“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”
― Albert Einstein
This is election time, and as usual so many half-truths and blatant lies are being sold as facts. The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Muhammad Buhari relishes the facade of integrity but lacks all the basic ingredients thereof. Having been rejected three times by Nigerians, Buhari with his image handlers wants to flatter to deceive Nigerians by dressing himself up on a borrowed toga. But the Buhari Nigerians knew in 2003, 2007, and 2011, and rejected in the polls, is the same Buhari today. Nothing has changed or will ever change, except that his minders are fabricating new lies and are forcing him into new ill-fitting suits to make him acceptable southward.
Contrary to what his image makers and APC apologists want Nigerians to believe, Buhari remains a diehard sharia-crusading, fundamentalist Muslim, a tribal jingoist and weak, corruption-condoning leader. Just like Einstein posited, Buhari has shown in clarity that he is derelict both in small and important matters of integrity despite what he is currently pretending to be.
Here are some of our facts:
Buhari as dangerous bigot
Buhari in the largely Christian South, and Buhari in the largely Muslim North are two different persons. In the South, the severally-rejected politician wants to be known as and seen as somebody with liberal religious views; but to the northerners, he projects himself as a crusader for Islamism – who would want Sharia pervade our country from North to South. Is that a mark of integrity?
And this on the testimony of key northern witnesses. Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa State recently accused Buhari of playing ethno-religious card. The governor said that when Buhari talks to the electorate in the North, he usually plays up the religious card, but once he is in the South, he plays it down by harping on the unity of Nigeria.
Lamido said, “Why then are our people vilified and maligned because they refuse to vote for a Muslim as their president and have opted for a Christian? (referring to attacks by northerners who voted Jonathan in 2011). If not, why is it that he (Buhari) chose a Christian as his running mate and shunned the Muslim community, then he turns round to tell the people in the North that his contest is anchored on promoting and guiding their ideological faith.”
Buhari as unrepentant liar
Credit must be given to the APC presidential candidate for efforts at attempting to remake his persona, even when all is built on the foundation of lies. APC leaders, including their surrogates in the media, have told Nigerians that Buhari’s daughter is married to an Igbo from Anambra State, and had converted to Christianity. We guess Buhari must have told them so. That is another smart way burnish his ultra-ethnic persona. It does matter if that is a blatant lie.
According to SaharaReporter, it is all lies. The news medium quoted two close members of the presidential candidate’s family as saying that there was no such thing.
“Buhari has never claimed that any of his daughters was married to an Anambra man,” one of the two family sources told the online news portal. The source added, however, that Mr. Buhari, a former military head of state, had raised or helped raise numerous children from members of his extended family.
While this speculation has been going on, Buhari has not thought it fit to refute it. Even when people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo has cited it as a proof that Buhari is neither a bigot nor ethnic jingoist. For Buhari, it is all well if it feeds into his desperate bid for power.
Is that a proof of integrity?
Buhari as a flip-flopper
Men of integrity keep to their words. They weigh their words before they make pronouncements. For Buhari, words are no bond; it does not matter if he lies to achieve his purpose. In 2011, Buhari cried openly and declared that the year’s election would be his last in his fruitless attempt to clinch power. It was obvious now that he never meant, but put that show to arouse sympathy for him himself as vote-catching strategy.
His words: “This campaign is the third and last one for me; since, after it, I will not present myself again for election into office of the president.” – M. Buhari (April, 2011 at the Int’l Conference
But by 2014, he recanted and made 360 degree shift. The same Buhari who vowed not contest after 2011, has in October last year represented himself for presidential bid. He said, “I humbly present myself to all Nigerians and to God, seeking to be elected as APC’s presidential candidate. Where is the honour? Does it give an inkling of what will happen if he were to get power? A man who cannot stand by his vow is not fit to lead. If a man can not keep his word to millions of Nigerians, how do you think he will keep his electoral campaign promises.
Anti-corruption mantra as a facade
Nigerians are often so cheaply deceived. Buhari poses and pretends to be man of integrity, with zero tolerance for corruption. And some Nigerians believe him with out questions. But his records do not bear this out. There are ample cases of complicity or negligence or both against him on corruption issues to tell the true color of Buhari.
Femi Arabisala, journalist/ writer
In the late 1970s, when Buhari’s was Petroleum Minister, $2.8 billion was missing from the NNPC account. The matter was subject to Senate investigation under the chairmanship of Olusola Saraki in 1983.
According to Femi Arabisala, in his recent write-up in Vanguard, before the report could be dealt with, Buhari conveniently overthrew the Shagari government in a military coup d’état. But that is not all. Vera Ifudu, an NTA newscaster, who revealed that Saraki told her in an interview that the missing money was traced to Buhari’s account at Midland Bank in London, was summarily sacked by the NTA. However, she appealed against her dismissal in court and won. She even received a handsome financial compensation for wrongful dismissal from the NTA.
Buhari refused to appear before the Oputa Panel set up to look into the matter (among under things) by the Obasanjo administration. He refused to utilize the opportunity offered to clear his name over case.
Besides, though there is no proven allegation that Buhari corruptly enriched himself as Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund under Abacha, there are abundant evidence that he was derelict in curbing the pervasive corruption in the organization. Group Captain Usman Jibrin, a board member of PTF, resigned from the organization in protest over Buhari’s irregular appointments of consultants.h he s imply populated the Fund with an overwhelming number of Fulani/Hausa/Moslem at the detriment of other groups and concentrated PTF projects in the North. He used the company of his in-law – (Salihijo Ahmad), Afri-Projects Consortium in executing most of the projects handled by PTF. He executed about 74% of the projects in the north and 26% in the entire south according to PTF Situation Report (Vol 2, 98).
In 2000, the Obasanjo administration set up an Interim Management Committee to look into the affairs of the PTF, under the chairmanship of Haroun Adamu. The Committee discovered that billions of naira was stolen under Buhari’s chairmanship.
Don’t’ be deceived Buhari is not what he postures to be. He is Full of lies, deception and half truths. What is clear from the forgoing is that he remains a died in the wool Muslim bigot who is prepared to lie his way through. The former head of state remains a fundamentalist,craving and supporting Islamic expansionism. Nigerians can not be fooled.