Saturday, September 8, 2018
[email protected]
Maputo, Mozambique



he writing of this article was partly provoked by Mr. Yahaya Balogun's piece, as published by Nigeriaworld, titled, "Yes, Mr. Integrity And His Adversaries...!!!", in which he exalted President Muhammadu Buhari as Integrity personified.

I have no problem with whatever opinion somebody chooses to hold about anybody or anything unless that opinion tramples upon truth. When it does, as I believe Mr. Balogun's piece has done, an urgent but constructive reaction in the form of correction, rebuke or rejoinder becomes necessary depending on the medium of communication of the untruth.

I was busy working on another project captioned "3 Reasons Why Mr. Buhari Is Not A Good President" when I read Mr. Balogun's timely piece. Because the issue of integrity features prominently in my newest project, I decided to write this article as a caveat with the hope of addressing a misconception that many people hold of Pres. Buhari.

Before I proceed, it is of utmost importance to me to acknowledge one fact; that Mr. Balogun is a very brilliant man and a persuasive writer. Just as I read with concentration every article of Mr. Temple Ubochi, Mr. Eric Teniola, Prof. Adekunle Akinyemi, Mr. Nnanna Ijomah, Fr (Prof) Francis Oborji, Fr. Chukwuma Amobi that I am opportune to lay my eyes on, so do I frequently visit Nigeriaworld in search of the newest article from Mr. Balogun.

Even in the midst of tight schedules and life's encumbrances, I still make it a point of duty to always update myself and widen my intellectual capacity and framework through reading from people I believe have the bulk of knowledge and expertise that I crave for in life. And I must admit that Mr. Balogun through his writings is one of the resource persons I consult for more enlightenment.

Having made this acknowledgement of Mr. Balogun's intellectual prowess, I must confess that I differ with him in opinion on the competence and suitability of Mr. Buhari as the President of Nigeria.

He, like many other people believes that Buhari's presidency is the best thing that has happened to Nigeria and Nigerians in this current political dispensation.

I don't share his viewpoint on this.

One thing that I can't take away from Mr. Balogun is the fact that he is a man who fearlessly and fiercely defends his conviction. In this his article under consideration, he addresses Pres Buhari as Mr. Integrity and the rest of us who don't buy into this appellation as his adversaries.

At this juncture, it becomes crucial to point out that there is an erroneous conception that has been sold by some Nigerians and members of the International Community that Pres Buhari is Mr. Integrity, the Incorruptible Judge, and a saintly Nigerian Politician.

For me, he is none of the above.

The peddlers of this viewpoint of Pres Buhari's superlative integrity often make reference to his time as the Military Head of State when through his War against Indiscipline (WAI); Nigeria became a heaven on earth.

The enforcers of this Buhari-Integrity Ideology argued vehemently, pre-2015 presidential election, that a Buhari win would magically transform Nigeria into a Wonderland and the Promised Land of felicitation.

Because of this, many well-meaning Nigerians and their well-wishers went into a prayer overdrive for this to become a reality.

But more than 3 years of Buhari's Presidency, we are still in wait for the take-off of this grand plan of revitalizing Nigeria.

Instead, what we are witnessing in today's Nigeria is the tightening of Pharaoh's grip on the subjugation of the Israelites that the shout of 'Pharaoh let my people go' has been drown by the orgiastic drum of power intoxication of the security agents and the government within a government.

I am beginning to believe that the word 'Integrity' has a different meaning for the Buharists contrary to its traditional and well-documented meaning.

For the sake of this article, I will define Integrity and thereafter raise some question marks on the purported integrity of Pres Buhari with the sole intention of showing that 'all that glitters is not gold' and that 'a hunter is not a soldier'.

Etymologically, Integrity comes from the Latin word 'Integer' which means 'whole' and 'complete'.

According to Wikipedia, "Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness".

In ethics, according to the Wikipedia, "Integrity is regarded as the honest and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions".

For me, Integrity involves morals. And morals, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, is "concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior".

In her article, "The True Meaning of Integrity" as published by the "Huffingtonpost", So-Young Kang observed that "Integrity is the concept of consistency of action, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes ".

