President Buhari only talks against corruption.
Muhammadu Buhari ran for office of the president of Nigeria in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
He failed woefully on the three occasions because he did not have the attributes that Nigerians were looking for in a president. Many, including me, felt he was sectional.
His stint as military head-of-state between 1984 and 1985 was eloquent of this. Among other misdeeds, Buhari preferred a Fulani from Niger to an Igbo from Nigeria as Secretary-General of the OAU.
He locked in jail, vice president late Alex Ekwueme, an Igbo; but only put under house arrest, president late Shehu Shagari, a Fulani.
He told Lam Adesina of Oyo state that the Fulani herdsmen of the north are his people, as opposed to the Yoruba farmers of the south.
He proclaimed a determination to install sharia law all over the federation. As a result in 2011, out of a total of 30 million votes cast, Buhari could only muster 391,922 votes from all the states of the entire southern Nigeria. However in 2015, Buhari ran again for president and succeeded.
He succeeded for one singular reason: he ran on an anti-corruption platform. By 2015, Nigerians were fed up with the rampant corruption that that took place under the PDP. While then President Goodluck Jonathan was not believed to be corrupt, the perception was that he tolerated corruption.
Indeed, it was believed that corruption went to an unacceptable level under his stewardship. Enter, therefore, an image-laundered and refurbished Muhammadu.Buhari, smelling of roses. Buhari was presented to Nigerians as our home-grown “Mr. Integrity.”
He mesmerized a gullible electorate (of which I am among) seeking a corruption-free presidential Messiah with highfaluting anti-corruption rhetoric: “We cannot build an economy where corruption is the working capital.”
“I will kill corruption before it kills Nigeria.”
Furthermore, many Nigerians who had previously opposed to him in his earlier efforts swung to his support. These included Nigeria’s Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, who had earlier warned that: “In Buhari, we have been offered no evidence of the sheerest prospect of change.”
It also included men like Nasir El-Rufia, who observed earlier that Buhari remains “perpetually unelectable” as a result of his “insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus.”
Even his former political nemesis, Olusegun Obasanjo, became his supporter. However, barely four years later in power, we now know that President Buhari has no real agenda for Nigeria despite claims to be fighting corruption.
President Buhari only talks against corruption. His body language and policy options show conclusively that he is not really against corruption, as this is only a means to an end.
The end is not to rid Nigeria of corruption but to get into power and stay in power at all costs.
If President Buhari was truly against corruption, he would not have served under Sani Abacha, one of the most corrupt Heads-of-state ever in the history of Nigeria.
In 1994, Abacha appointed Buhari
as chairman of the petroleum trust fund. Between 1994 and 1999, the PTF had a colossal budget of N181 billion.
In 1999, President Obasanjo set up an interim Management Committee (IMC) headed by Haroun Adamu to investigate the activities of the PTF.
While today, the EFCC is haranguing Ayodele Fayose over N6.9 billion; in 1999, the Adamu led committee discovered that a whopping N25 billion disappeared from the PTF coffers under Buhari’s stewardship.
The Adamu committee valued the PTF residential estate under
Buhari at N328 million. However, the contract was inflated by N374 million to N703 million.
The finances of the estate were so fishy, the Obasanjo government decided to confiscate the entire project. The same
sharp practices were discovered with regard to the extension of the PTF headquarters under Buhari’s
In the rural water supply scheme, the committee was able to recover an estimated N1 billion paid illegally by Buhari’s PTF to contractors as a result of overpricing.
In the national health and
educational institutions rehabilitation programme, over N600 million was recovered from contractors due to non-performance and overpricing. In the National Educational Material procurement programme, N900 million was recovered.
The rural telecommunication programme was also riddled with fraud. Buhari’s PTF paid N1.6 billion as mobilization for the programme without any contract being
In the administration account, N664 million was recovered. In the project account, N2.4 billion in discrepancies was recovered. In the treasury account, N510 million was recovered.
Group Captain Usman Jibrin, a board member of the PTF, resigned from the organization in protest over the blatant irregularities in Buhari’s appointment of the Afri-Project Consortium (APC) led by Salihijo Ahmad as consultants for the organization.
As a matter of fact, a principal actor in the PTF consultancy scam committed suicide immediately the probe into the organization’s affairs was instituted for fear of being exposed.
Therefore we can see that President Buhari’s anti-corruption fervor is merely self-serving.
He regards only his political opponents as having the copyright on corruption. By this token, every allegations leveled against his friends or financiers must be ‘baseless’.
Over the last four years, President Buhari has prosecuted a war of corruption against perceived political opponents. For Buhari, all PDP members are guilty of corruption until proven innocent.
The president does not even wait for the verdict of the courts. The accused are tried and convicted in the media by the president and his cohorts, as long as they don’t belong to the APC.
Lastly, under this anti-corruption president, $43 million discovered in an apartment at Osborne towers, Ikoyi, Lagos has been buried. Nothing more has been heard about the awards of $25 billion worth of contracts without due process by Dr.
Maikanti Baru, the GMD of the NNPC as alleged by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. The president has kept mum over the indictment of the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and the report of the investigative panel on him set up by the
Nothing more has been heard of the probe panel on the N500 million bribe allegedly paid by MTN to Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president, designed to influence the government to discontinue its heavy stance on the $5 billion fine imposed on the company.
Then there is the Abdulrashid Maina scandal, whereby a man who turned fugitive when alleged to have misappropriated N2 billion of the pension fund and was on the EFCC wanted list, found his way back into the country and into the federal civil service with promotion, and how can we forget Barbachir Lawal, secretary to the government, who was implicated in the grass-cutting scandal but has not appeared before any court and is even on the campaign team of President Buhari, Gov. Ganduje who was caught on camera receiving a bribe, but President Buhari doesn’t “know the technology used” in implicating him.
The list is endless. Under this administration, the corruption scandals are unrelenting. How can Buhari expect Nigerians to believe he is sincere in fighting corruption under these hypocritical circumstances?
As Elections draw near, VOTE, VOTE WISELY AND PROTECT YOUR VOTES!!!
Emmanuel Eke is a very passionate youth that contributes to the Kulture Magazine as a freelance writer with the Kulture Magazine