Gen. Buhari: A Virtue Vitiated By Indiscretion

By Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga

General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler and the presidential candidate of the CPC in the 2011 elections, is once again in the maelstrom of another disturbing controversy.

According to media reports, the General told members of the CPC from Niger State that paid him a courtesy call in Kaduna that “If what happened in 2011 should happen again in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.”
 
These are weighty and ominous words that shouldn’t have come from the mouth of someone who persistently and deservingly aspires to be Nigeria’s President. Any hint of letting slip the dogs of war because of the ambition of any politician in Nigeria is disturbing. Rabble-rousing is dangerous politics because it produces consequences beyond our control and which leave us embarrassed by its gravity. Appealing to a mob passion may be expedient but its inimical consequences are not worth it. Did General Buhari weigh the implications of these dangerous words, which can play into the hands of trouble makers? Did the General learn any lessons from his past indiscretions, which have left him with a stubborn baggage of perception problems, despite his integrity and good intentions? Is playing to the gallery and rabble-rousing going to change these politically deleterious perception problems?
 
Admittedly, even General Buhari’s opponents must acknowledge his integrity, at least privately. In a recent breathtaking revelations about the multi-billion dollar yielding oil blocks controlled by northern Generals and other elites of the region, the author of the article, Mr. Alabo George from Niger, was fair enough to admit that General is the only northern leader that didn’t use his position in power to amass wealth or allocate oil blocks to himself. George’s admission is a moral diadem for General Buhari.
 
Unfortunately, however, General Buhari’s indiscretions, despite his integrity and good intentions, may once again be his undoing if he decides to run again in 2015. In the wake of the post-election violence in 2011, General Buhari’s alleged veiled instigation of his supporters to defend their votes “by whatever means” was perceived as the trigger for the riots in Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and elsewhere. Worse still, his initial reluctance to condemn the violence fed the suspicions of those blaming him for the violence. It took the intervention of his close friends and associates to elicit even the half-hearted condemnation of the violence that he eventually made.
 
Does Buhari realize the damage these controversies have caused him politically? Does he suffer the problems of heroes who find it hard to admit of their own frailties and indiscretions? In 2002, General Buhari was allegedly reported to have urged Muslims to vote for fellow Muslims! Despite appeals by his friends and associates to instantly deny ever making the statement at a book launch, written by the late Sokoto-based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Sidi Attahiru Ibrahim, the dour General ignored their appeals, leaving many of his admirers disappointed.
 
It is, however, understandable why the General never felt a duty to forcefully deny the report. In 2002, he had no presidential ambition and, therefore, probably felt that he didn’t need to please anybody because he didn’t need their votes. Embarrassed by Buhari’s indifference to the report, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah (then a Rev. Father) personally took the initiative of meeting the General to get exactly what he said at the book launch in Sokoto. Bishop Kukah published his encounter with Buhari in many newspapers in which the General told him that he was quoted out of context by the then Punch newspaper correspondent in Sokoto, the late Ahmed Ayorinde. Unfortunately, Bishop Kukah’s intervention or damage control efforts came too late; it was like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!
 
General Buhari didn’t realize the extent of damage the Sokoto comment had caused him until 2003 when he became the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). Ironically, the same Buhari who was indifferent to the idea of repudiating the Sokoto comment was going from church to church (north and south) to deny ever urging Muslims to vote for fellow Muslims. But it was too late! He thus, became a victim of his own indiscretion, which caused him perception problems among Christians of the north and south. This perception problem overshadowed his credentials of integrity and good intention. In fact, this perception problem haunted him again and again, including during the 2011 presidential campaign.
 
Repeated mistakes don’t help any politician seeking power, especially when he doesn’t even recognize those mistakes, let alone make himself amenable to corrections. Despite picking Pastor Tunde Bakare as his running mate in the 2011 presidential election, General Buhari’s perception problems among Christians of the north and south didn’t change for the better. He is not trusted outside his so-called Hausa/Fulani political stronghold, despite his integrity. But for this perception baggage, he could have given the PDP a good run for their money in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
 
The latest controversy by the Daura General is bound to dampen the morale of many Buhari diehards across the country. It would be self-deceit for anybody to dismiss the perception issue around Buhari as an insignificant obstacle. These controversies are harming him dangerously. In 2000, he disassociated himself from the position of fellow members of the National Council of States when they came up with a compromise proposal to douse the tension generated by the strict introduction of Islamic law (Sharia) by the then Governor Ahmed Yarima Sani of Zamfara State. General Buhari chose to play to the gallery instead of acting like a statesman when the country needed his wise counsel. A combination of these controversies behind a man wanting to be Nigeria’s President is not too good a sign for General Buhari’s deep-seated ambition to rule the country. Any politician of Buhari’s stature, who was once a military Head of State, must demonstrate a remarkable degree of circumspection in his public utterances. What is even shocking is the fact that the CPC national leadership has officially thrown their support behind Buhari’s “blood-for-blood” consequences in 2015.  Despite the efforts of some newspapers to play down the latest incendiary comments attributed to Buhari, the perception problem of the CPC presidential candidate can only get worse.
 
