by ThankGod Ukachukwu
I have been reluctant to continuously write articles on the state of the nation because of the sadness it evokes given the downward spiral in basically all ramifications of national life since 2015 elections. In all honesty, a country in dire need of good governance doesn’t deserve President Buhari. Nigerians are suffering too much that any person who will exacerbate instead of ameliorate the conditions of the common man should be banished democratically from holding the office of the president. Buhari has been more or less a clog in the wheel of progress. The country has lagged in virtually all facets of national life.
However, I have to respond to a clarion call by ex-President Obasanjo famed for penning open letters to sitting presidents, a king maker and gladiator in Nigerian politics. It is imperative to come out from my hiatus in the wake of an open letter to President Buhari by Ebora Owu in which he categorically asked the incumbent not to seek re-election in 2019. In an explosive 13-pages letter which he titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement’; he summarised the 31 months of poor governance of Buhari’s administration. He touched on all the shortcomings of Buhari. If you have not read Obasanjo’s letter, try and read it. Don’t be told about the contents. He emphatically told Buhari to bow out. I can imagine the pandemonium in Aso Rock as #OBJsLetterToBuhari hits the press. I’m sure they must have lobbied him not to release the letter but Baba is a strong man and a one man army. The guys in Aso Rock are going to work under their breath for any kind of defense. Buhari, on the same day met with Chief Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, stalwarts of APC, apparently in a move to appeal to his base and counter Obasanjo but the cat has been let out of the bag and Obasanjo isn’t a personality that can be wished away in the Nigerian political scene.
When Obasanjo hints that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had to go in his letter, he became economical with the truth by anchoring his decision not to support GEJ and PDP in 2015 based on poor governance and impunity. However, it was more or less sentiment for the cult of army generals that have held the Nigerian state hostage with their ambitions, the north-south rotation of power and realization that those that escalated Boko Haram and kidnapped Chibok girls would do more damage to cause chaos, insecurity and consternation given that GEJ’s approach to handling the situation was short of what was needed to rid Nigeria of terrorism, which was propagated by internal forces some of which infiltrated his government and needed iron hand to root out.
That being said, in terms of governance, Buhari had no glittering profile prior to 2015 to show that he represented progress in its most basic form. Obasanjo had acknowledged this fact severally, in the present letter and a previous one. Buhari did not succeed brilliantly in all positions of authority he handled in the past and had shown traces of bigotry, religious extremism, ethnic jingoism and nepotism in his entire public life. He has never been a nationalist and has shunned all avenues to bring about national unity and cohesion except through the use of force.
For many of us who read extensively about Nigeria’s history before 2015, Buhari’s regime in 1983–1985 was the most disastrous of all military dictatorships even at his very young age when he had all the intellectual capacity of a young person to pursue an egalitarian society. For instance, Buhari’s present government advocated a return to grazing routes for herders which his government mapped out in the 80s in the 21st century when ranching has become the modern way of cattle rearing. Even now, his government is entrenched in its archaic mentality by calling for cattle colonies instead of ranching, sticking to outdated models of agriculture when other countries are moving towards total mechanization of agriculture. Everything about Buhari pointed to the calamitous outcomes the country has been mired in since 2015.
In Obasanjo’s words, “[Buhari] was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game.” Buhari has failed in bringing about unity, he has failed in managing the economy, insecurity and corruption still abound and worsened and the country is dire straits. It is pertinent to know that given another four years of Buhari, Nigeria would be taken so much backwards that fixing the country would be a monumental task; therefore, the best option is to stop Buhari from running in 2019. If Obasanjo says that Buhari is a failure, who are you to tell us that Buhari is doing well?
Obasanjo knows that the hawks, hyenas and jackals, if left in 2019 will manipulate the polls to give Buhari a victory that will be bloody because of resistance from the masses and many sections of the country. If Buhari insists on running, every presidential candidate should be mandated to publicly affirm GEJ’s statement, “my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian”, and be held accountable.
In the wake of statesmanlike appeal of Obasanjo, the supporters of Buhari now see him as the villain, which is normal. They have started to attack his personality and track record. The government in their usual clannish behavour will unleash EFCC on him soon. Staunch Buhari supporters are now telling us everything we know about Obasanjo, as if they are new. I can’t wait for EFCC to start investigation of Obasanjo’s administration. They will soon start discovery of billions of dollars dollars by him and those that served in his adminstration. Even Obasanjo’s library and farms will be probed. These people are desperate.
I will conclude with words of Obasanjo which is the best advice Buhari can heed and what Nigeria needs at the moment, ‘Go home and rest’, you have failed Nigeria. The end has come for Buhari’s not too illustrious sojourn in public life. It is time to retire to Daura and let Nigeria move forward. God bless Nigeria.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
The author tweets@tksilicon