Cel­e­brat­ing PMB’s an­ticor­rup­tion cre­den­tials

Sunday Trust - - VIEWPOINT - Ibrahim Mo­hammed, a pub­lic af­fairs an­a­lyst, wrote from Abuja.

A truly pub­lic-spir­ited per­son should ac­cept pub­lic of­fice not for what he can get for him­self - such as the profit and glam­our of of­fice - but for the op­por­tu­nity which it of­fers him of serv­ing his peo­ple to the best of his abil­ity, by pro­mot­ing their wel­fare and hap­pi­ness.” Awolowo, 1966.

The above de­scrip­tion of self­less lead­er­ship by the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo aptly fits the char­ac­ter and lead­er­ship trait of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, who to­day re­mains the most cel­e­brated in­cor­rupt­ible leader Nige­ria has ever pro­duced. It was this an­ticor­rup­tion cre­den­tial that re­cently earned him the African Union’s first and most pres­ti­gious award of Anti-cor­rup­tion Cham­pion of the con­ti­nent.

Since as­sump­tion of of­fice nearly three years ago, Pres­i­dent Buhari has am­ply demon­strated vi­sion­ary and pur­pose­ful lead­er­ship, states­man­ship, ca­pac­ity and the needed sac­ri­fice to trans­form the na­tion through the pro­jec­tion of a vi­sion that is pos­i­tive, at­trac­tive, ap­peal­ing, re­al­is­tic and achiev­able. As a so­cial builder and charis­matic leader, the pres­i­dent has con­sis­tently shown trans­par­ent con­duct, charm of­fen­sive and pos­i­tive self-im­age that in­spire pos­i­tive change in the cit­i­zenry and show com­mit­ment to the gen­eral will, with­out pre­tences, and guided by pub­lic in­ter­est. His other at­tributes are high eth­i­cal and moral stan­dards, en­nobling sense of re­spect for oth­ers, and hu­mil­ity.

It is in­struc­tive to note that these ster­ling lead­er­ship qual­i­ties are what pro­mote open and demo­cratic ex­change of in­for­ma­tion about ev­ery im­por­tant as­pect of gov­er­nance, strengthen pub­lic trust and en­sure the emer­gence of a more pa­tri­otic cit­i­zenry willing to dis­charge re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the in­ter­est of the coun­try. Lit­tle won­der that the whis­tle-blow­ing pol­icy in­tro­duced by gov­ern­ment is al­ready be­gin­ning to yield re­sult.

It is grat­i­fy­ing to note that the emer­gence of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has brought with it a new gov­er­nance phi­los­o­phy that elic­its pa­tri­o­tism for the na­tion, love and re­spect for the lead­er­ship and hope for all. Un­der this gov­ern­ment, the era of im­punity has gone with the winds, re­spect for the rule of law has come to stay and gov­er­nance is no longer busi­ness as usual but a call to duty to serve the peo­ple with due dili­gence, hon­esty and trans­parency.

Com­ing into power with a hard-earned rep­u­ta­tion, Buhari has changed the face of gov­er­nance. Nige­ria at the mo­ment for­tu­nately has a new sense of di­rec­tion un­der a lead­er­ship with the most dy­namic, charis­matic, mod­ern dis­po­si­tion, a leader who pos­sesses an in depth knowl­edge of the na­tion’s de­vel­op­men­tal chal­lenges.

It is an in­con­tro­vert­ible fact that Pres­i­dent Buhari’s anti-cor­rup­tion cre­den­tial is unas­sail­able. He is known to have oc­cu­pied var­i­ous sen­si­tive po­si­tions at the twi­light of his ca­reer as a mil­i­tary of­fi­cer in­clud­ing Mil­i­tary Gov­er­nor of the de­funct North Eastern State com­pris­ing the six states in the north east geo-po­lit­i­cal zone, Group Manag­ing Di­rec­tor of NNPC the petroleum be­he­moth, Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing 3rd Di­vi­sion Nige­rian Army and the ul­ti­mate of­fice of Head of State and Com­man­der-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Fed­eral Re­pub­lic of Nige­ria.

In his quite re­tire­ment af­ter be­ing ousted out of power by Gen­eral IBB, Buhari was in­vited by late Gen­eral Sani Abacha to serve as Chair­man of the board of the de­funct Petroleum Trust Fund, (PTF) where he ac­quit­ted him­self. Through­out his mil­i­tary, post mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, the man is known to have and still has an un­blem­ished record of ser­vice. While some of his for­mer mil­i­tary col­leagues are known to have con­trol­ling in­ter­ests in most blue chip com­pa­nies, PMB’s known busi­ness in­ter­est is in ten­der­ing to his cat­tle in his na­tive home of Daura.

While the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary elites boast of a for­mi­da­ble power base at their beck and call es­tab­lished through the dis­pen­sa­tion of po­lit­i­cal pa­tron­age while in of­fice, PMB’s strong sup­port base re­mains the Nige­rian masses who al­ways see their hero as an epit­ome of hon­esty, in­tegrity, trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity. This is why his tra­duc­ers ex­pend mil­lions of dol­lars hir­ing the best pub­li­cists and im­age laun­der­ers to bur­nish their sullen im­age, while the com­mon man on the street re­mains Buhari’s ar­dent sup­porter and chief im­age maker. Till to­day, Buhari still re­mains the only pop­u­lar politi­cian whose can­di­da­ture was bankrolled by the masses via huge do­na­tions.

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