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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State

The Buhari code

Speaking in Makurdi on November 29, 2017, the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom said that Mr. Muhammadu Buhari should serve a second term in office as President of Nigeria because “he has integrity, discipline, and is courageous in fighting corruption.”

Ortom’s words, not mine.

Half a year ago, there was a group that was making noise in a part of the country. President Buhari would have none of it, and drew a national red line. Leaders and traditional rulers from the region that the group made its home were chastised and ravaged in the media for “not calling their boys to order”, and in no time, the Nigerian Army was dispatched post-haste to quell that group. The leader of the group, has to all intents and purposes, disappeared from the face of the earth.

The double standards are clear for all to see. Over the course of two decades, another group has moved from place to place, and left a trail of destruction in its path. In the last two years, this other group has gotten bolder, and more brutal.

Their leaders have openly claimed responsibility for incidents that have left hundreds dead in places like Agatu, Ukpabi, Guma. Their traditional rulers have said nothing. Yet, neither the group, nor the leaders, nor the traditional rulers have been criticised by the President for not calling their boys to order.

When some people pointed out that the army should be sent in, the police leadership was quick to claim that they could keep a lid on the situation. Then, they turned around, and arrested some people who were trying to defend themselves.

Now that he has had to organise a mass funeral for seventy-one of his kin, does Mr. Ortom still think that Mr. Buhari has integrity?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, integrity is the firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.

This is where moral relativism comes in. Moral relativism is the belief that morality is relative to a particular worldview.

I agree with Ortom. Buhari has integrity. His integrity is in the fact that he has been consistent, and adheres to a particular code. In the relativity of Mr. Buhari’s code, if you accept your place in the scheme of things and don’t seek better, then y’all are good. Buhari’s code is not Nigeria first. Buhari’s code is Muslim North first. There can be no denying it.

Enough of the pretence.

By Cheta Nwanze. This piece first appeared in

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