Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): 2015 Elections: I Shall Vote the Peoples’ General, But…

by ahjotnaija

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Many Nigerians don’t pray for the return of the incumbent president as winner in the 2015 general elections. One doesn’t need look too far for reasons to wish him a landslide loss. His ineptitude with his shallow handling of national matters is second to none.

Under the present crop of leadership, corruption has reached an all-time high while insecurity has been the only reason we make headlines in the international media. Due to this, the alternative candidate, General Mohammed Buhari (GMB) seems to be the long-awaited savior. His anti-corruption stance has never been faulted and this claim has even been better-boosted with the Daura-born Politician’s ownership of ONLY two houses.

However as ‘morally upright’ as his presidential candidacy seems, the former Head of State (HoS) has questions to answer.  While his detractors beam the light on his age and alleged fanaticism, I have decided to look beyond these simple reasons as it is not so likely that anyone will complain of age if Professor Wole Soyinka, for example, decides to contest.

While his reign in the 1980s was as a military HoS, which prompted a sterner approach to governance, I still will not overlook his heinous crimes against humanity. The fact that he enacted decrees that supported the death sentence and imprisonment of dissenters leaves one worried.

Worse still, the bespectacled politician has never at any time explicitly apologized for these crimes. They are his crimes, after all. Similarly, GMB truncated an infant-democracy and a government, whose border he was entrusted to defend. His justification for the putsch might have been accepted, but for the fact that the end in this case does not justify his explanation(means).

Also the retroactive law he put in place which killed three youths also need clarifications and he should show some remorse for the vile act.

General Buhari is being touted as an anti-corruption crusader; that is one of the strong points of his campaigners, but the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka in his memoir, We Must Set Forth At Dawn made some sterling accusations against him.

I have in times pretended to believe reports of the corrupt-free government General Buhari ran in spite of how apocryphal they seem, but as a young Nigerian, who did not live through the years of GMB’s dictatorship, I rely on books to relive the years of General Buhari’s iron-handed rule.

My questions to the presidential hopeful are:

First, Is it true that while GMB headed the Ministry of Petroleum under General Olusegun Obasanjo, 3.4 Billion Dollars grew wings and flew out of the coffers of the Nigeria state and that the same fate befell files of the NNPC on his assumption of office?

Second, what happened to the 53 suitcases that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar intercepted at the airport?

Third, did General Buhari actually fight against democracy by locking up the late activist, Tai Solarin for distributing pro-democracy pamphlets?

Fourth, why does he want to participate in a type of government, whose members, namely the press and other activists like Fela Anikulapo Kuti etc he detained?

Apart from the success of the War Against Indiscipline(WAI) campaign, what other achievements did the General record as HoS? Relating to the health sector, why did Dr Olikoye Ransome Kuti protest against his government?

In like manner, GMB should not forget to tell us in CONCRETE/CLEAR TERMS how his government intends to revive the torment/death centres branded as hospitals throughout the country.

In an election debate in 2007, when asked what he would do with the land use act if elected, General Buhari said his plans were under seal. Such a response is a disappointment. Considering the fact that Chief Gani Fawehinmi had endorsed him, made such a response even annoyingly disappointing.

Conversely, another candidate, Professor Pat Utomi took us on an intellectual ride to Latvia as regards his plans for our lands. Instantly, my admiration for that professor soared and my reservations for the General augmented. We do not want guess works; we deserve to know what will happen to our lands in case this former-handler of our petroleum-money wins!

In addition, General Buhari’s explanation for cancelling the Lagos Metro rail project is terribly insufficient, for this also, I believe GMB should show remorse; he must beg Lagosians. Tying his irate cum unfortunate decision to debt reduction/avoidance is a bad justification. The ubiquitous Lagos traffic might have been a thing of the past if GMB had not cancelled project.

To sum up, I believe General Buhari has more persuasions to make and he may, instead of carpeting the ruling party, explain his plans in realistic terms. Since he is not in government, he can do us some good by exploring all the time he has to help us see reasons to vote for him.

Instead of devoting so much time to exposing the already self-exposed maladroitness of the incumbent,  the presidential candidate should explain his plans, THOROUGHLY in as many press conferences as possible: on the economy, education, infrastructure, industry etc etc.

Late 2010, a friend and I designed a poster titled ‘Let the clean men clean the mess!’ It was our widow’s mite. Not as if I believed in General Buhari, it was his vice-presidential candidate I believed in. I had watched Pastor Bakare on TV and on other platforms making his arguments, I had read about days when he slept in prison, I had heard of him talk about turning resources into wealth, I had heard him talk about how Georgia was transformed within years. For a number of GMB-skeptics, the choice of Pastor Bakare boasted confidence in a GMB-presidency.

If elected as the APC candidate, GMB may do well to pick a credible running-mate like he did with Pastor Tunde Bakare; a Christian to be precise. The reason is of course indisputable: General Buhari needs to be denuded of the fanatism-narratives which presently envelope his person.