✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Buhari, do not go Yar’Adua’s way

Early part (between January and February) of 2007 President Olusegun Obasanjo was preparing to leave the stage and a successor needed to be recruited to…

Early part (between January and February) of 2007 President Olusegun Obasanjo was preparing to leave the stage and a successor needed to be recruited to take his place. After, in a deft military strategy, he had sent almost all the PDP governors of the time on a wild goose chase for the office of the presidency to get themselves spent and leave the field wide open for his anointed, Obasanjo settled for the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who had never indicated publicly any desire to be president. One of the ‘strong’ points Yar’Adua’s handlers thought they had in his favour and which they were using in his campaign was that he was a prudent man and a man of integrity in that he left a huge sum of N6 billion in the coffers of Katsina State where he was then governor. When some of us heard this we said in our little corner that that point is indeed the very good reason we should not have Yar’Adua as president. A man who in a poor state like Katsina would leave that type of amount to sit pretty in a bank instead of thinking of ways of ploughing it into some regenerative investment was not a fit and proper person to govern the whole of Nigeria. His so called prudence and striving to be held as a man of integrity, we said at that time, will get in the way of providing good leadership for Nigeria. In spite of our strong reservation which was of no effect, Yar’Adua became our president. Immediately he mounted the saddle, what did he do? For reasons difficult to fathom, he started by probing the power sector expenditure of his immediate predecessor and mentor, Obasanjo, with a pre-determined mind to nail him. For two precious years, Yar’Adua could not do anything to improve that critical sector. Everything was at a standstill, held up by the probe until, unfortunately, his ill-health worsen. The probe could not unearth any useful thing in the end as it got enmeshed in a controversy of its own in that the hunters in the National Assembly recruited to get the head of Obasanjo ended up being accused of seeking bribes to allegedly cover up the findings. Remember Ndudi
Elumelu of the Federal House of Representatives? Yar’Adua, a Fulani man like Buhari, had a long memory of hate and injury. He went to the presidency bearing some persons a grudge, some for negative statements they had made about his suitability for the presidency. Nuhu Ribadu, then EFCC chairman, was a target on this score. Ribadu was said to have said that he did not think Yar’Adua was good enough to be Nigeria’s president and that instead, he would prefer Mallam Nasir el Rufai. For this grievous sin of Ribadu’s and that of el- Rufai for being preferred above him, both were to suffer endless and mindless persecution. At one point in el- Rufai’s ordeal, he was more or less stripped of his citizenship of Nigeria when instruction was given by Yar’Adua that his passport should not be renewed by any Nigerian mission abroad, a bizarre move that shocked many civilized souls. Yar’Adua recruited some unconscionable persons in the senate led by Smart Adeyemi to organize a kangaroo and persecutorial hearing against el-Rufai. For his sin against el-Rufai may Smart not win his on-going case in the tribunal against Dino Melaye and return to that august assemblage again. Amen. Yar’Adua then proceeded to appoint corrupt and incompetent but ‘non-controversial’ persons as ministers of the FCT. The federal capital territory has never recovered from the ineffectual persons he and Jonathan appointed to serve as ministers in charge of Abuja. Before Yar’Adua became president, it is said that he did not know up to 50 prominent or non-prominent Nigerians outside his Katsina state. He was a proper provincial man which explains why the only people he could trust were ‘loyal’ men he had known and worked with in Katsina who were in the innermost sanctuary of his government. Those men later became known as the Katsina mafia led by Abba Ruma and Tanimu Yakubu. When Yar’Adua became indisposed, these men held the nation by the jugular. They ruled in the name of the sick president and nearly plunged the country into a severe constitutional crisis.
Why am I recounting this? Is it to desecrate the name of the dead who is not here to defend himself? Not in the least. My aim is very noble. It is to warn President Buhari not to go the way of his former Katsina ‘brother’. Already, some have started saying that the recent lopsided appointments made by Buhari show him as a provincial man who does not sufficiently trust any ones outside his small CPC circles to be entrusted with high offices of state. Also, a few days ago someone who thought he was doing Buhari a great good came out to say that by not appointing ministers for nearly four months now, the President has saved for Nigeria nearly a billion Naira. That, he said, is wisdom and prudence? Really? This is old-fashion Yar’Adua’s kind of saving!
Ministers are a very important human capital that if well deployed and instructed can generate in one month billions of Naira that would surpass whatever has been ‘saved’ in not appointing them for months now. Like Yar’Adua, Buhari seems to be obsessed with an interrogation of the past, neglecting what needs to be done urgently now so we can have a better future. If we have lost the past to stealing and bad governance, must we also sacrifice the present in inquiring about that past? That, from my own little understanding, is the central point made by Bishop Kukah which some people who lack understanding believe he is seeking to protect Jonathan his friend and fellow Christian. I also wish that Buhari should avoid the kind of ingratitude Yar’Adua showed by turning so early in the day against Obasanjo who had almost single-handedly installed him as president. It is to me almost a scandal that Buhari has so far made about ten significant appointments and someone like Rotimi Amaechi, who sacrificed his all to help make him, is not among them. I believe that even if the devil helps you to acquire power or wealth or whatever, you are duty bound to show him gratitude.
Do not accept his help and turn around later to say you are now a man of integrity who is on the side of God. Political ingratitude can cost Buhari the critical support of the movers and shakers of politics who may not be sparkling clean but whose support he nevertheless needs to carry out the programmes he has for Nigeria.

Join Daily Trust WhatsApp Community For Quick Access To News and Happenings Around You.

UPDATE: Nigerians in Nigeria and those in diaspora can now be paid in US Dollars. Premium domains can earn you as much as $17,000 (₦27 million).

Click here to start earning.