2019: Buhari and world leaders
As the 2019 presidential polls in Nigeria draw nearer, speculations are going round on the chances of the aspirants. That is why I had earlier taken time to explore the opportunities for the aspirants. I also surveyed the position of the incumbent and aspiring President, Muhammadu Buhari, in relation to the media, the Nigerian traditional institution and the Church. For this very important piece, I want to quickly recall a quote by a leading member of the G7 countries and President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, while expressing deep solidarity with his Nigerian counterpart who recently visited the USA. Trump declared: “I stand with you the number one African President. I support you my fellow President. Your integrity is second to none. I am at your back in spirit, physical and in faith. Go on with your anti corruption fight against crooks in your country. I support you President Muhammadu Buhari. God is also with you. God bless our two nations”.
If there is, in the history of Nigeria, a president who has enjoyed massive support from world leaders, the president is Muhammadu Buhari. The support is not born out of hypocrisy or political bait to score a goal. Most of the leaders are giving their support to Buhari because of the “person” he is. Yes, world leaders play politics of the highest order as they have played with Nigeria which they knew had been played with by the past Nigerian leaders and her political echelon. Now, they know Nigeria is led by a serious-minded, corrupt-free and highly-spirited patriotic citizen who wants to make great human and positive impact on Nigeria and Africa at large. In a modest expression, the difference is clear.
Moreover, no Nigerian president has received sincere worldwide accolade than Buhari. History is a record and can be recalled for verification. This is because of Buhari’s caliber and “self”. I need not say more here because the clarity between Buhari and other past leaders is simply remarkable.
World leaders, unlike those of Nigeria and by extension a lot of Africans, believe in integrity, humanity and freedom, amidst political gimmick and gambling. They believe in dedication to duty, public trust and general welfareism. Though theirs is to protect their sovereign security, economy and good governance, they detest to a large extent any governance that allows corruption, terrorism, inhumanity and callosity. These were Nigeria’s attributes in the past. It is not the flow of free cash that determines the success of a good leadership or government, but the institutionalization of a workable system for posterity.
For instance, people were worried of President Trump’s declarations against Muslims and Africans during his campaigns and after swearing-in. But he is changing, knowing the complexity of the world which cannot be claimed by one race, religion or political ideology. Leading the world of today, he is very comfortable with Buhari’s policies and grand-style of governance. Trump has promised to visit Nigeria, a very strong signal of support to Buhari’s administration. In addition, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, looks onto Nigeria administration with admiration. While receiving foreign envoys to his country recently including that of Nigeria, Professor Steve Davies Ugba, he expressed special interest in broadening ties with Nigeria. “We very much appreciate our relations with Nigeria, an important partner for us on the African continent. We support the expansion of mutually beneficial Russian-Nigerian ties”.
The world leaders know that Buhari cannot plan to kill his people whom he toils to protect and uplift. They know those behind the killings in Nigeria. They know those creating confusion in order to derail Buhari from his laudable plans for Nigerians. Just like Femi Adesina puts it, there are the true herders and farmers who have been clashing from time immemorial and there have been hidden hostile hands who have crept in under that umbrella to play the most irresponsible politics. I call it politics of inferiority complex and acceptance of defeat.
Since he took-over the leadership of Nigeria, Buhari has traversed the length and breathe of the world, definitely not for pleasure, but to redeem the shattered image of Nigeria aboard. Before 2015, Nigerians were undergoing high levels of torture and inhumanity outside the country. Nigerians refused to return home upon all the hard times in foreign lands. Such countries even refused to repatriate Nigerians to Nigeria because the government did not care about its citizens outside the country or the countries had some kind of sympathy and refused to return them to hopelessness. It is not so again.
The United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, once declared that neither his country nor any other Western nation was against a second term by President Buhari. This was in reaction to media speculations that the Western world had a deal to prevail on Buhari not to contest the 2019 presidential election. “I am very happy to put that rumour to bed. The United Kingdom supports a process whereby the people of Nigeria can exercise their democratic right to vote,” he told Premium Times, insisting that UK will maintain neutrality but support credibility amongst the Presidential hopefuls. He wants Nigerians to play gainfully in the democratic process; so much that they should get their PVCs and vote with their conscience and not for the United Kingdom government.
However, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, praised Buhari on his effort in the global fight against terrorism, anti-corruption in Nigeria and sustenance of democracy. What more! What this stands for will manifest at last. Imagine Buhari’s concern when he meets any of the world leaders. While politicians are preoccupied with the forthcoming general elections, his is about the security of Nigerians and the growth of the Nigerian economy. That is evident in his leadership style of not being interested in wasting public funds on campaign and buying of votes. For the first time in the history of Nigeria, campaigns for political offices have not heated up only six months to the 2019 general elections. This is a credit to the Buhari’s good leadership. It has never been heard of in Nigeria.
As for the German Chancellor, Angela Markel, Buhari’s support and cooperation in addressing the migration crisis affecting the European Union was required. This requires stability of Nigeria’s government and a focused leadership. State House correspondent Adamu Sambo reported that Markel’s position was made at a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the margins of the EU-Africa summit in Abidjan, the Côte d’Ivoire capital. This was reinforcement of the support received by Buhari during his visit to Germany.
Also, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie recently commended Buhari’s anti-corruption and economic development policies, saying that the Chinese leaders appreciated and supported the policy initiatives. His words were enough expression of the Chinese government’s readiness to work with Nigeria in actualizing long term policies that exist between the two countries in the areas governance and party to party relations between the APC and the Communist Party of China.
Summarily, the world leaders who believe in humanity and good governance are solidly with Buhari and they support his second coming; from USA to China, from Britain to Germany, and from around the world. The Americas and Canada, the north and south, the east and west of the world trust Nigeria’s leadership of today. Apart from individual supports, the world powers have collectively given a nod to Buhari. The G7 leaders recognized his unlimited confidence in governance and the high expectations from his government.
The difficulties he had faced from the beginning were identified and they thumbed him up for tackling the security threat of the Boko Haram that had gone beyond Nigeria. They were happy for his reaching out to Nigeria’s neighbours and the industrialized nations within a week of his takeover of government, a step that portrayed his seriousness. The group pledged to engage, cooperate and collaborate with his government in tackling the diverse problems that Nigeria faces. At its summit, Buhari was the first to address the G7 nations made up of the United States of America, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. It is very necessary to stand for good governance and policy stability in Nigeria which are being guaranteed by President Buhari.
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity, peace and good governance in Abuja. E-mail [email protected]