A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. —John Maxwell
The term Buharism evolved during the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari in 1985. “Buharism is a term rooted in the politics of Nigeria. It is also refers to the economic principles and the political ideology of the military government of Nigeria headed by General Muhammadu Buhari from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985.” Buharism is the doctrine that connotes the true popularity and the struggle to emancipate society from indiscipline, laziness, socio-political injustice and chronic corruption. It offers conditions and opportunities for the hardworking Nigerians to be prosperous in their chosen careers without engaging in bribery and corruption. But these conditionalities are antithetical to the current Nigerian value system, but whether the detractors and haters like it or not, Buharism is an undeterred ideology that will change the way we do things in Nigeria.
Buharism transcends Buhari himself and his incorruptible persona. Buharism as a doctrine is the prescription to stamp out Nigerian socio-economic malaise and official corruption. According to Max Depree, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” Nigerians currently, are not ready to face reality on ground. Buhari is facing stiff resistance now from the impatient Nigerians because he wants them to face reality of why we are where we are now! The trickle down and short-term rewards from corruption is being stopped by his government, and corruption is fiercely fighting back! The last recession was a direct result of the leakage from the system, and the efforts of Buhari’s administration at sealing the leakage is being resented by the children of corruption. Most people in Nigeria are used to quick money or rewards from indolence and graft. The access to free and unaccounted money seems to be no more or dwindling. In the past, hard work has been relegated to the background. Lack of hard work with contentment and common purpose has been the bane of development in Nigeria. Mediocrity has replaced meritocracy!
In Africa, nay Nigeria, most leaders are bereft of potent ideas, as they lack every common sense decency to conjure imagination for possibility. They’re only motivated by graft and hedonism. Their stock-in-trade is to amazingly amass illegal wealth with an unending penchant for stealing or plagiarizing other people’s talents. There are many beautiful Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa proverbs that are easily accessible for use to change the way we think and live. But these bunch of lazy leaders regale shamelessly in stealing the common wealth of the people. The lazy followers support and queue up behind these looters because of their hatreds for Buhari. They continue enabling the rape the commonwealth. Our citizens wanton in massive blind spot to see beyond mundane.
In Nigeria, like someone aptly espoused: the bank executives will never grant your loan request unless you concede to ten percent of the loan, or the return of investment as bribe. The director wouldn’t give you a contract except you pay him off upfront with bribe. If you are lucky to get the contract, the supervisor of the contract won’t approve the completion of your job except you pat with brown envelope as bribe. The corrupt clerk in the office who will release your file will not do his job by submitting your file for payment except you rub his hand with bribe. When your file is released, the account department will not sign your payment voucher or cheque unless you pay him bribe. If your cheque is cleared and released, you will still have to palm the hand of the bank cashier to either deposit or withdraw your money. Petrol attendants, Security men, artisans, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, students, union leaders, religious leaders, government officials, they are all involved in bribery and corruption in Nigeria. Who can dispute all these honest submission? It is a national epidemic. Bribery and corruption have become a permanent national identity. Every known entity is corrupt in Nigeria. People with this corrupt identity will never be happy with the current Buhari’s administration. These children of corruption will be beclouded by parochial issues for their own political expediency and opportunism. They will never see anything good in Buhari’s administration. Never!
Nigerian value system right now doesn’t reward merit and good qualifications. I also agree with this unknown author who espoused that, If you decide to establish your own business in your village in Nigeria, you will either make friends or enemies because everyone will want to make profits out of your sweet. If you decide to build a house, you either supervise your project by yourself, otherwise, the bricklayers, the carpenter, the painters, the artisans-even your own brother who is suppose to supervise your project will want unrestrained profiteering from your sweat. The problem with Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians living in Nigeria. Corruption is a metastasized economic cancer, it has eaten deeper into the fabric of the system. The only one thing that abjectly unite or bond Nigeria together is corruption. From the top to the bottom, everybody is conjoined like Siamese twins by one thing-money (Kudi, Eego and Owo). If you can’t beat them, you will have to join them; if you can’t join them, you are calamitously on your own. If you try to fight corruption, corruption will fight you back, you can even get maimed or killed. I empathize with President Buhari, because thousands of Buharis in Nigeria will face uphill task to re-orientate or change the tainted Nigerian corrupt value system.
