Lessons From The 2015 Presidential Poll, By Paul John
All this while my writings and stance had been anti-Buhari until few days to the general election when a Facebook friend sent a post that read as thus: Slavery is when you buy fuel in order to power your generator in your house,and you still come out to shout,’continuity.’ That post reminded me of the altercation that ensued between me and the petrol pump attendant when I went to buy fuel earlier in the day. The president had announced reduction in the petrol pump price from N97 to N87 naira but almost all filling stations were selling the product at N100.
The first lesson is, never undermine the youths. I have not seen any general election that the youths all over the country participated as this one. The youths never minded coming from different ethnic and religious backgrounds to shout for and work for a change in the government at the centre. Why did the youths participate with all their lives in this year’s presidential election? In 2011, presidential Jonathan came out with Youth-friendly slogans such as : ‘Nigerians need fresh air’ and ‘ I once had no shoes’ etc. Coming from poor family backgrounds is something that is common among Nigerian youths hence they voted in one of their own .They believed that the president having come from a similar family background would ensure that their problems were solved.
However,the president on assumption of office surrounded himself with advisers who are anti-Nigerian youths .They brought up the issue of SURE-P dishing out ten million naira to one individual in the midst of many hungry and unemployed Nigerian youths,many of which are graduates . There, the organisers of the problem goofed. How can you empower just one person with ten million naira when the same amount of money could change the lives of about 20 Nigerian youths permanently if each of them was given five hundred thousand naira to start up a business ? How can such process be going on when NYSC members are receiving less than N20,000 per month ,corroborating international community’s report that majority of Nigerians live below 1 USD per day?
What of the immigration service interview that ended tragically? What the government should have done was to compensate the bereaved families and at the same time give automatic employment to all that attended the ill fated interview .The applicants could be employed across all the federal civil service in order to assuage the citizenry . However,the advisers of Mr president never deemed it necessary because they believed that whether the people liked it or not,they were going to ‘fix’ the presidential election . The same youths that voted for Mr president in 2011 were the same people that voted him out in 2015 ,what a paradox? Yes,there were mild irregularities in the election,and I am cocksure that in any free and fair election ,the current APC will beat PDP . The bible said that when the salt loses its taste,it will be thrown out to be trodden by men,that was exactly what these youths demonstrated in our just concluded presidential election. The advisers and foot soldiers of Mr president that were prodding him could not even deliver their own polling units,what a tsunami?
Finally,in this series, Nigerians,especially our leaders ,should learn not to bite the hand that fed them. Anywhere in the world,there are kingmakers even in stabilised democracies like USA and UK .God used Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to singlehandedly bring up our current president right from the level of a deputy governor to where he is today,passing through different political positions. Baba ,as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is fondly called ,resigned his post as the PDP BOT chairman because of skirmishes between him and the leader of the party who is the president. Other party leaders left thereafter and the struck that broke the camels back was the exit of the five governors who finally defected to APC in 2013 due what they termed injustices in the party . It has to be noted at this time that these five governors in their personal capacities were more political than the president himself and many of them are loyal to Baba.
Surprisingly ,the advisers of the president were there assuring him to go on and within a little space of time the strong PDP structures in the country collapsed to the extent that the three major cities ( Port Harcourt ,Kano and Lagos) were and are still in the hands of the opposition . As PDP was going down ,APC was going up and the whole scenario culminated in the first defeat of the ruling party since we returned to our current democracy in 1999. Governor Rotimi Amechi is now vindicated .He said during the presidential campaign that if anything went wrong during the presidential polls ,APC would form a parallel government. It is now clear that should PDP refuse to hand over power on May 29th 2015, another Laurel Gbagbo will be produced in our country.
Other lessons will be seen in my subsequent series under the same subject matter.
Dr Paul John
Port Harcourt ,