If the mind is overwhelmed by stubborn pride, the eyes cannot see reason or the consequences of one’s actions. Gen. Buhari must be courageous enough to come to terms with the fact that his own actions are harming his ambition. Despite the fact that he had the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Chief Ume Ume-Ezeoke and Pastor Tunde Bakare (all Christians) as running mates during his bids for president, his political appeal didn’t improve in the south. It means that his problems are more fundamental than the PDP’s alleged rigging. His indiscretion is adding more complications to his perception crisis.
 
Success in politics goes beyond good intentions; you must conduct yourself in a manner that can win you the trust of others outside your traditional stronghold. Anyone obsessed with a notion of moral perfection or infallibility is not bound to be corrected by those around him, however well-meaning they may be. Any leader that is not ready to be amenable to correction or flexible enough to be managed can make the efforts of those who want to help him hopeless. In fact, as one American Public Relations expert argues, trying to change a rigid and an unreconstructed figure is like putting a bandage on a cancer! Let us not deceive ourselves that northern votes alone can make Buhari a President of Nigeria. Did he do enough campaign in the south-south, southeast, southwest and some areas of the north-central political zone, mainly Plateau, Benue, Kogi and Kwara States? His handlers relied theoretically on the assumption that with the north controlling more than 60 percent of voter population of Nigeria, he could afford to ignore votes from other parts of the country. This was a strategic and tactical blunder.
 
Unfortunately, he took this assumption to the bargaining table during his alliance talks with Bola Tinubu’s ACN in 2011. He wanted concessions from others but he didn’t want to give anything in return. Is that realistic? Is a maximalist posture a pragmatic attitude at a negotiating table? Nobody is in doubt about Buhari’s integrity. But there is genuine concern about whether he has the right disposition of a statesman who wants to rule Nigeria. His perception as a divisive figure may continue to get worse when he continues to make indiscreet utterances that scare away voters from him, especially outside his northwest traditional stronghold.  Utterances, laden with incendiary language, will harm the very ordinary people that you want to serve. At a time our hearts are still bleeding at the loss of innocent lives of the ordinary people during the post-election violence of 2011, the language of blood-for-blood is unbecoming of the status of General Buhari and can alienate even well-meaning admirers. By the way, there is no politician worth the blood of ordinary Nigerians. If they cannot send their own children to go and die in violent protests, why should they expect the children of poor parents to take to the streets and become the cannon fodder for their ambitions?
 
Signed:
Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga
Email: muhazagga@yahoo.com
Nb: Zagga is a journalist based in Abuja

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Buhari comment

Na-Allah, I thought that you will follow your name which means literally 'For God' but in reality means someone who will do whatever God wants only. As a person who understands Hausa language, a just approach is for you to quote what Buhari said in Hausa, then give its equivalent meaning since you know most of the commentators in this matter dont even understand the language they are castigating the speaker. Non of them have I heard attempted to get the meaning of the proverb "kare jini biri jini". As far as they are concern since the papers said it, it is a sacrosanct truth. however, as someone said you really earned your pay from whoever pays you to write such inverted discussion. Wish you good luck. As the Hausa adage says, "aniyar kowa ta bishi" - May God pay you in your coins!

Gen Buhari The Slavery is over

Today my endurance for North and Muslims are over. Let Gen Buhari and Northern Governors know that their slavery is over. Three years sign of Jonah for you all before 2015 when you will say give us an Ibo Woman president who will save us.The woman as Mother Grace. Christ will not seek you Muslims any longer because you rejected grace but from now to three years of sign of Jona to you. All your Mosques will become the place of praise of Christ say Christ Commander of Last salvation Holy Ghost Army.I have declared Holy Ghost Supernatural war against you all of Jihadist, Talibans and Boko Harams both known and unknown.