Yang argued that "When you are in integrity, people should be able to visibly see it through your actions, words, decisions, methods and outcomes".

She further observed thus;"When you are 'whole' and consistent, there is only one you. You bring that same you wherever you are regardless of the circumstance. You don't have a 'work you', a 'family you', and a 'social you'. You are YOU all the time ".

Yang went further to acknowledge the difficulty and high standard that Integrity demands from those who dare to embrace it. To this she wrote; "Given the real definition of integrity, we recognize that it is actually extremely difficult to be in integrity 100% of the time. We aspire to be in integrity with what we believe but sometimes, our emotions get the best of us and we are unable to intentionally manage our behavior and actions".

In the light of this microscopic definition and understanding of integrity, may I humbly through the following questions examine critically the purported integrity of Pres Buhari, juxtaposing it with the past and present happenings around him and the government that he leads.

    1. What was the source(s) of Pres "Integrity" Buhari's 2015 Campaign Funds?

    2. Did his acceptance of those campaign funds in all honesty and truthfulness wholly meet with the standard that integrity sets in relation to morals?

    3. Did he for once question the source(s) of wealth of those individuals who hugely bankrolled his campaign bearing in mind the high level of corruption and embezzlement of public funds by many who are in positions of power in Nigeria?

    1. What happened to most of his campaign promises?

    2. Is denial of campaign promises a mark of integrity?

    1. Can Mr. Integrity Buhari say, in all honesty and truthfulness, that only northerners are the best qualified to lead key sectors of his administration?

    2. Is nepotism an element of integrity?

    3. On what grounds were his political appointments based; merit or 'Ima Mmadu'(I.M) and, 'Umunna Rule'(Clan Rule)?

    1. Does Pres Buhari believe, in all honesty and truthfulness, that a non-violent IPOB is a terrorist organization while the murderous Fulani Herdsmen are mere criminals?

    2. On what portfolio of truth was the proscription of IPOB based; truthfulness or transferred aggression?

  1. Does Pres Buhari honestly and wholeheartedly believe that the only corrupt politicians in Nigeria are in the opposition party, the PDP, and non in the ruling party, APC?

    1. What happened during his time as the PTF Chairman?

    2. Can Mr. Buhari, in all honesty and truthfulness, say that he acted with integrity as the PTF Chairman when 70% of the projects of PTF went to his northern region while a paltry 30% came to the region that produced the Oil?

    1. Why is Dasuki and El-Zakzaky still being held in custody after competent courts have granted them bail?

    2. Is disobedience of court order a mark of integrity in a democratic clime?

  2. Why did EFCC have to wait until Gov. Sam Ortom of Benue State defected to PDP before remembering that he has a case to answer with the 'crime fighting agency'?

I will like to conclude this article with a short story to drive my point home.

I used to have a friend and neighbour in Maputo by name Charles alias "Pastor". His nickname stems from the fact of his religiosity. Charles was really a church man but at the same time a very greedy person who believes that all good things should come to him and no other.

People who are not very close to him only see his religious side. But for those who know him from a closer range, Pastor is a very dangerous person. One thing I discovered about him is that if he felt he couldn't cheat you, he would never agree to do any business with you. For him, every encounter with another person is an opportunity to defraud that person. But majority of the people saw him as a saintly person.

For example, if Pastor was going to South Africa and you mistakenly give him money to buy something for you, Nwanne, forget it, he wouldn't do it. And even if he does, it will never be as agreed upon. One funny story must enter for him to dribble you.

But one thing still surprises me till date, and that is how many people are still fooled by his religiosity. Pastor has a deadly packaging of a good person that makes many fall for his antics.

My question then to those who hold Pres Buhari in high esteem as Mr. Integrity is this; Can we say that Pastor is a living saint because many people who don't know him very well hold that view about him?

That no one gave Pres Buhari a truck of rams for Sallah doesn't necessarily mean that he is Mr. Integrity.

Integrity involves actions and inactions. If your actions don't make you weigh less in the balance of integrity, your inactions might do the damage. And in Pres Buhari's case, both his actions and inactions stand as credible witnesses against him in the court of integrity.

I Rest My Case.