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Does President Buhari truly love Nigeria?

By Musa Mohammed Zango

One common and usual refrain among loyalists and supporters of Nigerian leaders in the past decade is that the particular leader in question, ‘means well for the country’. The issue of meaning well is often brought in to counter accusations of non- performance against such leaders.

Thus when opponents of a sitting President demand for his ouster, usually in the next election as punishment for poor performance or under performance, among the points put forward by supporters of the non-performing leader is to say that he means well for the nation, and should therefore be spared even when in the opinion of the opposition and other discerning citizens, the leader has not done well! One common and familiar scapegoat for the poor performance of the Leader are his aides!

The average Nigerian, good natured as always would blame the aides of the President or those around him and never the man himself as the reason for his poor outing. The question arises, who selected these aides? In the event that the aides were selected for him, should the Leader or President not periodically review what his aides do and call them to order where they are found wanting?

The case above is the same with President Muhammadu Buhari whose term will be up in May 2019, but whose ardent supporters are already losing sleep about his fate come February 2019 when the 2019 elections would take place.

To say that a terrible fever has gripped the pro-Buhari camp and the lying and cheating ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party, is an understatement. In fact it is right to say that the nation is under siege because of the ambition of this former military Head of State and retired and tired Major-General and his supporters who are so keen on his re-election whether or not he has performed in the nearly three years he has been in the saddle.

Nigerians can go as far as the ridiculous in their support for politicians notably incumbent Heads of States in whose government they have interest. Recently, the Governor of Kaduna State, a state that has had a very bitter taste of the generalised insecurity and killings in the country which has defined the Buhari Presidency, led a high-powered delegation of APC governors to the Presidential Villa to express support for the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari at a time that there should be national mourning on account of the massacre by herdsmen of than 73 men, women and children in Benue.

The unfortunate people were killed in their sleep and their villages sacked by the marauding herdsmen who are now a security threat to the entire country. Second, to add insult to injury, the lying and propaganda ruling party, the APC has been working hard to prod its non-performing, sick and lacklustre Buhari to go for a second term, thus giving the impression that the APC, after the exit of that nationalist and gentleman, Atiku Abubakar, is lacking in quality persons who can contest the Presidency

It should be noted that the sly Kaduna State governor, Nasir El- Rufai and the other selfish and poor performing governors of the APC, took this bizarre and unprecedented step even when President Buhari had not declared his interest in the race as he was trying to come to grips with the security and economic mess the country has become under his watch!

It would seem that the governor who took this insensitive step, and those in his entourage live in the moon unlike majority of Nigerians who hold the view that the incumbent has done his best but that the country need someone who can do better. In fairness to him, President Muhammadu Buhari is a tough disciplinarian and anti-corruption personality and gentleman who knows his limitations. He came not prepared for the exalted office of President but was favoured by providence, and the coalition of strange bed-fellows in the APC moulded into a political party by former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, with the assistance of other notable political leaders. Muhammadu Buhari was also helped to power by his now- estranged benefactor, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Recently, his controversial benefactor parted ways with him on the grounds that he (Obasanjo) is opposed to President Buhari’s ambition to seek another term in office. In fact, former President Obasanjo in a recent public letter to Buhari, accused him of non-performance and nepotism as well of poor health and marginal appreciation of the demands of governance in a plural society like ours. Obasanjo pointedly told Buhari not to seek re-election so as not to sentence Nigerians already reeling from his tribalistic and unimaginative government from another four years of misrule, mismanagement, poverty and hardship and wanton massacre of defenceless Nigerians across the country.

There are many Nigerians both inside and outside the country who are of the view that the country needs new set of leaders and that the present administration has failed abysmally in the area of protection of lives and property. President Muhammadu Buhari has clearly presented himself as a weak Commander-in- Chief who cannot get the nation’s security forces, despite huge budgetary allocation available to them in the last three years, to significantly overcome a terrorist insurgency in the North east region of Nigeria, and a herdsmen killing spree in all parts of the country which is now threatening the entire country.

It would seem also that the elderly man that he is, President Buhari knows that he would only declare interest in the 2019 polls against the wish of majority of Nigerians, at the nation’s peril.

It seems it has dawned on the President that the nation he often has claimed he loves, and which his ardent supporters say he means well for would be in mortal danger if he were to shun the dictates of wise counsel and plunge into the potentially boiling 2019 elections. As one prominent lawyer from Plateau state put it in a recent interview with a national newspapers, “if Buhari contests and wins the 2019 polls, there will be chaos, and if he loses; there will be trouble”. The erudite lawyer then advised the President, to thank God and go home after his term ends in 2019!

However, the way things stand, President Muhammadu Buhari has elected to reject wise counsel and shun the 2019 polls. Buhari seems to be enjoying the death sentence he has passed on Nigerians by the complex and unsuccessful economic policies of his government in the last three years which has yielded more job losses, crimes and business closures than any government in our recent history.

Thus his declaration of interest to contest the 2019 polls at a meeting of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the 9th of April, 2018 in Abuja is a bad omen and a sign of more difficult days ahead for the people of Nigeria, if effort is not made by Nigerians to hand him a clear rejection through a resounding defeat. The People Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties should sink their differences and come together under a detribalized Nigerian and visionary like Atiku Abubakar, and bring to an end, the Buhari dictatorship.

However, having shown that he is hard of hearing and is determined to inflict more suffering on Nigerians with his nepotic and lying government, one pleads with Buhari that if he has any iota of compassion left in his being, and wish to pay the nation back for the wonderful opportunity that has been given to him, to serve both as a military leader and a civilian President, he should ensure that the 2019 election is free and fair and that the votes of Nigerians would count. Never before in our history has there been so much apprehension that the incumbent will not organise a credible election as we have now under Buhari’s watch! He should also endeavour to ensure that no impediments are placed in the way of the winner to take office.

Musa Mohammed Zango, wrote from Bauchi.

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