African leaders at the launch of the French version of the book entitled, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: the Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, in Niamey shared glowing testimonies on the leadership qualities of Nigeria’s President.
The event took place at the margins of the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
The President of Niger described the Nigerian President as an austere man, uncompromising, humble, an ardent patriot, and a committed democrat.
‘‘Professor John Paden, you were well inspired to have chosen to write about the life and work of an exceptional man. I commend your work for being comprehensive, objective, and for shedding new light on the personality of the patriot, the courageous military man, and the conscientious politician that is President Muhammadu Buhari.
‘‘Nigeria is Niger’s main trading partner. It is therefore normal for any Nigerien politician to follow the evolution of political life in Nigeria. That is why I have closely followed Muhammadu Buhari’s political struggles, especially his participation in the presidential elections from 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015”, he said.
President Bazoum noted that the fight against Boko Haram being waged together with Nigeria and other neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad Basin had allowed him to discover the strategist and statesman in Buhari, who is determined to ensure peace for his country and the sub-region.
‘‘I am sure that those who read the book will not fail to draw useful lessons for their political or professional careers. They will not fail to learn life lessons at all. This book will certainly educate the younger generation,’’ he said.
President Embalo, who is also the current Chairman of ECOWAS, told guests at the event that his father was equally called Muhammadu and was born the same year as President Buhari.
He added that the book was a portrait of a great African leader.
Also, The President of Chad, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno described President Buhari as a very experienced man with a great dream for Nigeria and a clear vision for Africa.
‘‘President Buhari is undoubtedly an icon whose role and action makes the African voice to be heard in the world. He has always contributed to development in Africa by protecting and defending Africa and Africans. You are undoubtedly a model. You taught us perseverance in politics.
‘‘As a major actor in fight against terrorists and trans-border insecurity especially in the Lake Tchad region where Boko haram is, I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the relations between my country Tchad and Nigeria and to President Buhari for his availability especially in difficult times,’’ he said.
Former President Issoufou of Niger praised the incumbent for launching the French version of the book, whose idea was conceived during his tenure as President.
He recounted that he graced the launch of the English version of the book in 2016 in Abuja, commending the author for documenting the life ‘‘of an exceptional man.’’
‘‘As a military Head of State, his primary preoccupation was fighting corruption, and even now as a democratic president, he is a leader who knows the close links between security, democracy and development.
‘‘His fight against Boko Haram, organised crimes and corruption are notable. Part of his priorities include education and health development, climate change, democratic transition.
‘‘I agree with John Paden to state that Buhari is known for patience, honour, faithfulness and sense of duty. These helped him rule Nigeria differently from a military leader.
‘‘He is Mr. Dignity and Mr. Truth as he is called and a sincere friend of Niger,’’ the former President said.
One of the book reviewers, former Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Professor Abdallah Adamu, said President Buhari had rightly earned the name ‘‘Mai Gaskiya’’, which is translated to mean, “someone who keeps his words”.
He added that the author, Professional John Paden, had fairly provided a biography of the current Nigerian President where he exposed the qualities of President Buhari that may not be known to many.
‘‘The author is very much qualified to give an account of President Buhari, having been involved in Nigerian politics in the 1970s and 80s,’’ he said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, recounted the role played by the President’s nephew, Mamman Daura, in the publication of the book, describing him as the initiator and driving force.
‘‘It is a book on the personality, character, content of President Buhari, what he stood for and what he still stands for,’’ Sirika said.
A Nigerian oil mogul, Alhaji Indimi donated 1000 free copies of the book to AU Summit delegates in Niamey.
The President of the Niger National Assembly, Seini Oumarou, Prime Minister, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, the High Representative of the President of the Republic of Niger, Foumakoye Gado, and the Presidents of the Institutions of the Republic were also present at the ceremony.
Reporting by Abdallah Bello; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade & Tersoo Nicholas