2019 and woes of a nation!
On the face of it, a casual observer may be led away to think that Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari, probable candidates for the presidential election of 2019, have contrasting attributes.
Unfortunately for Nigeria, those who manage to stand for elections are simply those who may not represent the finest choices of the people, and chosen based on broad electoral volitions.
Nigerians have been forced to vote based on what’s on offer by the major parties, the APC and the PDP. And that seems to be all there is, for the simple reason these parties have got all the resources, monetary and royal endorsements by the powerful political elite.
When Atiku was presented as Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate in the dawn of a new political dispensation in 1999, it wasn’t for any new or positive economic or nationalistic prospects.
It was yet another strategic political calculation by Nigeria’s power brokers in order to keep the reins of political power within their reach. Candidates are never considered by their fit for office, but by the balance of political interests. Most times, given Nigeria’ prevailing electoral demographics, the North by default, is the clincher, the vortex of electoral power, with a purported share of 51 per cent of the entire population.
This has consequences. Parties strive to have in their keep, northern candidates with cult following within the northern electorate. Atiku and Buhari are reckoned as influential political figures within the northern political fronts.
Both men who are looking good to fly the flag of their respective parties in the coming elections are to be chosen for merely the prospects of being able to achieve political victories for their respective parties. These parties of the day in Nigeria, compound the woes of the country for their fanatic exploitation of Nigeria’s political disarticulation to their own ends.
One way or the other, one of them will win the polls, but from where the nation stands today, victory for any one of them is yet another pyrrhic victory.
The cost of electoral victory by any candidate who neither has the passionate cause of Nigeria at heart, nor possess the leadership resources to steer the nation aright will set Nigeria back and continues to stifle its prospect for success.
This is where patriotism becomes a compelling virtue for political parties in choosing who flies their flag.
Both men in their 70s are not noted for their particular brilliance, or technocratic skills. Buhari’s three years experimentation with Nigeria so far, is a glib report of governance shrouded in dark power play within its inner workings.
Buhari’s loss of traction at the moment is chiefly occasioned by his innate personal weakness of lacking effective mental power to conceive or initiate creative remedies to issues, lacking the much-needed attitude of inclusiveness in a vastly diverse country like ours.
Nigeria’s prospects at the moment are stymied by a leader with vengeance in his mind, having a mindset to decimate his perceived enemies with the force of arms and state power, then fostering developments based on broad-based considerations of equity and fairness to all. Buhari’s victory at the polls of 2019 will be the massive consolidation of his covert agenda to install northern interests above Nigeria.
It’s simply too evident to deny that Nigeria is a severely divided nation today in spite of state denials, the flowery publicity stunts by the inept handlers of the government’s communications, the half-truths and blemished reportage, forced down on the masses.
The pain and disillusionment amongst Nigeria’s today is traceable to the fact that the nation is under a siege, a formidable political master-slave situation and does not allow the masses space and capacity for self-redress.
It’s a hurtful irony that a nation of the best brains is scrambling for low-grade politicians, poorly educated persons to preside over them.
The APC and the PDP could do well to spare Nigerians the unnecessary cycle of anguish by not presenting these men for elections.
I would hope that Nigerians having been through the misery and experience of being led by incompetent and selfish leaders would rather be discerning on who to choose as their leaders this time round.
- Steve Orji, London, United Kingdom
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