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BOOK REVIEW: Appreciating President Buhari’s leadership qualities

Title: Muhammau Buhari: Giant Strides In Visionary Leadership

Author: Dapo Olaosebikan

Publishers: Double Golden Publishers, Lagos

Pagination: 408

Reviewer:

From the literary point of view, Muhammadu Buhari: Giant Strides In visionary Leadership, is a commendable treatise on Nigerian socio-political history, using as template, President Buharis’s celebrated visionary, disciplined, nationalistic and incorruptible leadership as a former military head of state and as democratically elected Nigerian president since 2015.

Buhari

According to the author, Nigeria, in spite of her ethno-religious constitution from its creation through colonialism to independence in 1960, vis-à-vis the implicit centrifugal forces, was able to produce visionary founding fathers. As he puts it, amongst the founding fathers were “Great Zik of Africa, Ahmadu Bello–the administrative genius, Obafemi Awolowo–the sage and an indisputable father of modern Nigeria and Michael Okpara”, the governmental managerial titan.

He further elucidates in the book that there is no contesting the fact that while these esteemed Nigerian leaders and many of their contemporaries, were in control of governmental apparatus, our country flourished–even with no petrodollars.

He further expounds that the denominating factor of their celebrated successes and solid foundation they built for the nation remains unforgettable as this was factored by their commitment to the goal of attaining ‘the greatest good of the greatest number’ with unequalled vision, incorruptibility, discipline and sacrifice.   His conclusion in this regard is that since the founding fathers left the scene, Nigeria has floundered with undisciplined, self-serving and ultra-corrupt leadership, particularly since 1999.

The author does not spare the leadership of Nigeria from 1999 to 2015, when Muhammadu Buhari, a disengaged general in the Nigerian Army and military head of state, assumed political leadership of the nation. As he puts it in Chapter Seven of the book, “The situation was quite caustic and Nigerian populace was helpless. Indeed, Buhari inherited a socio-economically raped nation and politically gang-banded country put on unbridled garage-sale by a rapacious mob of political profiteers”.

According to Dapo Olaosebikan, as a result of pre-2015 leadership deficit in the country, Nigeria needed socio-economic redemption – the ‘“Giant of Africa; expeditiously needed her own game-changing, change-instituting and forthright leader. And, his conclusion is that among all the leaving Nigerian leaders, no one providence could have given this historic responsibility and assignment but Muhammadu Buhari giving his celebrated patent attribute of incorruptibility as a person, military icon and exceptional Nigerian leader”.

Chapter One of the book captivatingly begins with the author’s narrative of “Buhari and His Friend’s Bicycle”.

This narrative was a pre-2015 general election exaltation of PMB by Alhaji Bashir Tofa, National Republican Convention, NRC, presidential candidate, who contested against late Bashorun MKO Abiola’s Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the famed June 12, 1993 presidential election in Nigeria. The narrative establishes what the author calls two broad pillars of the life and leadership essence of President Muhammadu Buhari – HONESTY and DISCIPLINE.

Chapters 2 and 3 and 4 dwell extensively and academically on the military career of PMB and his leadership of Nigeria as military Head of State. Students and observers of Nigerian political history, will, in particular, find Chapter 4 very thrilling and revealing. This chapter, titled Nigeria, Buhari & His First Rescue Assignment, presents, both in theoretical and analytical formats, a most positively exhaustive literature on the Buhari Military Administration in Nigeria between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1985, when he was ousted in a palace coup led by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babagida.

Subtitled “Second Coming of Purveyor of Change”, Chapter 5 of the book encapsulates the re-launch of PMB into public service between 1998 and 2007, beginning with his appointment as Chairman of PTF and his foray into party politics as presidential candidate of defunct ANPP in 2003.

In similar format, Chapter 6 dwells on both 2011 and 2015 elections vis-à-vis     PMB’s dogged attempts at winning the presidential elections in Nigeria between 2003 and 2015.

Well printed in glossy paper, the aesthetics of the book is further boosted by a 30-page pullout of action colour pictures, showcasing memorable presidential activities of President Buhari inside and outside the country since May 29, 2015.

Chapter 7 of the book is an intellectual encapsulation of the huge and uphill task of repositioning Nigeria for her destined greatness and saving her from the jigsaw of socio-economic destruction by what the author calls rapacious mob of politicians of the pre-Buhari democratic era. This chapter also has a huge intellectual presentation of the tasks before PMB in repositioning Nigeria along the lines of probity, genuine socio-economic development, adequate security and international good image.

The chapter is rounded up with Issues and Executive and Policy Actions by the Buhari Administration to fix Nigeria at this initial stage

Subtitled “Buhari And Foundation Of A Lifetime,” Chapter 8–the last chapter of the book, a reflection of PMB’s tough stance against massive corruption and impunity which had characterized governance in the pre-May 29, 2015 Nigeria, and, a recap of his administration’s successes in its first 3 years between 2015 and 2018.

As precisely alluded to by Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, CFR, former Inspector General of Police, in his Foreword to the book, “is research-based and has a huge theoretical and data superstructure”. And, it “is an academic beauty in relevant facts and data on issues relating to President Buhari’s military career, political battles as well as his epoch-making leadership of Nigeria since May 29, 2015″.

 

 


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