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Buhari: Bisi Akande a perfect public officer I can go into the jungle with

Buhari: Bisi Akande a perfect public officer I can go into the jungle with
December 09
14:08 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari has described Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a  ‘‘perfect public officer” with whom he could go into the jungle.

Speaking on Thursday at the public presentation of ‘‘My Participations,” the autobiography of Akande, Buhari said the author has retained his “inflexible integrity” in and out of public office, never accepting or offering bribes.

The president described Akande as a decent, truthful, and friendly person whose leadership qualities made him the unanimous choice as the first national chairman of the APC.

Quoting a famous Hausa saying, ”Labarin zucciya a tambayi fuska” (loosely translated -if you want to know what is in a man’s heart watch his face), Buhari said Akande has a permanent smile on his face, and that “he is the type I will go into the jungle with”.


Buhari also used the occasion to narrate his first meeting with Akande, his passion for Nigeria, and achievements.

”My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006 when preliminary consultations were coming to fruition for a grand coalition to unseat the PDP Government,” he said.

”Those efforts eventually came to nothing. ‘Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up as, in Chief Akande’s words: ‘the country was going down and down under PDP.


”Chief Akande was in the thick of further attempts in 2011 and 2014 to fuse together different groups and dislodge PDP from governance.

”The key to his thinking which coincides with mine is that Nigeria can only be successfully managed by alliances between major groups.

”Although we failed in 2011, but by persistence and knowledge that PDP was driving the country towards disaster, several major parties were able to finally coalesce into APC in 2014.

”Throughout the difficult negotiations, I found Akande truthful, steady and always with an eye to the ultimate goal.


”In or out of office, he has retained his inflexible integrity. A perfect gentleman. A perfect public officer.”


On the political history of the author, Buhari said Akande showed his mettle as a competent and serious administrator when he served as governor of Osun.

“He was always in the thick of things through the difficulties and political discontinuities of the 1980s and 90s,” the president said.


“He emerged as Governor of Osun State in 1999 when the military handed over to the civilians.

”Chief Akande had a horrendous baptism as Governor of Osun State with discord from his own party; his State Assembly (including an attempt to impeach him without any reason whatsoever); from the trade unions and from his own deputy Governor!


”On top of that, he inherited a deeply indebted Treasury, huge arrears of salary, allowances, and pensions. Enough challenges to overwhelm many aspiring leaders.

”Bisi Akande stood four square and faced all the challenges head-on and overcame most of them.


”By 2003 Chief Akande had virtually sanitised governance in Osun State having cleared some of the troublemakers from his government and, though reluctant to serve a second term, he was persuaded to run again.

”It is common knowledge that Akande was the victim – along with other AD Governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial career. Only the steadfast Asiwaju Bola Tinubu escaped the electoral massacre masterminded by President Obasanjo.

”Desperately disappointed though he was, and being a good Muslim, he accepted this setback as part of the trials of life. He looked to the future of service to the country.”


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