NOTHING is working for Buhari more than his precambrian integrity and his celestial disdain for corruptively acquired or amassed wealth.
He is most often mistaken for a dare-devil, hard hearted dictator in some spheres, while in others, he is seen as a laggardly fellow and not so quick enough for certain desired actions and responses to issues of national importance. These are telling wrong-perceptions and body languages that have been poorly handled by Buhari’s media men, and then of course prejudicially anchored and propagated by antagonists of Mr. President; revealing different views and opinions on Buhari.
Nothing has come under more undue and immense scrutiny, than the ‘Mr. Integrity’ assertion of Buhari’s character which really is a compound narration of what Buhari and a few and rare like minds as him stand for. It is summarily a testimony of the life and times of Muhammadu Buhari, through the decades of Nigeria’s unfolding history, which has been plagued with leaderships and systems of governance that have been badly driven by uncultured drivers; and a few times by the lack of continuity in governmental policies and projects. In recent history, Goodluck Jonathan’s government embarked on noble projects, or built upon previous ones too; which weren’t completed; but this trend predates the Goodluck period and has repeatedly played out for as far back as the 2nd Republic era of Shehu Shagari or even before.
Nothing was done to review government contracts and developmental partnerships that had been abandoned, with a view to completing or moving them to the next project phase. An attempt was made by Obasanjo at some point, with a committee which must have definitely died the natural committee death, as usual with such government endeavours.
Mr. Integrity set up an abandoned projects committee that has quietly indexed such projects and outlined budgets and completion periods that have silently and profoundly, impacted on the projects which has periodically been occasioned by bouts of banter between ‘hailing hailers’ (Buhari die hards) and ‘wailing wailers’ (formidable anti-buhari). These include a functional and expanding railway system which was comatose, the light rail project, the airport complexes across the country, the Nigeria Air which is a modern Nigeria Airways project scheduled to take-off soon, modular refineries to be commissioned in December, the ongoing works on the 2nd Niger bridge as well as the mambila hydro power project etc. Only a Nigeria first and Buhari second, philosophy will herald the delivery of the listed projects.
Mr. Integrity took a walk during Sallah; a practice many people indulge in as Muslims going to or from the mosque, yet somehow it was extrapolated to mean a test or show of fitness which was badly projected and received. Buhari had to step in with the most casual and honest description of how it came about and what went down.
He simply wanted the people who were used to seeing him during Sallah in Daura to have a glimpse of him; which the presidential motorcade precludes them from. back in June/ July this year, when Mr. President visited Azare in Bauchi State, he had a similar walk down the Emir’s drive in the midst of a crowd of well-wishers that had thronged the palace to receive him; even though it was a commiserative visit for the loss of lives and property to a sandstorm and a subsequent market fire. Why wasn’t that walk a show of fitness?
Right there is the prejudicial machinery at work, giving false interpretations with the media handlers of Mr. President falling for the booby trap, gesticulating hard to explain that Baba was certainly fit for 2023. If Baba wasnt fit, he woukd have declined to contest, just as he was candid enough to ask his supporters not to campaign for him just yet as campaigns were yet to commence.
Before long, we have yet another round of publicity missteps which beamed Buhari as an immaterialistic person by way of showing him sitting at his garden in his Daura home, on a chair that was so torn up that one cannot say that it actually stood the test of time.
Buhari would honestly have had that chair as his favorite and must have used it for years. Baba’s home had dodged the characteristic opulent renovation of his home and its furnishings which was usual with past leaders in this country. Baba will only use his hard earnings to touch his home or come anywhere near it.
The handlers must wake up to the gift of having a simpleton-principal that needs no manouvres or PR gimmicks to save him or explain his way out of any complex situation.
It is shocking ofcourse to some, that Buhari is a very patient, disciplined and meticulous human being that is never derailed from the glorious path of consistency and altruism.
What Buhari needs is a ‘say as it is’ media roll, as opposed to a dressing of optics which should take the back seat, especially at this crucial time of politicking.
Buhari handles things his way, might not be the highway type, nor our way kind; but certainly in a manner that has finally seen Nigeria drift forward in many more positive ways than one.
When you have a good product, you need not over tweak it’s PR really, or you run the risk of losing the confidence consumers have on it. As an image manager, a good boss is not so hard to manage is he?
Tahir, the Talba of Bauchi, writes from Abuja.