By Prince Ugo
The elections are around the corner, and as usual, the atmosphere is tensed with a litany of candidates vying for the highest office in the country. While this is a welcome development, it also indicates that our democracy is experiencing stable growth. I am also particularly impressed with the number of individuals that have signified interest, even though most of them are jesters. I decided to pen this article after a long sabbatical. And here I am again, giving my opinion on this all-important 2019 general elections. I am sure the international community is as interested as I am in dissecting the chances and the prospects of the various candidates.
I belong to many intellectual forums, and I dare to say that from analysis garnered so far, one candidate stands out. And that candidate is President Muhammadu Buhari. I will give reasons why I agreed in totality with them. President Muhammadu Buhari is in a class of his own. It is my considered opinion that Nigeria hasn’t had it this good in recent times. As a start, he comes with a rich CV on integrity and sincerity of heart and purpose. He also comes on board as one who cannot be faulted in the annals of the country as one who associates or is associated with those that have soiled their hands in the scheme of things in the country. Having been a former head of state, he stood tall and refused to be overwhelmed by the paraphernalia of office.
As a flashback, President Muhammadu Buhari wore the rank of a Major General Nigeria as head of state/president. Against the tradition of the head of state wearing the rank of a substantive general (four-star), he just ignored it and refused to promote himself. This much he corroborated when he stated that rather than help himself after getting to power, he was more concerned with how to rebuild Nigeria and enthrone a regime of justice, accountability, and transparency. That is the quintessential Muhammadu Buhari for you.
Hear him: “My ultimate goal as at then was to ensure the integrity, justice, equity, accountability and transparency in the system. That was why I did away with unnecessarily promoting myself to General.”. What more can we ask for? And if this does not speak volume of who he is, I wonder what else can. This is the same attitude he had carried on with since 2015 when he assumed leadership of this country. He has distanced himself from frivolities. He has also shown that the interest of the country should always supersede personal interest.
And so when I hear in some quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari is not God sent I laugh. And say if only they knew him. Interestingly, the other candidates vying for the highest office in the country knows that President Muhammadu Buhari is not one that can be faulted on all grounds. They also know that for once, Nigeria has been blessed with a leader that is more concerned about improving the living standards of the ordinary Nigerians than amassing wealth and grandstanding. Yes, you could fault him on that ground. But does accumulate wealth and grandstanding translate to quality leadership that translates our hopes and aspirations into tangible realities? Your guess is as good as mine.
I recall the day the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the presidential elections; I leaped for joy. I jumped for joy because as one conversant with the happenings in the country, I knew the best has happened. And I have not had any reason to think otherwise in the past three years because he has not only met my expectations, he has surpassed my expectations. And this fact can be verified by all and sundry. The class of people that are not happy with President Muhammadu Buhari is those that do not mean well for the country. I mean those that had fed fat from the system, those that have improved the people, those that have cornered our commonwealth, those without conscience, those who think that Nigeria is their exclusive preserve and therefore the status quo must remain.
President Muhammadu Buhari came with a vision that aligns with present-day realities. He would never promise what he cannot give. He won’t raise hopes and crash those hopes. He won’t say yes in the morning and say no at night. As typical of the deceptive nature of politicians. I dare to say that he is one of the few Nigerians alive that believes so much in the unity and progress of Nigeria. This much he has demonstrated in his actions and inactions in the last three years regardless of what some persons want the unsuspecting public to believe.
For example, the Buhari Administration has demonstrated a single-minded commitment to upgrading and developing Nigeria’s Transport Infrastructure. Road Projects are ongoing across every state of the country; many of these projects had been abandoned in recent years because of mounting debts owed by the Federal Government to contractors.
Also, the Buhari Administration has mobilized International Support for the War against Boko Haram, forging strong partnerships with key countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, ECOWAS, the AU, the UN, and others. To mention but a few.
I dare to ask, who is that candidate, including those that were opportune to participate in Nigeria’s history can boast of such commitment and achievement? This is not a period for jokes and empty promises. This is a time for serious work in the Nigerian project. In my opinion, what other candidates are proposing are empty promises. Even promises they know are impossible, but just because they want the votes, they would grandstand and paint a picture of sainthood.
But in all, Nigerians are now enlightened to decipher between good and evil, and I am pretty sure we are not in the mood to go back to the dark years that spelled doom for us as a people and a country. Nigeria deserves a Muhammadu Buhari beyond 2019. This much I am convinced about, and so do the majority of Nigerians, including the generation unborn.
Ugo wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.