Having browsed through a number of mediums on the life and times of Muhammadu Buhari during his sojourn as a student, public servant, a Military Officer, Commanding Officer, Federal Commissioner, Military Governor, Military Head of State, Chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF- an intervention outfit of the Federal Government under late Head of State, General Sani Abacha to address the country’s infrastructural decay in education, health, water supply and roads among others, and now as a duly elected President of Nigeria in his second term of 4 years each, one has no option but to believe wholesale that President Buhari has been consistent all his life in integrity, transparency, patriotism and accountability over the years.
In addition to the country-wide held belief of the genuineness of PMB’s integrity, President Buhari had himself severally confirmed and vouched for his integrity by saying: “i have been in many places including Ministry of Petroleum. I would have gone to jail if I had taken an oil well. For integrity and honesty, I have no regrets. By this, I have contributed to my social safety”. One would confidently say this is a rare transparency trait in today’s public service.
In addition, PMB himself had said that in all the positions he held till today he had never for once sent a personal request to anyone for contract or appointment for himself or a third party.
Can our present leaders at all levels say so today? Can present and past Governors and Presidents from 1999 to date be bold enough to swear and speak in confidence that they never directed that contracts or appointments be given to their favourite candidates?
During a recent official state visit to Imo state in the South East region of the country, President Buhari spoke in confidence of his integrity. He told South-East leaders during a town hall meeting in Owerri, the State capital with stakeholders in the region that “while fighting corruption in Nigeria had become very sophisticated and difficult, I would continue to strive to leave a lasting legacy of integrity and accountability in the system”.
PMB in his usual confidence added: “Nobody can accuse me of having companies or mansions anywhere in the country and I thank God that I try to keep myself as clean as possible, so that I cannot be taken hostage”.
Buhari was unequivocal in telling the Igbo leaders “I love to be remembered as the President who stabilised Nigeria in the area of security, economic prosperity, and triumph over corruption”.
In another significant move aimed at promoting his integrity, transparency and accountability which was barely four months into his 4 years tenure as Nigeria’s elected President in 2015, PMB publicly declared his assets.
Commenting on the declaration of PMB’s assets, his SSA media and Publicity, Garba Shehu noted “the declared amount showed the ex-military ruler and Minister of Petroleum had been living a “Spartan lifestyle”. It is on record that PMB was the first Nigerian leader to have declared his assets publicly since the country returned to democracy in 1999.
Even BBC’s Correspondent, Will Ross described PMB’s declared assets as: “loose change for Nigerian politicians but a fortune for most of the country”. This description is on the basis of the various strategic positions held by PMB that he could have enriched himself massively if he had thrown to the dogs his hard earned integrity.
Again, President Muhammadu Buhari on the eve of the expiration of his first tenure and commencement of his second term on May 29, 2019 and in compliance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, submitted his assets declaration forms to the Code of Conduct Bureau with however no significant changes in his assets as declared in 2015.
In the words of VP Osibanjo ”President Buhari’s forthrightness, honesty, integrity, love for the common man, patriotism and commitment to building a new Nigeria, has endeared our administration to millions of Nigerians nationwide and are helping us as a government to lay the strong foundation for Nigeria’s better future”.
It is therefore indisputable that President Buhari has shown an unprecedented display of exemplary leadership skills of integrity, transparency, patriotism, accountability and selfless service to his fatherland that no other Nigerian President, living or dead has shown