2015 General Election- The Change We (Don’t) Want

by ahjotnaija

A Choice between PDP and APC is a choice between drowning in a latrine and drowning in another. Millions of Nigerians prefer their present odious circumstances and refuse to go to to the party of Tinubu and Atiku, the party of “reform” where it costs N27m to collect “the people’s form. We will stay with PDP until we see real change agents. This is the only way to hold our looters accountable. Ikhide R. Ikheloa

The clamor for the return of General Buhari as president recently reached a disturbing height. Fortunately, so loud are the counter-voices that demand a never-again to a Buhari-return. They prayed to be spared the WAI-nightmare among many people-unfriendly policies during his iron-fist reign. Never mind that General Buhari was in power for only two years, yet his crimes still busy us till date.

Comparing the wild jubilation which ushered in the coup-plotter soldier in December 1983 with the present choking frenzy, almost obsessive demand for General Buhari presidency in 2015, one thing is evident, namely the extreme incompetence and terrific corruption of/in the GEJ-led government. We must remember that the Shagari-government was overthrown, directly due to election malpractices, but largely due to unimaginable corruption in and out of government. There is therefore a positiveness to this present demand. Nigerians are aware of GEJ’s incompetence and are tired of his circus. They want a TRUE policy and directional change.

No doubt, the 1983 coup-plotters understood the only way to legitimize the coup was to install a figure extremely opposite to what they swept out of the way. Hence, the unanimous decision for Buhari.

General Buhari bit the bait; he characteristically outperformed expectations of his soldier-benefactors.He jailed indiscriminately. He wanted order and discipline in the country- War Against Indiscipline (W.A.I.) was born! Soldiers beat and battered citizens routinely. The streets, express-roads, stinking gutters, dirty drainage, open-wastelands etc became drill-land for the Buhari-boys.

Lest I be accused of telling too much truth, I will forget to remember that common Nigerians were the soldiers’ drill tools. General Buhari’s barbarism knew no end. He stretched discipline and terror to breaking points.

Actually, enough has been written on General Buhari’s reign of terror. Only that we often forget to mention that the General looked away too often from too many crimes. In short, his anti-corruption manuals were applicable only to Nigerians! Yes, bloody Nigerians alone!

While his soldiers beat the hell out of indisciplined Nigerians somewhere in Asokoro, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, the Corruption-in-Chief, whose government was coup d’etat-ed, was kept in a mansion-like detention, enjoying the benefits of a president only that he had no country to preside over. Opposition leaders and politicians languished in Buhari’s jails countrywide. The maxim was to rid the land of corruption and indiscipline, but only those of the common people, dissenting opposition and journalists were relevant.

Anyone would then understand why General Buhari never listened to pleas from every quarter to spare the lives of the Nigerian youths he murdered on a retroactive law. He had to make up for the image loss. He would not be outdone by his sidekicks and soldier-boys, who were either busy assaulting journalists or looting our commonwealth.

An objective observer will understand therefore that General Buhari’s claim to be an anti-corruption Caesar is nothing but sheer double standard, nepotism, murder, oppression and undiluted terror. The willful public miscarriage/manipulation of justice in the Middle Age could not be much worse.

General Buhari should at best leave us alone to heal in dignity. Yes, we are still healing after over 30 years of his two year regime.

Lets assume for a second that Nigeria’s primary problem is corruption, still General Buhari will be the wrong man to cleanse the country of this plague. Don’t take my word for it. Read WS article on Buhari. Only an endemic Buharist would still stick to him if past records were a yardstick. Buhari’s anti-corruption prescription was selective, poorman-focused and a farce. I shall leave it at that to attend to other matters.

I have warned severally of an election of a president based on sheer trust. That is exactly what is being clamored for right now, barely eight months to general elections. In a Facebook post, I asked if anyone needed a manifesto from General Buhari. I had at one time stated very clearly why we need a clear-cut agenda from anyone who wants to preside over us. S/he is best advised to WRITE down these agenda and how they shall be achieved in CONCRETE terms for the electorate.

We have been politically duped and raped for too long. We are therefore allergic to a campaign on trust. Our allergic condition worsens especially if the so-called choice candidate is a General, whose past records are as controversial and divisive as Buhari’s.

We have nothing to loose by talking no riddles, but we stand the danger of loosing too much if we kept quiet. So, we shall talk clear terms. Here is an open truth: General Buhari has no strategy beyond his declaration of intent to contest. If his antecedent is any yardstick, we are not certain if he will combat true corruption- not common stealing (apology to GEJ). Meanwhile corruption is the only campaign-club his foot-soldiers on social media presently wield/throw around.

Definitely, upon election, the likes of Rotimi Amaechi and Asiwaju Tinubu, other APC-defectees etc etc shall not be jailed for plundering the till of their various states/constituencies. We don’t have to wait until 2015 to know already what a Buhari/APC-led government shall do. APC’s handling of Tambulwa-crisis is a strong pointer to the future; an APC-led government shall only apply the constitution if/when it is convenient.

I have searched the internet endlessly to find what goals and plans a Buhari-government shall pursue if elected, unsuccessfully. I wont mind being given a link to such plans. We are not asking for too much, considering the fact that APC’s selling point is that difference-mantra being fed to the public.

