Sunday, December 16, 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari: The Most Incorruptible Nigerian Head of State Since Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

This special profile feature on His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; is for the celebration of his 76th birthday on December 17, 2018.

President Muhammadu Buhari: The Most Incorruptible Nigerian Head of State Since  Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, KBE  (December 1912 – 15 January 1966) the first and only Prime Minister of independent Nigeria.

About Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa:

Sir Abubakar  Tafawa Balewa was a highly regarded statesman and eloquent nationalist who championed the political independence of Nigeria before he became the Prime Minister. But unfortunately he was overthrown and murdered in the first Nigerian military coup on January 15, 1966 led by mostly southern Nigerian Igbo military officers who also killed many other political leaders, including his old companion Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello KBE (June 12, 1910 – January 15, 1966), the first and only Premier of the Northern Nigeria region and the Sardauna of Sokoto.
The circumstances of his death still remain unresolved. His body was discovered at a roadside near Lagos six days after he was ousted from office. Balewa was buried in Bauchi. News of his assassination spurred violent riots throughout Northern Nigeria and ultimately led to the bloody counter-coup of July 28-29, 1966.

Tafawa Balewa with President John F. Kennedy (JFK) at a luncheon in his honour on July 25, 1961 at the White House. JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963 before the assassination of Tafawa Balewa on January 15, 1966.

Today, his portrait adorns the 5 Naira Note. The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi is named in his honour.
The Right Honourable Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; P.C. was on the cover of the TIME magazine edition of December 1960. His book, Shaihu Umar (Topics in World History) was adapted for a film by Adamu Halilu, the pioneer MD of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) in 1976.

President Buhari, like Sir Tafawa Balewa is from the ruling class of the predominantly Islamic northern Nigeria. He was among the northern military officers who revenged the assassination of the Prime Minister by staging their counter coup d'etat or so-called "July Rematch" masterminded by Lt. Colonel Murtala Muhammed at midnight on July 28, 1966.

Like Tafawa Balewa, Buhari lives as a people friendly humble political leader without luxury in an ordinary house without any misappropriations or diversions of public funds. President Buhari has an aversion to corruption from his first administration as a military Head of State of Nigeria from
December 31, 1983 – August 27, 1985, when he launched the national "War Against Indiscipline" and Buhari mounted an offensive against entrenched interests. In 20 months as Head of State, about 500 politicians, officials and businessmen were jailed for corruption during his stewardship.Detainees were released after releasing sums to the government and agreeing to meet certain conditions.
Buhari's military administration enacted three decrees to investigate corruption and control foreign exchange. The Banking (Freezing of Accounts) Decree of 1984, allotted to the Federal Military Government the power to freeze bank accounts of persons suspected to have committed fraud. The Recovery of Public Property (Special Military Tribunals) Decree permitted the government to investigate the assets of public officials linked with corruption and constitute a military tribunal to try such persons. The Exchange Control (Anti-Sabotage) Decree stated penalties for violators of foreign exchange laws.

As a democratically elected President of Nigeria under the national ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), he has continued his war against corruption in all spheres of public services which has provoked the corrupt ruling elites of Nigeria in the public sector and private sector. He has not interfered with the operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate and prosecute public office holders indicted for corruption. And members of the APC have not been spared in President Buhari's anti corruption crusade.

~ EKENYERENGOZI Michael Chima,
Publisher/Editor of 247 @247nigeria Twitter, author of The Victory of Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Dream.

No comments: