By Muhammad Ajah
Until I am convinced that Nigeria is not being transformed by President Muhammadu Buhari, there is no ground for me to dissociate myself from the millions of voices of Nigerians calling for the continuity of this government. Simply, the world knows that Nigeria was living in a “fool’s paradise”, when the past governments refused to allow Nigerians face the economic reality for a very long time. Maybe if they had done, by now, Nigeria would have been greater than it is and Nigerians would have forgotten the economic hardship they are facing now. But it will be over with the steady and resilient policies being pursued by the incumbent federal administration.
Again until I am convinced that the period between 1999 and 2015, years of democratic experiment indeed, were not the best period to have instituted the solid foundation for Nigeria’s development, there is no ground to dissociate myself from the million of voices of Nigerians solidly standing against the return to old democratic experiences as defined by the past governments. It must be clear that I am talking about government and not individuals.
Furthermore, until I am convinced that the testimonies from developed countries and world economic analysts that Nigeria has been placed on the track of development by the government of the day are mere jokes, there is no ground to dissociate myself from the millions of patriots who wish my country the best under the hands of the best patriots who have conscience and faith and believe in fate.
Finally, until I am convinced that Nigerians made a wrong choice in 2015, there is no ground to dissociate myself from the millions of patriots who want President Muhammad Buhari to continue as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after the 2019 presidential polls and even beyond. That is why I used “run” three times for this title. But I am convinced that he will never seek a third term. I am convinced that he will be the best president Nigeria has ever produced by 2023. And I am convinced that Nigeria will be great under him despite the adversities staged by those who are opposed to the betterment of Nigeria. They are not fighting him, they are fighting the majority of the citizenry and assuredly, the one with God is majority.
It is, indeed, not easy to rule Nigeria. If all the past presidents of Nigeria were to be gathered in one room today to give their experiences, none can give accurate account due to the heat in the seat of leadership. The post-colonial leaders, those alive amongst them today, would testify that it has not been easy for the leaderships since then. I am convinced that they had thought that it would have been as easy as saying “Nigerians can govern themselves”. And from Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe until President Buhari, tirade of hostility amongst Nigerians over leadership has continued basically due to the misunderstanding of unity in diversity and the outright shortsightedness or unabated greed cum self self-centredness of some of the past leaders.
Every leadership is looked at from its ethno-religious affiliation, not on the basis of party, education or even credibility. Other citizens from other ethno-religious groups often tend to see nothing good in such leadership. Each leadership, from independence, has faced threats from within, though propelled contentiously by foreign factors, all often targeted at destabilizing the focus to develop the country. In some cases and out of jealousy, past leaderships would attempt to frustrate the successors who may be progressive in governance. Different strategies are often employed to achieve such motives.
Beyond doubt, I cannot be more convinced that another four years for the present administration will yield more positive results in the transformation agenda. Nigerians must come together in this trying moment for this progressive government and stand for the truth that our growth in underway. It has actually started. So we must give this government another four years. Patriots must not be carried away by distractive sentiments accredited to a former Speaker of the House of Representatives Gali Umar Na’Abba against the president, though he may be right that some party members have hijacked and pocketed the party. Or should patriots take serious statements accredited to Dr. Junaid Mohammed on the 2019 presidential reelection decision. As for the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he is entitled to his opinion. I am convinced that leadership in Nigeria can be so sweet that Obasanjo sought for a third term and crushed all the strong contenders for the 2011 presidential polls. However, every Nigerian enjoys freedom of speech.
Some Nigerians are out there to discredit the government of President Buhari. They have caused many troubles to distract him. They are using the gullible amongst the citizens to cause havocs. But they will fail by the power of the God of Nigeria and Nigerians. That is why I sympathize with the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who recently spoke for maturity and patriotism by acknowledging the nation’s difficult times when some people are making political capital out of killings, using “the orgy of bloodshed to advance their political interests”, yet portraying it as a failure of the Buhari-led administration”.
Adesina finds “plenty of prejudice in Nigeria, prodigious quantity of insularity, animus, antipathy against anyone that is not of your ethnic or religious stock, or that belongs to a different political orientation or persuasion.” “If you meet him, kill him, if you can’t catch him, poison his footsteps,” seems to be the singsong among some people. And as the build-up to general elections, next year gathers momentum, matters are made worse. Nothing can be more convincing.
It is true that everything has been politicized, including wanton killings. There is strident attempt to defame, demean and de-market the Buhari government. Those behind it, he said are the crooks, thieves and freeloaders who want business as usual. They hate probity. Their souls abhor accountability. They prefer the plunder of the past years, and can’t wait to see that epoch return. They engage in all sorts of misinformation, disinformation, hate speeches and fake news.
“In or out of government, I stand with Buhari”, Adesina proclaimed. They turned the country into a wasteland, leaving an economy primed for recession. He trusts the President who has made massive investments in infrastructure, roads, rail, power, agriculture and mining with the stock market recently recording N15.78 trillion, N1.3 trillion spent on capital projects in 2016 and almost the same amount for 2017.
He said that although President Buhari has not thrown his hat officially into the ring for a second term in office, the oppositions are in mortal fear of him running, thus are out to dissuade, malign, paint him black and devalue him before the electorate. And what a marvelous prophetic proclamation: “But they don’t know that there are many devices in the hearts of men, but only the counsel of God shall stand. If God has ordained President Buhari to be in power beyond 2019, human effort to stop it can only end in futility.”
Yes, Buhari is the solid ground for Nigeria. And yes for our children and generations yet unborn, he is engendering a new country whose builder and maker is God. I reecho my call on Nigerians to stand on this solid rock to further rescue our dear country beyond 2019. The supports by the APC leader, Bola Ahmad Tinubu and the Yoruba have been great, indeed; let that be sustained for our dear country. But in the event that he decides not to run, let him nominate a patriot who will doggedly follow his footsteps. It will be a thing of joy to fully support his nomination.
Already, the leaders of APC in the Southeast have re-endorsed him for 2019. National vice chairman of the Southeast APC, Emma Eneukwu, said that four years were not enough for Mr. President to complete his transformational agenda for Nigeria, hence the need for another four years to make Nigeria truly great. The Southeast APC implored Mr. President, as a just and fair-minded leader, to make history by supporting the zoning of the office of the president in APC to the Southeast at the end of his second tenure in office as President in 2023.
Muhammad Ajah is an advocate of humanity, peace and good governance in Abuja. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.