BUHARI: A President Intent On Taking Electoral Gamble

  • Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's president PHOTO" State House

    Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president
    PHOTO” State House

    By Chinedu Uche Okoye
    Until 1999, despotic military regimes interspersed with bumbling and
    egregious political administrations characterized Nigeria. Then, both
    civilian and military administrations caused the stagnation of our
    national development. Our economy was in a tailspin; and, there was
    technological backwardness in the country. More so, ethno-religious
    conflicts nearly caused the dismemberment of the country.
    So, when democratic governance dawned in Nigeria again in 1999, not a
    few people heaved a sigh of relief and thought that things would turn out
    better for the country. However, and sadly, too Chief Olusegun
    Obasanjo, who was installed in office as our President to placate the
    indignant Yoruba people over the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential
    election, squandered our collective goodwill and frittered away the
    opportunity given to him to better our lots in life and transform Nigeria,
    And, his successor in office, the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’dua, was
    hobbled by a terminal illness, which rendered him incapable of
    performing his presidential duties at his optimal capacity. Sadly, he died
    while serving as our president. And, his successor, Dr Goodluck
    Jonathan, whose emergence as the president of Nigeria was fortuitous,
    was ill-prepared for the political leadership of Nigeria. Indecisiveness
    and tardiness marred and marked his leadership of Nigeria. And, he
    couldn’t bring about the development of Nigeria.
    In the run-up to the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria, millions of
    disillusioned Nigerians were disenchanted with his political leadership
    of Nigeria. So, some parties coalesced to form a formidable political
  • party called APC on the platform of which Muhammadu Buhari
    contested the 2015 presidential election.
    Dr Goodluck Jonathan was worsted in that election. And Muhammadu
    Buhari got into the loft of the presidential seat on the coat tail of his
    probity, ascetic disposition, and perceived zero tolerance for corruption.
    His ascetic nature and personal integrity endeared him to millions of
    Nigerians. But a man’s probity and zeal for political leadership cannot
    transform him to an able and visionary leader.
    President Buhari was touted as the political messiah that would right the
    wrongs in our polity, clean the Augean stable, and take Nigeria to
    unprecedented economic and technological heights. However,
    unexpectedly, he was overwhelmed by the demands of his office. His
    failing health did not help matters. But the fact is that President Buhari’s
    occupation of the most exalted political office in Nigeria has led to his
    demystification and unraveling. He is a giant, who has feet of clay.
    His lackluster and uninspiring leadership of Nigeria has caused him to
    lose the people’s goodwill. It took him a considerable length of time to
    cobble an executive cabinet. And some of his ministerial appointees can
    be rightly described as square pegs in round holes. Little wonder, his
    political administration has not lived up to the people’s expectation.
    And, his appointment of personnel into the top security apparatchiks and
    other federal institutions in the country has betrayed his ethnic
    chauvinism and religious bigotry. He seems to have embarked on the
    total northernization of federal institutions in the country. So, his doings
    have deepened our ethnic and religious fissures.
  • So, today, Nigeria is more divided along ethnic and religious lines than
    before. More so, the murderous and bloody campaign of the Fulani
    herdsmen has put our dear country at equidistance between peaceful co-
    existence and war. The Fulani herdsmen, who have put proprietary hand
    round the presidential seat, have run completely amuck, killing innocent
    people with impunity and glee.
    More so, the Boko Haram insurgency has not been totally uprooted in
    the north-east of Nigeria. The Boko Haram members still detonate
    bombs and kill people in the north-east in furtherance of their resolve
    and plan to install Islamic theocracy in the country.
    President Buhari’s inability or failure to tackle the vexed issue of
    insecurity in Nigeria has not put him in a good stead in the race for Aso
    rock’s coveted top political post. To make matters worse, not a few
    people feel that he is sympathetic to the expansionist plot of the Fulani
    herdsmen as exemplified in the proposal to give cattle colony to Fulani
    herdsmen in all states of the federation.
    It is not only in the area of security that he has failed, abysmally. His
    anti-graft war, which is skewed, is being used to persecute his political
    foes. Now, Nigerians are waiting with bated breath to see those who are
    convicted and jailed for looting our exchequer.
    Again, he has failed to grow the economy as we have expected. Our
    economy went into recession; and, luckily, it slipped out of it. But, is our
    economy growing? The issue of graduate unemployment has not been
    tackled as the government cannot expand the economy to create job
    opportunities for the teeming millions of unemployed Nigerians. Now,
  • millions of Nigerians wearing threadbare clothes and disintegrating
    shoes pound our streets daily searching for non-existent jobs.
    More so, there is infrastructural rot in the country with roads in the
    south-east, especially the Enugu- Onitsha expressway, qualified to be
    called death traps.
    Today, regarding President Buhari’s leadership score- card, the verdict
    of a majority of Nigerians is that he has performed abysmally and far
    below our expectations. The people are palpably hungry and angry
    regarding the parlous economic situation obtaining in the country. They
    want change.
    Yet, president Buhari, who has overlooked the mood of the people, has
    thrown his hat into the ring as to his seeking re-election in the 2019
    Presidential election. He has the inalienable right to contest the
    presidential poll. However, his contesting the 2019 presidential election
    will amount to his taking an electoral gamble in which the odds are
    heavily stacked against him.
    Okoye wrote from
    Anambra State
    Okoye is a poet

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