By Joseph Edgar…
I have decided to send this note to our President as a man of history and destiny. As we move slowly into the dying hours of the day, heralding this historic election, I begin to think ever so succinctly about the man Buhari and his place within the scheme of things in our country.
A man of little intellectual accomplishments, a man with really no strong sense of purpose and a limited outlook towards life and its expectations but with the long streak of providence thrusting him into the very apogee of national life.
Mr. Buhari has almost all his adult life held some very strategic positions culminating in leading the country twice. Only maybe General Obasanjo, his erstwhile promoter, has accomplished this. So you will begin to see the hands of destiny in his life and its effect on the nation.
Tomorrow, Nigerians in their million will go to the polls to vote. An exercise that would once again throw Mr. Buhari up for another ride in destiny’s hands. Over three years after he was given the mandate having struggled three earlier times for it, today he stands on the threshold of history as his decision after Nigerians have spoken will determine the direction of over 200million People.
Mr. Buhari as he sits today, remains the very focus of national discourse, majorly dividing Nigerians into two major crucibles- those for and those against him with a tiny few not bothered. He and his handlers have said he has done well and as such he must be allowed to continue. To support their position, they have mentioned his fight against corruption, some infrastructural developments especially the Lagos Abeokuta rail and, as if destiny has started playing on his side, the economy according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics is showing some very strong performances increasing the External purse to about $43m and inflation dropping to about 11% the lowest in a while.
So, his people believe that Mr. Buhari has done enough to be allowed to continue. Millions of Nigerians stand by this position and would do anything to make sure this happens.
On the other hand, millions more feel this has been the worst Presidency in recent times. They sight the 4million that have lost their jobs, the ethnicization of federal appointments, the slowness and almost lethargic approach to governance, the continuous blame game, the inability to contain the insurgency in the North East amongst others. They are determined to change the system. Throw him and his ‘cabal’ into the sewage of history.
The campaign season has been colorful. It has provided so much excitement and melo drama; from the pelting of the President to the avoidance of debate, to the withdrawal of ‘little’ candidates and the visit of the opposing candidate to the US, a visit the government had said was not possible as a result of some over hanging issues. Let me also mention the issue with the Chief Justice which has been interpreted as the government’s attempt at weakening the Judiciary and the inevitable involvement of foreign powers who have come out with specific sanctions on possible electoral infractions.
Despite all of these, the onus lays with Mr. Buhari. He must decide today what side of history he wants to belong, the infamous side where people like Gbagbo and Mugabe reside or the glorious one where you see Ebele Jonathan and Sirlirf of Liberia who respected the wishes of the people and handed over without friction.
Mr. Buhari must truly show by his reactions to the people’s choice that he is truly a committed patriot and a true elder statesman by respecting the decision of the people no matter what it is.
He must ensure that a peaceful process must be completed and either a true handover or a seamless continuity is achieved so that he can confirm his position within the pantheons of history.
This is the point he should really stand firm and face the convictions that fate and his unusual luck has thrown at him. He must not only listen to his handlers and stretch his net further to get better counsel but in the end the decision to be a man and a true Nigerian will reside in his ability to be a man of history.
Mr. Buhari, no matter what happens tomorrow, the most important decision to be taken is not what millions of Nigerians will say but how you react to what they will say.
I wish you luck and God speed.