WHO IS AFRAID OF BUHARI? Examining The Root Cause Of Buhari-Phobia In Nigeria

By on January 29, 2015


I have followed, with mounting consternation, most of the debate surrounding the Buhari Candidacy for the Presidency of our great Land, Nigeria. I have also read with amusement, some of the contributions by some of our youths who were either not born 30 years ago when Buhari lead a furious effort to rid our nation of corruption and indiscipline in 1984, or were too young to really understand what was going on at the time.

From the very vicious attacks on the person of Muhammadu Buhari, as opposed to his ideas or qualifications to be the president of this country, it is clear that a very powerful minority are AFRAID to see this man become president. It appears that most of those who are scared out of their pants at the prospect of a Buhari Presidency, are too embarrassed to actually voice their main reason for opposing this man who has stood for nothing but probity and discipline in governance all his life.

Rather than engage Buhari and his followers in a healthy debate about issues that concern Nigerians, those suffering from Buhari-phobia have chosen to throw everything at him, including the kitchen sink, in a forlorn hope that something will stick other than the truth. Unfortunately for them, as the sad case of AIT recently illustrated, this particular train has left the station and no amount of ad-hominem attacks or misinformation by the formidable trio of misinformation specialists including Abati, Okupe and Fani-Kayode could not change the mind of many Nigerians who are already fed up with the lack luster administration of President Jonathan.

However, rather that the attacks against Buhari receding into real arguments about real issues, the attacks have actually gone from the sublime to the ridiculous and it is hard for any serious observer not to discern that there is something else driving these opponents of change apart from the garbage they are heaping on the collective psyche of Nigerians.

Some of the people desperately afflicted with ‘Buhari-phobia’ kept coming up with losing and infantile arguments such as the Certificate to contest controversy, when our constitution was clear that all he needs to contest is a school leaving certificate or its EQUIVALENT. Apart from this man having risen to level of General and Head of state, he attended military college in Nigeria, War College in the USA AND Military training in UK. He even named some of the people who were in secondary school with him. Yet these phobic personalities kept baying about degrees….

When that didn’t work, they started rumors that Buhari has a terminal disease and has collapsed and had been flown abroad for treatment when the man was busy campaigning in Yobe state. Really sad that this was the level of debate we have been reduced to as a country.

Lately these victims of Buhari-Phobia have tried to cause religion Card by accusing him of being an Islamist who took Nigeria to OIC when the facts clearly show that not only did he refuse to take us into OIC, the current government of Jonathan has actually been the one sustaining our membership in the Organization of Islamic Countries. President Jonathan even personally led a delegation of Nigerian leaders to the last summit in 2013.

buhari phobia2So, all these desperate attempts to spread lies about the Buhari Candidacy begs the question: why are so many people in the ruling class so afraid of a possible Buhari Presidency?

As someone who was already 20years old when Buhari came to power in 1984 and stole my young heart as an honest crusader, by imprisoning most of the criminal class of politicians in those days, I KNOW why todays class of corrupt politicians are desperately afraid of him.

Truth is, Buhari is not just someone who talks about the need to fight corruption, indiscipline and accountability, and he actually lives it. Unlike Jonathan who talks about fighting corruption but surrounds himself with shady characters and people embroiled in huge scandals, Buhari is a man who took his words seriously when it comes to fighting corruption. Unlike Jonathan who does not give a damn about asset declaration, Buhari has consistently declared his assets and dared anyone to expose a contradictory fact.

These people knew that if Buhari ever took the office of the President of Nigeria, nowhere in the world would be safe for those who have been looting our treasury for the last 16 years. Those old enough to see his brutal actions against corruption know that a leopard cannot shed its skin. Buhari is the worst nightmare of corrupt leaders, and those who have been regaling Nigerians with one-scandal-a-week for the last 6 years know that the Day of Judgment will come upon them if this man ever became the commander in chief again. Hence the acute Buhari-Phobia in the land.

This is the basis of the irrational fear of Buhari. The whole Buhariphobia is rooted in one word: CORRUPTION. The leaders of the PDP and their friends know that he will bring the vengeance of Nigerians into their lives without fear of favor.

So they have banded together to demonize him and ensure good people do not vote for him. Buhari has made his legend based on his stance against corruption. They know he will go to the ends of the earth to locate and bring the corrupt rapists of our collective wealth in the last 16 years to book.

Surely, who can forget his valiant and heroic attempt to have the Chief Thief of the time, Alhaji Umaru Dikko, repatriated in a crate to Nigeria? Forget the fact that the corruption apologists now try to portray most of the corrupt political class at that time  as heroes today, Buhari and his chief attack Dog, Idiagbon, made strong men quake in their shoes and put the fear of God into corrupt politicians.

Though Buhari is now a civilian, and would probably not be able to deal with them as a military man could, these corrupt class of politicians still do not want to take the chance. Many of them strongly believe that when he comes for them, the constitution or other checks and balance institutions may not be enough to protect them. Hence the acute Buhari-phobia that has suddenly gripped the ruling class.

Now, for those millions of Nigerians who were unborn in 1984 when the Buhari-mania played out in living colors in Nigeria, and those who were too young to understand what went down in those days (that includes everyone under 40 YEARS OLD TODAY), it is important for you to do your research on this man that is at the center of so much debate and passion on both sides. Don’t take the word of the misinformation cabal of Doyin Okupe, Femi Fani Kayode or Ruben Abati for it. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND THEN COME TO UNDERSTAND THIS MAN AND WHAT HE REPRESNETS, BETTER.

