OPINION: Make it Peter’s voters card-PVC
FOUR days or 96 hours stand between Nigerians and a consequential choice- to continue with the misgovernance and industrial scale looting of the public treasury of many years and especially the affliction of the last eight by the bungling All Progressives Congress [APC] and an incompetent and utterly clueless President, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. On Twitter last Saturday, former senator, Shehu Sani, put the choice before Nigerians in plain but jarring manner: “One week from now your prevailing bondage will expire. You will have the historic opportunity to renew your slavery or subscribe to freedom”. The choice before Nigerians on Saturday cannot be starker. And really easy. APC was a mistake from the get go. We were probably the first set of commentators on national affairs to brand the party as a special purpose vehicle cobbled together with the sole aim of filling a vacuum in the political space in 2014/2015, and then grabbing political power especially at the centre in 2015. The then ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] had, in the estimation of some Nigerians, failed woefully. In addition, the party had been hollowed out right from the inside.
Its chairman was actively working for the opposition APC while sitting pretty in office. Many Nigerians failed to recognise the reason for the gang up and contrived angst against the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, a minority from Ijaw nation who was adopted as one of their own by the Igbo.
If bad governance was the problem of Jonathan then Gen. Buhari should have been voted out in 2019 when he sought and won reelection. We know there are those who did not, and still do not, believe that Buhari won his reelection fair and square. Jonathan was hounded out of office because he was of the southern minority and so had no right to occupy the highest elective political office in the land. He was accused of being an usurper who reneged on an ‘agreement’ not to seek a second term after serving out the remainder of the first term of the President, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and winning election for a full term in his own right. The arguement was that the north had been shortchanged by the sudden death of Yar’Adua and so a northerner should become President of Nigeria willy nilly. Some prominent northerners in the PDP were ready to sacrifice their party for the ‘collective interest’ of the north. Some of them led by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar left the PDP and formed the nPDP [new PDP] while others resolved to stay behind and work from inside to defeat their own party to benefit the then opposition APC whose presidential candidate, Gen. Buhari, was one of their own. Their resolve to back Buhari was simply because he was a northerner. Many of them knew that he was unsuitable for the office of the President. Here was a man who more than 30 years after being ousted from office as a military head of state had no public record of any engagement on any national issue nor did he improve himself in any other way. The only notable thing which he did in those intervening years was in 2000 or thereabout when he led a team of Fulani irredentists to march on the former governor of Oyo state, the late Lam Adesina, to accuse him of doing nothing over the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Oke Ogun area of the state. Buhari had to flee Ibadan in shame when it was proved beyond doubt that the Fulani were the aggressors in that bloody fracas. Nobody needed to be a seer to predict that Buhari will be failure.
And his failings began to manifest early in his regime. He said and then implemented his odious policy of 97% versus 5% which meant favouring sections of the country that voted for him to the neglect and detriment of those who gave him 5% of their votes. He was even so bad that he couldn’t get on with his hate and discriminatory policy quickly. Buhari knelt on the necks of Nigerians for all of six months to nominate candidates for the federal executive council. In spite of the long wait, Nigerians were deflated by the quality and calibre of his nominees. That was the beginning of Nigeria’s free and rapid fall down a slippery slope.
And eight years on the carnage on the country is in full view. The damage is daunting if not outrightly irreparable. While Buhari hollowed out Nigeria, the self-styled national leader of the APC and the other goons of the ruling party kept singing the praises of the ‘great leader’. Buhari, to them, was incapable of doing any wrong. Indeed, he was branded the messiah and saviour of Nigeria. He was the ‘new sheriff in town’ whose body language was so magical it could produce megawatts of electricity and wheel them to the homes and industries of consumers. But discerning Nigerians were not sold to the obvious worshiping of the idol from Daura. They screamed, protested and kicked at the divisiveness of Buhari and his dumb policies. But they were labeled ‘wailing wailers’. Now the shoe is on the other leg. And Buhari’s erstwhile cheerleaders want to disown him. They have just awoken to the reality that the President produced on the ticket of their party has not been implementing the policies of the APC.
READ ALSO:OPINION: Why the next president of Nigerian should be a unifier
But the APC has had no policies since after Buhari was elected and sworn into office in 2015. APC had no manifesto nor contract with Nigerians. Yes, there were documents claiming to be the party’s manifesto and contract with Nigerians but Buhari said very early in his regime that their contents had nothing to do with him. And the promises in the documents were not made by him. None, not one of the new APC gatecrashers to the wailing wailers club challenged Buhari’s disclaimer of the documents. Nor rebuked him.
Not even the APC so-called national leader, Alhaji Bola Tinubu. Suddenly, in the twillight of Buhari’s regime Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Ahmad Nasir El- Rufai and his counterpart in Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Alhaji Tinubu and others are claiming that Buhari’s latest policy of Naira redesign was not APC’s. Which APC? The party whose manifesto was disclaimed and repudiated by Buhari early in his first term, and which none of them contested at the time. For the avoidance od doubt the current Naira swap is the least of the wicked, ill- conceived and shoddily implemented policy of the APC and Buhari. For instance, how did the ban by Buhari early in his regime on transactions in domiciliary accounts by individuals and corporations benefit Nigeria’s economy? The land border closure for years was said to have benefited our farmers but pray, if it is so why is that food inflation is one of the greatest nightmare Nigerians are grappling with? How has the APC and Buhari’s policy of multiple foreign exchange regimes benefited majority of Nigerians? The former emir of Kano once said that regime insiders, friends and supporters could easily be making hundreds of millions of Naira while sitting in their living rooms and dealing with foreign exchange round tripping.
Of all persons, Alhaji Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC should not be allowed to disown Buhari who he publicly told us that he virtually single-handedly foisted on Nigerians eight years ago. The presidential election on Saturday should be a referendum on the eight years of Buhari and the APC, the same way that Jonathan and the PDP were treated in 2015. The PDP failed and the party is now even worse than it was in 2015 when it was sacked. So it should not be trusted with power, at least not yet. Its successor has turned out worse. The evidence before our eyes is that the APC has done more damage and havoc to Nigeria in eight than the PDP did in 16 years.
Ordinarily, the choice facing the electorate on Saturday should be between Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party [NNPP] and Mr. Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party [LP]. Choosing Peter ahead of Rabiu as the next President of Nigeria should not be a difficult decision to make. Nigeria is in dire straits. It needs a clear-eyed, energetic and compassionate president whose roadmap for pulling the country back from the precipice is uncluttered. Peter Obi [LP] has demonstrated capability, capacity, competence, compassion, commitment and passion for the Nigeria Project. Therefore, let us make Peter’s Voters Card [PVC] count for the good of Nigeria, Nigerians and black people all over the world this Saturday. It will be in our enlightened self interest. Let’s go.
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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