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Friday, 6 December 2013


-Like him or not, one thing you cannot deny him is his gentle mien, magnetic personality and infectious charisma that conceal his status as a retired military General and one of the most influential people on the planet.

His modest life style and simplicity disarm even his most ardent enemies once in his presence. Once a name but now an ideology enveloping the most populous African nation. Never in the history of Nigeria was there a man so loved and trusted. He make kings from mere peasants with just a flick of a finger where many failed to act their dreams despite stupendous means. No doubt, he is power personified.

Talk about him or listen to him talk, chances are, you will not do justice to this human phenomenon. There are just ain't enough words to describe his humility, selflessness, simplicity, patriotism and unmatched sense of national duty. No eulogy could describe him. Words always leave half the job undone. Listening to him talk, many people get lost searching for the source of his magnetic aura to the detriment of the message.

This is GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI. From a humble beginning Buhari achieved greatness in his prime. His citation reads like a Nigeria's who's who and always a delight to listen to. Former governor of the N'East Region, the most successful Petroleum Minister, one of the best military leaders to rule Nigeria and the most successful supervisor of any intervention fund in "Africa.

Buhari means different things to different people. To the strong and powerful afflicted with the "have it all" syndrome, Buhari is a cure. To the weak and helpless suffering the brunt of an uncaring system, he is a new glimmer hope. He create confidence where hopelessness is a policy.

He is as rigid in principles as he is lanky in posture, as strong in character as he is soft in expression. Perhaps, that may explain why he remain the only survivor of the brutal media attack of the Lagos/Ibadan press axis in modern day Nigeria. The harder they hit, the stronger he became. They claimed he is an ethnic chauvinist while the composition of the highest decision making body under his regime proved his nationalistic credentials.

Accused of religious bigotry and ethnic chauvinism, cleared by Bishop Matthew Kukah and Rev. Onaiyekan, two of the most honest and respected christians in Nigeria, both regular faces in the Vatican. He is "corrupt" yet, not a single cent could be trace to any account in Nigeria or Switzerland in his name nor is there any sign of "life outside means" in his affairs. Perhaps, his modest means may explain why he is the only Nigerian of his caliber living in a "home" not a high walled, security fenced maximum prisons referred to as mansions. Half as corrupt as he is alleged to be by his enemies, Buhari could have been a first generation Nigerian dollar billionaire. Smart as he is honest, Buhari have the uncanny ability of hitting back where it hit the most.

In one of his numerous defenses against torrents of attacks on his honour Buhari scared off the faceless attackers by telling the world: "They should continue to tell lies about me just as I will continue to tell the truths about them." Of course, they backed off. The truth about them from "Buhari" is as lethal as the lies from them about him were harmless. Perhaps, this may explain why Nigeria catches cold whenever he sneezes. He is the only living Nigerian capable of pulling willing and "unpaid" crowd in any Nigerian city.

Former President Obasanjo once had an unpalatable verbal encounter with Buhari that left him morally wounded. The event was the Council of State meeting during the first tenure of Gen. Obasanjo at the peak of a global panic about the outbreak of SARS corona virus epidemic which coincided with Obasanjo's junketting around the world in search of non existent investors - an adventure believed by many to be wasteful and pleasure seeking. When Obasanjo breezed in and was exchanging pleasantries with other guests in his usual abrasive manner, he noticed Buhari coughed. Trust Obasanjo to make best use of any opportunity to belittle people, particularly those he consider potentially dangerous to his alpha male role. He went for the kill! "Ahh! Buari, hope you have not catch SARS?" Buhari gently replied "No, Sir. I hadn't been globe trotting."Of course, nobody laughed at the sarcastic reference to "globe trotting" - an obvious Obasanjo trademark - for fear of brutal presidential reprisal. But effectively Obasanjo scampered to the safety of his presidential seat with his tail tucked between his legs. But, Nigeria was agog for weeks with tales of the verbal war between the two Generals. For long many were saved Obasanjo's frequent "oral treatment" that came in deadly verbal assaults which he deploys to psychologically break his opponents.

That was Buhari for you. Always there for the helpless even among the powerful. Buhari is human, very human. Any idea of Buhari's infallibility or finality is wrong and mostly mischievous propositions by envious and desperate opponents. "THE BEST" always ascribed to Buhari Should be considered in the context of Nigerian leadership and elite circle. So far, he remain the only former Nigerian leader with a valid certificate of honesty untainted by corruption.

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