Looking beyond electoral promises
IT is extremely difficult to count your eggs before they are hatched. This statement is made to controvert the belief that two birds in the bush are better than one in hand. Elections are much like the theory of eggs and hatchery, riddled with disappointments, shocks and miscalculations. In the wake of this election postponement, to whose advantage and to whose disadvantage cannot be expressly determined or calculated until the last hour of the election. However, elections in Nigeria have never been conducted before without innocent blood soaking the soil and from the sound of war gong in every nook and cranny of this nation presently, this election is most unlikely to be different.
Setting aside the discussion of how civilised or barbaric our conduct of election is and focusing on the major candidates, is genuinely in line with the focus of every electorate in deciding the direction of our future. It is an indisputable fact that the continuity of President Goodluck will certainly take Nigeria through a definite path; equally bringing Buhari to power will also certainly take Nigeria through a definite different path as well. How good each path is for Nigeria and the best for Nigeria as a country is hugely dependent on what one sees, what he chooses to see and what he wants to see. This is why looking into the past history of every candidate is where the discussion of issues begins. Before bringing some of the things known of the two major candidates of this election, there is need to state the fact that the personality and persona of each of these two candidates is more important than what they say they will accomplish if elected. Either of them is going to take the mantle which comes with it the power to take decisions that play pivotal roles in deciding the fate of Nigerian nation.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a PhD holder, prior to 1999, was a lecturer in the University of Port Harcourt and as an environmental-protection officer having obtained all his post-secondary education in same institution. He became deputy governor to Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha from May 1999 to December 2005 when his boss was removed under controversial corruption-related circumstances. His utter dedicated loyalty endeared him to many which was the deciding factor for his choice as Ya’Adua’s running mate by Obasanjo in 2007 presidential election. Again, his boss did not finish his tenure in office as the cold hand of death snatched him away from the lofty office. His becoming acting president through to getting elected in 2011 have been immersed in the kind of strong opposition that does not recognise nor respect the sanctity of human life. Brutal hegemonic opposition has been established ever since some miscreants boasted to make his government ungovernable.
General Muhamadu Buhari, on the other hand, is a septuagenarian grandfather Sunni Muslim who overthrew a democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983 and enthroned a Stone Age iron fisted brutal regime. His government was overshadowed with arrests and backdating of military decrees to robe in the regime’s enemies, the height of which was failed London illegal kidnap of Umaru Dikko, a former transport minister and an adviser in the government he overthrew. His regime’s huge appetite to arrest people hobbled it from the real administrative business of the government. Under his government, Nigeria became a frozen terrified country and an undesired destination for international diplomats and tourists alike. His certificate is missing; which has been part of the most heated debates in the build up to this election. The ruckus surrounding his certificate brouhaha has prompted some people to ask some questions.
But when Buhari was in power, he never introduced or facilitated any policy that suggested he desires Islamization of Nigeria; rather, it was Babangida’s regime that registered Nigeria as a member of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) not minding the fact that Nigeria is a secular state at least on paper. He has not directly proven to be a religious extremist but he earned the Monika, “religious bigot” through his unguarded comments and quotes. One of his infamous of these comments was made on May 15, 2012 where he was quoted as saying that “God willing by 2015 something will happen; they either conduct a free and fair election or they go a disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the Dog and the Baboon will all be soaked in blood.” He made some other comments filled with threats but aside his comments on election and stance on Sharia, nothing indicates his religious belief going overboard.
Build up to this election preparation, President Jonathan lost media fight which is tantamount to losing the election itself. His media aides and publicity officials ought to have been sacked long time ago. His achievements in office are hugely under reported, actuating one to believe that his media officials are either incompetent or simply compromised. From the moment the slogan, “clueless president” came up, his media team ought to have known that signal for media war just started but they turned out to be the clueless department of the presidency. Another pitfall of Jonathan’s government is myriad of corruption allegations his government has been submerged in which many of them are either exaggerated or fictitious. His media team failed to match or tame the trend of accusations against Goodluck’s government. They should be the ones churning out topics of discussion and controlling the flow of public opinion through the media. What is amazing about this whole corruption allegations is that most of the accusers were public office holders in Nigeria and deeply dirty and yet to return their loot as sign of repentance. They adopted Hitler’s propagandist method which entails telling lies over and over again and people will believe it to be true and many Nigerians fell for it.
• Obi Ebuka Onochie wrote via obiebuk
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