I sincerely do have a 'soft spot' for Buhari. From his demeanor, I have the impression that he is disciplined, exercises a great deal of self-control towards material things, has the strong
will required to lead a strange country like Nigeria, has the will to fight corruption and is probably much less corrupt and less criminal-minded than most Nigerians.
But, regarding his presidency, some of my misgivings (and I guess I’m being pretty genuine and original here) are as follows:
1) He is associated with Tinubu. Tinubu has invested so much in this enterprise called APC, and will definitely be a big factor in GMB’s government. For all his will power and personal discipline, GMB cannot possibly sideline such powerful stakeholders and kingmakers. We don’t need to be reminded of who Tinubu is.
2) From their body language, activities and utterances, APC, as a party, is suspect. They seem to be desperate. They are composed of the same old thieves who merely created a new system when they became irrelevant in the old. I have neither seen a political ‘born again’ experience nor have I seen a clear-cut agenda suggesting they are a better alternative to PDP. So far, their integrity, sincerity, patriotism and political good will is yet to be proven, and they seem to be just as evil and confused as the ruling party. So, even if Buhari were to be good as a person, how would he perform when he is surrounded by these guys? Put simply, he is a product of a highly suspect party
3)While I do not find his religious affiliations a problem (and may, for personal reasons, even count it a plus for him), he is yet to demonstrate that he does not actually sympathize with religious violence. Some of his well-documented utterances I revisited recently give me enough reasons to be worried (and he really has to show he has distanced himself from such earlier views or, better still, disown them publicly).
4) From his military antecedents, he seems to be very vindictive and might go to extremes in punishing ‘enemies’. (Now, I don’t have problems with punishing corrupt people so long as they are enemies of the state, and not his personal ‘enemies’].
5) My issue with ‘tough guys’ like him is that they always have a soft spot for a very tiny group of friends – call it ''selective justice'' if you like. If he makes corruption impossible for the rest of the country but allows Tinubu and co to loot, Nigeria would soon become an empire of the few. Nigeria probably has the highest middle class in Africa because more people have access to corruption money. Fighting corruption only makes sense when everyone is affected. When you fight all and leave a few, you are only making the few super-rich and powerful. Remember Abacha; remember some African and Arab nations where literally everything belongs or used to belong to the ruling family plus their narrow circle of friends.
6) Finally, Buhari is a product of Hausa-Fulani nationalism. This is not bad in itself, but there is a supremacist and ‘retaliatory’ slant to it. Buhari is popular with his people, not necessary because he is a good and incorruptible Nigerian, but because he is “our son”. Having followed Nigerian politics for a long time, I can say Nigerians do not have what it takes to resist the “our son”-politics……..etc etc
[I have a few other misgivings, but these are the most pressing.