Home OPINION COMMENTARY 2023: Final Integrity Test For Buhari Presidency, By Deen Adavize

2023: Final Integrity Test For Buhari Presidency, By Deen Adavize

The last defence

As Nigeria prepares for another general election next year, the country’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is due to transfer power to another person, is currently facing his final integrity test.

As President and leader of the country’s rulings All Progressive Congress, he is undoubtedly expected to take a firmed position in the emergence of the presidential candidate of his party.

Having been praised around the world as Africa’s foremost anti-corruption crusader, his legacy is expected to linger on after his exit next year. But his successor will either make or mar this projection.

As a matter of fact, it is generally agreed that a good leader is not someone who serves his people credibly alone but also rises against any primordial sentiment to ensure he bequeaths an outstanding successor who will work even more credibly that will outweigh his success story while ensuring his predecessor’s good legacy endured.

As expected, in his recent statement to the APC Governors, President Buhari made it clear that he is very interested in the choice of the person that will emerge as the party’s flag-bearer in the forthcoming Presidential election.

In his words: “as I begin the final year of my second term as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of the party, I recognized the compelling need for me to provide stronger leadership to the party under this transition process and to ensure that it happens in an orderly manner.”

The President further advised the party to adhere to the changing dynamics of the nation’s environment, and the expectations of the citizens and the global community.

Having learned from his past mistakes as leader of his ruling party, (APC) the Nigerian leader seems to have realized that continuing playing his usual role of non-interference in the party affairs will not only spell doom for his party and his legacy but also threaten the security of the entire nation.

However, despite his firm, yet vague statement about his preferred candidate in the coming party’s primary election, his role and decision a few hours from now will finally define his acclaimed integrity of being a detribalized leader, defender of the masses and real anti-corruption crusader.

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While the President advised the party to adhere to the changing dynamics when choosing the party presidential candidate, he himself must stay around, and work closely with the party’s leaders to drive this process. This is not the time to just dish out directives that were barely enforced while he stays away.

Though the President has provided some useful qualities of someone the party should choose for the coming presidential election, he must as well resist any pressure from any angle that will prevent him from doing what is morally right and eternally beneficial for the entire country.

Furthermore, while President Buhari put into consideration, the capacity, experience, competence, pedigree, and exceptional track record of his preferred candidate, he must also not ignore the importance of equity and justice for every segment of the country as part of what he recently described as the current dynamics of contemporary Nigeria and the emerging global reality.

It is well known that despite his giant strides of about eight years of stewardship as Nigeria’s President, he has also received a barrage of criticisms on several fronts. While some accuse him of being despotic, others describe him as being ethnically cum religious inclined in his style of leadership, especially in the areas of appointments and others. Yet some others question his acclaimed integrity in the manner he handled various challenges facing the country. However, the outcome of this solemn challenge of choosing his successor will finally defend his integrity and, perhaps, ultimately define his legacy.

As the party is finally set to conduct its primary a few hours from now, having previously delayed it for about a week for the reason best known to them, it is the right time for the Nigerian leader to prove to Nigerians, both his supporters and his critics, and of course, to the global community that he, indeed, truly belongs to everybody, and belongs to nobody!

Adavize, a concerned Nigerian and Public affairs analyst, wrote from Okene, Kogi State. | deenadavize@gmail.com

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