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RENOUNCING BUHARISM: MATTERS ARISING


August 19, 2016   |    DEJI YESUFU
The biggest criticism of Nigeria's type of politics is its lack of an ideological base. People generally choose to enter political associations not because they share some ideological bases but because of some common interest – mostly the pursuit of power.
It is untrue to say that Buharism is not a political ideology in Nigeria.

Muhammadu Buhari may not have formally defined this ideology but his followers and lovers did. And usually an ideology is given a name by the devotees and not the person himself. I know this to be true of Awoism (the political ideology named after the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo) and Calvinism (the Protestant ideology named after John Calvin).
The leading Buharist in Oyo State, Rev. Edward Koye-ladele, has left a definition of Buharism on my facebook timeline and I shall be quoting it here to reach my conclusion on why this ideology has failed on my part and how it can be salvaged. Rev. Koye said: ‘"Buharism” like “Awoism” remains a concept of leadership that redefines (the) character of leaders in a way that makes credible, unblemished and sincere  people gain followership and support of the people”‘ In other words, truth or sincerity is the bedrock of Buharism.

What drew me to Buhari was his doggedness, discipline, spartaness, thriftiness, sincerity, patriotism and commitment to the Nigerian question. That for me is Buharism and if I ever were to be a politician or I was to support one again, these shall be the minimum characteristics I will expect from him.
My commitment to the Buhari ideology began to wear off when the vital element of sincerity began to be found wanting in the President’s work. While one understand that Mr. President cannot fix every sector of the Nigerian life and that there are factors inhibiting his performance in office presently, one would at least expect the President to get the fight against corruption right. It seem to me that Mr. President will wage war on corruption except on members of his party – especially those from the core north.

The way the Presidency has handled the Dogara/Jibrin fiasco in the House of Representatives leaves much to be desired. And to be sincere, this singular action put paid to my commitment to an ideology that embodies his personality.

I consider the matter of the President’s inability to wage war against corrupt elements among his close associates and kinsmen, his greatest weakness and the possible undoing of his government. If the war against corruption will be total – leaving out no sacred cow, Buharism may still be an attractive ideology for persons like me. But until one sees such a commitment, one is forced to find better workable political ideologies elsewhere.
My prayer is that this government will succeed but if it will succeed, it will have to make some tough decisions regarding dealing with rouges within its own ranks and files.

Many have concluded that my renouncing the Buhari ideology is tantamount to a total disapproval of the Buhari government. So that Buhari's so called enemies are celebrating my decision and the President's friends are ruing it in secret. In the midst of it, I find myself sandwiched between two opinions. The fact of the matter is this: I may no longer be a Buharist at heart, I however remain a strong optimist in this government; trusting God that it will succeed against all odds.

By renouncing Buharism, I have not said I regret supporting, campaigning for and voting for Buhari. While Bayo Adeyinka had rightly expressed my dissatisfaction with this government in a latest post on his timeline, lumping me up with Feyi Fawehenmi, who apologized on Twitter for influencing people to vote Buhari, was putting me in a wrong grouping. My effort at bringing Muhammadu Buhari to power is one of the single greatest achievement of my adult life. I will never regret getting people to vote Buhari into government.

Some other people also cannot understand how I will, in one breadth be renouncing Buharism, and in another breadth be hoping for the success of this government. My father-in-law will say in Yoruba: “when we cry, we ought to be seeing and not be blinded by our tears”. I cannot understand people calling themselves Nigerians and then hating Buhari to the point of hoping his government fails. If Buhari fails, we have all failed. So we had better work and pray that this government succeeds.

I have renounced the Buhari ideology on one hand to send out a protestation to the powers that be that its enthusiasts and followers are loosing confidence in it. This protestation has in its background a hope that the government will consider constructive criticism and pick up its efforts at revamping the nation. On the other hand, I have ceased to be a die-hard Buharist so I can return to the trenches and offer up insightful views on social media that can help the nation navigate these times, until we all see the Nigeria of our dreams. Unlike many who desire that this government fails, my efforts are aimed at ensuring that this government succeed at all cost.

The Buhari government has succeeded in two spheres that the Jonathan government failed woefully in. It has restored security to this country: routing the bloody Boko animals out of their hiding places in the North. They have also began to wage war on corruption – although my protestation is that they could do more.
My position therefore in the scheme of the Buhari debate is that I also “belong to everybody while at the same time I belong to nobody”. I simply belong to any course that will bring about a better Nigerian nation.

