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Smile General, smile’



General Muhammadu Buhari

EXCEPT his family members and ‘very close’ associates, perhaps, not many Nigerians have seen General Muhammadu Buhari smile, even wryly.

Although his face has been tempered by age, Nigerians, who were around in his heydays as Head of State, would attest to a man with steely gait and resolve to mould the citizens in his own image.

Forty years later, and having gone through the baptism of fire in three consecutive elections, “Buhari is still the same” even at campaign stomps where those seeking the mandate of the people loosen up, if only for the moment.Watch President Goodluck Jonathan of late and see what we mean!

A man of limited words, Buhari is almost mechanical, as he walks to the podium, delivers his speech and waves to the cheering crowds that besiege his campaign rallies. But that was before the coming of Prof. Femi Osinbajo, an eminent lawyer cum pastor, who has smiles playing on his face all the time, “even when he lectures recalcitrant students.”

The gist is that when Buhari named Osinbajo as his running mate, the latter’s immediate task was to “tone down” the General’s visage, especially in the public.

An insider put the scenario this way: “Prof. Osinbajo tried hard for days to work on the candidate’s mien without any success. “Then came the decision to have some photo shoots, to be used for posters, billboards, leaflets and media messages for the presidential campaigns.

“The General was prepared for a photogenic session, and the photographer started clicking away, but the result displayed by the digital camera was not good enough; that’s Buhari’s visage was almost or still the same: stern, taut, unsmiling.”

Then Osinbajo intervened, telling Buhari that none of the photographs would be good enough to advertise his candidacy, not the least the pick to go along with the ‘One Meal, One Child’ poster.

“Smile General, smile,” Osinbajo said. “The children will not eat the food o if they see your face like this. Please, smile General,” he added. And that did it: a broad smile, as never seen before, spread across Buhari’s face. That’s how we now have a toothy smile: a smile for the cameras, a smile for the record, and a smile for all ages.

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  • Arouser

    What is there to smile about in Nigeria. The country is sick and in total mess

  • Chim52

    Another UNMASKING OF THE REAL DICTATOR, Buhari. There is the need to dissect Buhari’s brain. This might reveal some genetic disorders that trigger his SADISTIC nature. Buhari may be a victim of his myopic environment, hence he sees not farther than his immediate vicinity. ‘ I’ll make oil prices to rise’ Buhari recently boasted. Even though it was an campaign flip flap, it went far beyond that. ( a case of idiotic hallucination)
    Buhari should not be encouraged to smile. It’s against his nature. He hides his volcanic rage inside and lets it out at the appropriate time best known to himself:- a bundle of dangerous UNCERTAINTY

  • Ojiyovwi

    OK, so you managed to make the monalisa smile. Would that make any difference to the damaged souls of our brethren that hunts Buhari’s every turn and every waking day? Our ancestors are angry with him and unless his not compos mentis, then he is only too aware of the harm he has done to our people through the reckless pursuit of the institution of the sharia system of social order in Nigeria where only true freedom of thought and action has been the cultural hallmark of our people before and after Buhari. In the circumstances, clowning him into smile can only be compared to a smirk and mocking of those who have suffered losses to the foot soldiers in BH. That was never going to work for him and it must be depressingly obvious now that BH is nearing terminal point as sure as our brave forces are prevailing over the pointless acts of these religious morons.

  • Ojiyovwi

    A haunted face cannot smile! Only misery!!!

  • Monye Ebube

    The Guardian newspaper has certainly become very partisan; it has been bought over like AIT. What has practised smile got to do with the myriads of problems confronting the country? If toothy smiles were the solution, oh, GEJ should have solved all of Nigeria’s problems! Yes, because GEJ has a surfeit of deceptive smiles – just like dangerous people always show to their prey! IBB came riding to power with broad, toothy smile on 27 August 1985, but what happened thereafter? Let me have your answer, please.


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  • Adeyemi Abiodun G.

    Yes, we will make a choice between a man who decided not to declare
    his assets upon assumption of office, giving no damn to whatever
    Nigerians will say, and a man who decided to collect only 10% of his
    LEGITIMATE pension as he felt ex-rulers are simply OVER-PAID!

    course, we will make a choice between a man who does not see the number
    ONE problem of the nation as CORRUPTION, and another whose campaign
    promises are based on FIGHTING CORRUPTION headlong.

    We will make a
    choice between a man who celebrates and rewards PROVEN CORRUPT
    individuals and a
    man whose ANTECEDENTS and present lifestyle detest corruption, and is
    willing to fight it.

