Muhammadu Buhari; PDP’s Worst Nightmare In The 2015 Presidential Election – Daniel Onjeh
It is the fundamental obligation of a State to provide social security for its citizens and in fact all persons within its territory. Any government that is incapable of meeting up that basic responsibility should consider itself a huge failure; and rather than attempting to trade blames, should pack up and leave or brace up for the indignity of a colossal electoral defeat. This is in regard of Mr. Olisa Metuh’s recent vain effort to link Gen. Muhamadu Buhari (RTD) to the terrorist’s activities in northern Nigeria.
In fact, Mr. Metuh’s mischievous utterances lends credence to popular insinuations that the ruling People’s Democratic Party and the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan are bereft of ideas on how to curtail the nebulous activities of Boko Haram and other insurgent groups in Nigeria, hence the resort to blackmail. It could equally be, as earlier asserted by Comrade Lai Mohammed, a deliberate attempt by the PDP to divert the citizen’s attention from the mounting tension over the allegedly missing $20billion from the NNPC’s coffers.
It’s the PDP instead that has been authoritatively fingered as being responsible for the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria. It will be recalled, as was widely reported in both local and international media, that the former National Security Adviser (NSA), late Gen. Owoeye Azazi blamed PDP for the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern Nigeria due to bad politics. Between Olisa Metuh’s and Azazi, whose assertion should be relied upon?
However, from a different perspective, I see Olisa Metuh’s unwholesome remarks as part of the usual desperation of the PDP to discredit Gen. Buhari by all means possible before the gullible members of the public. Of course, it is a recurring antic of the PDP to cook up unfounded allegations against Gen. Buhari at the eve of every election year, with the intention of diminishing Buhari’s estimation before the rational members of the public. Unfortunately, the PDP has ran out of luck this time, as generality of Nigerians have become fed up with this cowardly campaign strategy.
From every indication, the mention of All Progressives Congress and Mallam Nasir El-rufai as co-conspirators with Buhari to fuel terrorism in northern Nigeria is Mr. Metuh’s ‘smart’ strategy of obscuring PDP’s ulterior motive, which is basically to drag the name of Buhari to the mud. There is no gainsaying that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is PDP’s worst nightmare in the race for the Presidency in 2015. Recall that Buhari almost single-handedly floated the Congress for Progressive Change, the platform on which he contested the 2011 Presidential Election, barely six (6) months to the election. Even though the electoral process was marred with irregularities, Buhari was able to muster an impressive 12 million votes!
Now I believe that all the people that voted Buhari in the last election, did so out of conviction, and not pecuniary inducement. It simply implies that if all or most of the 12 million electorates that voted for Buhari in the previous election live to see the 2015 presidential election, their support for Buhari will still be unflinching. It is also logical to assume that each of these 12 million people have at least one person that they can convince to vote for Buhari in 2015. It implies that ceteris paribus , Buhari has assurance of up to 24 million votes already ahead of his likely contenders should he contest in 2015. Call this a layman’s analysis of political outcomes, but it is still a reasonable basis for consideration.
Worthy of note is the fact that Buhari is now part of a much larger party than the APP, ANPP and the CPC on whose platforms he contested the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections respectively. Now with the current political structure, the APC is sure of sweeping the South West in 2015. The North West and North East are also strongholds of the APC. APC also controls parts of the South East; and in the North Central, the party is working assiduously towards galvanizing the youths for massive support. In short APC controls Lagos and Kano, Nigeria’s most populated states. So with its current structure, the party is already sure of polling simple majority of votes in the next presidential election. All the APC needs to worry about now is how it could poll the mandatory 25% of votes to be casted in 2/3rd of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
Although the APC currently controls most of Nigeria’s strategic states, with a relative preponderance in the federal and respective states’ parliaments, experience has shown that if the generality of Nigerians must benefit from the change that APC heralds, the party must work assiduously to clinch power at the centre in 2015.
But to achieve the aforementioned objective, the APC must make it a top priority to field a Presidential Candidate in 2015 that has the pedigree, character, determination and competence to give the PDP a formidable challenge. The APC must insist on a presidential candidate that is admired by the teeming masses and dreaded by the cabal that has held sway over the years, operating Nigeria like its personal estate. I am referring to the man who has demonstrated courage, commitment and political will to tackle indiscipline and corruption head-on; and General Muhammadu Buhari perfectly fits that puzzle! Little wonder the PDP is scares stiff of Buhari.
Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has generously offered himself on three different occasions to serve the nation as President and Commander-in-Chief. Although the electoral umpire did not deem it fit to declare him victorious on any of these occasions amid highly contentious circumstances, I am constrained to explicitly dispel the barrage of mendacities and campaigns of calumny that the adversaries of truth, justice, equity and development in Nigeria have concocted over the years and fed Nigerians; with the aim of discrediting Gen. Buhari.
Without mincing words I wish to describe as utterly baseless and mischievous, the impression which the PDP and other antagonists of a united Nigeria have foisted on a strata of the citizenry; that General Buhari is a religious fanatic who is capable of Islamizing Nigeria if elected President. It is inconceivable to me, how any citizen that is privy to Gen. Buhari’s antecedent can be bamboozled by such meretricious allegations! Let us not forget in a hurry that when Buhari served as the Head of State in 1984, he had all the key instruments of the State at his disposal. yet he did not at any time contemplated to advance any policy or agenda that could infringe on the rights of Christians and members of other faiths in Nigeria.
On the contrary, it was his successor, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) that attempted to make Nigeria a registered member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in his tenure as Head of State between 1985-1993. I recall vividly that some confidential documents have been leaked that revealed IBB’s huge financial contributions to the OIC from the national purse. IBB is still a bigwig in the PDP today. So the question we should ask is, is it possible for Buhari to nurse a presidential ambition for over 12 years, only with the intent to Islamize Nigeria? I don’t think so!
The only reason why terrorism is flourishing in Nigeria is because of the increasing level of poverty and the brazen neglect of the masses. These factors are traceable to high profile corruption and indiscipline in official circles. The lip-service commitment of the incumbent PDP-led government to the fight against corruption is evident in the shoddy handling of the alleged missing $20billion from the coffers of the NNPC. Imagine how far that money could go in providing employment for Nigerians, visualize how many socio-infrastructural facilities, medical equipments and healthcare services, that magnitude of money can provide, then you will agree with me that corruption kills more Nigerians that terrorism.
Buhari, in all honesty, is a man of near impregnable integrity! His efforts in the fight against corruption in Nigeria are still unequalled. The efforts of the EFCC and ICPC pales in comparison to his War Against Indiscipline and Corruption (WAI-C) in the mid 80s. The Asian Tigers, as they are fondly called, were able to attain the socio-economic and technological heights they have reached today because they tackled corruption squarely with the death sentence. Till date, some of the structural works, facilities and buses donated to tertiary institutions across Nigeria by PTDF under Buhari’s tenure still adorn the campuses. So how can a man who abhors corruption like Buhari be responsible for the massacre of thousands of Nigerians under any guise?
I consider it a huge relief to know that every generation of Nigerians is blessed with people who are capable of charting the right course for the nation. But due to sentiments, political conspiracies or sheer complacency, we ignore these people until they are no more. For instance Chief Obafemi Awolowo, long after his death, remains a political colossus in Nigeria. Although he never had the opportunity to rule Nigeria as a monolithic state, Awolowo’s legacies in the South West speaks volumes for him, especially in the areas of educational development; raising the political consciousness of the people and of course, Press Freedom! A vibrant press and politically consciousness citizenry are necessary ingredients for development. No wonder all the people that opposed Awolowo then, later made detours and eulogized him, calling him “the best president we never had”. We must not allow Buhari’s strength to wear out before we wish we elected him President!
However it is very likely that if Buhari decides to contest the 2015 presidential election, he will be the poorest among the contenders. Yet, he remains the only leader that can fully declare his assets before he contests. We must be determined to shun the allure of monetary inducements in the forthcoming general elections, in order to elect leaders that can be accountable to the people. Buhari is one leader that must be feared; not for his propensity for wickedness, but to do what is right and to stand up for justice.
Let me put in proper perspective that Buhari, by his pedigree, is an elder statesman and leader of the people. Much of his decisions and actions will not be to serve his personal interest, but the interest of his teeming followers and political supporters. Therefore the issue of whether he will contest the 2015 election or not is not entirely up to him to make. As the leader that he is, he will make his decision, taking into cognizance the wishes and aspirations of his followers.
In conclusion, I want to state unambiguously that as a former national student leader and frontline youth mobilizer, I am already mobilizing the youths for an unprecedented rally at the Kaduna residence of Gen. Buhari; where we intend to tarry for as long as it takes Buhari to come out and publicly declare his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election. I am writing this article with strong passion born out of conviction. I have taken my stand; and as they say, it is better to stand right, even if you stand alone!
Comrade Daniel Onjeh, B.A. (Political Science & Economics, University of Ghana, Legon),
Publisher Daybreak Magazine
President, National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS), 2002/2003
President, West Africa Students Union (WASU), 2006-2008