STANLEY IGWE

THAT BUHARI DID NOT GET AN OIL BLOCK AS THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE IBB KICKED HIM OUT? WELL YOU FORGOT TO GIVE THE REASON WHY HE DID NOT ACQUIRE ANY OIL BLOCKS WHEN HE WAS OIL MINISTER AND THEN AGAIN WHEN HE WAS HEAD OF NNPC. TELL US WHY HE BUILT 3 OF THE 4 REFINERIES WE HAVE TODAY FISRT AS MINISTER AND AS PRESIDENT YET HE COULD NOT ACQUIRE ANY BLOCKS.

SO BUHARI HAS ONE THE ONE THING NO NIGERIAN LEADER HAS

INTEGRITY AND HONESTY ARE HIS HALLMARKS. WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HIM NOW AFTER LOSING 3 ELECTIONS? THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE, NIGERIANS HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT. THERE IS NO TRANSFORMATION, NO FRESH AIR AND ITS BUSINESS AS USUAL. WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO MAKES IBB LOOK LIKE A SAINT. IN FACT THE HIGH PRIEST OF TRANSFORMATION ALSO NEED TO EMPLOY STATE MACHINERY FROM TIME TO TIME IN BUHARI BASHING TO AT LEAST RELIEVE NIGERIANS FROM THE DAILY BAD NEWS OF CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE. THEY SAY BUHARI IS BEHIND THE VIOLENCE, I ASK WHEN DID THE POSITION OF PRESIDENT BECOME IMPOTENT THAT IT CANNOT ARREST A PERPETRATOR OF VIOLENCE AND SEND HIM TO COURT? IS BUHARI ALSO BEHIND THE OIL SCAM?

usabram

Well spoken mate..

Buhari should go and rest

The media claim Gen Buhari has integrity but hood alone does not make the monk. Over and over again, Gen Buhari has shown that he lacks depth and skills required to make the difference in leadership. Gen Murtala Mohammmed was in power for only 6months, those 6months has forever been etched in our memories. Gen Buhari was in power for over 18months, what do remember about that regime, gulag and trade by batter, in 21st century? Is that the leadership he wants give us?

GEN LOOSER BUHARI

Does buhari think that nigerians are cows that he will wake up at the time he wishes to b4 taking them for grazing? what is wrong with this looser? must he be a president again? why can't he give chance to other people? doesn't he knows that all the previous failures to be the president he had in the passed is a payback to what he did to shagari? and which means that forever he will never be a president of this country if he continue with this kind of useless and satanic utterances.

A Brilliant piece!

I totally agree with the writer and can't add to the brilliant piece, except add that Buhari, indeed, self-destructs himself by his misguided utterances. He is evil! For out of the belly, the mouth speaketh. He is evil personified! I find joy when fellow Northerners speak the truth about BUHARI.

As a young man back then, I believed in Buhari, and believed he was the best thing to happen after sliced-bread. But as I grew older and used the benefit of hindsight and wisdom, I realised my folly, and realised that if Buhari had anything to offer the country by way of programmes or manifesto, he should have resigned from the Military and sold his programmes to us, like a politician, instead of wielding arms and acting cowardly like an armed robber, and toppling a legitimate Government! As worse as Yar'Adua's election was said to be, Gen BUHARI remained mute throughout! Bigot!

PDP is the enemy of Nigerians not Buhari!

For those coughing out lies against what General Buhari said are the problem bedeviling Nigeria as we speak.Just because one can find their way to the internet and deposit a dissertation (just like the author of this article) unfortunately does make that individual intelligent. General Buhari is all about straight talk and what he said is the obvious. How else would anyone have said it better than the way the General had put it? Sadly, the ruling party and their paid agents are spinning what Buhari said to fit their thieving agenda.
I hope Nigerians will wake up from their slumber and realize who the true enemy is.I believe General Buhari will farewell amongst the evil-doers of PDP!

Re- what buhari said.

Mr Na-Allah, as a journalist, we do not expect you to write like this, we expect you will investigate and bring out the facts before going to press. We have since come to terms with the propaganda machinery in place to demonise Buhari. We dont care, we his followers kndw what he said and no matter the interpretations u will give, will neither change the general nor us, we know the truth and he only stated the obvious. We hav comments from PDP stalwats that were suppose to ellicit this kind of reactions but suprisingly the hypocritical nigeria media has remained

u pretended to write pitiably of him but were paid to castigate

Zagga is a slanderer. Indeed did a very good job to achieve the aim of his paymaster. Of all the issues in nigeria, statement of Buhari translated from Hausa to English that is that important. No one except God knows what will happen in 2015. I had expected u picked on more serious issues of stolen subsidy trillion naira, looted police pension fund, high death rate due to poor health facilities, 15 billion dollars wasted for power we did not see, extremely high death rate on our high ways, children whose parents cannot afford school fees automatically groomed area boys and almajiris that have become the highest security threat today. What is in Buhari that is making looters are afraid? Omisore was involved in a controversial murder,he was elected a senator when in custody nd did not have the same attention given Buhari statement.. This is why intelligent, integrity, trasparent people will not present themselves for elections bcos people like u have been paid to masacre them with pen.

