Buhari’s Populism And The State Of The Nation By Ayo Obaju | News Proof

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Buhari’s Populism And The State Of The Nation By Ayo Obaju

By Ayo Obaju

" Look at our collapsing public utilities; our inefficient and wasteful parastatals and state- owned companies...if you want electricity, you buy your own generator;  if you want water, you sink your own borehole; if you want to travel, you set up your own airline. One day soon, said a friend of mine, you will have to build your own Post Office to send your letters."---Chinua Achebe ( 1983)

Nobody is persuaded to love him neither would anyone be  induced to hate him. But President Muhammadu Buhari has more  friends or admirers than foes. It is the experience of every popular and selfless  leader. He attracts cult-like apostates, because he exudes  the image of an emancipator.

Whatever is your emotions on President Buhari, your innermost,  honest assessment still reminds   you, the populism of this great and charismatic leader is waxing stronger. He has offered himself as a friend to his enemies, arch antagonists and even cretins, who delude in his malicious persecution.

Buhari has remained popular in Nigeria, Africa and the whole  world for incontestable reasons. It is not controvertable that this leader can tolerate anything, except what is potent  to impede or imperil  the progress, development, peace and security of Nigeria. Meet him on this doorstep, you will find Buhari defiantly  uncompromising.

As reflected by  the erudite scholar and author, Chinua Achebe's title of his book, President Buhari knows, "The Trouble With Nigeria," (1983). Mr. President knows insecurity and endemic corruption are Nigeria's infectious, immortal  enemies, which must by crushed with a big hammer, relentlessly and with immediacy.

Achebe and a  few other notable Nigerian patriots  as well as  the generality of the  masses of Nigeria  have encountered and grappled with  these twine evils for decades. When  President Buhari sauntered on the leadership podium in 2015, the fangs of insecurity and corruption had  insanely blighted the serenity, peace and progress of Nigeria, the world's  most  populous black nation.

These were the two basic, but very fundamental and monstrous problems the Nigerian masses identified as constituting everyday  anxieties and nightmares to the people.

Nigerians had seen leaders and  experienced different administrations, but these  problems  have rather accentuated, instead of waning. There were palpable  frustrations, pains, agonies,  and disenchantments in the land before Buhari's ascension to the throne of leadership. The people yearned for a messiah; the masses wanted a leader who could exculpate them.

And God Himself delivered President Buhari to a traumatized and humiliated  nation  and a people for redemption. He has kept his eyes focused on this  trajectory and has delivered shocking impacts.

Mr. President who is conversant with the covenant he made with the masses of Nigeria has neither  deviated nor backslided  in the last four years.

The Buhari Presidency has etched it's name on the pysche of Nigerians and Africa as a populist administration for it's exceptional and commendable exploits in surmounting Nigeria's multifarious insecurity challenges, especially Boko Haram insurgency.

The Buhari Presidency, through a reformed and re-equipped Nigerian military, confronted Boko Haram terrorism like a wounded lion. And with a crack soldier, COAS and resilient  leader of the counter- insurgency operations in Nigeria, like  Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, Boko Haram insurgents have received more than they ever bargained or contemplated in the last four years.

Nigeria under Buhari has been able to stop Boko Haram  bomb explosions in Abuja and any other Northern cities  in the throes of terrorism. He has liberated multiple and all the LGAs under the captivity of Boko Haram.  Religious and community leaders deposed by insurgents have been reinstated and kingdoms  restored.


The  likes of the Shehu of Bama  and his  Dikwa, Masa II counterpart, Ibn Umar El Kanemi, were some victims of insurgency  who deserted their  communities to reside in Maiduguri. They have all returned to their deserted communities; while the rehabilitation and re- construction  process is steadily in progress.

Echoes of excited voices of thousands of Nigerians in gulags of Boko Haram as hostages reverberates everywhere in the Northeast. IDPs camps are becoming forlorn.

Evidently for the first time in five years, the Shehu of Bama Kingdom in  Borno State, Kyari Ibn Umar El-Kanemi, and his people joined the rest of world in celebrating the global Muslim feast of  Eid-el-Kabir  in his domain. It's quite relieving in every consideration.


Nigerians recall with much sadness the 2013 Boko Haram deadly  massacres in  Bama.  Over 300 Nigerians lost their lives in that terrorists onslaught.The community was consistently  the target of Boko Haram terrorists years back, forcing natives and other inhabitants to flee their ancestral  homes. But Bama's gory  tales, like other communities  have been positively rejigged.

Therefore, the Northeast is no longer an enclave where  terrorism once  reigned. Or Nigeria is no more  under the spell of insurgency which  ravaged Abuja, the nation's capital almost on daily basis;  or  Bama where Kings were sent out of their kingdoms;  women chased  away from their  homes and children dislocated and disconnected  from their parents.

Boko Haram can longer lay claims to Gwoza as it's administrative capital of conquered territories in the Northeast. This was where they cruelly tortured and slaughtered Nigerians.

Furthermore, other variants of terrorism which previously ravaged Nigeria in violent insurrections have been tackled by the Buhari Presidency. Nigerians now have respite from insecurity threats such  as militancy in the Niger Delta;  IPOB's armed secession agitations in the Southeast; armed banditry and cattle rustling, farmers/ herders skirmushes; sectarian and ethno-religious upheavals.

No part of Nigeria is currently under the siege of terrorists and insurrectionists; detonating lethal explosives, executing reckless  abductions of Nigerians or where  rampaging killer swords holds sway in  mindless  bloodletting.

But where President Buhari has touched on the sore nerve of national consciousness defiantly is his anti-corruption campaigns. The anti-corruption  battles against looters and economic vultures  as spearheaded by anti-graft agencies such as the EFCC and the ICPC have posted  stunning results.

Nigeria had the unenviable and notorious fame as corruption kingpins in Africa and around the world.  The afflicting monster of corruption was not only endemic, but embarrassingly very pervasive.

As far back as 1983, Achebe succinctly and pitiably lamented the fate of Nigeria on corruption in his book; " The Trouble With Nigeria," when he stated;
"My frank and honest opinion is that anybody who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet become alarming is either a fool , a crook or else, does not live in this country."

But pleasurably, President Buhari has silently changed the negative narrative  which formerly foisted  Nigeria on pariah status in the comity of nations.

Under Buhari's  administration and in just four years,  there is massive recovery of looted Commonwealth in cash and properties as well as convictions of top -flight  politicians and leaders who were hitherto untouchable. It was strange that though looters, these odious  public servants were feted and treated like sacred cows, a disposition which emboldened others to intensify indulgence into corrupt practices.

Today, former state Governors, Ministers, parlimentarians, high profile businessmen, party Chieftains and other fraudsters  are either serving jail terms or are being prosecuted over corrupt enrichment charges.

At least, there is  visible public  apprehension and phobia  in engaging in sleaze and fraud now, as  against the competitive looting and plundering of public resources as obtained in the past.  Nigerians are elated with President Buhari  that sanity is gradually being restored and the country has rebounced on the path of progress on it's match to the Promise  Land under the leadership of Buhari.

Therefore,  the consensus reached by  Nigerians  in 2015 that President Buhari  is the right leader  to turn the tide and  reconfirmed it in 2019  with popular votes is not only rewarding for the reawakening of Nigerians, but has paid off handsomely.

It is the protective shield of Buhari and the reason his administration is on an unstoppable populist radar and insulated from fraudulently ambitious politcal hynas.

Obaju wrote from Ogori-Magogo, Kogi State.

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