Buhari The Only Leader Who Voted Against His Country

Between 1983 and 1985, Peter Onu of Nigeria was Acting Secretary-General of the OAU. At the 1985 Summit in Addis Ababa, statesmen like Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania, lobbied for his election as substantive Secretary-General. However, there was a major stumbling block to Peter Onu’s candidature: his Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, was campaigning against him.

Buhari claimed: “This generation of Nigerians and indeed future generations have no other country than Nigeria.” But when the crunch came, his allegiance to Nigeria disappeared. In the election of the OAU Secretary-General in 1985, Buhari voted against Nigeria and for Niger instead.

He secured the election of Ide Oumarou, a Fulani man from Niger; as opposed to an Igbo man from Nigeria. By so doing, Buhari became the first and only Head of State in the history of modern international relations to vote against his country in favour of his tribe… – Vanguard, February 3, 2015


The article is both interesting and troubling. At first I thought it was fake news. Then, I googled it and found it to be a true account in the book titled – _The OAU: Reality Or Fiction by Ibrahim Daggash, former Head of Information and Communication, Organization of African Unity (OAU); pg 69; ISBN 1-9044722-25-3.

Whilst the refusal of Gen. Mohammadu Buhari to aid the election of his country man to head the OAU in preference to his fellow Fulani from another country (Niger) is a glaring example of this man’s mindset is troubling, most troubling from the Author’s account was his reaction when the vote was tallied and Gen. Buhari found out his country man was defeated.

Ibrahim Daggash in his aforesaid book narrated it as follows:

_“What was astonishing, when the vote was in favour of Niger’s candidate, the Nigerian Head rejoiced to such a degree that he was unable to control his emotions. That was a moment I witnessed and was convinced that General Buhary would not last long as a leader.”_

It is sad indeed …!Comrd Bulus Paul Jacob