TS Columnist: Three Reasons Why President Buhari Will Outperform Former President Jonathan – Ayomide Alao



Jonathan-and-Buhari -

Last month, while staying in a hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, I met this well informed Indian national (name withheld) who engaged me in a discuss on Nigeria. We conversed extensively on subjects like Nigeria’s Amalgamation, emergence of democracy (1999) and the peaceful transition of power at the centre from the former ruling party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC). I almost forgot that this gentle man was a foreigner, because of his level of knowledge on Nigeria.

At some point in our conversation, we shared thoughts on some of the challenges confronting Nigeria (Corruption, dearth of effective leaders, Poor management, Value System and what have you). After x-raying these challenges, we reached a logical conclusion that a Wrong Value System was the major challenge militating against her progress. Corruption, poor leadership etc. are products of a wrong value system. A value system that unwittingly promotes some of the seven social sins enumerated by Mahatma Ghandi; wealth without work, politics without principles, worship without sacrifice, Commerce without morality, Pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character and science without humanity (not applicable to Nigeria).


In concluding our conversation, we spoke about the new government in the Country, led by President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB). He then asked me two pertinent questions: Firstly, Can President Buhari brings about the long awaited change(s) in Nigeria? Secondly, will President Buhari outperform the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan?

My article today will address the second question. I will give three reasons why I believe President Muhammadu Buhari will outperform Former President Goodluck Jonathan. I want to state here that this article is not intended to criticize/condemn Former President, Goodluck Jonathan. He is a man that every rational Nigerian will respect for strengthening democracy via conducting satisfactory and credible elections.



To be prepared is half victory”- Miguel DeCervantes

Taking into consideration PMB’s journey to Aso-Rock, it is evident that he was intentional and prepared for the nation’s number one position. He contested in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. It takes a man who has a vision, who is intentional and prepared to fulfill that vision to pursue a goal for twelve years. He was mentally prepared to lead the most populous black nation in the world.

When preparation meets opportunity, success is inevitable”– Zig Ziglar

 Conversely, President Jonathan seems not to be prepared to be the President. Just last week, former Governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke alleges that Jonathan never wanted to be President of Nigeria, that he was forced into the position.

 “…You don’t give authority to an unwilling person, particularly in a country like Nigeria. Jonathan had just been re-elected to be governor of Bayelsa and when he was picked, he was not so pleased. He told Obasanjo and me, ‘I don’t want this job’. The mental preparation is absolutely important. The vision can be scripted for you, but if you are not prepared and you have no capable team to help you follow through, it is grossly unfair. It is like converting a passenger on an aircraft to a pilot”- an excerpt from an interview with Donald Duke


Turn your wounds into wisdom”- Oprah Winfrey

PMB is without doubt well experienced before he recently became Nigeria’s democratic President. He once held the most powerful position in the country, Military Head of State (31 December 1983- 27 August 1985). He was also the Governor of the Northeastern state (August 1975- March 1976) and Federal Commissioner of Petroleum and Natural Resources (March 1976- June 1978). With these experiences, he has seen it all; hence, he would possess a better sense of judgment and he will be familiar with most challenges of the Nigerian state. For example, his experience has Federal Commissioner of Petroleum and Natural Resources will come to play in cleaning up the mess in the Oil sector.  President Buhari’s wounds will sure turn to wisdom.

“Good Judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment”- Rita Mae Brown

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan is also experienced, but not in the vicinity of PMB’s.


“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best”- Epictetus

It is a fact that people are a leader’s true wealth. Your network determines your net worth. The environment (people) of a leader goes a long way in determining his/her achievement. President Buhari sure has some wolves in sheepskin around him, but in my view, I believe he has a better environment when compared with the previous Jonathan led administration.

With people like Dr. Tunde Bakare, Nasir El-Rufai, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo (Vice President), Prof. Tam David West, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Obiageli Ezekwesili and co. PMB has a moderately good environment.

Do you agree with me?

            Till next week, be good and take charge.

            Ayomide Alao







SEE ALSO: TS Columnist: NO ONE IS USELESS – Ayomide Alao






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  1. Hmmmmmm…. Nice write up, however, I will not so agree with parts of the three Reasons you proferred.. .
    In the first instance, I will not want to agree with you on the fact that Buhari was more prepared than Jonathan. There is a difference between desire and preparedness. Agreed, Buhari desired the Presidency more than Jonathan, even going by the quote credited to Donald Duke about Jonathan not having the desire for presidency. That alone is not enough to judge whether he is prepared for it or not.
    Even with the present event unfolding, it does not show Buhari as a man prepared for this. I read ur former write up defending his delay in chosing his ministers and cabinet but my brother, that is not tenable for a man who is supposedly prepared. A prepared man should know his team even before the election is won and not wait till 3 months in office to show how prepared he is.
    On experience, yes, it is not in dispute that Buhari has the experience but if we may ask, experience in what? Between 1981 to 1984 when he was the military Head of State, it was a dictatorial government where you don’t have to rely on any National Assembly to pass anything into law. All the decrees (WAI) were easily carried out effectively using d military set up. In fact it was an authocratic regime…. However, this is a different ball game. Democracy is 16 years old, Politicians had taken over, Nigeria is now run politically and if you don’t dance along the line or be wise about it, you might get burnt. The presidency and APC handling of the Saraki/Dogara issue gives us a sneak preview into the kind of experience Buhari is said to have over Jonathan.
    Reading the names of the Company Sorrounding President Buhari, those are intimidating names I will also accept but are we forgetting that some names like that too surrounded President Obasanjo and Jonathan….. Okonjo Iweala, Olubunmi Oyo, Late Rilwan Lukman, Olusegun Aganga, are all names a reasonable government will be happy to work with, even the much vilified Diezani K. Alison-Madueke is the first female President of OPEC, elected at the 166th OPEC in 2014. But dat did not stop Jonathan from failing.
    I do not say Buhari won’t succeed as we all pray and wish he succeed but we should stop giving him too long rope to pull and stop making excuses for him. .

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