Nigeria: Hatred for Goodluck Jonathan, no love for Muhammadu Buhari
By Hakeem Babalola
By Hakeem Babalola
Nigerians voters have never got it right in their quest for sincere and benevolent governance. As it is widely believed, the time they almost got it right was in 1993 presidential election described as free and fair widely believed to have been won by MKO Abiola but annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, the then military Head of State. Till now, even as old as Babangida is, he is still shying away from telling the truth. That’s exactly the metaphor – of leadership in Nigeria.
Now, let me state categorically that Nigerian voters will never get it right until we change and are sincere to our soul, mind and body. I mean real change – of self-education – and not this yeye change of holding the broom that never sweeps clean. Before Nigerians can get a result oriented president, voters have to be sincere to the just cause. That is, we have to disengage ourselves from self-deceit, for Nigerian voters have been cheating themselves either knowingly or unknowingly. We have been selling our birthrights – not even to the highest bidders – because of a pot of porridge. This may be due to the years of mental torture by the military and its civilian collaborators which have gradually reduced Nigerian voters to a people of no influence. Nigerians voters are like a kitchen full of useless gadgets.
When you study the corrupt mind of Nigerian voters, especially the so-called intellectuals – one is bound to cry. A country’s intellectual group supposed to lead and direct the way. Sadly, Nigerian intellectual class has become a tool of political manipulation. Or, it may be that this class does not actually know its responsibility in the society. This class has failed the nation in every ramification. It seems to me that this class has been bought by the system it is meant to fight. Perhaps the masses’ focus on activities – anger and frustration – should now be shifted to this class which has betrayed the trust.
Fast forward or backward, whichever preferred. General elections were held in Nigeria on 28 and 29 March 2015, the fifth quadrennial election to be held since the end of military rule in 1999. According to INEC, Muhammadu Buhari, APC won by 53.96%, defeating the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan of PDP. It is to be noted that Buhari had contested for the same office thrice and thrice he had failed. He was so frustrated by the rejection of Nigerian voters that he had to threaten the nation with that infamous declaration: “Baboons and dogs will be soaked in blood,” Buhari says. So what went right for him in 2015? The answer is Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s idiosyncrasy towards governance. Goodluck Jonathan as the Nigerian president is beyond all words horrible. Buhari won not because people voted for him rather they voted Jonathan out.
Unless of course Nigerians who supported Buhari’s candidacy are masochists, I think choosing Buhari showed an in-depth hatred for Jonathan. I still believe that no one in his or her right senses would have voted for a brutal minded fellow like Buhari and unless of course his family and associates. That is why I have chosen the title: “Hatred for Jonathan, No love for Buhari”. While Jonathan and his dull government should share much of the blame for Buhari’s unmerited second term, I believe someone else among the candidates should have been chosen instead of the former military Head of State whose style of ruler-ship (1983-85) was tempestuous and unpredictable. If not for Jonathan’s clueless approach to governance (remember Jonathan saying corruption is not stealing? What a silly pronouncement), there’s no way this man Buhari could have won. After all, he had previously lost thrice. And he was going to lose in his fourth attempt, but thanks to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
My point is simple. Any candidate backed by people like Prof. Wole Soyinka and the press could have defeated Jonathan. I still cannot fathom why Nigerians chose Buhari over other candidates. We hate Jonathan, fine. Do we hate Jonathan more than we love Nigeria? Of course, that’s exactly what it means by voting for Buhari. It is a pity. A genuine appraisal of this man by our so-called intellectuals who fell over themselves portraying an angry dictator (and let me confess here that I don’t mind a benevolent dictator any time any day) as a Messiah could have saved us what I call the Buhari’s disastrous destiny or doomsday palaver.
With due respect, I may be compelled to label any Nigerian who still thinks this man has anything tangible to offer as delusional. Can’t you read his body language? Can’t you see it on his face? Muhammadu Buhari is on a secret and vengeful mission – the one he didn’t finish as a coup-plotter. How would you describe a man who openly declared that he would treat the regions who voted for him with 95% attention, while the regions who did not vote for him can share the remaining 5%?
