Outsourced campaign and presidency
Bogged down by decades of treacheries that have manifested in the repudiation of promises on whose back politicians got to office, the prospect of the citizens trusting them is effortlessly rendered nugatory.
All the citizens could see is a land strewn with broken promises and the politicians as a venality-plagued species of humanity who veil their self-serving ambitions as the inevitable means of the people attaining development.
Yet, because politicians are indispensable components of the democratic experience, the citizens have to learn to tolerate their peccadilloes, vanities and cupidity.
The duplicities of politicians often gain heightened expression in the times of campaigns for offices. Our country is in such times now.
The politicians are in times when the propensity for deception is given the amplest room. They are desperate to get power; they are ready to do any thing to get it.
It is thus in the spirit of the season of barefaced duplicity that we have been told that because President Muhammadu Buhari is such a great patriot, he is so propelled by uncommon love for his fellow citizens that would not allow him see them suffer.
He would not want to personally drive his campaign to return to office while the citizens are neglected.
He would thus concentrate on governance while the responsibilities for his campaign for the presidential election of this year have been given to Bola Tinubu, the man the members of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) grudgingly call the National Leader.
Now, Buhari and his APC expect to see a grateful nation. But should the citizens really be grateful? No, they are once again being conned by the Buhari government. For Buhari has not given up his electioneering responsibilities because of them.
It would have indeed redounded to Buhari’s patriotism and rare altruism if he really wanted to spend his time for effective governance.
After all, there are different areas of the country that need urgent government’s attention. There are the issues of the workers’ minimum wage and strike by university teachers.
There is the challenge of renewed hostilities in the Niger Delta.
The more compelling among these issues now is obviously that of insecurity in the north east that brooks no sacred boundaries and that is spreading fast to different parts of the country.
In Zamfara, the governor has offered to resign the office for which his colleagues killed and maimed and others are still readying themselves to commit all kinds of crime to get in the coming elections.
He is ready to make this sacrifice if only it would allow the Federal Government declare a state of emergency that would bring peace to the state and send away the blood-suffused Boko Haram insurgents.
But no matter how much Buhari strains to tell us the version of why he may not be on the campaign trail again after opening his electioneering in Akwa Ibom, there is another one that appears much more seductive to the citizens than his own. Under Buhari, there has not been anytime that governance has not been neglected.
Buhari is not identified with a history of taking governance seriously. Was Buhari taking governance seriously and demonstrating an acute awareness of the urgency before him when he failed to appoint his ministers for six months? Was Buhari urgently and effectively responding to governance needs when he failed to resolve the Fulani herdsmen question while they continued their rapine? Buhari has failed to provide a compelling reason for outsourcing his campaign duties to Tinubu. And what is clear is that Buhari may not be deeply involved in the campaign because he does not have the energy for this.
Perhaps, if Buhari had sincerely disclosed that his health status cannot accommodate the rigour of the campaigns, he would have earned the plaudits and empathies of the citizens.
Clearly, the gains of his being involved in the campaign outweigh the feeble excuse he has given.
If there were compelling state matters, what stopped the president from combining them with his campaigns? After all, was it not the president who once inveighed against the slothfulness of the nation’s youths he is saddled with providing their education and other needs with free oil revenue? No, the president cannot be too busy not to campaign. He has an opportunity to multi-task and model hard work before millions of the idle youths of his nation.
By not leading his campaign, Buhari has only alienated himself from the citizens.
He has denied himself the opportunity to be familiar with the problems of the citizens such as their grinding poverty and infrastructural deficit.
Yes, Buhari has held so many government offices in the country. These positions have enabled him to interact with people from different parts of the country.
Buhari himself has also referred to the fact that through his earlier campaigns, he has been able to understand the challenges of the people in different parts of the country. But the depravations that Buhari saw so many years ago might have taken a turn for the worse.
Thus, Buhari being involved in the current campaigns would give him the opportunity of a better and fresher view of the plights of the citizens and a more urgent need to mitigate them.
Buhari has also denied himself the opportunity to regale the citizens with tales of his achievements and a future of plenitude if he is re-elected. Tinubu cannot do this.
No, another person cannot tell the story of Buhari’s achievements as himself and tantalize the citizens with a future that would be theirs if he is re-elected.
How can Tinubu express the genuine gusto of a leader who after seeing the faces of starved citizens is only preoccupied with bringing them happiness?
Or was it not the quest for service that made Buhari to keep on seeking the presidency even after failing serially? Or was it just for vengeance? Or is Buhari dodging the campaign field because he has no achievements in the past three and half years to be proud of? Now that Buhari has given this responsibility to Tinubu, should we still rule out the aberration of the latter also representing him at the expected presidential debate?
This current position of Buhari has only confirmed the allegation of his having outsourced the presidency a long time ago. Now, the prime beneficiary in the next dispensation if Buhari wins is Tinubu.
If Tinubu is able to sell the bad product he has been saddled with its marketing, it would only be fair if the presidency is outsourced to him.
In that case, what Tinubu could not get as a vice president because a Muslim-Muslim ticket affronts the religious sensibilities of the citizens would fall on his laps, thanks to Buhari not campaigning.
But is it only a grand future that Tinubu sees as he contemplates the post-election era? Is his past experience with Buhari not a trigger for foreboding amid the madding electioneering? Tinubu was among Nigerians who rebranded Buhari as a better alternative to the then President Goodluck Jonathan.
But after the election, Buhari and his coterie of inner supporters were in a great hurry to de-privilege Tinubu’s role in his emergence as the president.
In the process, when Buhari’s historian chronicled his emergence as the president, Tinubu’s role was only consigned to a footnote. But Buhari is only cozying up to Tinubu now because he has realised that he is the only one who can deliver the result he wants.
But if Buhari returns after Tinubu proves that his genius as a marketer of a bad product is peerless, would he be ceded control of the presidency? Or would his aborted demystification be completed by Buhari and his men?
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