    We will make a choice between a man who has
    torn the nation into SHREDS along ETHNIC and RELIGIOUS lines, who has
    successfully destroyed the Governor’s Forum by ACCEPTING that 16 is
    greater than 19, destroyed the ethnic militias’ original intention, with
    dollars and juicy contracts, and a man who has lived all his life with

    Mar 28 will see to the deciding between a man
    whose TRADEMARK is MEDIOCRITY and INCOMPETENCE who cannot even control
    his own wife, and another man who is widely celebrated as a
    DISCIPLINARIAN whose intention is to see the country bounce back again.

    really to STEP out of the shores of this land, if you haven’t, and see
    how nationals of other nations, including fellow african countries ,
    treat Nigerians with DISDAIN due to LACK of LEADERSHIP back home.

    Let Mar. 28 come, quickly please, O Lord!

    • udoudo mama

      stop telling lies, buhari is collecting his full pension

    • udoudo mama

      Buhari’s growing popularity, particularly on the social media, scares
      me at times. In an attempt to market him, some chaps have gone
      overboard, designing and spreading beautiful disinformation about him
      such that even the former head of state has had to come out to clarify
      one. For instance, there is a message being circulated that Buhari’s
      daughter is married to an Igbo man. Those who invented the rumour had a
      good intention: they wanted to prove to the world that he is not a
      bigot. But Buhari, perhaps honest to a fault, has denied it. He said
      none of his children is married to an Igbo man. Interestingly, the
      rumour was attributed to Obasanjo by one of the broadcasters!

      There is even another social media rumour that Buhari does not collect
      his full pension. A Blackberry broadcast I got a while ago said while
      all former heads of state collect N27 million per month as pension,
      Buhari rejected the “bogus amount” and asked to be paid only 10% of it.
      The person who originated the rumour said he personally went to the
      Ministry of Finance to confirm the figure. But, in fact, the total
      pension package is N2,909,122.75 per quarter — as confirmed to me by a
      former head of state. The breakdown: pension, N878,676.20; upkeep,
      N1,050,000; salaries of personal staff, N845,446.50; telephone, N75,000;
      and postal services, N60,000. Buhari never rejected any part of it. For
      goodness sake, it is his legal right. Why would he not collect it?By Simon Kolawole

    • SkySlim

      Saves of all this sentiment u have only one vote to cast go out there and cast it
      Many people with there own views too
      Corruption did not start with Jonathan
      It will not also end with him
      U sound as if Jonathan brought all the evil in the land
      My brother wake up to justice and fairness
      I don’t agree with your reasonings
      You sound hateful

      • New Nigerian

        GEJ re-branded corruption. He holds the world record as the most plutocratic diverter of public resources to his private assets in a democratic country. World record! and that is no mean feat.

  • davs

    Look at him is like – MANIKIN – how can he smile when the EVILS he did is hunting him — Gen. MUHAMMADU BUHARI.

    Gen. Buhari wants power in other to TAKE REVENGE on Gen. Babangida (IBB) he has no mind of forgiveness. (ii) He is ETHNIC and RELIGIOUS bigot – Atiku confirm it (iii) He tells the whole Nigerians LIAR about his certificate, (iv) He is a COUP PLOTER – because he has a GUN- he DESTROY our Democracy – taken us back – that’s too EVIL

    If Gen. Buhari cannot honor Nigerians with different diversity in every area of life by providing answer to his educational document question asked by the citizens he is willing to governor, it means HE IS ABOVE THE LAW and he cannot listen to their cries when he gets to the BIG SEAT. (it means – lack of regards, disrespect for the whole Nigerians).

    How can someone with OLUWOLE CERTIFICATE fight corruption ?… if he find the guy that issue (or) assist to issue the certificate stealing — how can he stop him/her ?— YOU CANNOT FIGHT CORRUPTION WITH OLUWOLE CERTIFICATE IN YOUR HAND is not possible — At the same time it will have negative reflection on Nigeria and it citizens if we allow it to go… (Buhari silent on the issue of CERTIFICATE FORGERY — it means lack of regards for Nigerians and disregards for educational value)

    If Gen. Buhari cannot keep his vital document like his educational certificate how can he handle bunch of Nigerian’s documents both secret and un-secret (it means – negligent, careless, and incapable)

    I ask, does someone who derails our democracy should be allow to enjoy it when others has labour to build it, that is my question for Gen. Buhari (it means power corruption) which is the highest corruption.

