Wednesday has a special magical and superstitious value in most parts of the African continent. It is believed that any good thing that happens on a Wednesday has a tendency to recur on subsequent Wednesdays. That was what many people are hopefully expecting to happen to General Muhammadu Buhari, GMB who pulled huge crowd at a spectacularly successful declaration of his intention to join the race for the All Progressive Congress, APC presidential ticket at the Eagles Square, Abuja last Wednesday.
The unprecedented horde of admirers at General Buhari’s tenacious attempt to rid Nigeria of disgraceful and vicious forces that have retarded its progress is a positive indication that similar crowd may gather at the same venue to witness his inauguration as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the not too distant future.
That momentous and auspicious event at the famous Eagles Square comprised peoples from all walks of life including the highly placed politicians and disadvantaged commoners. There were a handful of governors, a substantial number of state and national legislators and representative samples of all religious persuasions and denominations which belied the erroneous and mischievous contention in some quarters that General Buhari was a religious fundamentalist who preaches against the election of non-Muslim as Nigeria’s president.
General Buhari has become the second aspirant to declare interest in the APC’s presidential ticket after former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Turakin Adamawa; and on October 23 Kano State Governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso would also make his bid known. In fact there are others who may also declare their intention to vie before the party’s National Convention on December 2 in Abuja during which the party’s flag bearer will emerge to face PDP’s incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in February’s general elections.
In his short, but impressive, inspiring speech General Muhammadu Buhari said he was motivated to join the presidential race in order to salvage Nigeria from drifting into a dangerous precipice, especially now that many Nigerians were grappling with abject poverty and destitution. He also lamented the pervading insecurity which had seriously hampered any meaningful socio-economic development.
Topmost among the nine-point agenda he reeled out for enlisting the support of dejected and hamstrung Nigerians was the provision of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths so as to end the despondency occasioned by the PDP’s lethargic and ineffective disposition since 1999. As a true democrat, General Muhammadu Buhari believes in free and fair elections as a veritable vehicle for transporting democracy but grieved that in today’s Nigeria that there was no need holding election since they cannot help in achieving those lofty objectives.
General Buhari who is now having a shot at the presidency for the fourth time had every reason to believe that the PDP which had ruled Nigeria since 1999 was actually fraudulent, winning elections through foul and unfair means. He believes that rigging election, which has been the recognizable PDP’s hallmark, was the worst form of injustice which clearly steals from the people’s rights to express their opinions freely. He intoned solemnly as he predicted the end of that detestable injustice.
It is obvious that since its inception some fifteen years ago, the PDP has unpromisingly presided over Nigeria’s steady decline, and in General Buhari’s insightful opinion “it has never been so divided, so polarized by an unthinking government, hell-bent on ruling and stealing forever.” And it was precisely due to those unlawful acts Buhari wants to clinch the presidency so as to halt the thieving culture and rescue Nigeria from the stranglehold of the PDP.
Needless to say, the last sixteen years have progressively witnessed decline in all critical sectors of life in this country, with the prevalence of insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping, maiming and killings, cattle rustling, market and farmland arsons. General Buhari has resolved to obliterate these possible sources of danger and harm which have been assuming alarming dimension, continuing to cause economic stagnation and slowing manufacture in declining industries, ailing and dysfunctional factories.
However, the presidency was quick to issue a rejoinder over the indefensible criticisms of its government’s below the average performance in all sectors and its dismal failure in arresting the ever increasing level of insecurity and endemic poverty in the midst of plenty. Its spokesman had unsuccessfully attempted to convince Nigerians that whatever Buhari had asserted was totally incorrect, solely intended to disparage President Goodluck and his party. The presidency added that Buhari had nothing new to offer to the country and that was why he was resorting to cheap blackmail.
If Buhari doesn’t have anything new to offer, at least he has re-awakened Nigerians to the fact that their country is now a laughing stock at home and abroad because it has regrettably turned into a home of decadence where corruption is not stealing. The ball is now in Jonathan’s court, he and his party should now be at liberty to persuasively counteract Buhari’s contentions and convince the gullible masses that Buhari’s condemnations are really spurious and contemptible. It is certain Buhari has overturned Jonathan’s apple cart and he is now nervous and unsure of the future.