Bahari useless talk

Na'Allah gud talk. Let dis old gago General remains in his apartment bcos he can never win an election again in Nig. Nobody can Islamize Nigeria xtian are praying. The Blood of Buhari himself will litter d street in d next election.

Comments

Thank you Zagga for this write-up of yours. Well, you have hammered the nail on on the head. Gen.Buhari possesses some of the qualities to help us in this country e.g his integrity. Fine!. However, not until people really understand the real concept of leadership would they be able to perform effectively in leadership position. Interpersonal communication is extremely important in leadership. The ability to say what is appropriate and what time to say it, is a leadership skill. A leader must weigh what is going to say,when to say,and how to say it; this is very important. I believe the General can still soft-pedal and make certain changes in his approach to communication and with time; if genuinely done, he can still win the admiration of some people. But failure to do that he will probably find it difficult to win the heart of the majority of Nigerians.

I really cant understand why

I really cant understand why people are hell bent on taking this matter out of proportion. Buhari spoke in Hausa and he said "za'ayi kare jini biri jini" which in no way ever meant the country will be soaked in bloodbirth and as journalist or whatever anybody writing are saying. Its unfair to the man to give his statement a different meaning even if you do or don't like him. Kare jini biri jini in all fairness doesnt mean killing each other..it means it will be fierce contest which both party will feel its impact, simple. Pls try to be fair...

Pls, hw much were u paid to

Pls, hw much were u paid to write this? Buhari is a soothsayer. Though no fan of his style of politics, I must say that his ability to see the end from the beginning is uncanny. I was one of those rooting for GEJ. What's been the result? Bitter pills. Buhari, we 'll heed ur call this time, no matter how they try to distort the original intent. Come 2015, we r doing away with the present govt.

well said

Zagga: I agree with you 100 percent on Buhari. I believe in him and still strongly beleieve he will do better than WHICHLUCK Jonathan, but, he is becoming an unsellable material for Nigeria presidency. He needs to sell himself more in the south. He is not going for regional president, rather, we are talking of a president for the whole nation.

Never knew we still had men

Never knew we still had men of courage like Na Allah in the North who could look Buhari in the face and tell him to repent of his sins. In 2011, I warned Buhari to note that he was being deceived and that he would lose the election so badly he would want to hide under the toga of the election being rigged to cover the shame of allowing a toddler like Jonathan to defeat him the same way David defeated Goliath at the tender age of 17. Buhari will never win an election cause he is not humble enough. Apart from that, he is too arrogant because of his Fulani roots to respect even the average man from tiv Nupe And ijaw . As for the yorubas he dealt with them in his last outing as head of state. So they dont need any telling frpm deri. He has been to the east before and when he arrived there in 2011 again he told them to shut up and get him the votes or forget about him. Aware he rode on the back of Cuba okadigbo and late um ezeoke in 2003 and 07. May be it would be David west in. 2015.

enough

Mohd zagga,pls we have heard enough of this
Dog and Baboon story.the General has spoken
And a lot of pple are of the same opinion
That if pdp rigs again,it won't be funny.
You are biase and I recommend you read
Ahmad tilde 's article.he did better with
The dog and baboon jargon

Buhari has killed himself politically.

Buhari is not a wise man and therefore could not have contributed anything positive towards resolving sharia problem.He is a moron that is why IBB toppled his government with ease, but did us disservice by not shooting him dead. The democracy he showed a deep repugnance for has come to hunt him, to the extent that ordinary Rueben Abati harassed and insulted him like a primary school boy. Buhari who is going about with incontinence pad is busy scheming for power without taking care of his health. What people don't know is that the hardest thing to fight is perception and that is why I believe strongly that Jonathan won the last election rigging or no rigging.Even though I have doubt with the kind of figure that emanates from south east, that is to show Buhari how much they hate his brand of politics.It is a lesson that he has refused to learn and I do not buy the crap that he is not corrupt, that he did get oil block was because he was kicked out by IBB.