President Muhammadu Buhari has been described as a man who is not moved by wealth and had overcome greed a long time ago.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) gave the commendation, in a statement to celebrate Buhari’s 80 years birthday.
The Islamic group reaffirmed the appellation it gave the president in 2021 as the ‘Father of Modern Nigeria’.
The statement by the director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, reads
“We rejoice wholeheartedly with President Muhammadu Buhari as he attains the ripe age of 80. It is such a pleasant sight seeing him bouncing with so much energy all over Nigeria and across the globe instead of being the helpless invalid that the wicked had wished and prognosticated. It is, indeed, sweet victory for him as he has overcome so many obstacles laid before him. This is still the same man who was pronounced dead by many of his enemies.
“A two-time president, once as a military head of state and now as a civilian president, who is not moved by wealth. He overcame greed a long time ago. In spite of having so many cantankerous enemies, nobody has accused him of stealing one kobo of our common patrimony.
“Compared to other past African leaders who basked in opulence, Buhari stands tall in prudence, economic frugality, transparency, probity and accountability. Such greedy African leaders include Francisco Macias Nguema of Equetorial Guinea (1968 – 1979) who hoarded state money. Tedodoro Nguema Mbasogo (1968 – 1982) had a net worth of $600 million which made him one of the richest heads of states in the world.
“Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (1987 – 2017) stole more than $10 million in a country whose GDP per capita was $953. Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan (1989 – 2019) stashed away $9 billion with the London banks.
“Idi Amin Dada of Uganda (1971 – 1979) took so much of the country’s money for himself that he drove inflation rate in Uganda to 1,000 percent. Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola (1979 – 2017) had an estimated networth of $20 billion and his daughter had a networth of $3 billion in a country where 70% of the population manage to survive on $2 per day.
“Buhari has not launched a presidential library. He has no nursery, primary or inter-continental secondary school, not to talk of having a private university. He has been president for the past seven and a half years yet he has not built an ordinary hut, not to talk of a palatial mansion for himself. No wonder President Biden of America used both hands to have an handshake with him. Buhari is an uncommon president.
“Unlike some leaders Nigeria had in the past, Buhari has refused to use his presidential power arbitrarily. Nigerians know who was behind Fayose’s impeachment on 16th October, 2006 during his first term in office as governor of Ekiti State. They know who was behind the impeachment of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha on 9th December, 2005. But Buhari has not orchestrated the impeachment of any state governor.
“This was recently attested to by the Rivers State governor who, despite being one of Buhari’s bitter critics, praised the president to high heavens for releasing huge amounts to all oil producing South South states despite belonging to opposition parties (https://saharareporters.com/2022/11/19/governor-wike-praises-buhari-says-he-released-funds-which-jonathan-others-refused-give).
“This can be compared to the seizure of federal allocations belonging to Lagos State for many years by the Obasanjo regime. Buhari will be remembered for having charity for all and bitterness to none (https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/10/15/osinbajo-obasanjos-seizure-of-lg-funds-forced-lagos-to-think-like-sovereign-state/). Buhari is a real statesman, not an ordinary politician who only thinks of the next election.
“Nobody has accused Buhari of influencing any election result to date. He has played the democratic game to the letter. He has followed due process in all matters. Nobody has been clamped in jail for belonging to the opposition. Buhari has shown Nigerians that he is a democrat to the core.
“The new rail system, the Second Niger Bridge, several express roads including Lagos-Ibadan express road and Abuja-Kaduna highway, a sprawling road network across the country, several new universities, water and dry ports, new airport terminals in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Lagos, etc, hydro power plants, the list is endless, these are undeniable testimonies of Buhari’s achievements. But above all, Nigerians have witnessed thorough trouncing of terrorists and bandits in recent time.
“Whereas Teodoro Obiang Nguema of oil-rich Equetorial Guinea who seized power since 1979 and has been president for 43 years still vied for a seventh term in office at the age of 80, Buhari, unlike this Teodoro and Obasanjo, has exhibited no interest in a third term. He is leaving his footprints as a true democrat on the sands of time.
“All the above led MURIC to give President Muhammadu Buhari the appellation ‘Father of Modern Nigeria’ in 2021. We still reaffirm that appellation. Happy Birthday Mr. President. You will be remembered by generations to come as the president who served most selflessly. We are proud of you at 80 and we wish you many more graceful years.”