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Expectations of Personality Cult on Democratic Governance in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: The Case of President Muhammadu Buhari (Part I)

Egbe, Olawari D. J, PhD, Gogo, O. David, PhD., Koko, Epoweide I., PhD.,


The force of personality cult in human affairs is enormous and has a long history. In Nigeria’s political trajectory, the achievements of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Amadu Bello, etc. remain indelible which earned them personality cult images. Though, Chief Awolowo never had a presidential opportunity, his innate desire to rule Nigeria was never hidden. Following his successful brief stay as Nigeria’s military head-of-state between 1983-1985,General Muhammadu Buhari endeared himself to many Nigerians. Expectedly, it was the wish of many Nigerians for Gen. Buhari to have a second chance as president of Nigeria. A sort of personality cult was, thus, built around him. Little wonder, when Gen. Buhari unsuccessfully contested Nigeria’s presidential elections between 1999-2011, the wish of some Nigerians to have him as president became more compelling. Luckily, Gen. Buhari became president of Nigeria following the 2015 Presidential Election. However, has President Buhari’s personality cult image come to bear on the governance of Nigeria since 2015? Is it Uhuru for Nigerians under President Buhari? This paper, by means of qualitative data, evaluates the impact of President Buhari’s personality cult image on his presidency since 2015. The paper concludes that whereas President Buhari’s personality cult image is unquestionable; it has not come to bear on the governance of Nigeria. It recommends a deliberate introspection of the government’s policies to identify, correct and retract policies that are discovered to have dampened the personality cult status of President Buhari. Keywords: Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, Personality cult, Fourth Republic.

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