By LAS Danbuzu, PhD (Cand.)
Department of Geography
Northwest University, Kano-Nigeria
Now that President Muhammadu Buhari has officially declared his intention to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the second time coming 2019 general elections, what does he have at hand to convince Nigerians to cast their sacred votes for him once more?
President Muhammadu Buhari has been in Nigeria’s major opposition for 16 straight years before he could make it to the top some three years ago. In 2003, President Buhari (then General Muhammadu Buhari) told Nigerians that he was dragged into politics out of his wish, and he has no other option than to submit to the heavy pleadings of the patriotic Nigerians to come and lead a messianic mission to save our fatherland Nigeria. Thus, he led the All People’s Party (APP) into presidential election of that year but unlucky failed. He also re-contested in 2007, 2011 and 2015 respectively. He always claimed he won all the elections but was not given what is his.
Muhammadu Buhari was the only politician in Nigeria that to the best of my knowledge is crying when he lost election, claiming to be doing it for the sake of the common man on the street. He was also once heard saying ‘Jiki Magayi’, meaning, if the common man refused to help him into office through election, he (the common man) shall surely suffer in the hands of what he (Buhari) termed ‘Nigeria’s evil leaders’. Muhammadu Buhari was able to succeed in making many Nigerians believe that he is the only Messiah that can lead them out bondage. This belief was and still is more apparent with more of such people from west and east of the region.
When Muhammadu Buhari was campaigning for the Nigeria’s number one office in 2011, he told Nigerians that ‘if he is not given what is his, ‘Za a yi kare jini, biri jini’, meaning, the dog and baboon shall surely be soaked in blood’. This statement is somehow similar to that of General TY Danjuma (rtd), as far as Nigeria’s national security is concerned. And disgustingly, they were both once charged with protecting Nigeria and Nigerians as Army Generals. It was obvious that after Muhammadu Buhari lost election in the same 2011, the dog and the baboon were truly soaked in the blood, as many lives were lost; and property worth millions of Naira were destroyed. Moreover, he was also heard telling the media conference that he is not going to contest for any office anymore because by next election, that is, 2015, he will be in his 70s, and leadership is always better in the hand of the youths just like some 30 years back when he was leading as a young soldier.
By 2015, Muhammadu Buhari was still back to the track, laden with promises, and fortunately for him, he succeeded. This is because Nigerians decided to put him onto the throne because they thought former president Goodluck Jonathan was but a failure. And they also agreed with him as an aged man as he claimed, respecting his words that he is only leading them for one term, to put things back to normalcy. But today, many Nigerians classified those promises as deceptive ones. Muhammadu Buhari had talked and talked on youths’ employment during his campaigns, to which the reverse is the case when he did ascend the throne. Many people lost their jobs because of his poor economic policies which N30,000 wages’ of N-Power temporary job cannot solve. Before his administration, N30,000 was a money, but today, it isn’t anything to a family man.
President Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians happiness and better life to the extent of telling them that even the price on which fuel is sold to them (N87 per Liter) during his predecessor former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was but a solid injustice to them, but in the end the story changed, and inflation was brought to the land.
President Muhammadu Buhari is always telling Nigerians that Nigerian leaders are corrupt (but excluded General Sani Abacha). He always tells Nigerians if elected into office, fighting corruption is part of the top list in his agenda, without fear or favor. But today, many Nigerians see his fight against corruption as partial and biased. That is, if you are part of the ruling party, you may be safe. But if part of the major opposition party, you may be a prey.
Coming to the campaign promises President Muhammadu Buhari made on the national security, it is obvious that even Buhari’s enemy may not hesitate to admit that there is improvement to security situation in the Northeast. But I tell you, the security situation at Katsina-Zamfara axis in the Northwest, Taraba of Northeast and some parts of Northcentral are getting out of hand day after day. And as far as humanity is concerned, no life is more sacred than another life, and no Nigerian is more Nigerian than other Nigerians. Thus, there more to do in this sector in as much as the promises aren’t meant to be broken.
In conclusion, Argentina once had 3 leaders in 15 days, the reason is that, each of them saw the situation as not favorable to achieve what he wanted to achieve in office, and he do not want to fail their countrymen. When Britons chose to exit European Union (EU), Prime Minister David Cameron decided to quit their lead, claiming the condition is not favorable to him. And in another development, when Theresa May took over from him, it took her some handful hours to appoint her ministers, and the same thing George Weah did when tasked with Liberian leadership.
Back home, it was obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari came to the presidency without any solid manifesto. On their part, the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) has no concrete plan up to the time they won election. It took them six months before they give Nigerians the list of their proposed ministers, out of which some were but a mere recycling from second republic ministers. Time to time, we heard the president confessing that he is ignorant of many things that are happening in the government cycling. We also heard him confessing that he cannot fulfill his promises, and age is not on his side.
Thus I ask him, now that he declared his intention to contest for the second term, is he truly doing it for the sake the common man or just to continue getting hold unto the power? Or just to prove right the words of Mo Ibrahim that the closer African leaders move towards the graves, the more desperate to rule they became.
And I finally say, in Africa, what we have are rulers, not leader. I rest my case.
By LAS Danbuzu
Musawa LGA, Katsina State