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MODEST PRESIDENT | Controversy Over President Buhari’s Flashy Shoes

A tweet by SIGNAL on Saturday of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari wearing a pair of flashy 1953 Horsebit Leather Loafer Gucci shoes has left many Nigerians questioning President Buhari’s “man of the people” image. The said range of shoes according to the Gucci online store cost $640 which if converted at $1 to N345 cost N223,905.

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In March 2015, Buhari was elected as Nigeria’s new president after a campaign premised on a strong anti-corruption stance. Buhari underlined his humble credentials by raising money from ordinary voters. He was even said to have borrowed to buy his presidential nomination form on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari’s frugal, austere, man of the people image was first diluted when his wife, Aisha Buhari, was pictured wearing an expensive-looking watch at her husband’s inauguration. The wristwatch, a Cartier Baignoire Folle 18-carat white gold diamond timepiece was estimated to have cost around $50,000 – more than £30,000 or about 17 million Nigerian naira. Report of the development sparked public outrage, making international news headlines.

Hundreds of tweets mentioning Buhari’s name and “shoes” have been posted within the past 24 hours. Many have criticized the President’s flashy image, maintaining that media handlers of President Buhari scammed Nigerians in the run up to the March 2015 elections to believe that he was a “N50 sachet milo-drinking President”. According to this school of thought, the issue is not whether he can afford it or not, or whether the shoes are too expensive or cheap for the President but the image that was packaged and propagated about President Buhari as a poor pastoral farmer who had nothing but 150 cows.

Others have risen in stout defence of the President saying he can wear a $1,000 pair of shoes if he likes as a former Head of State and current President of the world’s largest black democracy.

Reports indicate that more than 50 percent of Nigerians live below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day, according to the United Nations. 

A tweet from Bashir Ahmad, President Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media on Sunday disclosed that President Buhari has been wearing the same brand of shoes even during the presidential campaigns, long before he became President.


Below are some reactions of Nigerians



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Copyright 2015 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to and other relevant sources.

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