    If a whole N25b out of N180b given to APC presidential candidate Gen. Buhari under PTF to handle is missing, then if the whole country treasury is under his control tell me what will happen. Let look at the percentage by calculation (it means mismanagement and corruption).

    Lack of Fitness – you can sense these from Governor Fasola speech that they need a young candidate to handle Lagos (issue) that AGBAJE their opponent is too old at the age of 57years to cope with the pressure, if state issue is too much for Agbaje to handle at 57years. If that is true, then something is hidden for Obasanjo, Tinubu & Co. to presenting Gen. Buhari who is 73years+ to handle the issue of the Nigeria whole Nation. My question is, is there any sincerity in their claim that Gen. Buhari is the right candidate for Nigeria if not to suit their criminals game plan to have the whole wealth of Nigeria in their control.

    • yinka

      The man done it before and I believe that he will do it. Just wait until May 29.Please leave education palaver along because today, some Master degree holders in Nigeria can not pass SAT Buhari military education in 1960 is far better than a PHD degree is some cult infested universities in Nigeria.

  • Rev

    I like that “smile, general…smile” A refrain for the history books!

  • Gudgovernancenotgoodluck

    Nothing to smile about my brother… After Buhari in 1985 IBB came and immediately showered us with open teeth smile – It took us 8 years before we could realize the evil behind such smile.

  • Angel

    The way people talk about corruption now makes it look like the word was only introduced recently. Let’s face it, there’s been corruption in Nigeria since ever, and president Jonathan has never denied that fact. But to his credit, he has put in systemic measures to curb the menace since we all agree corruption is endemic, and that is the best way to fight corruption. But people will always give a dog a bad name just to hang it. On a scale, you can never weigh Buhari side by side with President Jonathan; it is just not possible. Admit it or not, Pres. Jonathan is the best man to lead this country forward and he shall be returned by our votes. Up GEJ!

    • Monye Ebube

      Angel, may the Almighty God rule your life exactly the way that GEJ has been ruling this country in the past 6 years! He is a man who has been ruling 16 years now (first 8 years in Bayelsa and the last 8 years in Abuja), yet he has no sense of direction; nothing meaningful to show as his achievement in governing the people, except CORRUPTION and INCOMPETENCE. GEJ has virtually turned the executive presidency to a mere sinecure! And yet, and yet he wants 4 more years to continue the despoliation of Nigeria. No, no, no, no, no! He and his ministers will go down like Pharaoh Ramses and his ancient army – never to rise again! This is the doing of the Almighty God. GEJ does not deserve to remain in that office a day longer than May 29, 2015. Enough! Saint Muhammadu Buhari is the better alternative, please!

    • New Nigerian

      GEJ re-branded corruption. He holds the world record as the most plutocratic diverter of public resources to his private assets in a democratic country. World record! and that is no mean feat. $100b+

  • 9ICE

  • New Nigerian

    Folks …read the followings and then see if you can smile. Go ahead:

    Femi Fani Kayode, in his speech delivered in Ife Town Hall, Ile Ife on September 23, 2013 has the followings to say about Jonathan, take a read – now we know why Jonathan stops the oversight of the oil theft (see Fni’s note below) , to us it was theft, to him it was his personal-oil-production operation (which he enabled with 2 contracts to the militants through which he has bilked more than $60b+ from Nigeria through this under table international oil operation which ended up adding to the oil glut in the world with negative effect on the oil price):

    “””It is only under this Federal Government that, according to Rotimi Amaechi the Governor of Rivers state, two powerful, sophisticated, well-armed and highly efficient combat helicopters can be ordered and brought into the country to fight and bring an end to the massive oil theft that has gone on in the Niger Delta area for the last three years yet when those helicopters arrived the President simply refused to use and deploy them for reasons best known to himself. I have the utmost respect for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is especially because I am someone who had the privilage of working in that office for three years before I became a Federal Minister when I was spokesman to President Olusegun Obasanjo. Yet even though my respect for that office remains intact I am constrained to say that I have nothing but contempt for the way that it is presently being run and I have no qualms about criticising the performance of our President and his government. As a matter of fact I consider it as part of my civic duty to do so. The truth is that this government is fast living up to it’s reputation of being utterly clueless and manifestly dishonest. Worse still their incompetence, whether it is to do with the handling of security matters or the economy has no bounds and knows no end.

