In 2015, Ekiti people trooped out massively to vote for the then president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to enable him consolidate his hold on governance. It was akin to gambling with their votes, because defeating a sitting president was alien to our political culture. So, people decided to move with the tide and voted for Dr. Jonathan with that erroneous thinking that the incumbent shall be returned.
In spite of the misinformation about President Muhammadu Buhari’s personality as someone who was regarded as ethnic and religious bigot, informed Ekiti men who knew what Nigerians needed at that time voted for change. Owing to the fact that the incumbent Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi just lost an election barely eight months to the election, the APC members had low morale to campaign. Despite this, President Buhari was credited with over 120, 000 votes, meaning that Ekiti voters knew his worth and relevance to governance at that time.
The 2019 general elections present yet another opportunity for Ekiti people to correct the past mistakes. Though, they had started to display penitence with the way they queued behind the APC in the July 14, 2018 governorship election, where they overwhelmingly elected Dr. Kayode Fayemi in that keenly contested election.
A proper dissection of the President Buhari’s administration must have proved the skeptics wrong that the President was never an ethno-religious bigot as being claimed. In the political history of the nation, the current Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo remains the most visible and most engaged in government. He is a Christian of Yoruba extraction. Also, key positions like the ministers of Transport, health and works were being manned by southerners, which further dispelled the much peddled rumour that the nation is being governed by a northern irredentist.
Today President Buhari is seeking re-election. He is seeking the mandate of the Nigerian masses to continue beyond 2019. He adduced several reasons to defend his second term bid. He made people to understand that four years might be too short to correct the ills and damage done to the nation for 16years. He had also flaunted his credentials based on his superlative performances in the areas of anti-graft war, fight against insurgency, economic diversification, high grade railway lines across Nigeria, mass road construction across geopolitical zones, among others to convince the voters that he had walked the talk by not disappointing in key areas that formed the cardinal focus of his government.
Among the 36 States of the Federation, President Buhari needed the vote of an average Ekiti voter more than any other Nigerian, because of the inherent benefit in it. As Buhari needs our votes to remain in office, Ekiti also needs him to consolidate on governance for people to savour the dividends of democracy to the fullest. The people have been enjoying the second term tenure of Dr. Kayode Fayemi and this was made possible by his partnership with the Federal Government. The release of the N3.9 Billion Paris fund to Ekiti barely a month, Dr. Fayemi assumed office by APC led Federal Government was suffice to corroborate this assertion.
Again, some ongoing Federal Government’s project slike: The National Housing Estate, Federal Secretariat, Lagos – Kano railway line, that would cross Ekiti and boost the economy may end up becoming a mirage if Buhari is ousted.
While distributing a sum of N213.6 Million World Bank assisted funds to 37 Ekiti towns recently, Governor Fayemi said the Federal Government actually facilitated the funds to boost rural development in Ekiti State. He warned that such opportunity may cease to exist if President Buhari loses second term. As intellectually – inclined State, our people must ruminate over this warning and look for way to consolidate democratic gains for themselves by voting wisely and consciously in these coming elections.
With the trends in the polity today, I believe an average voter in Ekiti will perceive voting president Buhari on February 16 as a mutually benefiting step, rather than being political. Electing President Buhari again goes beyond politics, it is a task that must be achieved.
The view point was written by Dalimore Aluko, Assistant Principal/ Ikere High School, Ikere Ekiti. 08066181583.