We must keep in mind that late president Umaru Yar’adua had a seven point agenda! We do not want such agenda. We need a step-by-step-manual on every promised agenda.

Tanimomo, a guestblogger on this blog would vote for Buhari if the General would tell him in concrete terms his plan for the health sector. That is a legitimate demand! I am particularly interested in knowing General Buhari’s ABC-approach to tackle the endemic power problem in the country. Undoubtedly, the people are tired of living in darkness. Should General Buhari promised to supply 24-hour electricity uninterrupted for two years (NOT FOUR YEARS!!!), backed by a practical timetable for realization, I am sure no hate message would hinder Nigerians, even South-South electorate from voting this promised messiah. In fact, I would be tempted to personally champion his cause on every platform.

I am particularly troubled because overtime we seem to have zeroed-down Nigeria’s problem to corruption. This false assumption leveled the ground for the Buhari-Vanguard, so that their singular reason why Buhari is earnestly necessary in 2015 is a fight on corruption. A wrong diagnosis leads to looking for the solution in the wrong person/place. Corruption is not Nigeria’s primary problem. Yes, you read me correctly!

I believe this is a possible message President Jonathan wanted to pass across when he gaffed with his *people call common stealing corruption* statement. Corruption is indeed an offshoot of a more terrific endemic problem. In same vein as Christian and Muslim Pentecostalism is a byproduct of an impoverished people. Yes, poverty can birth many things.

Corruption is a practical manifestation of a people, who are permanently in search of a secure-tomorrow that actually do not exist. Nigerians have been abandoned for too long that they simply cannot do otherwise than steal, plunder commonwealth endlessly and game the system at any chance they get. Those who are less-abandoned, i.e. they are employed by the system, experience daily the blind-looting by the leadership. Not stealing/plundering the leftovers from their masters- the government is thus considered foolhardy and strange.

It self-explains when a police-officer demands bribe to allow a lawbreaker go without arrest. He has a wife and children to feed! Remember, he is a bloody recruit/constable! And please do not tell me it is not the government job to feed his eleven children! The police-officer is corrupt. Yes! But do you bother to read Ikhide’s Barrack Boys to understand what is wrong with that police-officer?

Think of the SCOAN building that collapsed killing so many due to structural defects. So, nobody saw that the building would collapse? Of course, the townplaner, whose pension is a farce, was smart enough to look-away.

It probably has never occurred to anyone to ask why corruption returned immediately General Buhari was overthrown. General Babangida only reformed and introduced newer means to corruption. He did not introduce corruption. It was that which General Buhari had attempted to fight unsuccessfully. The reason for the quick recuperation of a suppressed corrupt system is not far-fetched- General Buhari was only fighting a symptom, not the sickness. Nigerians are corrupt, but that is not the problem; the primary issue is not corruption. The Amukun-Philosophy sums up Nigerian’s true problem(s). I shall attend to this philosophy in another piece.

So given that Buhari is bent on fighting corruption to a standstill, he would have only succeeded in fighting a symptom, only for the sickness to reemerge stronger once the General is out of office. Of course, we are aware of antibiotic resistant ailment if not properly/hurriedly treated! That explains partly the resistance of the Anti-Buhari-Vanguard. Nigeria experienced Buhari once. 30 years thereafter, we are still corrupt, in fact, more terribly so.

Like many political observer rightly observed, if President Jonathan practically achieved nothing in his two years of acting as president, he will be a disastrous president if elected full president. Jonathan out-proves critics’ fears. He is a mega-disaster. Likewise, an old General Buhari shall not outperform that young army general, who overthrew our infant democracy in 1983 and subjected the whole country to two years reign of terror and a farcical anti-corruption war.

Charity, they say, begins at home. On this note, we shall return to Daura, the birthplace of General Buhari. Lets keep in mind that we are talking Nigeria, so Buhari’s God-status is un-tampered, also in Daura. That means Daura’s council chairman would listen once Buhari speaks. Even the Governor of Katsina would not dare ignore the people’s General if he offered public advice/practical help. So, he could have been playing president in his birthplace since his election loss four years ago, if just to prepare him for 2015.

So, what exactly has this man of the people done/been doing in the past four years voluntarily for public primary school children in Daura, whose classrooms are yet to be air-conditioned?! Daura averages 35 Degrees Celsius yearly. Nobody can survive conducively in such a harsh tropic weather without an air-conditioner. Yes, General Buhari is not the government! But aren’t we talking of a nonchalant PDP-government and Daura-citizens dependent largely on goodwill of prominent citizens? If there are still Daura-born Almajiris, then what exactly has Buhari done to convert Daura into a paradise for them?!

There are still PUBLIC primary and secondary schools in Daura, whose learning condition and building standard are different from those of Pampers International Primary School Lagos, Bells Group of Schools Ota and Loyola International College. General Buhari would do well to cater for a successfully managed Daura as a model for a countrywide project. Until then, he is (shall be) a terrible (but temporary) hindrance on Nigeria’s path to escaping another PDP-led government in 2015.