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Reading The Buhari In Us


Reading The Buhari In Us


I have known and respected Abdullahi O. Haruna, the author of the 112-paged testament of Buharists titled “The Buhari in Us” for about 20 years now, since our undergraduate days at the glorious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Haruspice, as everyone knew him on campus was admired on campus for his friendship with the late Professor Femi Odekunle and for his vociferous writing on campus notice boards, magazines, and everywhere else. When “The Buhari in Us” was announced, I paid for my copy and waited patiently; when I received a copy, I refrained from a feedback until I had read the book twice.

Overall, I find the book easy to read, covering diverse topics with passion and unbridled admiration for President Muhammadu Buhari. Many of the individual essays had previously been published as Facebook posts or opinions in the media. In the year 2021, the Nigerian economy faces many challenges, particularly the Naira is said to be trading against the dollar at over N500/USD. Security challenges also plague Nigeria on many fronts while various permutations precede 2023. It, therefore, takes great boldness to release a book celebrating Buhari in 2021. ABU does not produce cowards; everyone knows this.


You will find the collection of essays covering key policy issues such as the “Not too young to run”, honouring MKO Abiola etc. as well as toasts of Buhari’s good health. Haruspice is an ingenious writer who seems able to shut his mind to the rest of the story once he has found the angle that shows the Buhari in the tale. For example, the very first essay Muhammadu Buhari: the poor President in a rich nation speaks of Buhari’s stark assets but says nothing of how all his elections were funded, how his UK doctors were being paid, and the wealth of those around him. To discuss Buhari’s alleged “poverty”, the author ought to reflect on some of these positions as well. A couple of other essays celebrate Buhari’s return from medical vacation, but say nothing on the need to have handed over the instrument of power to the Vice President prior to this.

Copyrighted in 2019 and launched in 2021, I find the book to be unfinished with insufficient reflection on today’s events. The struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the “EndSARS” and the crime and violence in 2021 and the economic woes we now face will surely shape Buhari in the minds of many. Sadly, Haruspice already dropped his pen in the basket of love back in 2019. I encourage the author to gather his material now but wait until after Buhari’s tenure before releasing a sequel. In the subsequent update, I urge the author to examine “the us in Buhari” and thus examine how concerns about the wellbeing of the generality of us, shape Buhari’s actions and inactions. I mean, the us who live say in rural areas of Borno, Plateau or Zamfara States, the us compelled to sit-at-home, the us without jobs, the us whose businesses have had head-on collision with COVID-19.

A few technicalities author should keep in mind – it is important to provide context to the essays. For example , to celebrate Buhari’s return from medical vacation, it is important to offer a note which provides date and other factual information about the event. If the article was previously published, then a citation is needed to avoid plagiarism, even self-plagiarism. I also urge the author who is also a publisher not to take the easy path of self-publishing in future but submit his ideas to the jury of peers and the scalpel of a dispassionate editor.

Since release, the book has created a tidy bit of storm, this does not surprise me. A visit to the author’s bustling Facebook page would give you an indication of his readership and pattern of engagement with his content – I hope though that these are all paiD readers.

What I found remarkable is that the challenges of Buhari administration have failed to alienate Buhari from his very many supporters. As I read my copy in a taxi, the driver told me he likes Buhari, “na ‘im government we no like”. Many politicians would be wondering how they could keep up a personal cult following even if the polities they manage are facing endless challenges. Far from dying out, it would appear that Buharism is budding and texts like “The Buhari in Us” are sacred testaments. What does that mmakepundits like Haruspice?

Nengak Daniel Gondyi,

Abuja, Nigeria


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