Monday Column by Joe Igbokwe
hat happened in 1993 between Alhaji Bashir Tofa and Chief Moshood Abiola of blessed memory is about repeating itself in Nigeria today. Before the June 12, 1993 presidential election, handlers of Alhaji Bashir Tofa knew that he and Chief Abiola were like apple and orange in comparison. They knew that it was like comparing a giant and a dwarf. They knew that there was no basis for the comparison, and if it were a 100m dash Chief Abiola would have hit the tape while Tofa was at the starting point. The handlers led by Dr. Doyin Okupe initiated a strategy to hit Chief Abiola from all corners and try to panel beat him to Tofa’s level. They failed miserably and woefully too. In the process of doing that they helped in no uncertain terms to catapult Chief Abiola to an unprecedented height. The rest is now history.
In 2015, reckless, useless and fraudulent historians and hack writers are at work again. This time it is a battle between President Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari. The latter has contested presidential elections in 2003, 2007, 2011 and even though he did not make it, he gave a good account of himself. Though he was cheated out, he got millions of votes. He remained consistent, committed and courageous even in the face of all the troubles he had to go through. President Jonathan became a deputy Governor and through luck he became Governor, Vice president and now President and he would have ruled Nigeria for six years by next year.
In 2015, Nigerians will take stock. Nigerians are looking back, they are looking at the present and as well as the future. In the past sixteen a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Nigerians have seen a lot. Devastated, pillaged and gang raped in all fronts, Nigerians are now thinking seriously. Shall we continue with this mess? Do we have an alternative? Can we do things differently? Is Nigeria a basket case? Are we helpless and hopeless? Are our destinies in our hands? Can we bring the change we all desire? Can we raise the bar of leadership in 2015? Can we recover our stolen country? Many hard questions demanding hard answers. After the 2011 elections, General Buhari said he may not seek the highest office again. But the crisis of leadership in our country has pushed him to throw his hat into the ring again. He has been compelled by the forces of history to step forward again and this time it is a different ball game. General Buhari of yesteryears is no longer the same Buhari of today. Things have changed. Time has changed. The calculations, equations and permutations have changed. Nigerians want Buhari to come clean up the Augean Stable PDP led federal government is leaving behind. GMB is coming to change the way we think and the way we work.
But the enemies are at the door again. The thieves are at the door once again. They are with guns, bombs, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (IBM), Rocket Launchers (RL), Warships, Jet fighters, Bows and Arrows, AK-47s, etc to shoot him down. They tell us he is a Religious Bigot, an Islamic fundamentalist, a semi-illiterate person, too old and too weak to get things done. They are still manufacturing every bad thing under the sun and are heaping them at GMB’s doorsteps. They are desperate, vicious, hopeless, helpless and potentially dangerous. They are doing everything humanly possible to stop and if possible to kill General Buhari. This is the reason why l want maximum security for General Buhari now. These meretricious mediocrity can pull the house down to remain in power. They are ready to slaughter thousands to remain. They are ready to continue to divide the country to remain in power.
The corrupt people and criminals in the land will do everything humanly possible to stop Buhari. We have seen them at work. They know the consequences of General Buhari’s presidency. They know that he is a no nonsense man. They know he will fight criminals head on. They know he is going to remove feeding bottles from their mouths. They know he will do things differently. They know his puritanical disposition and they know he will stop at nothing to stop the mess in the land. General Buhari may be a religious bigot, he may be a fundamentalist, he may be a dictator, he may be an old man and semi illiterate, he may be everything they claim he is but these congenital liars from the pit of hell will kiss the dust. They will swallow their words when the chips are down. They will go down with their pathological lies when it dawns on them that no 21st century idiot will stop an idea whose time has come.
They may call General Buhari names, they can call him anything but it will amount to nothing. Those who claimed they are PHD holders have disappointed us. Those who claimed they are not dictators have bruised and oppressed us. Those who claimed they are young brought shame and mediocrity to us. Leadership is not measured by height or age. Mr Webster wrote Webster Dictionary at the age of 80. Buhari remains a candidate to beat in the 2015 presidential election and I pity these characters who will dare to stand on his way. I pity those who did not know when the train left the station. I sympathize with those who did not know when to call a spade a spade. I fear for those who did not know that an idea whose time has come is here. I worry that history is leaving some people behind in Nigeria. I fear that some compound idiots who have ruined Nigeria for years are yet to come to terms with GMB’s towering personality. Time will tell.
Joe Igbokwe lives in Lagos.