The government of Goodluck Jonathan is the most vivid example we have of the virus of lost standard. Under his watch, the country has gone to the dogs. Government officials are massively squandering our patrimony and looting the treasury with impunity. It is so hard to work up any optimism because the president is simply not interested in fighting corruption. In this precious country of ours, Corruption is not only internalized but externalized. People steal and keep outside thereby destroying our country and enriching those of other nations. This is a dispiriting take on the Nigerian situation because if this satanic corruption continues, Nigeria is doomed to speedy disappearance. We have had a long run of ill-luck in leadership that we cannot take this anymore.
Hence, the choice of General Muhammadu Buhari by the All Progressive Congress (APC) is historic, courageous and potentially transformative. This man is about the most honest Nigerian of all time. He is a man who hates greed and corruption with a passion. Our prayer that God should help us to fight this evil called corruption has been answered. We are set to see the restoration of honour and integrity to the Aso Rock. No fair minded person will ever accuse Buhari of being involved in corruption or dubiously enriching himself. This choice by APC is not just a nice decision but a turning point. He is just what we need because he has a reputation for thoughtfulness and rectitude. Those who are undermining the reputation of this slow-talking, yet irrepressibly exuberant man are those who find moral piety and integrity offensive.
In one of his articles, Adeyemi Omotunde painted a pretty accurate fix on how General Buhari values moral rectitude and frugality. Quoting him will do justice to the point I have been laboring to bring to the fore. “Some months ago, an former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, decided to investigate why Muhammadu Buhari could not afford APC nomination form because he read online the question a lady asked. He went to the Ministry of Finance where he discovered that all former presidents and heads of state actually get N23 million monthly. Melaye said ‘I read online the question a lady asked. The question is how can Buhari who earns over N300 million monthly annually claim that he cannot afford to pay N27 million for APC presidential nomination form? I became interested and decided to investigate. I went to the Ministry of Finance where I discovered that it’s true that all former presidents and heads of state actually get N23 million monthly. But I found out that General Buhari actually wrote the Minister of Finance to reject the N23 million monthly pay. He said in his letter that he will only accept 10 percent of that amount which is N2.3 million and that is what he has been taking. This is just as clear as the air.’ This is a man that says in his speech at the APC convention in Lagos that he has no foreign account and he owns no company profiting from government contracts.”
This man of moral masculinity is what this country needs at the moment. Buhari is a mixture of great calm and boundless energy; he is all about compassion, tolerance and inclusiveness. His religious values will shape the way he will function as a president. Buhari’s faith has been so central to his life that even his political foes know to respect it. His constant attack on corruption grows out of his religious scruples. On the issue of religion, some people have been judging him harshly. As a military head of state, he refused to register Nigeria as a member of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). If he couldn’t do it as a military leader how in the world will he do it as a democratic president? To Buhari, religion is a private matter and he respects the fact that the constitution of Nigeria recognizes freedom of worship. To tell it like it is, those who are throwing up religious sentiments are simply mischievous.
But his faith in his God is something commendable. It tells people that there is something in life more important to him than politics—a message Nigerian politicians need to get. Again his choice of Yemi Osinbajo as a running mate is one that speaks of religious tolerance than tactics. This is the most spiritually minded pair that Nigerian political history has ever thrown up. Osinbajo is so friendly; intellectually and spiritually inclined that he will make a perfect Vice President. He has the ability to be aggressive without being nasty. Buhari and Osinbajo are unabashed about flaunting their faith. They have a purpose: to provide insulation against corrosive everydayness, to build fences against invasions by the profane and to create a space for the sacred. Their service to Nigeria will be sacramental in quality.
By Ikechukwu Orji
Orji is a Media Consultant and Journalist