Role models abound on the earth today. They are people who have accomplished feats in particular areas of life and living. They also motivate others to succeed in their deferential callings. And this tallies with Brian Tracy’s assertion that, “If you do what successful people did, you will succeed and if you don’t, you won’t”.
There are various kinds of role models. Some are negatively inclined while others are positive. Many people equally make some persons their role models unconsciously. This is dangerous in cases where wrong choice of role models are made.
In most cases, the acts of a mentor and those of the people she or he represent as role model is so similar that one can easily mistake one for the other even in voice.
Going by Rtd. Major General Muhamadu Buhari’s antecedence, he is eminently qualified to be a role model to a lot of Nigerians, particularly among the political class.
The Nigerian president is a courageous man to the core. There are many Nigerians who had better academic qualifications than Buhari at the point of enlistment but never made much impact in the Nigerian Army. This has little or nothing to do with the man’s tribe. He was not ashamed or afraid to be put on the spot. Even till date, many of us, especially the youth cannot attempt contesting councillorship elections in their political wards because of what they consider to be their academic inadequacies.
Before Buhari toppled the civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, he had functioned as the nation’s Minister in-charge of Petroleum. His accusation of misappropriating millions of dollars at that time did not deter him from organizing a coup against Shagari on grounds of corruption among others.
The man was dethrone in 1985 by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda in a military coup. He never made noise until the ban on politics was lifted in 1998. He never participated openly in politics during the era of M.K.O Abiola and Bashir Tofa. When he stepped out , he appeared in a big way, choosing an acclaimed intellectual and political juggernauts with a PhD in the person of Dr. Chuba Okadigbo as his running mate. He failed. But he kept on fighting to actualize his dream of being a civilian President. He won after four attempts under three different political party platforms that had little or no similarities with themselves – ANPP, NCP and APC.
As a trained soldier, PMB understands what it means to keep one’s secrete and strategies away from the enemy until the battle is won. This is why any man that wants to capture the monkey must act like one. It was perhaps for this reason that he accepted to work with his hitherto political enemies who also wanted to use him to get back to political reckoning in Nigeria. To them, Buhari was a “political Mugu”. They are all stunned at how events have turned out to be in their camp since 2015. Baba understands that without him, none of them have the capacity to sell the ideals of APC to Nigerians with a view to winning their votes.
These attributes of the President of Nigeria can only be found in well informed and extra-ordinary strategists with very close contact with God Almighty and natural procedures for making extra-ordinary things happen with ease.
However, a glossary look at the goings-on in the country show that the Nigerian leader has all along be motivated by self, tribe, vengeance and religion among others as against patriotism and love for his fatherland.
According to the historical account by Microsoft Encarta Premium, when General Buhari and his colleagues overthrew Shagari in a military coup on the thirty-first day of December, 1983, they justified their action, saying that “the factors that motivated the coup included the disastrous deterioration of the Nigerian economy and the corruption, arrogance and ineptitude of elected governments during the last four and a quarter years of civilian rule”.
Buhari told Nigerians as well that he decided to oust Shagari because of the decline in the revenue from crude oil which fell from $24b in 1980 to $10b in 1983 while external debt more than tripled to $12-15b within the same period. It is almost for the same reasons that the retired General has been asking for votes from his country men and women in order to right the wrongs of the past leaders and place the nation on course again.
These factors on which wings the president rode to power in 1983 and 2015 have since worsened under the watch of the APC-led government. All the structures put in place for the economy to strive have been messed up by Buhari. The country received debt forgiveness under PDP but APC has plunged the country into huge debts without an idea of how payments will be made. The borrowing continues as the National Assembly has just given our leader the green light to go for another whopping loan of $22.7b.
The Social-Economic Right and Accountability Project, SERAP (a human rights organization) has given Buhari seven days ultimatum to show the nation the names and locations of the projects he has executed since 2015 when he first won the presidential election. Neither Buhari nor his APC has reacted since the ultimatum. Even his principal chief of propaganda, Alhaji Lai Mohammed seem to be overwhelmed by the deluge challenges bedeviling the nation since 2015, beginning with the economic recession occasioned by PMB’s assenting to the presidential throne that year.
The President has been evasive in his responses to issues in the country. Rather than the President speaking to the people as occasions demand, we hear of presidency speaking. The speech is often signed by Femi Adesina or Garba Shehu. None of these men were voted into office by Nigerians. Neither did we vote for presidency. Rather, Nigerians voted for a president in the person of Alhaji General Mohammadu Buhari.
Insecurity, Electric power supply problem and corruption which were the major “selling points” of Buhari’s campaign have become so bad that the citizens no longer know where to begin or end their complaints on these issues.
One of the major campaign strategies of Adams Oshomhole during the build-up to the 2019 presidential election was for all corrupt politicians to join the APC so that their “sins” can be forgiven. This call by the APC chairman undermined and compromised his party’s resolve to stamp out corruption in Nigeria. No APC chieftain, including the president cautioned him.
In 2016, the ruling party’s chairman admonished Edo people to reject Pastor Ize Iyamu as their governor because he (Ize) was corrupt. Today, Oshomhole is fronting for the same Iyamu to become governor of Edo state without challenge from his party colleagues.
The Nigerian leader and his party promised to restructure Nigeria if voted into office in 2015. To assure us of this, article 7(ii) of 2014 (as amended) of the APC’s constitution states the aims and objectives of the party;”To promote true federalism in the federal republic of Nigeria. Five years has gone without this deceitful promise being fulfilled.
Till date, our President does not wear face mask in public, including during Federal Executive Council (FEC meetings) as directed by his government. This action can either mean that the COVID-19 pandemic is not real in Nigeria or that Buhari is immune to the disease. He owes every one of us an explanation as to what makes him immune to COVID-19 while the rest of the country groans under the pandemic.
The tribal and lopsided nature of the President’s appointments shows clearly that, he does not actually believe in one Nigeria with equal justice for all.
The list of Buhari’s shortcomings can go on and on. And they are the simple reasons why I have chosen not to make him my role model. This does not remove the fact that all those clamouring for ethnic autonomy are inadvertently accepting the president as their role model.
WRITTEN BY AUGUSTINE OMILO