In September 2013, Dapo Egunjobi took me to see the renowned Ibadan radio presenter, Edmund Obilo, at the Splash FM office in Ibadan. We had gone to see him for some other issues but when I saw him, I felt I needed to tell him in a split second one solution that could solve all of Nigeria’s trouble. So I told him of a Christian Revolution. The concept of a Christian Revolution became engrained in my psyche after I listened to Pastor Tunde Bakare's December 2000 message on “The Fundamental Principles of a Christian Revolution”.

A Christian Revolution states in one piece that if all individuals who espouse beliefs in the bible, will indeed be true to it in thoughts and practice, they will affect the nation and culture where they reside positively; and while everyone will not espouse Christianity at the end, the nation where these set of people reside will be blessed. This is what the bible refers to as “righteousness exalting a nation”.

Europe and America remain the world super powers today. They practice democracy, a system of government that allows for transparency, equality and the contribution of every human being in society to the running of that society. Democracy is only one system of government among many but it had proven to be the most workable. While Europe and America, in the core of their people’s hearts, are no longer Christian, the fundamental values running their society remain Christian. These values include but are not limited to love, sacrifice, hard work, loyalty, patriotism, patience, seeking knowledge through education, longsuffering, and delayed gratification. These are the values that run their countries and all of these values became entrenched in their national psyche through the beliefs and practices of their forefathers – many of whom where Evangelical Christians.

When a society is backward, when it has people who are self centered, greedy, dishonest, always in pursuit of self-gratification etc, we have every reason to call to question what their fundamental beliefs are. And it is the reason why some of us have renounced the prevailing Charismatic/Pentecostal beliefs of our time. Because a belief that calls people to endless praying, to pursue physical prosperity and greatness but does not translate to societal benefits or development in that country, is not a religion from God.

I am convinced there is nothing wrong with the Democratic system Nigeria practices. Our federal system of government could function better but there certainly is nothing wrong with federalism. This country is run by one of the best constitutions ever put together anywhere – restructuring in not the one time fix all solution with Nigeria. The Nigerian trouble is engrained in the mindset of its people. We are what we are not because our laws are faulty but because our people have faulty thinking. And such people will continue to breed leaders like themselves. Therefore we had Goodluck Jonathan and today we are grappling with Muhammadu Buhari.

The way forward for Nigeria are little vital steps we must take today that will translate to a country taking giants strides tomorrow. The first vital step we must take is to place premium on education. Our educational system needs to be revamped. The attitude of “reading only to pass” must stop. We must put an end to the idea of studying only to get a job. Our young people should be trained to be independent thinkers. We should encourage our science students to be inventive and productive. We must stop a culture of wealth at all cost and teach our children to be content with a little – while at the same time pricing hard work and wealth built through time.

As we build a solid educational base, Nigeria also needs to build strong institutions. A country will not make progress in its fight against corruption if its anti graft agencies cannot do their jobs until they have the nudge of the Presidency. We must build institutions that can run themselves regardless of individuals. This will be predicated on functional laws and institutions that will enforce those laws.
As Nigeria builds an educated people and institutions in which they will operate, we must continue to dialogue amongst ourselves. Elements within the Nigerian state that choose the path of militancy to press home their demands for a just nation must be served carrots and rods. We must talk to them and when they don’t listen, we must crush them through our military, until they are ready to talk.

While Jesus Christ and the salvation of sinners is the end product of a Christian revolution, the by-product is a society run by proper values. A society where sacrifice is priced and love for one’s neighbour is encouraged. It is a society where good reigns and where evil is justly punished. The Buhari ideology failed for me because I have not seen justice sincerely practiced under this government. But Buhari cannot be blamed too much because Muhammadu Buhari is a product of a society that has warped values. The honest fact is that those who criticize the president the most today will do worse than him if they were in his shoes.

Our beautiful ones are yet to be born. The birth process is a total revamping of the Nigerian thinking process through proper education. We also hope that this country can inaugurate workable institutions. And as we “jaw-jaw” and not “war-war”, the Nigeria of our dreams will emerge. Muhammadu Buhari will not make right a system that has been corrupted by bad thinking and bad leaders over the years. The best he will do will be to lay a foundation on which future generations will build.

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