It’s said that “If you’re thoughtful, you’ll be thankful.” Yes, I agree. However, pondering over a number of things lately has made me interpret the above saying differently. I’ll prefer to put it this way: “If you’re thoughtful, you’ll be wiser and be better.” I think we (Nigerians) are the wiser now. Issues arising in the country have propelled me to reflect on one major event, which showed evidence of true democracy in Nigerian. I’m referring to the past general elections. I began reviewing particular things regarding that epic event and relating it to Nigeria now, especially seeing that this current administration will be one year in some days. So, here are my thoughts and observations. Enjoy.
During the last general elections, APC campaigned all over Nigeria with a lot of promises, many of them sounding too good to be true. However, given the suffering of Nigerians during the GEJ administration, corruption being the main cause, most Nigerians saw APC’s promises as what Nigeria needed to be restored to her good old days. Also, the man (then General Muhammadu Buhari) whom APC presented to Nigerians had once been tested in that same office he was contesting for. So, when the time came to vote, he won and was elected President. However, I ask, did Nigerians vote for the then General Muhammadu Buhari because APC’s promises were fantastic or because Nigerians felt he could deliver on the promises of his party? Of course we voted him in because we felt he could deliver. Now, there’s something very key to note when a promise is being made and that’s the ‘who’ making the promise. It’s key because when someone makes a promise, it’s assumed he/she has done something similar to what he/she is promising. Meaning, the person had the capacity to achieve. So, the promise can be doing or visible, but if the person making the promise is incapable, the promise is as good as unachieved. In APC’s case, the promises in their manifesto are doable, but who was going to be responsible for fulfilling the promise? Then GMB of course. So, it was as good as him making the promises. Yet, how come none of their promises seem to have been fulfilled? The answer is simple. If I would be honest with you, the truth is Pres. Buhari didn’t contest and hasn’t been contesting to be President because he wants to fulfill APC’s promises or that of any other party he contested under at the time, except for one agenda on his mind. That one agenda he’s known for; what naturally is in him which nobody has to tell him to do before he does. After all, what he began it when last in power. I’m talking about his fight corruption. Truth be told, it seems PMB was just looking for the most suitable and highest platform in the land to carry out his unfinished and dear-to-heart War Against Corruption, or as popularly known, War Against Indiscipline. A war, unfortunately, he couldn’t finish the last time he was in power. So, when his party was campaigning, promising heaven and earth, perhaps the only thing that was on his mind, maybe even unknown to his party, was to free Nigeria of corruption. You’ll see that he’s done a good job in that area (no doubt about that), but for crying out loud, a leader isn’t one-sided in his thinking. Leaders delegate, but he also supervises. Rather than impose their own ways or laws, they advise and encourage. People have complained that PMB always wants to have things his way, which is prohibited in leadership. It’s as though PMB hardly trusts anyone anymore, seeing that it was being too trusting that ousted him from office in 1985. If you recall, then, he did not promote himself till he was removed. He believed that the rot left by the civilian administration must be cleared first and that’s what seems to be happening now – he wants to clear the corruption of 16 years, especially the one by the past administration. So, anything that doesn’t relate to his corruption fight, he doesn’t agree with.
Please permit me to ask some cogent questions based on all I’ve stated above, which Nigerians (including me) should have asked when APC was campaigning: What had then GMB been doing after he left office? I mean what significant achievements and impact did he make in Nigeria, besides just accumulating cows and contesting severally? Are we surprised there has been little or no progress since he entered office, except in fighting corruption. As I began this post, so I state again that, if we (Nigerians) were more knowledgeable then as we are now, we would have taken cognizance of the fact that Pres. Buhari wasn’t an all-rounder. But we just looked at the surface that we wanted a more honest and hard person. Notwithstanding, let’s face the facts, in today’s world, you must know a little about everything. Then, people called it ‘Jack of all trades’ and it was taken to be an insult, but today, you better be Jack if you want to succeed. Nowadays people don’t work in the line of the course they studied. Someone like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has left office for many years now, yet has remained relevant in the country and has been making formidable impact, to the extent of even putting PMB where he is today. Why? How? He’s everywhere. He’s a political- businessman. Now, guess the irony (of some sort) and lesson in both Bola Tinubu and PMB’s cases is. Bola Tinubu never reached the highest office in the land as PMB did, yet Bola Tinubu has made much more impact. Being known for integrity is inconsequential without remarkable accomplishments accompanying it?
My final words: Nigerians, in 3 years’ time, we would be voting again. We did very well last time in showing that we decide who comes and goes in any government or public office in the land. However, we can do better. Last time, we addressed ourselves as voters, next general elections, I think we should see and address ourselves as employers. Let’s give ourselves more honour and prestige. If we are the employers, then contestants are the job-applicants. And in employing, you don’t just look at character, but also track-record of achievements. So, ’employing’ just based on character isn’t enough, it must be accompanied with achievements, especially in the areas of each party’s manifesto. This is to match the individual being recommended by the party, with some (if not most) of the promises being made, to know if he/she has done similar. For example, the
Social Welfare Programme of at least N5000 in the APC manifesto, was an improved version of what Dr. Kayode Fayemi did for the aged, when he was Governor of Ekiti State.
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