The Buhari in Us: a Short Review
by Adamu Tilde
“President Muhammadu Buhari means different things to different people, but for us, he is a phenomenon, a movement, and an ideology” goes the opening sentence of “The Buhari in Us.” This statement reveals the author’s sympathy and attachment to the subject at hand, and perhaps, understandably so, close the room for impersonal, dispassionate assessment.
For some inexplicable reasons, Buhari’s presidency has suffered great media blackout, though self-inflicted, this disregard for media has done incalculable damage to otherwise excellent performance, good governance and delivery of dividends of democracy to citizens by the president; consequently, this has created room for all sort of misrepresentation of the good person that President Buhari is by members of the opposition, which has blurred all the spectacular achievements of the administration. It’s this atmosphere of misrepresentation of the president persona and misinterpretation of the government’s policies that “The Buhari in Us” – a collection of 41 beautifully crafted essays by Abdullahi O Haruna, better known as Haruspice – sets to correct.
There are groups of people that are yet to get over the loss of the 2015 elections hence they opposed everything President Buhari, regardless. Put differently, these groups have deployed all manner of resources to obfuscate all the spectacularly accomplishments of President Buhari, so much so that the opposition has begun to delude themselves that the President no longer enjoys the support of his constituency. How wrong they are. With the publication of “The Buhari in Us”, Haruspice has proven how strong, solid and loyal the president’s support base is.
The major opposition party has been awful at governance and mediocre as an opposition. Instead of constructive criticisms and timely feedback on government policies to help the present administration deliver the dividends of democracy, it thought (rather poorly) that the only way to stage a comeback to the feast they have reduced governance to while they were at the helm of the country’s affairs is through hate. But hate, as argued by the author, don’t change government. You change government with tact and intelligence (pp 22), a lesson they have repeatedly failed to learn in five years.
Though the cacophony of misdirected protests from people who have sworn not to see anything good in President Buhari’s administration have gone unchallenged for long, the publication of The Buhari in Us couldn’t have been timely, for it would assuage the feelings of genuine supporters of the president, and offer reasons why the President’s supporters should raise their shoulder high before any gathering. The Buhari in Us is a celebration of love, an appreciation of competence, and demonstration of a continued support.
Haruspice has shown a rare demonstration of courage and bravery at a time when doing so amounts to career suicide as aptly captured in a chapter titled: Buhari and the Media Onslaught. The media onslaught on the President and anybody who identify with the president is second to none, hence “The Buhari in Us” would serve as the needed placebo to thousands of supporters of the president nationwide.
I will like to end with a quote from a poem by the author titled Proud Buharideen:
“Followers of a man with impeccable toga,
The dodo of the corrupt ,
He who sends shiver with his silence.
Show us your heroes you scion
Of bitterness, grief and venom.”
The president’s supporters should be proud of what their hero turns out to be: locally accepted and globally respected. No amount of unfavorable ratings by questionable authorities could dent his image in the eyes of his supporters, and there is no such supporter that demonstrates this than the author of The Buhari in Us, Abdullahi O Haruna (Haruspice).
The Buhari in Us: a Short Review