In the United States and the United Kingdom , President Muhammadu Buhari’s image as a forthright and exemplary African leader has soared since the public declaration of his assets.
Over the weekend in America, a Washington Post article affirmed that Buhari’s lifestyle is “austere and Spartan.” Below are extracts from the article titled: With only $150,000 in savings, Nigeria’s leader may be the least corrupt in Africa.
“By the standards of sub-Saharan African leaders, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is dirt-poor. According to a statement released by his government, he has $150,000 (N30 million) in his savings account. He owns five homes and two mud houses, an orchard and ranch with 270 head of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses and a variety of birds.
“He has bought two cars from his savings. He had no foreign account, no factory and no enterprises. He also had no registered company and no oil wells, reads the statement released by the spokesman, Garba Shehu, describing the president’s assets as Spartan.
“The question on many minds is this: Is Buhari, Nigeria’s former military ruler and ex-head of the oil ministry, telling the truth? Corruption, after all, is a major problem in Africa’s largest economy.
“Still, the public declaration appears to be an attempt to show some much-needed transparency. What’s clear is that Buhari has done what his predecessors and most other African leaders have never done.”
Will Ross of BBC News put it this way… “We have long been told that Muhammadu Buhari prefers the austere life and now according to his spokesman there is evidence to back this up. Buhari is no pauper. We are told he has less than $150,000 his bank account – a fortune for the vast majority of the population but probably the equivalent of loose change for many working in the dizzy world of Nigerian politics.
“The law requires politicians to declare their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which has a pair of handcuffs on its website but has been fairly toothless as the agency which has been ‘checking corrupt practices in the Nigerian public service since 1989’.
“The assets do not have to be declared in public but Gen Buhari’s team clearly think shining a light on his “Spartan” lifestyle will help in the anti-corruption fight. His predecessor Goodluck Jonathan was sharply criticized for refusing to go public even though his assets were declared to the CCB.
“There may well now be some jittery politicians working out how they will look when compared to a president who has even declared his mud huts and livestock.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]