This exercise is obviously a self-saddled responsibility. However, l need to be permitted, by all, to show why l chose to embark on the – or this; mission. Muhammadu Buhari has traversed the land and territory of this country called Nigeria for about 47 years.
And that is not counting from when he was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as an officer in 1963, but instead, remembering him from when he started taking some prominent national responsibilities during the Military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976.
We shall surely come back to the beginning of his odyssey much later, when the need for this self-saddled responsibility would have been fully explained, to the acceptability of majority.
Permit me to state, from this very beginning, that the man – President Muhammadu Buhari, set the banner for this work last week Friday, April 21, 2023, when he received some guests at the Presidential Villa. The Guests of selected Nigerians paid the traditional religious Sallah homage. This is how the journey to the present work: Buhari’s Nigerian odyssey and his final report card, started – and it was on his note of apology to Nigerians.
With only 38 days left in office, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday, in Abuja, asked Nigerians hurt by his policies for a pardon.
Buhari described himself as a lucky and fulfilled politician, having served as military governor of Borno State in 1976, Minister of Petroleum Resources in the same year and one-time Head of State (1983 – 1985).
He thanked citizens for “tolerating” his eight-year regime, which began when he was sworn in as President on May 29, 2015.
“Those that think that I have hurt them so much, please pardon me,” Buhari said when he hosted a controlled number of guests at the ninth and final Sallah homage held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I think this is a very good coincidence for me to say goodbye to you and thank you for tolerating me for more than seven and a half years.
“I honestly consider myself very lucky; I was made a governor, minister of petroleum, head of state in uniform, then after three attempts, God, through technology and PVC, I became president. I think God has given me an incredible opportunity to serve as your president. And I thank God for that.
“So, please, whoever feels I have done wrong to them, we are all humans. There is no doubt I hurt some people and I wish you will pardon me. And those that think that I have hurt them so much, please pardon me,” said the president.
Speaking of his retirement plans, the president echoed his desire to wash his hands off party politics for a while and stay away from the FCT.
He said, “I am counting the days. Democracy is a good thing; otherwise, how can somebody from the other side be a president for two terms? From my hometown to the Niger Republic is eight kilometers.
“I assure you; I have deliberately arranged to be as far away from you as possible, not because I don’t appreciate the love you’ve shown to me, but because I think I’ve gotten what I have asked and I would rather quietly retire to my hometown (Daura, Katsina).”
Above were his exact words. Given the above quoted, there was no doubt that the man traversed Nigeria, and there might still be likely few traversing to be completed before he signs the final departure Register. Even, the movement from Abuja to Daura; come May 29, 2023, when he would be handing over to his successor – either by Road or by Air, would also elongate the odyssey.
Obviously, the man – Muhammadu Buhari needs to be assisted, if his apology to Nigerians would arrive any ground of acceptability, of the Nigerian people, at least. And there should be diversified reasons for this. Because on the surface, he [Buhari] might as well have concluded that his apology covered the period of his presidency – 2015 – 2023 only.
Yes, while that could really be his intention, majority of Nigerians might be concluding that his incursion into the Nigerian political airspace; as elucidated himself, is surely longer, and more expansive, than just 8 years which he intended the apology to cover.
The challenge is simple. While he believes that the apology, he conveyed was adequate for 8 years, most Nigerians might be discounting his apology – saying that it was not enough for all the number of years he disrupts things in Nigeria, mostly when the people think of those devastative disruptions that came from him.
It is for the above reason, that the exercise The Guru is embarking upon, has become so necessary. Because if the truth is to be told. Muhammadu Buhari needs to know everything that happened to Nigeria and Nigerians under his tenures. And this must include all his ventures and onslaughts on the Nigerian sanctuary from 1976 till date.
And for sure, there are many Nigerians that shall be attempting on this voyage of helping the man – Muhammadu Buhari, to write his handover Notes. It is not only this author – Godwin Etakibuebu, that might be assisting in making the assignment easier for Muhammadu Buhari.
But for now, since there is not yet a synergy of conglomerate of historical writers coming into existence, for the purpose of helping Buhari to accomplish what he might not be able to accomplish on his own; I assumed, let us start and follow this effort, please.
It is starting off as snippets of the Muhammadu Buhari odyssey for now. It has the hope, structurally speaking, at the end of the day, of becoming the historical documentation of the man’s era.
With this at heart, this writer presents, starting from this point, day and date, a Compendium of the Muhammadu Buhari’s Era, to Nigerians and the Global community as well.
And the work, by the grace of God the Almighty, shall be tenacious, in enduring to the very end. The chain of the work, as challenging as it is looking to be, shall not be broken. It shall not fail neither shall it falter.
The end-product of this work, all things being equal, shall opened many forgotten developmental points of our navigational national voyages and posterity shall be better for it. Ipso facto may God help and sustain the author.
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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