Do Nigerians need any prophecy to know that things will never get better under this administration? Neither PDP nor APC has what it takes to get Nigeria started, for the two parties are the same and there’s no difference between the actors and actresses. Therefore, we need a new party; a party with new faces and ideas.
Buhari and his sponsors swindled the voters by campaigning on a change mantra. Isn’t it? So where have the change gone to and what change is that – anyway? It seems to me that APC’s change is fraudulent; if not really 419 type. Whatever it is being chewed by Buhari’s supporters and sponsors as the man’s achievement, has been destroyed by such declaration as Sani Abacha didn’t steal Nigeria’s money. Just tell me, how to describe someone who opened his mouth to insult our intelligence by defending that lunatic, Sani Abacha, saying Abacha did not steal Nigeria’s money. Sani Abacha didn’t steal our commonwealth? What an intemperate rage! So who stole a large amount of money being recovered from Switzerland’s banks and other places? It must be Buhari’s money then. After all, he was PTF chairman under the late Sani Abacha, another highly corrupt and brutal Nigerian patriot. Patriot my foot.
Yes, a change was badly needed, but it shouldn’t have been Buhari to lead such vital change. As we can now see, the man simply lacks the foresight and the temperament for a genuine change to take place. A change of our heart should have been a new palm-wine in a new calabash. Buhari seems to me a man who acts before thinking. For instance, the Currency-change in 1984 which forced all holders of naira notes to exchange them for the new naira notes at commercial banks. To be fair to him, it was meant to punish politicians who had hoarded money. But like every other thing, these targeted politicians got away with it and ordinary people like my mother, a trader, suffered as they could not change their money even though they lined up at the banks for several days. The same thing is happening now. Implementing a harsh policy without providing an alternative is wickedness – no matter the good intention.
So, there’s nothing special about Muhammadu Buhari to have warranted the second coming except for the greed, egotism and self-interest of his sponsors by overrating his integrity. He was re-packaged in a new bottle but still the same wine. How his sponsors managed to hoodwink our so-called intellectuals: journalists, professors, lecturers, doctors, engineers, bankers, teachers, musicians, comedians, bloggers and so on and so forth, shocked some of us who passionately believe that Buhari and his ilk belonged to the past. And I think we are being vindicated. Can’t you see that the majority of those who voted for him are now regretting their tactless choice? Nigeria and Nigerians need new people and not all these old-cargos using makeup to deceive us.
Ushering in this factionist in a democratic dispensation is a mockery of the so-called democracy. It is like announcing an old cargo in a new era. Buhari being democratically elected is to me, a demonstration of crazy. In 1983, this man violated the principles of a system he is now enjoying. It sends a wrong and dangerous signal: that you can brutalise the mind of a people and still win their votes! Even his brand as a corruption crusader is faulty.
How many of his corrupt supporters or sponsors has the EFCC prosecuted? But many of the opposition are languishing in jail without being charged. An example of such tyranny is Dasuki’s case. I have said it many times that Buhari cannot fight corruption because he has no moral ground to do it. Today, if he dares attempt to bring certain people to book, they will just open book for him. Buhari knows that. He can only pretend to be fighting corruption. Obviously, he is part of the corrupt oligarchy that has engulfed Nigeria No matter how much the presidency tries to whitewash the issue or rebrand him will not work.
My truth is: Buhari doesn’t give a damn regarding genuine governance. Those of us who have studied this man in his coup-plotting days know he is as corrupt as Babangida. Well, his level of corruption may not be as high as that of Babangida, but all the same, he is corrupt. Moreover, Buhari’s directive, sectional and discriminatory intent is another reason, in my view, that makes him the least qualified in every ramification as the president of the Republic of Nigeria. Recently, the World Bank president revealed that Buhari specifically directed the Bank to concentrate its projects in Northern Nigeria. No matter how much the presidency wants to twist it, the issue has further exposed this man for who he is – a sectional leader.
Let me end this by giving another prophecy here: Nigerian voters will continue to make the silly mistake about the choice of their leaders until we begin to question our inner mind, “What exactly do we want in a president”. Do we want a sectional, insincere, clueless leader or otherwise? It is time to decide.