The coming Presidential election will be a straight match between the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan and his main challenger, General Muhammadu Buhari of the opposition’s All Progressive Congress (APC). For the justification by security chiefs on the effect of the battle against the nations common enemy –Boko haram who needed to be routed out of the Nigeria’s North East for a conducive environment for the conduct of elections in the region and barefaced laxity by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on their preparation for the elections across the country that was made obvious through faulty distributions of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to the electorate, it would have become an history as the captain of the Nigeria’s ship would have been elected.
The main competitors in the election probably understand the political dynamic of the nation. The followers may try to play down issues but it is evident that this election will not be like those we have witnessed in the recent past. The President’s recent lamentations on the roles of the former members of his party that shifted loyalty to the opposition exposed the deep understanding of his awareness of the impending catastrophic that may befall his party in the forth coming elections. The political manoeuvrings have seen principal actors from different sides shifting ideologies and belief; pitching their tents to whomever they believe is fitted for the exalted position in the country.
President Jonathan and General Buhari have toured the nation in keenness of convincing the teeming electorates through their parties; they have reeled out manifestoes and programmes. Supporters of the main gladiators have moved from discussing issues to vicious personal verbal attacks, such will only breed more enemies, if anything; it should be how to win more voters to their side instead of trading insults. By a closer look, the origin of these insults are highly placed individual who should know better. How could anyone declare another individual aspiring to lead the nation “a brain dead” and another one confirming such assertion? It should be clear that the coming elections would not be won by insult but civility in selling ideas and strategies. It is down to the resolutions of the citizenry to bring a desired change. This happens often, it might not necessarily be abysmal performance or otherwise of the incumbent but people’s desire irrespective of the accomplishment showcased.
For avoidance of doubts, the race to Aso Villa is still on and vibrant. The endorsement by some sectional leaders may not translate to electoral success; some endorsees do not possess electoral value. How long have any of the Afenifere leaders who endorsed President Jonathan won an election in their respective wards? Would the Oodua People Congress assume the role of the majority voters in the South West to deliver the goodies to the President? Would Mr Femi Fani-Kayode whom his garrulous and blabbermouth cannot win himself a state election deliver his party in a national echelon? This is not to undermine these individuals but to remind the political strategists that much is still needed to be done. General Buhari has become a political heavy-duty who cannot be waved away by mere wishes.
Everyone should get back to the drawing board and start fashioning out ways of winning elections and desist from insults and death wishes. Death is not about age. In a recent statement credited to the First lady, she likened APC and their supporters to bus conductors, what is wrong about bus conductors if I may ask? If the fronts her husband managed have lived to expectations, it might have been a different experience. She need to understand that some of the conductors are graduates that have been let down by her husband’s leadership. It is up to the medical practitioners to declare the health status of General Buhari’s ability to administer a country. Those on the other side thinking that the deed is done should think twice. General Buhari is in this race for victory, those who wrote him off based on his previous outings will only have their fingers to bite. The acceptability is enormous most especially among the teeming youths who formed majority of voters in the country. President Jonathan and his strategist should understand that trusting him with power some years ago does not translate to automatic continuity.
In performance, President Jonathan should be commended on few infrastructural developments in the country, but talking about establishment of glorified secondary schools – universities as an achievement is disheartening. The almajiri educational intervention is laudable but do not need the accompanied noises. The President toyed with security situation of the country; left governance to the impostors, encouraged corruption, showed apparent lacking in leadership and plunged the economy into disarray. The statistics dishing out on daily does not correspond with the reality on the streets of Lagos or Abuja. The game is up, enough of excuses; the unpreparedness of the President has cost the nation fortunes. We need strategic planners that can savage the dwindling glory of our country. With experience, preparedness and antecedents, General Buhari will spring surprises and turn the nation’s woes around, only if we give him a chance.
Jacob Ogunseye (JEDD Centre for Leadership & Direction – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Views expressed are solely Author’s