Talking Point: 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

by ahjotnaija

It is less than 50 days to General Elections in Nigeria. It needs no saying that the best jingles right now are from various political parties and contesting politicians. Most paramount on the list of contested offices is the office of the president. With the attention the incumbent and his handlers give the APC candidate, President Jonathan has signaled the presidential election shall be between him and General Buhari. For the first time, he seems to have taken a right decision, albeit in his own interest. If only he had done same in issues that concern the country by acting this decisively on matters that matter, the electorate will need no firing up this tense to get him a re-election.

The presidential election shall be a very close contest. It shall very likely be a near close-loss for General Buhari, if he lost. And a very thin-win for the incumbent if he eventually won. The possibility of a re-run is high, going by tension not only in and around social media, but in prime states with real high number of eligible voters, e.g. talk of Kano many bombings and too many unrest in the Northern states. A geopolitical zone is practically presently ungovernable, i.e. the North-East. We need remember that a two-third-win of total vote-cast is still in place to win a presidential election. So, with Kano on fire and the North-East as a death-trap for Nigerians, General Buhari’s clear win or President Jonathan’s outright loss will require a genius abracadabra to realize. Plus this: Vote in Lagos shall be shared between PDP and APC! Lets wait and see.

Talking social media, it seems as though some media houses have sold themselves as mouthpieces to different camps, particularly to APC and PDP. SaharaReporters’ attempts to be a non-biased outfit is unsuccessful. An astute follower will know that that reports from her kitchen is clearly not Pro-President Jonathan. I understand SaharaReporters’ bias. Notwithstanding, I expect excellent journalism from her yard. I hope SaharaReporters adjust her reporting.

Vanguard Newspaper shamefully reports controversial and unconfirmed sturves. No doubt, the goal is simply to get unconfirmed lies and half-truths into the market. There are enough gullible voters to swallow the thing completely. I am sure even Sun Newspaper, best-known for her Boulevard Status, will be jealous of Vanguard new status as yellow-news-plus-propaganda-outlet. In short, Vanguard Newspaper has not done well at all.

I can only hope PremiumTimes will do well this time around to feed us with balanced and researched reporting. So far, I noticed her reporting tilts towards the incumbent, but not with unfounded reports like Vanguard.

At the rate things are going, it is likely too late to tell people to watch out for what they consume. It seems as though the more they are being told to watch-out, the faster they swallow and believe the bias, lies and half-truths. It is safe to conclude that majority already decided who the candidate of choice shall be come election day. Not to be hasty though, there are still many undecided voters to sway this or that way. The shock this time around is likely to be that the best campaigner and spender may not win. In the past twelve years, it is clear that Nigeria’s elections at presidential level go beyond campaigns, it is deal-cutting. The best deal-cutter is likely to carry the day.

Asiwaju Tinubu will not betray General Buhari this time around by cutting a-last minute-deal with President Jonathan. That much is certain. I am but sure the President will not relent on his oars until he has enough heavyweight behind him. On his visit to Minna, General Babangida urged anyone who loved Nigeria to vote President Jonathan. I am afraid the body language of General Maradona is more important than his words. If I were President Jonathan, I will take General Babaginda’s words only with a half-pinch or no salt at all. In fact, it is best to throw them real hard to the wind upon leaving the Minna Mansion.

Reverend Father Mbaka finally made a U-Turn with his sermon which has since gone viral on YouTube. He even demanded the incumbent step-aside for the People’s General. Men of God hardly surprise me. I suppose the president has either not given him enough money or the Man of God does not want to fall out of grace in case the president lost in February. Whatever the outcome of this election is, an important lesson politicians will learn is this: The lesser the number of Imams and Priests in their entourage, the more success they are likely to record in six years in office.

Truth be told, President Jonathan’s choice to carry his religion into Aso-Rock is not new, only that he probably went a step further by including arm-dealers cum gangster jet-flying money-changer-priests in his list of serving ministers. I would have been less-pained if he employed poverty-stricken Imams and Pastors in the rank and file of his spiritual swindlers.

Notwithstanding the poor performance the incumbent has to show for his six years in office, the number of eligible voters who have seemingly vowed to vote for him must not be underestimated. There are many factors responsible. One of them being the choice of APC presidential candidate, namely General Buhari.

Going by the fear of these people, they see the retired General as a liability too big even for himself. They see him as a mere figure-head and a sheer marionette, whose indebtedness shall simply be too much to Asiwaju Tinubu, APC is best advised to *kukuma* declare that a vote for the former is a vote for the latter. Therefore, instead of a pretending presidential candidate, General Buhari should come out to declare to his supporters who truly shall rule if he won!

He is simply not the awaited messiah. Add to that, many said the alliances that threw him up into our face as the singular and viable alternative to failed Jonathan is a far too compromised potpourri of criminals, one is safe to bet on the side of Jonathan’s siddon-look plus loot-us-tire kind of politics and tactics. Paraphrasing Ikhide, it is like leaving one pit-latrine for another pit-latrine. The stinking shit will/can only get more terribly piercing, thorough and thorough. More shit shall be shat on the people! So stay put with PDP?!

Many claim that APC is not PDP. They went further. They said the PDP-ers in APC are really the good-performers in the party they left behind. As such, their cross-carpeting to the APC portends something good for the country. I hope I understand the logic. There are many disgruntled APGA and PDP elements in the conglomeration which finally birthed the APC, in fact, there are so many of these politicians cum born-again commonwealth-thieves in the pretend party of change, namely the APC. The anger of those who have chosen to vote anything but APC is thus not unfounded.

Talking about voting anything but APC, this reminds of the voice of those on the side of change at all cost. They simply want to demolish a monstrous PDP. Their choice of demolition is by voting-out PDP at the center. Even Prof. Adesanmi belongs in this group. In a post, he seemed to submit that APC, being a party that is yet to be tried at the center, deserves a benefit of doubt. One could deduce that Prof. Adesanmi wanted anything but the incumbent, who is the greatest embarrassment Nigeria has ever had to lead her affairs.

At this point, a call for caution to the vanguards of change at all cost becomes necessary. Campaigning for four more years of phantom-change is clearly not what they wish for Nigeria. If their wish is measured in that proverbial standard of recognizing a man’s character by his company of friends, people bankrolling General Buhari’s election will not pass this sacred test.

Someone said if General Buhari had campaigned on a different theme other than change or corruption, he probably would have been taken serious. APC is after all a new PDP. The pillars and moneybags in APC are corruption personified. So, why lie to us? The fear is, voting in General Buhari under a renewed and reformatted PDP is more disastrous. The people argue it is safer and better to keep the PDP in power, that being the quickest pathway to allow the PDP a selfkill and for Nigeria to achieve a true and revolutionary change.

I am for a change with caution. True change is what Nigeria needs. The rate at which we demand for change in this election must be upheld even after the election. For instance, these vanguards who demand for change at all cost must be ready and willing among other demand to not turn a blind eye should the new president choose to not supply us uninterrupted electricity for two straight years! This is certainly not asking for too much!

All in all, the country must go to polls. Nigeria has once again been presented with two giant difficult choices. It is upon eligible voters to decide which of these two they shall cast for. I sincerely do not envy their predicament. Kamaparo oropesije!