To help those too lazy to dig on their own, I will present a summary of the achievements of Buhari that I remember from my days as an law student in University of Ife in 1984, and list some of the achievements of Buhari that made him eminently qualified to take us out of the decadence that the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan has sentenced us to in the last 6 years as follows:

Here are the FACTS concerning Buhari in 1984/85 before his intervention was rudely interrupted by the smiling and self styed evil genius, General Ibrahim Babangida.

  • Before being MILITARY Head of State, Buhari had been Governor of one of the Northern States (under Obasanjo’s Military government) as well as Minister for Petroleum.  He later served as Chairman of PTF under Abacha.   Please consider the following unassailable facts:
  • He birthed and supervised the establishment of our existing refineries [Though the current government and the ones before it had access to many more billions of dollars than he had, none has created the kind of refineries Buhari spearhead with far less capital]
  • There was no religious crisis while he was Head of State. The bane of religious crisis only started under his successor IBB! So, what is the basis of people accusing him of being an Islamist? In fact, the truth was that he REFUSED to sign the OIC agreement on the ground that Nigeria was a secular state!
  • In his time as Head of State, he reduced inflation from 23% to 4%, by fiscal discipline and a homegrown economic team (not achieved under any other era, even military).
  • JJ Rawlings of Ghana took over 2yrs before him, and killed all the corrupt leaders, while Buhari only sentenced the corrupt leaders here to prison.   Yet the people suffering Buhari-phobia will want you to believe that he is the devil incarnate with no shred of human compassion!
  • Under his watch as PTF Chairman, what he did in road construction in that short period hasn’t been matched by 12yrs of the PDP.
  • Hospitals and universities around the country never witnessed as much benefits as they got from the PTF from any government after or before his time.
  • Despite serving in senior capacity in the oil sector, first as Minister for Petroleum and then   Petroleum Trust Fund, Buhari has no petrol station, much less a rig, refinery  or an oil block like so many of our leaders.  
  • He could have retired into big time wealth like an IBB or Danjuma or even OBJ but didn’t. Instead he maintained that he is living on his pension and has dared his opponents to prove otherwise but nobody has stepped up to show us his ‘hidden’ wealth.
  • Instead of hobnobbing with the high and mighty, he has cast his lot with the ordinary man most of who follow him out of hope and belief in his values. People who know him have said of   .. “All I need from Buhari is his word, I can take it to the bank”.
  • He is the only politician in the North today who fills rallies without renting a crowd. The Kaduna rally of 2nd March is eloquent proof!
  • He refused to collect an allowance while serving as Chairman of the PTF because he said since he was already drawing a pension from government, his conscience would not allow him to draw another salary from the purse of the same government.
  • He is the only former head of state that does not own property or land in Abuja.
  • Every attempt to rubbish him through probes in time past ended up vindicating him! The man who was asked by OBJ to take over the running of PTF before it was scrapped with the aim of probing and indicting Buhari, was the one who ended up being prosecuted for misappropriating $100m of PTF funds! Buhari again, was vindicated
  • He has OPENLY challenged those who accuse him of religious fundamentalism to come out and show proof. No one has till today, taken up the challenge.
  • His government initiated the War against Indiscipline that has made environmental cleanliness, queuing up, not urinating by the roadside etc. features of our national life even till today.

With this kind of scary credentials, I am definitely not surprised that many people in the corruption ridden PDP have suddenly developed an acute case of Buhari-phobia. They know that sooner or later the sword of Damocles will swing over their heads if this man gets into Aso Rock.

That is the TRUTH behind the widespread Buhari-phobia in the land today. They are only using issues such as certificate, old age, Islamism, dictatorship to hide the real reason why they are so afraid of the prospect of a Buhari presidency.

Now I have written this piece to explain to the teeming youths of our nation that rather than fear a Buhari presidency, you should really celebrate him because he is the ONE MAN standing in the gap for your future. He may be old but the old foes also know that when it comes dealing with, and arresting corruption which is our number one problem in Nigeria, Buhari still has the heart of a young lion.

So if you really care about Nigeria, and want us to attack the root cause of our problems, then you better start talking about Buhari.

If you are sick and tired of the people who are amassing the wealth of our nation for themselves and their families at your expenses, then you better stop joining the crooks who are only attacking Buhari because of their own fear of retribution.

For those who are tired of weak leadership on issues of security and economy, then you better open your eyes and vote right.

I personally cannot wait to witness the hurried exodus of the corrupt people who will definitely take off just before the inauguration of Buhari, and dawn the season of retribution for the corrupt that is sure to take place this year.

Of course we also have a choice to continue the status-quo and vote the one-scandal a week government back for another 4 years. Should we choose that route as a nation, we will definitely deserve everything we get from the corrupt cabal for the next 4 years and no amount of prayers can change that!

This may be HardTalk, but it is True-Talk all the same!

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.


  1. stanley

    February 2, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    if a documentary should be carry out on any of the pdp members ,i think we should be expecting up to 55 series and not just 55min.because crime is one of the caterer before you be a member in pdp.Their time is up.

  2. stanley

    February 2, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    No body in it right sense will prefer to continue with what is happening in our land,under this present regime.-(a) Do u kw that people now paid up to tone of 500,000 &above.
    (b) Do you kw there hv not being real employment,all what they have being doing is plus and minus,for instance they will sack 500 an employed 500 etc,
    (c) Do you know is under the regime ,worker become slave to their employer,some are working right now as a casual staff,without salary,eg BEDC etc sososos many to talk about,things are really going wrong……

  3. Benedict

    February 3, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    God bless You, Sir….

  4. Pingback: Overcoming The Gideon Complex:Deal With Your Fear & Failure In 7 Days. | 7Wins.eu

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