research into.
Perhaps, it is easy to attribute his phenomenal rise in Nigeria’s political environment to his avowed integrity and straight forwardness. His ability to attract innumerable followers anytime he steps onto the political podium has become a legendary tale. Thankfully, he has never betrayed the unyielding trust, unalloyed loyalty and the unflinching belief of the people in him.
It will take a great deal of research to ascertain the reasons for the unflinching love of the people for Buhari. Yet, it is easy to pinpoint the fact that his consistency and commitment to the cause of the common people over the years has endeared him to the generality of Nigerians. Again, it can be said that his disposition to eschewing corruption from our national life has set him apart from the rest.
A former Head of State, former Governor of the North Eastern region, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, among other important positions he has occupied, yet he can hardly boast of any pecuniary benefits as usually associated with serving in such lucrative offices. Today, on account of his selflessness, Nigerians have chosen Buhari to straighten the affairs of Nigeria. From East to West, North to South, Buhari continues to enjoy tremendous goodwill and support of all and sundry.
As he has assumed the mantle of leadership, there are high expectations pertaining to the numerous problems afflicting the country. To these, many will attest that Buhari will give a good account of himself. His concern about the rot which the country has witnessed over the last sixteen years will form the bedrock on which he will redirect our affairs as a people. It is expected that issues bothering on infrastructural development, peaceful coexistence, war against Boko Haram, regional integration will ultimately position him as Nigeria’s leader of the 21st century.
As it is well known, the Buhari administration will leverage on the goodwill of the Nigerian people to implement most of his programmes. What this entails is that the understanding and support of Nigerians will go a long way in enabling the government to take tough decisions necessary to move the country forward.
Buhari has never failed to use any available opportunity to lament the decay which PDP’s sixteen years in power has inflicted on the nation, and with the policies already outlined in the APC manifesto, there is no doubt that the Buhari administration will make the difference where others have derailed.
It is gratifying that he has promised to be fair to all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or religion. This non-discriminatory approach to governance will unfailingly distinguish him as not only a statesman but a world figure to reckon with. Going back into history, Nigeria has witnessed a turbulent history bothering on the lack of love for one another, religious and tribal differences, but with the emergence of Buhari the much expected national healing and reconciliation will come to fruition.
In this connection, his vast experience about Nigeria’s politics will play a pivotal role in ensuring that all Nigerians feel a sense of belonging, and this will in the end release the inert energies of our various peoples.
To help alleviate the myriad problems afflicting Nigerians, there is the need to tackle problems associated with poverty, unemployment, fuel scarcity, inadequate or poor housing, power outages, infrastructural decay, indiscipline at work places, an inefficient civil service and corruption generally. Gladly, the President has resolved to tackle these problems headlong, and Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief.
Mr. Enekwechi, a journalist, writes from Abuja