Buhari 2015: The Fate of Democracy in Nigeria at Stake By: Adebiyi Adeyemi
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton
Exactly a year and three decades ago, Major General Mohammadu Buhari, the former Head of State of the Republic of Nigeria who rode to the mount Olympus of Nigeria’s political stratosphere under a popular notorious coup he championed in 1983 was once again resolved as the winner of the just concluded APC Presidential Primary following his landslide victory of 3,430 votes out of the more than 7000 delegates votes, knocking out Atiku, Okorocha and others eminent members of Nigeria’s number one rivalry party to the ruling party, PDP.
Though many have dubbed the programmed victory of the APC presidential candidate as a case study of “history repeating itself”, could it be paradoxical or coincidental that every political party the seventh Head of state Nigeria romances on condition that he will be presidential candidate must give-in to this political proposition and emerge him as the winner? Or, could it be fate returning him to the same political pedestal he mounted thirty one years ago via the gateway of an iconic coup? Or, could his reemergence be anchored on a political conspiracy and re-engineering that have cleverly manipulated the Major General’s return- as expected- judging from his pedigree of nomination in presidential politics? Obviously something doesn’t add up from the foregoing political hypothesis being annotated by the primaries result considering the out of the blue acceptability of General Buhari in the south-East and the South-South by the people.
While many may regard his political obsession as a selfless and innocuous desire or dream to govern our federation from the number one political office, we don’t have to be political detectives to decipher the ulterior motives heavily loaded in his ambitious presidential agenda; neither do we have to political technicians to read the symptom that heralds his political gluttony. That is, anyone who has scrupulously studied history in comparison with traits and actions that General Buhari resonates would know there is more to the political rat-racing and gambling of the Daura-born general than meets the eye – something the ‘ever-green’ presidential aspirant would probably die hard for.
The Party’s presidential primaries result which obviously smells of a freshly roasted conspiracy and barbequed political machination shouldn’t take people aback as it is hitherto not amazing or amusing to those who have learnt to put their ears on the ground of Nigeria’s politics and politicking, having learnt to read in between the lines of Nigeria’s political chronicles. The political orchestration of the fourth time presidential candidate who has perched on various political parties periodically in his sequel of presidential run up have known no bound following septuagenarian’s biased-optimism in federal governance. The general who is obviously enchanted with a penchant of presidential pursuit would stop at nothing in configuring a political truth (coup) that may catapult him to become the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Nigerian Federation yet for a second time. This time, we may ask ourselves; what would be the fate of overzealous general whose fate story homologizes with that of humpty dumpty.
However, the cue we ought to catch from our overly ambitious ex-president who has never stopped salivating at the presidential ‘sweet and sweat’ at the dawn of every election year is something we should pay rapt attention to- especially considering the advantage of little time we have ahead to 2015 election to make amends and re-chart the political course of our beloved nation aright. Irrespective of the irony that’s heavily precipitated the victory of the rock-aged General which has craftily lead to him, throwing down the political gauntlet presidential level for the fourth time, we must deliberately remind ourselves of the incoherence and dislocation the military rule fundamentally instituted in the body of the national democracy. More so, the political dampened effected created by military is still being dried by the fresh air of democracy and the gigantic holes created by the military is still patched up by the plaster of democracy.
Referentially speaking, right from our colonial gestation period till our post-independence jubilee years of adulthood, the fingering of Nigeria’s political body by the military rule have made for the confounded ambiguities and compounded political siege that has greeted us as a nation and bequeathed our democracy with a thick cloud of delusion. Looking back at the chapters of Nigeria political testaments since our attainment of independence status 54 years ago, the misadventure of power and partisan politics by the military rule has swaddled us with a deficit of democratic instability and dysfunctional governance even on an intercontinental gamut. The heinous acts spearheaded by some of past military regime did their best in defiling our political vitality and rendering our political virility impotent.
Accordingly, germane to the staggering state of Nigeria economy, the violence corroded society and political instability is the foundational input and output of military contaminants in the country’s political river such as we have witnessed in a huge part notable post-colonial Africa. Most countries in African, Nigeria inclusive, that roil in the quagmire of politically driven economy crises and suffer from the spinal injury of corruption and historic malfeasance have, at one time or the other, had a smooth running of hands-on militarization and political poker moves.
Although Nigeria is blessed in that the allowance of military rule of have not rendered us political amputated and sidelined, we ought not to forget the hair-raising anomie and the blueprints of military rules in many African countries that have left them ruined up and humiliated politically, socially, religiously, economically and so forth. Today in countries like Uganda, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zaire, Liberia, Burundi, Guinea, and Rwanda among other, the official army has to be neutralized as a precondition for the repositioning and readjustment of the state of the nation following the incessant political power abuse and maltreatment that heavily graced African’s political atmosphere down the line of history. Egypt and Libya, and other international countries are perfect contemporary examples.
