by Femi Aribisala
Change is championed by the young, and not by a 72 year-old retired soldier receiving cheers from a coterie of dyed-in-the-wool political dinosaurs. How can Buhari represent change from the PDP, when a large chunk of his change-sloganising APC members are poached PDP turncoats?
In all my years of studying elections, I have never seen a campaign as bogus as that of Muhammadu Buhari. It is amazing that, for a man who is running for election as president for a marathon fourth time, Buhari is so bereft of ideas as to how he would do anything if he were to become president. Campaigning in 35 states, Buhari has spoken for a total of less than 60 minutes in all. Surely, he wants to be president; but he clearly has no presidential agenda.
Buhari’s blueprint for the presidency is similar to his Cambridge/WASC certificate; it is yet to be discovered. It is an article of faith of things hoped for by his admirers, the evidence of things neither seen nor articulated. No man becomes president of Nigeria on the basis of vain platitudes. No man becomes president as a result of social media blogs and soundbites. No man becomes president by giving two-minute speeches in craftily-packaged rallies, one minute of which is spent introducing his entourage.
What would Buhari do differently to fight Boko Haram? He would study the situation and restore morale to the military. What would he do to restore the economy? He would increase the international price of oil single-hahnded. What would he do to create jobs? He would build interstate highways in the middle of a drastic slump in Nigeria’s income in order to energise motor-mechanics and bukaterias.
Buhari says: “I will revive and reactivate our minimally performing refineries to optimum capacity.” How does he propose to do this? “I will provide one meal a day for children in public primary schools.” Where is the money to do this? “I will generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis whilst simultaneously ensuring the development of sustainable/renewable energy by 2019.” Is he now going to nationalize the GENCOS and the DISCOS?
“I will make direct cash transfer of 5,000 naira to the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens, if they immunize children and enrol them in school.” My o my! Did Buhari do the maths before coming out with this pie in the sky? This amounts to a 125 billion naira handout; nearly equal to the entire annual income of Edo State.
Style without substance
Goodluck Jonathan’s APC opponents like to denigrate him as “clueless.” But what shall we say of Muhammadu Buhari, a general who did not know the name of his running-mate; calling him Yemi Osunbade instead of Yemi Osinbajo. Buhari referred to Imo State as Ibo State. In an interview on CNN, he called INEC the Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission. He also called his party the All Progressives Confidence. No wonder President Jonathan observed that Buhari cannot remember his own phone-number.
Let’s face it: General Buhari has become an embarrassment to the APC. He should not be allowed to become a Nigerian embarrassment. An absent-minded old man is not the kind of person we need as president. Electing Buhari amounts to jumping from the frying-pan into the fire.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.