    I say this because more people have been killed by terrorists under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan and in the last three years than at any other time in our history outside the period of the civil war. 7000 Nigerians have met their bloody end at the hands of Boko Haram in the last three years and even as we speak today there are paerts of our country that are under lock down and in a state of emergency where innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered by our own security forces. Under this President Nigeria has become an abbatoir of human flesh and blood yet he still has the sheer effrontery to say that he wants to return to power in 2015 and some around him have said that ”if Goodluck is not re-elected in 2015 there will be bloodshed”. Such threats and such words against the Nigerian people yet no-one in government has seen fit to call those that harbour such bloody and violent sentiments to order. What a government we have and what a country and what a people we are. The President has divided his own party and his own nation more than any other President in the history of Nigeria simply due to his lust for power and his blind ambition to succeed himself at all costs in 2015. Yet regardless of his desperation and their threats this must not be allowed to happen. We must not allow it to happen regardless of the efforts of the fifth columnists amongst us in yorubaland that still support him for the crumbs that they are getting from his table. If he comes back in 2015, by the time he finishes in 2019 the yoruba will have been reduced to nothing but errand boys and slaves to others. That is the hidden agenda. Worse still Nigeria will be irretrievably destroyed and she will never be the same again. The challenge of every self-respecting yoruba man today is therefore simple and clear- we must stop Jonathan from coming back to office in 2015 and we must vote him out of power when the time comes. We must do this for the sake of our people in the south-west and we must do so for the sake of the people of Nigeria.

    It is with this background in mind and in the knowledge of President Goodluck Jonathan’s desperate and unholy intention to return to power at all costs in 2015 that I feel compelled to share the following words of wisdom from our Royal Father, the Alafin of Oyo, HRH Oba Lamidi Adeyemi with you. Just a few days ago he said the following- “My fatherly advice to those in authority at the federal level and especially our amiable President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is to learn from the mistakes of his very illustrious predecessor, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, by resisting any temptation to take the ‘west by all means.’” Kabiyesi has spoken well and a word is enough for the wise.

    A few more words on President Jonathan. Two days ago he reportedly asked the Nigerian people to ”leave him alone” and let him ”do his job” and challenged us to point out, with facts and figures, evidence of his corruption. I will do so here and now by simply asking a few questions which I had originally asked in another speech at another distinguished gathering in Lagos on April 2013 and which they refused to answer. Now that our President has thrown down the gauntlet and asked us to challenge him perhaps these questions will now be answered. The questions are as follows.

    When will our President and his ”today’s men” answer David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom’s, question and tell him what they did with the 100 billion USD that they made from oil sales in the last two years? When will they answer the question that many of us have asked over and over again about how they squandered 67 billion USD of our foreign reserves? When will they answer the question that Nasir El Rufai asked sometime back about how they spent over 350 billion naira on security vote in one year alone? When will they answer the many questions that Pat Utomi and many other distinguishedand courageous leaders and ”yesterday’s men” have raised about the trillions of naira that have been supposedly spent on oil subsidy payments in the last two years? When will they implement the findings and recommendations of the Nuhu Ribadu report on the thievery that has gone on in the oil sector? When will they cultivate the guts and find the courage to respond to a call for a public debate to defend their abysmal record? When will these ”today’s men” stop being so reckless with our money? Why would our ”today’s man” FCT Minister budget 5 billion for the ”rehabilitatioin of prostitues in the Abuja”? Why would he budget 7.5 billion naira for a new ”FCT city gate”? Why would he budget 4 billion naira for some kind of building or centre for the First Lady? Why would the Federal Government of ”todays men” budget 1 billion naira for food in the Villa? Are these the priorities of ”today’s men”? And all this when Nigeria is back in foreign debt to the tune of 9 billion USD and is still borrowing, when local debt has hit almost 50 billion USD, when 40 per cent of the Nigerian people are unemployed, when 80 per cent of our graduates are unemploymed, when 40 per cent of Nigerians do not have access to good food and are described by the U.N.D.P as being ”hungry”, when 50 per cent of our oil production is being stolen on a daily basis by pirates and bunkerers and when 70 per cent of Nigerians are living below the poverty line? Is this the vision of ”today’s men”? If so, may God deliver Nigeria.

    So much destruction and disaster all wrought in the space of three years and by just one man. That is the legacy of President Goodluck Jonathan and his ”todays men”. Yet just as it took one man to take us to these dingy and depressing depths so it will take one man to lift us up again to the heights of glory….””.