Equally, let us not forget that Major Buhari was the number one ‘immaculate’ candidate chosen by his military colleagues and superiors to purge the heavily degraded system of corruption and indiscipline via a military coup that evidently pumped him up to become the then Head of State of Nigeria in 1983 , as it was believed that his hard knotted qualities of iron will and sacred take on morality, close-mindedness, political porosity, stiffness and inflexibility of views, political short-sightedness, uncompromising personality on traditional, religious and cultural ideology earned him the glorified attributes of ‘perfect sanitizing officer’ over the politics of in our federation. If these traits are true or not with the soldier turn civilian doesn’t necessary hold water for this context; what is of more quintessence is; if the traits, from historic demonstration, have sustained an invigorating democracy our nation steadfastly crave for since independence.
Also complementing his stern looks, hard-smiling and modest visage he puts-on , he is often enchanted by his military colleagues and his pro-groups or persons to be the public face of what they tagged as war against corruption and indiscipline. Howbeit, throes of his governance are dire to hardship of the democracy in Nigeria this day. What more can one expect from a gladiator of political coup? Perhaps he must be trying relentlessly to redeem his blood marked political pathway to the top.
Indeed, his long standing interest and perseverance in the presidential political stand up over the past dozen years is to a selfish end and not selfness one. Presiding upon the historic tenets of his political counterpart from across the Africa and beyond, who he shares striking resemblance qualities with, the bumpy ride we are bound to have as a nation under his administration can be expressly simulated in the political 3D screen with the help of other exemplary national military-civilian ruler of the old and contemporary times. The political engravings and lessons from other typical examples has have afforded a sneak peak at the end of Nigeria’s democracy tunnel though we may look away from it at the detriment of our nation.
They say ‘once a soldier always a soldier ’and ‘old habits never die’; in corollary, bearing in mind that it is habitual from history for narcissist soldiers like Major General Buhari, who have an unquenchable thirst for political wine- even if it’s a wine of political blood, to frequently mishandle democratic virtue and values and militarize the strength and weakness of a growing democratic political structure like that Nigeria, the onus is on us as voters card carrying citizen to repeal the woes that awakes us in the dawn of the champion of presidential election come our next Democracy Day.
Extrapolating the points that have shot up highest at the general’s eagerness of becoming the next president of Nigeria, it is calculated that; once he makes his way to the seat of the chief sailor of our national politics, he would neither will leave the occupation at the political appointed time(s), neither would make it possible for anyone else to be enthroned in Nigeria’s number one political palace. His goal is simple; it is a build a political Wall of Jericho so fortified that can never be pulled down even by the able men of Nigeria’s political Israel. In his hard hand, the political power would be monopolized and at the same bastardized making the respiratory system of Nigeria democracy to suffocate and rupture.
Times have changed and political times have consequentially changed. In other words, a political global warming has caused the ozone layer of democracy of our nation to be increasingly depleted making condition of its governance to skate on political thin ice. Indeed the politically polarized contemporary times of democracy have been redressed with various tolerance and compromises across the globe. Unfortunately, the decorated characters of the incorrigible general cannot afford to support the changes that are inevitably being demanded by sustenance of democracy in contemporary times.
The delicate nature of Nigeria’s political coast needs to be approached with ample wisdom and democratic canniness that is only obtainable, more or less, by reciprocated (more democratic) traits of old fashioned general. Lord Acton, an English historian said ‘there are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities.’ As such, a more open minded individual with an unalloyed behavior who is able to have 360 views on national issues for the full fledging democracy is what we require and deserve.
Inferably, the twelve years of General’ Buhari’s costly and greedy political aspiration for the presidency’s seat is intentionally valued as nothing compared to what would be, if he eventually succeeds in seating upon the thrown of our federation. How do I mean? At the bend of history in the nearest future, if elder statesman wins the election in 2015, his 12 years of trial would be tantamount to 120 years victory as it is guaranteed that General who has developed a gargantuan appetite for politics out of the army would cling his political fangs on the helm of highest political position of the nation and would never let go of it, probably till death comes in as our hope for national change. The political sinuosity of the agog general is a glaring watermark of the sinister that lurks around the abode of Nigeria’s democracy.
To my fellow compatriots, the political cursor being pointed to the directory of our independence is glowing with red-alert danger signed, enjoying us as concern citizens we to cauterize our political sore-point. The trajectory of Nigeria democracy plane might soon plunge into the dead-sea of political militarization at the expense of our insensitivity and inattentiveness to creepy moves and sounds of the toxic Major General. The nauseated and palpitated state of democracy may worsen if all we do is fold our arms and watch.
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