Buhari spoke during the public presentation of Chef Bisi AkandeThe autobiography of “My participation” Thursday in Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports several dignitaries including Senate Speaker Ahmed Lawan, APC National Leader Senator Bola Tinubu, Governors, Federal and State Lawmakers, Ooni d ‘ Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, among others, honored the event.
In his speech, Buhari said Akande remained a “perfect public officer”, who had retained his “unyielding integrity”, in and out of public service, never accepting or offering bribes. .
The president, who praised the former governor of Osun, further described him as a friendly person as well as a first-rate administrator, whose leadership qualities made him the unanimous choice in as the first president of the CPA.
Buhari took the opportunity to recount his first meeting with Akande, his passion for Nigeria, his accomplishments and his disappointment as governor of Osun, as well as his many battles to wrest power from the then-Democratic People’s Party. to be able to.
“My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006, when preliminary consultations bore fruit for a grand coalition to overthrow the PDP government.
“These efforts ultimately came to naught.
“Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up because, in the words of Chief Akande:” the country was collapsing under the PDP“(Pg 396 of Mes Participations),” he said.
The president also recounted how Akande rose to prominence through his participation in the Constituent Assembly established by the military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1977/78.
Buhari added: “He was always on the subject through the difficulties and political discontinuities of the 80s and 90s.
He became governor of Osun State in 1999 when the military surrendered to civilians.
“Chief Akande had a horrific baptism as governor of Osun State with the discord of his own party; his State Assembly (including an attempt to remove him for no reason); unions and his own deputy governor!
“On top of that, he inherited a heavily indebted treasury, huge arrears of wages, allowances and pensions. Enough challenges to overwhelm many budding leaders.
“Bisi Akande stood on four squares and faced all the challenges head on and overcame most of them.
“His first action was to stop the payment of” critical indemnities “, a euphemism for government money usually shared by the greats of Osun State. ‘This set the tone for his administration.
Recounting the achievements of the former governor of Osun State, President Buhari noted that it was established that within one year Akande paid all salaries and other arrears, showing his courage as an administrator competent and serious.
“By 2003, Chief Akande had virtually sanitized governance in Osun State, having eliminated some of his government’s troublemakers and, although reluctant to serve a second term, he was persuaded to stand for re-election. he said.
Reflecting on the author’s political history, in particular his candidacy for a second term as governor of Osun, President Buhari said:
“It is common knowledge that Akande was the victim – along with other AD governors – of an evil double cross which ended his career as governor.
“Only the faithful Asiwaju Bola Tinubu escaped the electoral massacre orchestrated by President Obasanjo.
“Desperately disappointed, even though he was, and being a good Muslim he accepted this setback as part of life’s trials. He looked to the future of service to the country.”
Recalling APC’s ascent to governance at the federal level in 2015, President Buhari said:
“Chief Akande was at the heart of new attempts in 2011 and 2014 to merge different groups and dislodge the PDP from governance.
“The key to his thinking, which matches mine, is that Nigeria can only be managed successfully through alliances between large groups.
“Although we failed in 2011, but through the persistence and knowledge that the PDP was driving the country towards disaster, several major parties were finally able to merge with APC in 2014.
“Chief Akande was unanimously chosen as the first president of this grand coalition.
“Throughout the difficult negotiations, I found Akande to be honest, stable and always attentive to the ultimate goal.
“In office or not, he has retained his unyielding integrity. On page 400 of his book he writes: “I have never given or asked for a bribe from anyone in my life. A perfect gentleman. A perfect public officer. he said.
Quoting a famous Hausa proverb, “Labarin zucciya a tambayi fuska” (loosely translated – if you want to know what’s in a man’s heart, look at his face), President Buhari asserted that Akande has a permanent smile on his face, saying “He’s the guy I’ll go to the jungle with.”
On the book, President Buhari recommended it to Nigerian political students and the general public.
“This book is a historical document. Students will find there an invaluable source of Nigerian politics, especially between 1999 and 2020 ”, he said.
In response, Akande, who declared his love for the president, prayed to God to grant him a successful term.
“We love you because you love Nigeria. We want Nigeria to be united, we want Nigeria to be peaceful, we want Nigeria to be prosperous. You and I want Nigeria.
“Nigeria is not yours alone, because you are our leaders, we blame you for every move that goes wrong. Even if when we know we are not being fair to ourselves.
“We know we are fraudulent, we know we are deceitful, we know we are cheaters. Of all the things we do wrong, we blame you, I didn’t sympathize with you, you applied for the job.
“May your tenure be prosperous, may Nigeria be greater in your time, may Nigeria be united, may Nigeria be peaceful”