The Legacy of Muhammadu Buhari

A Prelude by the Editor

This five-volume compendium is a comprehensive and definitive historical account of the   administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is neither a commissioned, nor a   government-solicited, nor a government-censored work. It is a self-motivated initiative of   the editor and represents one citizen’s determined desire to chronicle for posterity the   stewardship of one of Nigeria’s most enigmatic public personalities, Muhammadu Buhari,   over a period of eight years.

The primary focus of the study is on the administration of President Buhari from 2015 to   2023, but it begins with a miniaturised biography of the man as background to the five-   volume compendium. It goes back in time to his formative years as a young military officer   through to his first appearance as head of state during the military era, and subsequent   forays into politics under a democratic climate between 1999 and 2023.   President Muhammadu Buhari’s style, which influenced his administration greatly, is his   natural shyness and reticence to publicity. Thus, the administration that he led will be   remembered, among other things, as one that sang quite little about its achievements while   in office. The reasons for this reluctance to self-proclamation include not only the   president’s reserved nature, but also the huge, overwhelming nature of the problems   inherited by the administration, and the equally huge and larger-than-life expectations of   the citizens on what a Buhari government could do. Solving these problems continued for   the greater part of the administration’s life, and was compounded by economic recessions,   the global COVID-19 pandemic that brought the entire world to a standstill, and other   events like the Russia-Ukraine war that did huge damage to global economies, Nigeria’s   included. So, there wasn’t much appropriate time and space to dwell on the things that   were done by the administration.

The main design of the compendium was to have independent and fair-minded experts and   scholars research and write about the story of the administration from, as much as   possible, detached, clinical dispositions and perspectives. In all, 94 contributors (authors   and editors) voluntarily participated in this monumental work, each according to their   areas of specialisation or interest. Invitations were sent to hundreds of scholars, experts   and professionals in various disciplines and sectors across the country. Over 90 percent of   them were not previously known to the coordinating team.

The guiding principle of the project was to produce a definitive and authoritative story of   the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, a story that is scholarly, scientific,   empirically engaging, and critically grounded. Specifically, the entire project aimed to   capture the achievements and legacies of President Buhari’s administration. In doing that,   contributors were to avoid praise-singing, but rather properly engage the work and   achievements of the administration. They were also to draw attention to any shortcomings   and failures, which should, however, be properly contextualised and constructively   discussed within appropriate subsectors/subject areas. Contributors were also expected to   be clinical in their approach and to strive to achieve fairness, contextual awareness, and   critical balance in their analyses.

Without any shred of immodesty, this work presents the definitive history of the eight   years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. We make bold to state that there   is nothing else like this work in the present. This publication is unprecedented in the   history of any administration in Nigeria, especially in terms of its scope, editorial   independence, depth of critical engagement, elaborate authorial authority, and scholarship.   The volumes tell the story of the Buhari administration in critically varied ways, and invite   the reader to engage the ensuing narratives with an open and fair mind. The narratives are   historically foregrounded, enabling the reader to see the administration in the broader   timeframes of what had been, and the changes that came into being. Change was not just a   mantra for winning power; it was at the centre of the administration’s agenda for national   transformation and development, and was vehemently pursued. But it was also a cosmic   element that rattled not just the administration but the entire nation, as when COVID-19   struck, or when the international oil price turned round for a steady, determined   downward slope, for examples.

What we present in these volumes is significantly huge and critically historicised. We   extensively engage the story of the Buhari administration, intertwining same with Nigeria’s   development experience from May 2015 to May 2023. This is a de facto historical account   of a president, an administration and the nation.

Dr Udu Yakubu     

About the Editor

Udu Yakubu

Dr Udu Yakubu, a former university teacher, is a biographer, corporate historian, scholarly editor, and publisher. He started his working career as a journalist at The Guardian newspaper, and later practised at The News/Tempo magazines in the heydays of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria in the 1990s.

He had a university career that spanned over fifteen years of research, teaching, publishing, and management responsibilities at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and the University of Lagos, two institutions from where he earned his degrees in English. He was a visiting fellow at the School of English, University of Leeds, and a two-time heritage management consultant to the Institute of International Education (IIE), New York, among others. For over a decade, he served as Executive Director at the African Cultural Institute, Lagos, and facilitated major national and international conferences, publications and projects.

Udu founded the Journal of Cultural Studies in 1999, and served as its substantive scholarly editor till 2010. He also served for four years as scholarly editor of Gege: Ogun Studies in English.

He was Secretary to the Steering Committee that facilitated the establishment of the Association of African Scholarly Editors (AASE) based in Kampala, Uganda in 2004. He distinguished himself as a scholarlyeditor through a direct active support of the career development of over three hundred university professors in Africa, Europe and North America.

He is the author of numerous scholarly papers, and over a dozen books and biographies. He founded and currently manages May Publishing Limited, a strategic research and book publishing firm.


Editorial Coordinator
Amb (Dr) Chijioke W. Wigwe

Editorial Review Team
Dr Elias Ngwu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Dr Anthonia B.M. Yakubu, National Open University of Nigeria
Dr Isaac Mankilik, Admiralty University, Ibusa
Professor Sola Babatunde, University of Ilorin
Mr Gbenga Adeosun, Independent Scholar
Dr Ernest Ereke, University of Abuja
Sir Clement Chukwudifu, Independent Scholar
Dr Okechukwu Okafor, University of Abuja
Dr Joseph Dankaro, University of Abuja
Mr Valentine Achum, Independent Scholar
Mrs Moyosore Olaofe, May Publishing Ltd
Ms Susan Erunse, May Publishing Ltd