On Saturday, a recorded conversation featuring the Director General of the President Buhari campaign organization and the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi was released.
In the recording, Amaechi was heard complaining of how bad things have gotten for Nigerians under the present government; “Three years of Buhari oo, everybody is crying, crying…pressmen are crying, farmers are crying, workers are crying, politicians are crying, students are crying, three years oo!” He continued by confirming the recent report by the Brooking Institution that named Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world stating that “The rate of poverty is very high. The people are hungry. Nigeria will never change!” and delivered perhaps the most fatal blow to President Buhari’s reelection bid by adding that “The president does not listen to anybody. He doesn’t care. You can write what you want to write. The president doesn’t care. Does he read?”
These statements voiced by Rotimi Amaechi are disappointing on one hand, but on the other they highlight a more worrying situation in the camp of President Buhari, weeks to the general elections; the selfishness of the men and women who surround him and how despite understanding his incompetence and incapability to deliver good governance, want him to continue in office, in order to achieve their own selfish goals.
These men and women have launched various reelection campaign movements for him and continue to speak in the media in support of his government, but in private, as evidenced by Amaechi’s statements, they confide in each other and to members of the press the many failings of the APC administration under Buhari. The words they utter are not strange, but coming from those who are supposedly allies of the president, it begs a question if it is advisable for any Nigerian to waste their vote on a President who has lost the confidence of his own team.
Recall that prior to this recent vote of no confidence by Rotimi Amaechi, other members of the president’s party and even members of his household have come out to inform Nigerians of his failures in office and how Nigerians are the ones bearing the brunt of it all. In September 2016, Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai in a secret memo to the president informed him that “Overall, the feeling even among our supporters today is that the APC government is not doing well.” Later that year it was the President’s wife Aisha Buhari who went on a BBC Hausa programme to warn the President that he would lose her support unless things changed. In the interview, she’s quoted as having said that “He is yet to tell me but I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again.” Surprisingly these same people who have openly voiced their lack of confidence in Muhammadu Buhari have done a volte face and are now actively campaigning for him. His wife Aisha Buhari recently launched a 700-member campaign council to support his reelection bid. The question on the lips of most Nigerians is why now?
For the millions of Nigerians who will go to the polls next month to elect a new administration, this loss of confidence in Buhari by his kitchen cabinet and their continued confirmation of how Nigeria has turned for the worse under the APC government presents an opportunity to vote another candidate who has shown the competence and capability to lead Nigeria from these dark days. The past 3 and half years has shown that what Nigeria requires in these modern times is a leader who understands the times and who is in tune with the yearnings of Nigerians. Nigeria needs a president who has empathy and who understands that the only way to move the country forward is not through nepotism and selfishness, but through the running of an inclusive government that works for all. This is where the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar comes in.
With the abundance of human and material resources available, Nigeria has no business being unable to create jobs for millions of its youth. Luckily, going by the Atiku policy document, the PDP candidate and his running mate, Peter Obi, understand that for a country in a rapidly evolving world, Nigeria needs new models of governance that are people-focused and reform-driven. The creation of jobs, provision of opportunities and human capacity development through good education and healthcare thus remain major focus areas of the Atiku Plan for a better Nigeria. These they say will be achieved by creating policies and pushing reforms that will help to diversify the Nigerian economy and give the private sector opportunities to innovate and drive growth that will see Nigerian products and services meet best global standards.
According to Economist, Nonso Obikili in a recent interview with the Financial Times “the Atiku policy ideas are more market-sensitive, business-friendly.” Personally I believe it is a plan that will benefit all Nigerians and not a few cronies of the president and his party.
Edward Israel-Ayide provides marketing and communications strategy for political candidates and creative professionals. He can be reached on Twitter @wildeyeq
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija