To the Skeptics Of A Buhari Presidency, By Semiu A. Akanmu
“We have seen Okorocha’s policy framework on education, we have seen Atiku’s on economy, where is Buhari’s?” asked Tosin, a friend whose referenced -though paraphrased- status update was apparently influenced by a certain due-diligence-bereft essay written by a particular Victoria Ohaeri. Well, this essay is not for her!
“Check online, brother. You have internet, your PC is functioning”.
“I have checked, I could not find any” he lamented.
At this point, I needed to come to my brother’s aid. I rummaged the World Wide Web, and fortunately stumbled on this particular Google-suggested link to Muhammad Buhari’s manifesto on Abusidiqu.com.
“You have it here, brother”.
After some minutes, he responded: “I have read it. I will only take all he stated with a pinch of salt. I cannot afford to be crying again by 2019”.
At this point, I grew tall in sadness. For a fact, whether literally or metaphorically, Nigerians are crying as a result of the highest level of gross insensitivity that Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has attained, within a twinkle of an eye. They voted for the man who had no shoe, expectedly to be sympathetic to the cause of the masses. On the contrary, he gives no damn, he does not wear any sense of pity, even as his governing territory is torn by Boko Haram, he found pleasure in macabre dance in the name of political campaign, even when hundreds of his citizens, under his watch, are killed by terrorist’s bomb, he needs to buy new presidential aircraft, maintains the abysmal ‘kitchen allowance’, even when Naira is going bearish, even when austerity measures are visited on the masses. He is as heartless as that. The biblical Nebucadenazeer, as Kongi would say.
So, Tosin’s developed psychological countenance to hope hung on political participation is understandable. This experience of skepticism does not occur in isolation. It possesses a causal relationship with abuse of trust. Organisational theorists and researchers have laboured extensively in theorizing and empirically testing this relationship and tons of their findings, out there, support the hypothesis: abuse of trust causes skepticism.
To Tosins; the skeptics, the army of sincere undecided voters, not the closet Jonathanians, permit me to reproduce what I wrote in one 2013 essay titled “2015: Relating Trust, Cynicism, Skepticism and Resistance to change in understanding Nigerians’ disposition”:
“The essence of the need to campaign tirelessly and do all needful within legality for the enthronement of APC is much of a trajectory projection. It is to shelve the havoc that is associated with one party system that Nigeria is unconsciously turning to. It is to create a healthy political contest where the contenders are of proportionate numerical strength. This only will actualize an experience of better governance, even if not genuinely done, but on the basis that the masses must be impressed, if the ruling party wants her reign maintained”.
This is the mechanical process of good governance, skepticism or political apathy will not be consequential. It is natural: The ruling party and the incumbent would only be forced to “give damn” when it’s probable that a slight disconnect with the masses is an invitation to ‘send forth’ in the next general election. An absolute confidence of winning by the incumbent, an absolute overwhelming strength over other political parties will only absolutely corrupts public administration and governance, if we are to adapt Lord Acton’s words.
The 15 years of recklessness, ineptitude, poverty-inducing economic policies, crony capitalism, kakisto-lootocracy, shamelessly and unremorsefully championed by Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) can correctly be dissected as being caused by the absence of viable opposition participation, among other factors. This is what the success of merger that birthed All Progressive Party (APC) is expected to cure. It is one out of the needed conditions to attain good governance; it is significantly instrumental, as attaining competitive advantage by the political parties will result in masses’ plight sensitivity. Needless to say, this is the very reason why APC must be tested at the centre. It is illogical to crucify APC based on assumption, and rationalise PDP’s highhandedness, despite hard facts.
Aside the incomparable credentials (integrity, proven responsive leadership, financial prudence, just but a few) of Buhari-Osibajo to Jonathan-Sambo, supporting the building of a strong opposition, the strengthening of our public institutions and raising the consciousness of civic nationalism must be understood as the triadic support of public governance reform. Masses-centred public service deliverables are never products of our spiritual gymnastics in Mounts of Fire or the Asalatus. It takes sophisticated electorates, and proportionally strong contending political parties to set the mechanical process of good governance into motion.
APC’s government at the centre will definitely outperform PDP’s, if not for any other reason; it will be for the purpose of avoiding being voted out in the next general election.
Semiu A. Akanmu
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