Meanwhile, even if Nigeria is restructured as we popularly clamor for, corruption is in the DNA of everyone. The most ethnocentric and tribalistic among us don’t realise that there is Babangida’s DNA in a Hausa-Nigerian; there is Diazeni’s DNA in Ibo-Nigerian, and Tafa Balogun’s DNA in a Yoruba-Nigerian. The microcosm of Nigeria is zukerville, the global village for noncorrectable Nigerians. If you are a research student in anthropology, your best bet for resources on Nigerians is social media (e.g Facebook). It is a place for Nigerian political cyborgs. It is also a citadel of learning for tantrums, grandstanding, junk journalism and religious terrorism. The cyborgs on social media do not care for credible source of information. Their minds operate in a dystopian state. Nigerians operate individually in a parallel universe- their interests are centered on grandstanding and political opportunism. The potency of social media has been rendered impotent by the inhabitants of zukerville in cyber village.
The only thing that is constant in life is change. Change is unique in nature—it is consistent and equitable in the distribution of its justice. Change has no respect or favor for any status, creed, color, race or ethnicity. Because of its constancy, it brings with it some nuances and conjectures like great expectation, hope, utopian beliefs, illusion, fear, prediction, apriorism, possibility, probability, prospect, reliance, outlook, opportunity etc. If you truly desire to be a transformational leader in an abnormal society, you must be transactional; ready to take the stake, the stench, and absorb the miasma and abusive language of the disgruntled, helpless and the unrepentant impatient members of that society. Your vision must be sacrosanct to good governance of those who hate you and to the good-intentioned members of the abnormal society. To the children of corruption, it is not normal to be normal in an abnormal society. In an abnormal society, if you behave normal, you’re seen as being abnormal; uncompromising with the courage of your convictions. But if you behave abnormal, you’re hailed with ranka dede, Mr. Owanbe; your treatment as a “normal person” will be laced with unbridled praises. You will be a corruptible king and queen in the house of corruption. Mediocrity and hypocrisy will be part of the catalysts that sustain the system, and the two predominant characteristics will dwell well in an abnormal society. A purposeful leader has the courage of his convictions; he’s unfettered in his vision for egalitarian and corrupt-free society.
I have read about contemporary issues in nation building, my countries of interests have been the United States, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. These three countries among others have gone through difficult times and predicaments in the past, but they have used their precarious situations to their own advantage. Their recession times were decision-making periods. This is a bitter lesson Nigerians need to learn from the citizens of these countries. There can never be gains without pains!
Federal government should be commended for its initiative at creating jobs for millions of the Nigerian youths through agriculture; reviving of our comatose industrialization system. It should be encouraged. Nostalgically, while in Nigeria, I wrote more close to a thousand fruitless applications looking for jobs in my profession after my first degree from the University. Out of frustration, I had to go for my Masters degree. The degree I couldn’t get its certificate because of the pending school fees I was owing. After my relocation to USA, these fees were only paid after I had worked in the United States and saved some money. There are thousands of hapless Nigerians now in this same predicament, who do not have the godfathers to recommend them for jobs after graduation. This has been part of the resolves of some of us who fight daily in our little way possible for the emancipation of other vulnerable Nigerians.
One of the emerging effects of Buharism in Nigeria is the attempts at closing the loopholes and the drainage in the economy, where the nation’s resources are wasted. Since independence, apart from the determined man-Buhari (the Orisa for the children of corruption), no government in Nigeria has had this effrontery to clean the system with much unfettered determination! Though, there are much to be criticized in the ways our president has carried out governance. But while we criticize, we must be constructive in our criticisms.
There’s a chronic corruption in all of us in Nigeria. The height of our indiscipline is stunning! It doesn’t exclude anyone as long as you are a Nigerian or African. The cynics can call this piece whatever name they want; the truth of the matter is that, change begins with me, if many of ‘me’ can have a change of hearts, the dreams of a promised land may not be far-fetched; it may after all be achievable. The Federal government must take stock of its administration, and correct or fine tune those areas where it has lapsed with complacency. The sufferings of the people must be considered with palliative measures, this will cushion the effects of the current unofficial recession and sufferings in Nigeria.
Like or not, Buharism even after Buhari is gone, is a doctrine that will bring the much anticipated changes we yearn for in a country with unquenchable hedonism. If there is no pains, there will be no gains! Unfortunately, the search for Nigerian true identity is aimlessly and relentlessly ongoing with some corrupt politicians, haters and resenters, while our identity is painfully being rewritten by well-meaning Nigerians. Without a beginning of change from me and you to change our ostentatious lifestyles; reorder our religious values, the unending cry for unity or restructuring of Nigeria will be a mirage. We will continue to ignorantly dress ourselves up in a borrowed room.