We are months away from making a crucial decision that will, in no small way, shape the course of history of our nation from here on. This is no ordinary election and whatever choice we make come February 2015 will forever be remembered as either the last straw that broke the camel’s back or a major turning point towards the right path. As always, the choice is entirely ours.
As a concerned citizen of this great nation, having watched events unfold especially in the present democratic dispensation birthed in 1999, I know we’ve missed it in more ways than one. We’ve allowed ourselves be blinded by ethnic and religious sentiments, like the bible puts it “we’re tossed to and fro by every wave of doctrine” yet the most part of the populace continue to live below the poverty line, short of their GOD-given potentials.
2015 presents an opportunity once again for us to chart a new course, as President Barack Obama at his maiden inauguration ceremony said: “we remain a young nation but in the words of the scripture, it’s time to put away childish things”.
As political parties, pressure groups and the noise makers continue to make cases for their preferred candidates, I come with a slightly different perspective, with a list of those who shouldn’t be trusted with the nation’s apex office.
1. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome prescribed democracy as the root of Africa’s problems. He explained that democracy gives the power to decide to the majority. ‘Majority carries the vote’. This looks a fair bargain until you consider what “majority” means in this part of the world, they’re the uneducated, broke, sick and neglected- destitute. The result of their choice is evident in Goodluck Jonathan.
Since his inception as acting president, Dr. Jonathan has always set his sights on one thing- winning the next election. He couldn’t care less whose ox is gored. Those who call him clueless have not the slightest clue of who the man is, I don’t think he’s dumb, in fact I think he’s very smart, his smartness just doesn’t care beyond his ego and pocket.
Goodluck Jonathan is a record breaker in many respects, the first president from the oil producing south-south axis of the nation, most educated president we’ve had and above all, the only politician whose achievements you only see on pages of newspapers and on social media. Jonathan’s administration sits comfortably amongst the worst we’ve had and more of the same means one thing- doom!
The blame is not all on him though, it’s partly on us who can’t read between the lines, he never made secret of his aim, in contrast he declared them boldly. At his first rally, instead of telling us how he intends to fix the mess this country finds itself, he took to storytelling; how he trekked the streets of Bayelsa without the luxury of shoe to feet and then he ended with the words; “if I can make it, you can make it” we all know what it means when a Nigerian declares “I don hammer”. He was not going to serve but to be served.
There however remain time to make amends; he can help conduct a credible election so we can have a shot at electing a true leader or at least give another Nigerian a chance to make it!
2. Atiku Abubakar
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is no doubt one of the front runners in this electioneering process, and of all those vying for the seat of the president, especially in the opposition party, he’s the one to beat. Rich, charming, well educated, he no doubt know more than a few things about politics and elections in Nigeria. He was very popular as vice-president and has stamped his name on the hearts of more than a handful of voters. Many people credit Bola Tinubu with the popularity of opposition in Nigeria but I strongly disagree, while the asiwaju might have pulled a few weights in the south-west, Atiku brought the fight to the centre. He gave the then president Olusegun Obasanjo and his anointed presidential aspirant, Umaru Yar’adua a run for their money (or our money) and caused them more than one night’s sleep. He’s done more than ok as a businessman and politician but has that earned him enough trust to be handed the presidency? Absolutely not! Reasons being:
First, Atiku is only your friend if he hopes to milk you or he’s milking you. Like a brother described him on his twitter handle- @deeengr described him; “Atiku is like (Wayne) Rooney, he is strong, he is good (more like average) and he knows how to get the job done but like Rooney he might just threaten to sink the ship if there’s no money to embezzle”. Once the grass appears greener on the other side, you won’t even get the courtesy of a “goodbye”. Is anyone still keeping count of how many times he’s crossed from the PDP to APC (ACD, AC, and ACN)? All for one reason- a selfish presidential ambition and he doesn’t walk out quietly, he brings down the house on his way out. He went from calling former president Olusegun Obasanjo unprintable names in 2007 to kissing his ass in 2014. Classic political prostitute.
Secondly, if Atiku Abubakar tells you he’s different from Goodluck Jonathan, don’t believe it for one second; he’s taking the same road Jonathan took to Aso rock in 2011. First, he started a website and chronicled how poor he was growing up and had to claw his way up the food chain, Jonathan gave us “I had no shoes”. A wise man once said “every politician wants every voter to believe he was born a poor lad but He built himself”. He then moved on to social media acting like the man of the people and drawing the youths in, Jonathan never missed a day on facebook. Then he made friends with Michael Collins, popularly called Don Jazzy, the boss of Mavin records, Jonathan had a fling with D’banj. “suddenly, suddenly, Jona is my friend” he even had a youth parley, Jonathan organised a book reading thing.
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat them!
3. Muhammadu Buhari
General Buhari has been touted by critics as a fundamentalist, they say he’ll “Islamise” Nigeria. (Still trying to figure out what that means). Asking people to vote or not vote a candidate based on their religious belief should rank as the dumbest political strategy. We’ve had Christians as president as well as Muslims, imams and pastors, Alhajis and countless JPs as political office holders yet, the only semblance we have to religion is when you’re as old as Jesus was in his time, you’re near your grave! I refuse to have anything negative against Buhari’s beliefs but I do have a few things against his presidential ambition.
First, the foundation of his campaign is faulty. He’s called principled, incorruptible and his supporters continue to hammer on these, he’ll fight corruption they say. Noble as that might sound, it’s just not enough reason to make a man president, he can be chairman of EFCC! They say it takes more than love to build a marriage, I say it takes more than fighting corruption to make a successful president. If he’s elected and manages to end corruption in 6months, what will he do with the rest of his term in office? How does he intend to fight it? Where will He start from? How will he deal with cases that are not moral but not illegal?
Secondly, general Buhari just can’t avoid shooting himself in the foot with words. He was alleged to have, sometime in 2003, charged a group of Muslim faithfuls to “defend their faith with whatever means necessary” his comment of “the blood of baboons…..” is still haunting him and when rumours were flying around about him planning to field another Muslim as deputy he replied with what won’t go down well with many Christians. According to reports, he asked journalists what they expected him to do as he had fielded 3christians in previous elections and lost. Rewind back to his military days and you’ll find where he threatened to deal with workers “without the nonsense of legal proceedings”.
Finally, President Bill Clinton while answering questions from famous British journalist Piers Morgan on who’ll make a better president between his wife and daughter voted for the younger generation without thinking twice. Pushed further and asked if he’ll like a return to the oval office, he responded with “I have complete faith in this current generation of democrats” this is evident in his unwavering support of Barack Obama even after his wife lost their party primaries to Obama. Why can’t general Buhari walk and talk the same?
Omonile Olasunkanmi @sunkytemmy
Views Expressed are Solely Author’s