IF anything will undermine President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term it is his needless romance with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). There are critical issues to engage our country’s leader—not religious parochialism. Another tendency of President Buhari that will put spanners in his leadership trajectory is to believe that some people did not vote for him out of animosity. We cannot ascertain what is in one another’s mind. There must be compelling reasons for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the South East and Lagos not casting their votes for him in the last presidential poll.
What a good and dispassionate leader should do is to carry out a post-mortem on why some sections did not vote for him and address their reservations in total collectivization and resolution of administrative challenges thrown up by the sectional voter disenchantment with President Buhari.
The mistake we have been making in this country since our democratic evolution is to vote for political parties irrespective of candidatures. This is majorly why we have had issues with most of the characters foisted on us. If it were not so, I do not see how some past and current governors would have emerged states’ helmsmen. The party syndrome is such that Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State won in all the local governments not necessarily because of his laudable achievements, but essentially on grounds of the platform— the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)—on which he contested the poll. In other words, if, for instance, Working Willie tomorrow anoints someone to succeed him, it would be a fait accompli.
Issuing from this prefatory, I want to establish and institutionalize a paradigm shift which will emphasize candidacies over associational structures. Therefore, I advocate that we hold President Muhammadu Buhari exclusively responsible for whatever happens in Nigeria between now and May 29, 2023. The All Progressives Congress (APC) that threw him up has failed abysmally worse than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while President Buhari has performed creditably considering the rot he met when he assumed office and the modest accomplishments he has achieved so far.
It is ludicrous to assert that because President Buhari is Fulani that is why terrorist herdsmen are trying to overrun the country while he allegedly folds his hands and gleefully watches them in solidarity! This is simply preposterous and pedestrian. What kind of mischievous illogic is that? Does he look like that kind of person, if at all? Overnight, we have crashed the man’s robust and profound reputational pedigree because of some people’s convoluted thought processes.
I need to adduce cogent reasons I strongly think that Nigerians should, again, bank on PMB—the person we know full well and can trust. It is apposite to underscore the resolve of Nigerians in the last election not to experiment with presidential candidacies at this critical juncture in our national life. After this time round, we would then systematically evolve and nurture novel candidatures. It is noteworthy and significant to observe that this is the first time I will devote any of my multimedia columns in the past four years or thereabouts to this Katsina gentility. It shows how serious I take the presidential helm.
Let us start with the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls which took place on April 14, 2014. There are misconceptions with regard to President Buhari’s management of the incident. Some Nigerians erroneously believe that his response was tepid and timid. On the heels of this emotive perception of the crisis was its understandable politicization by the oppositional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and some Nigerians who accused President Buhari of aloofness amid other nondescript allusions to extraneous matters. None of these critics in their tragic misadventure ever remembered, first and foremost, that the president is a father and should equally feel the pains of these girls’ parents.
The point that must also be emphasized is that our president should be most embarrassed by this scandalous incident more than any other Nigerian. So, issuing from this address, nobody should make an oppositional gain or an evaluative profit of the unprecedented kidnap tragedy. I do not need anyone to tell me that the president is more bothered over this unfortunate matter more than any other Nigerian, excluding, perhaps, the girls’ traumatized parents. It must be stressed that the situation does not call for equivocation, asininity, disbelief or rabid political opportunism.
I have also read in the hypercritical section of the media that President Buhari ‘outsourced’ the country by allowing international intervention in the rescue efforts for the freedom of these girls. I again do not understand the hoopla over this. Is Nigeria the first country to seek supranational assistance in combating its domestic crisis as thrown up by Boko Haram? Has Nigeria not been participating in peacekeeping and enforcement in other countries? Commentators should put issues in proper perspectives so as not to muddle up contingencies.
The disruptions and dislocations interjected by terrorism notwithstanding, the transformation agenda of President Buhari still remains on course with unprecedented dynamics in various sectors of the economy. The unfolding results and potentiality of benefits may not be manifest immediately, but I have the conviction that in the years to come Nigerians and even the international community will acknowledge present commitments of this administration. There is no doubt that there are still developmental gullies to be filled. The consolation should be that these challenges did not emanate today and so cannot be sorted out in one fell swoop.
Once more, the process may appear sluggish or bereft of evidential instrumentalities of possibilities for the betterment of the society, but with citizenship endurance and patience, we shall overcome and reap today’s commitments and investments tomorrow. I have the belief that President Buhari’s ongoing transformation programme will impact on the country immeasurably shortly, long before he leaves office in 2023 en route to Katsina for blissful retirement.
Unemployment had been almost an insurmountable problem decades before the Buhari presidency. Right now, we may not be there yet, but there is a pooling of resources to mitigate the drawback. The resolution so far may not be commensurate with the stark statistical realities, but the currency of laudatory efforts towards attaining an acceptable profile is quite gratifying. Unemployment is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is indeed a global social problem that nations strive to reduce as much as possible—no economy has ever recorded 100 per cent employment profile.
There is also the motor-park consensus that our countrymen are poor while Nigeria is rich especially since the revaluation of our GDP that catapulted us to the uppermost echelon of African economic leadership. Most Nigerians cannot reconcile the disparity between our rise on the global economic ladder and the poverty afflicting a majority of our people. Again, with ongoing concerted efforts, it is just a question of time before the harvest begins to cascade. A little more perseverance and we would be in an el dorado of paradisal satiety. Despondency has been replaced with verifiable optimism. It is apposite to mention that no matter what is achieved, there would always be obstreperous pessimists who belong to the utopian world of make-believe!
If gentlemanliness—not cowardice—due diligence, accountability, honesty, humility, electoral integrity, discipline, articulation, leadership respect for social contract with the people and other constitutional obligations, transparency and subscription to democratic ethos—all of which President Buhari calmly symbolizes—are unacceptable virtues in today’s Nigeria with all its erosion of values, let posterity be the judge of President Buhari.
As we all know, President Buhari is synonymous with integrity, which is everything. He also has nationally certified loathness for corruption in whatever shade. Ultimately, he will be on the right side of history after this last time round that should empower him for his valedictory-chance redemption of Nigeria.