In Defence Of Ibrahim Salisu Buhari
By Noel Adeniyi Decker
It is common place these times to wake up in the morning,catch the early morning news on television and leave for work depressed. On your way to work you tune on the radio, listen and arrive work depressed. Lunch time, you read the newspapers and get back depressed. Our days are constantly filled with news of wickedness. Man’s inhumanity to man. Wars, earthquakes, avoidableaccidents claiming lives and maiming others, floods, rapes, murders, name them. Nothing is an aberration to modern man.
In the midst of all these we are often prompted to search inwards for answers on how to thrive amidst such wickedness. The only solution seems to be with us. Doing good. It is imperative for us to be the change we want to see in the world because no one, no being will do it for us. We should step out each day with the mission of doing good. Looking for someone to do good to, touch someone’s life with goodness. Our lives should never be dictated by hurtful or painful experiences we have had over the years at the hands of many who might have taken us for a ride. It should only make us wiser. But good we must strive for because our Creator out of goodness He created us and our lives must be a living example of our Creator who is good.
The recent rumpus over the appointment of Hon Ibrahim Salisu Buhari as a member of the University of Nigeria Nsukka Governing board has been viewed with cynicism which is totally superfluous.
The various ravings and mud-slinging on the person of the former speaker of the federal House of Representatives clearly shows that we as a people prefer to chase the shadows at the expense of the substance.Why the campaign of denigration over his appointment as a member of the governing board of the University? They attributed their criticisms based on his past conviction of fraud and age falsification.
We should not forget that it is on record that Ibrahim Salisu Buhari is the first and only public officer till date who publicly apologized to millions of Nigerians with tears in his eyes over his actions which was inimical to the nation in an era when public office holders see themselves being above the law and even subverting judicial processes with the powers, connections and funds at their disposal. Some say he was shedding crocodile tears and were not fazed at all.
What in their view expresses remorse? Should the man inflict himself with serious injuries and bleed on television in addition to the tears, or simply put a gun on his head and shoot himself on national television for a wrong action he took in his zeal to serve his fatherland?
No individual should be judged based on past mistakes or behaviours as they can change and make good choices once they get another chance in a free society. Success is not only for pious people who have never been convicted or made erroneous deeds. Success is for anyone who wants it. It is so sad that we live in an extremelyjudgmental society were people have various sorts of prejudice. Prejudice is not just racial or religiousdiscrimination, ageism, sexual preference or against those who are overweight, but a prejudiced person can judge a person based on their past.
I was surprised to note in many of the articles criticizing his appointment that no mention was made of his achievements at the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council [NERDC] in 2005 where he held sway as the Chairman during the twilight of the Obasanjo era. The uproar generated over his recent appointment was not generated then, so why the storm now? Were they not informed, do they have a problem with the President who appointed him now? Its quite amazing the issues we blow out of proportion while a lot needing our attention is never mentioned at all.
I wish to commend all the great Lions and Lionesses for their great heritage over the years and wish to implore them to welcome the former speaker of the Federal House of Representatives with open arms in the tradition of their great hospitality not forgetting that the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council never had it so good during the Chairmanship of the former Speaker who is not known to court media attention over his accomplishments in a society where silence is often seen as a sign of weakness.
In this period of holler for reformation and transformation in the polity we should never forget some sagacious sayings such as that of Alexander Pope 1688-1744: to err is human; to forgive, divine and the saying of the Great Rabbi ‘he that is without sin, let him cast the first stone’.
Noel is a media practitioner and writes from Abuja