This is the last time I will write discouraging people from voting for our president, Muhammadu Buhari.
It is the last time because by next Monday, we will be awaiting the results of the election.
It would be nice if someone would pay me to campaign against the president. I mean, that would be the easiest money I have ever made. This is because I would campaign against him for absolutely nothing…in fact, I have been doing just that.
During the last election, my younger sister called me from “the abroad” to ask why I was against the election of the president so vehemently. Some people have accused me of being a PDP apologist and a hater. Some even said that I loved corruption because if you do not like Buhari you must be a looter.
But I saw this.
I saw just a bit though. And I never knew that his 4 years would be this disastrous. I knew that Goodluck was a much better candidate by any stretchable measure. Buhari the saviour was nothing but a fictional character created by people who knew exactly who he was but needed his cult following and questionable reputation of being incorruptible.
Here were my concerns in 2015.
- He was a coup plotter. I don’t care what he thought he was doing but seizing a nation’s democracy no matter how bad was not a mandate anyone gave him. I am of the school of thought that no matter how well meaning, coups are disrespectful to citizens. As bad as things were with our democracy, each interruption by the military stunted our growth as a nation.
- Buhari was bent on coming back to be a democratic president. And I never understood why. I question his “love” for this country. This is simply because of what he did when he wasn’t contesting. What did Buhari ever do in his down time to influence the affairs of this country? He never participated in anything that could be remotely described as nation building. People may think that Obasanjo is meddlesome but I recall his visit to Maiduguri to see the family of Mohammed Yusuf (late Boko Haram’s leader) in 2011. I was touched by this attempt at brokering peace. I believe Obasanjo cares about this country and demonstrates it with a passion that is devoid of ambition. Buhari would lose an election and then hide and sulk for 4 years. It was all or nothing.
People touted Buhari as the honest guy that was going use his integrity like voltron’s sword to destroy all our problems. His whole image was hinged on this debatable integrity. This concerned me. If I am interviewing someone for an advertised position, I would never go in there with sole aim of finding only an honest person. Integrity is a major plus but completely useless if the person is ill suited and lacks the intellectual capacity to handle the job requirements. Buhari never demonstrated administrational prowess or even presented himself as mind savvy. “He will not steal” everyone kept saying. Which is fine. But would he be mentally shrewd enough to put together and coordinate a team that would make this nation move ahead? I wasn’t convinced he had it there. And I don’t want a thief to pilfer but I certainly don’t want person who will cause me loss because he doesn’t know his left from right.
- I was concerned about his ability to communicate. It isn’t about having an accent. He was fine reading speeches but he seemed like he would not be able to speak brightly off the cuff. (And boy!!!!! Was I right!)
- There were concerns about him being bigoted. He seemed to have the stance of a fundamentalist. While I won’t say he is one, I had this concern. He gave me an oligarchy vibe. But I was confused that he was working with Osinbajo as a deputy. But I guess that was the plan, to use Osinbajo to mask the scent. We have all seen the king of the North operate. I never knew that only Northerners had qualified and worthy people. Nepotism wearing a sash of righteousness.
- Great leaders are negotiators. Great leaders understand the importance of compromise. In a country as diverse as Nigeria is, I did not see Buhari as having any skills in this department. His rigidity was not just a physical trait. In fact some people liked this and said it was what Nigeria needed. A man who stands in one place will never move forward.
- Interestingly I did not have a problem with Buhari’s age. I don’t think the younger the better except we are talking about competitive sports. But a mind still stuck in the 80s and has refused grow and adapt is a big problem.
4 years later and Buhari has superseded every fear I have had and created new ones.
Let the truth be told. There is no glory in poverty. Drinking one satchet of milo does not make you better than a person that buys the largest tin. No one should tell us that we must suffer for things to get better. If this was true then Nigerians have done all the suffering enough for next 100generations.
Can we use that big broom erected in Abuja to sweep the road to Daura next Saturday?