[PHOTO]: One proof that shows Buhari came to fulfil a promise he made in 1983

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This focus on fighting corruption and indiscipline did not just begin as it dates back to when Buhari was Nigeria’s head of state when he toppled the government of President Shehu Shagari in December 1983. Then a major-general, Buhari led the coup that toppled the Shagari’s second term administration and took over power. 
One of the reasons given for the coup was because of the widespread corruption that was carried out in the Shagari administration. Nigeria had made a lot of money from the 1971-177 oil boom and it was reported that those in government and public service were recklessly spending the country’s money. 

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Buhari came into government with his focus on tackling corruption and indiscipline. The then Brigadier Sani Abacha gave a speech highlighting the reason for the overthrow of the government which was captured in the newspaper of the period. 
Part of the statement read: “Fellow countrymen and women, I, Brigadier Sani Abacha, of the Nigerian army address you this morning on behalf of the Nigerian armed forces. You are all living witnesses to the great economic predicament and uncertainty, which an inept and corrupt leadership has imposed on our beloved nation for the past four years. 
I am referring to the harsh, intolerable conditions under which we are now living. Our economy has been hopelessly mismanaged. We have become a debtor and beggar nation. There is inadequacy of food at reasonable prices for our people who are now fed up with endless announcements of importation of foodstuffs. 
Health services are in shambles as our hospitals are reduced to mere consulting clinics without dr^gs, water and equipment. Our educational system is deteriorating at an alarming rate. 
Unemployment figures including the undergraduates have reached embarrassing and unacceptable proportions. In some states, workers are being owed salary arrears of eight to twelve months and in others there are threats of salary cuts. “Yet our leaders revel in squandermania, corruption and indiscipline, and continue to proliferate public appointments in complete disregard of our stark economic realities. 
After due consultations over these deplorable conditions, I and my colleagues in the armed forces have in the discharge of our national role as promoters and protectors of our national interest decided to effect a change in the leadership of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form a Federal Military Government. This task has just been completed.” Buhari didn’t just emphasize his interest in fighting corruption as mentioned in his own first address to the nation after the coup. 
He said: “Since what happens in any society is largely a reflection of the leadership of that society, we deplore corruption in all its facets. This government will not tolerate kick-backs, inflation of contracts and over-invoicing of imports etc. 
Nor will it condone forgery, fraud, embezzlement, misuse and abuse of office and illegal dealings in foreign exchange and smuggling. Arson has been used to cover up fraudulent acts in public institutions. I am referring to the fire incidents that gutted the P&T buildings in Lagos, the Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation, the Republic Building at Marina, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Development Authority Accounts at Abuja and the NET Building. Most of these fire incidents occurred at a time when Nigerians were being apprehensive of the frequency of fraud scandals and the government incapacity to deal with them. Corruption has become so pervasive and intractable that a whole ministry has been created to stem it. 
“We are confident and we assure you that even in the face of the global recession, and the seemingly gloomy financial future, given prudent management of Nigeria’s existing financial resources and our determination to substantially reduce and eventually nail down rises in budgetary deficits and weak balance of payments position. 
The Federal Military Government will reappraise policies with a view to paying greater attention to the following areas: The economy will be given a new impetus and better sense of direction. Corrupt officials and their agents will be brought to book.”

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One case that epitomises the seriousness of Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade was the Dikko affairs. Dikko was a former minister of transportation during the administration of the toppled Shagari government. As soon as Buhari came into government, he fled to the UK as there was allegation that he stole $1 billion in oil profit while in government. 
In an attempt to bring him back to the country to face trial, the Nigerian government collaborated with a former Israeli Mossad agent to “smuggle” Dikko out of the UK. The plan was however botched as security operatives were alerted who swooped in and rescued the unconscious former minister where he was hidden in a luggage. 
It didn’t come as a surprise to many when Buhari returned on the campaign of fighting corruption in 2015. Although he described himself as a converted democrat, his position on corruption seems to be the same with the renewed vigour the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been employing in dealing with high profile alleged corrupt politicians. 
Although there has been allegation that the anti-corruption fight has been one-sided and targeting only politicians in the opposition party, the Buhari government seems to be squarely focused on pursuing this fight for as long as possible and in this case, it might last for at least four years as compared to when his military administration was cut short by a coup in 1985.

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