Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, has hailed his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, on the occasion of his 79th birthday, saying the Nigerian leader is a man who is modest and does not exhibit tendencies of materialism.
Adesina said this in a Facebook post entitled: titled “BUHARI AT 79: LESSONS WE’VE LEARNT FROM HIM”, which was published on Friday to mark President Buhari’s birthday.
According to the presidential spokesperson, Buhari lives in a modest house in Daura, his hometown in Katsina State.
He added that his principal is a stingy but generous man who knows how to give when necessary.
The statement read: “When he popped out of his mother’s womb 79 years ago in rustic Daura, now in Katsina State, nobody could have predicted that he would bestride the country, nay the world, like a colossus.
“Who could have predicted that a honest man, Mai Gaskiya, had come forth? Who could have foretold that he would rule the country twice, first as a soldier, and later, as a civilian, a democrat? And who could have prognosticated that he would perhaps be the politician with the greatest crowd in the history of the country, for a long time to come?
“But we’ve had all these, and more, in Muhammadu Buhari, the child of destiny, who turns 79 December 17, 2021.
“This country will never forget this President, will it? And for good. He came, he saw, and he’s conquering.
“I’m a student of Muhammadu Buhari. I study him like a book. I plumb his depths and learn from him daily. And what are the lessons? Many. Very many.”
Adesina narrated the frugal nature of Buhari by recounting a development that occurred following his principal’s return to his house in Daura during his Presidency.
The statement read: “Let me tell you a story. Have you been to the Buhari home in Daura? Modest, modest, modest, is what the structure shouts at you, as you approach. The furnishing; modest. The locale itself; modest. The appurtenances; modest.
“It is said that President Buhari had used a carpet in that house for almost 20 years. He knew every bit of furniture and fittings like the back of his hands. And then, one day, in his first term as President, he visited home, and a new carpet was in place.
“Who changed my carpet? That was the first question he asked, as he stepped into the house? Imagine the President of Africa’s most powerful country, the largest economy on the continent, having time to ask about a carpet that had become old and threadbare? But that is Muhammadu Buhari for you. Simple man, if ever there was one.
“Apart from at official hours, I often drop into the house at nights on goodwill visits. When he’s at dinner table, he eats the most modest things. And his talks are interspersed with “while we are here, we will do our best.” You know what that means? He knows that he’s but a tenant in the Presidential Villa. He would do his bit, and one day return to his home.”
The presidential aide also threw a subtle dig at former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who recently criticised the Buhari administration over the state of insecurity in the country.
“We know of the 50 bedroom hilltop mansion (even if slightly exaggerated) where his former colleagues live. And we know of presidential libraries and other mansions built by somebody else, through what Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, called “executive extortionism.” But not all these trappings for Buhari. Scant regards for material things, what I recall my father describing as “shadows of life,” the statement read.