Temper in men occupying esteemed powerful positions makes such leaders misuse their public responsibilities and to wallow in an orgy of frustration by castigating their subjects recklessly or those they see as threats to the whimsical ambitions. The men in power view such actions atimes as blatant exhibition of some kind of ideology.
One writer rightly said that good professional soldier-officers are brought to assume sensitive political offices ill-prepared which they are mostly temperamentally unsuited for..
This brought me to a recent news story in the Tribune newspaper entitled “Madaki Raps Buhari,” of October 31, 1991 on a front page and reported by Etosa Iroh that Governor John Madaki of Katsina State was said to be rapping former Head of State, General Muhammad Buhari with an unsavoury languages on an allegation that he (Madaki) requested for N20 million from the General who is the chairman of Katsina Development Fund, but that the former head of state refused to release the money on the grounds that the fund was not scheduled for the project Madaki had eyed.
For this, the governor went to the extent of threatening to sack the chairman if he failed to grant him the fund. The accusation as explained by the governor put people in doubt if the state chief executive could indiscriminately utter such disheartening statements against the personality of the former head of state, General Mohammed Buhari.
We are all living witnesses that Buhari and his lieutenant, Tunde Idiagbon were never at any time accused of corrupt enrichment from public funds during their regime. As such General Buhari could not have gone so low to start stealing now. How can he be accused of attempting to mismanage the fund of a state which was just a local government when he ruled several states as the commander in chief? This brief explanation is to assure the people of Katsina State that General Buhari means no harm to the public treasury/endowment entrusted in his safeguard.
It is also clear that the governor was irked and saw no reason for Buhari’s intention to call for the committee meeting over the release of the fund. He expected that as a military governor all his requests must be approved and granted without recourse to laid down rules and procedures.
If Buhari, a chairman of a very sensitive committee could not summon a meeting to dole out such huge sums of money to the governor, how would he account for it once the people ask him? Indeed, Buhari did the right thing by calling for the committee to deliberate on it before any disbursement. Nothing is more becoming of a great man than courtesy of forbearance said in a politeness which has to do with saying the kindest utterance in the kindest manner.
This rejoinder by Yushau A. Shuaib was originally published in The Triumph November 13, 1991