Opinion: President Buhari’s Northern Agenda: In Whose Interest?

Opinion: President Buhari’s Northern Agenda: In Whose Interest?

By Opinions | The Trent on September 19, 2015
Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria APC
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari attends the second day of the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

by Kuddi Haastrup

By now, things are already adding up and the services of a naysayer may not be needed to see the direction the Buhari led government is headed. Prior to the 2015 general election, many of my friends who were staunch supporters of the former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had travelled to their respective wards with their voter’s card with much nostalgia to ensure a change in government.

Just like me, they particularly wanted ‘change’ – a mantra used by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to win the votes and supports of Nigerians who were obviously fed up with the status quo. The ease with which the APC resolved their differences as a result of the merger to accommodate varying interest group in the build up to the election was applauded at home and in the Diaspora.

I’d witnessed an alliance never seen before in recent political history of Nigeria. The APC gave us an outlook of a balanced party with full representation of ideologists coming together to shape the country for good within the coming years.

Regrettably, events and happenings within the APC ranks some months back clearly shows that the party was being run by some ‘animals’ more equal than others. It appears that President Mohammadu Buhari’s inaugural statement ‘’I belong to no one and i belong to everyone’’ practically ended some moments after he said those words as past events suggests that he’s strongly influenced by a new breed of the ‘northern elites’ who are daily dictating the pace.

One of such notable agenda is the feisty cold war with the President of the 8th senate, Bukola Saraki. It is shameful that after accepting that Saraki’s emergence was constitutional – he has allowed some infectious ants creep into his government and they are continuously eaten their way into a few branches to ensure that their candidate emerge the Senate President by all means. It will be foolhardy of the presidency and his cohorts to embark on this show of shame when its clear that the majority voted him in. This brazen disregard for the decision of the Senators who were democratically elected by the electorates is an affront to the Senate President and its leadership.

How do you preach probity without practicing it? Let us therefore be clear on what ‘change’ we crave. The current arrangement to use the Code of Conduct Bureau to embarrass and force an elected Senate President out of office in this dispensation will be met with stiff mass resistance. Those fanning the ember of disunity are only doing so for their selfish reasons and not in the interest of the country. President Buhari need be reminded that his loyalty is to Nigeria and not to an individual or a group of people who he perceived to have contributed more to his emergence as the President. I have also been reliably informed by insiders within the Villa that the allegations being peddled around Bukol Saraki is a well crafted coup d’etat to install Lawan who is from the ‘core-North’ as the Senate President to ensure an easier ministerial screening. Recall that Senate President, Bukola Saraki had vowed to end the ‘bow and go’ era where Presidential nominees are often prevented from answering precise questions pertaining to the office of interest.

Buhari’s dictatorial garb is gradually becoming loose, and he feels threatened by Bukola Saraki’s anti- corruption stands. Since Bukola Saraki became the Presdient of the 8th Senate, he’s stated categorically that he was ready to work in tandem with the Buhari government to fight corruption and end ensure due process is strictly adhered to. Which serious government, ready to sincerely fight corruption will want his number three citizen out in the name of a botched agenda?

Buhari should understand that as a former general, he’s only as good as the overall success of his team-this is where he has failed as a leader. To whom much is given, much is expected; Nigerians expect a fully functioning cabinet and a strengthened judiciary devoid of partisan politics in coming days else, he would have betrayed the trust reposed in him by Millions of Nigerian.

Kuddi Haastrup is a social affairs commentator.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


Leave a Comment

To leave a comment anonymously, simple write your thoughts in the comments box below and click the ‘post comment’ button.