2019: The Die is Cast!

Fellow Nigerians, the die is cast! President Muhammadu Buhari has declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019 against the well-considered advice of many well-meaning Nigerians that doing so would not be in the best interest of our country. I had hoped against hope that the greater love of country would persuade him to retire after his very poor performance in his first term. Apparently, other sentimental and selfish considerations weighed heavily in his decision to run again which unfortunately he claimed was a response to the “clamour by Nigerians for him to re-contest in 2019”.

Contrary to what the arrowheads of the president’s re-election bid have told us, viz. he was sent by God to save Nigeria and that without him Nigeria would have since disappeared, he has become the single biggest threat to Nigeria’s continued existence. If he was actually sent to save Nigeria, then he has failed in that mission. Now Nigeria needs to be saved from him.

Let no one be mistaken that his chief campaigners’ decision was borne out of altruistic considerations, because it was not. Do not believe the lies told by John Odigie-Oyegun, Adams Oshiomhole, Rotimi Amaechi, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, Kayode Fayemi, Babatunde Fashola, Lai Mohammed, Orji Uzor Kalu, Nasir el-Rufai, Rochas Okorocha, etc., that Buhari means well for Nigeria. Buhari does not mean well for our country. If he did, he would not seek re-election in 2019.

These people know in their heart of hearts that the man has nothing to offer this country by way of progressive leadership. He lacks the capacity to visualise a positive future of growth and development, but they are supporting him anyway for their own personal advancement. If they claim not to be seeing the damage Buhari is doing to our country since he was elected in 2015, it means they are blind and can never see again.

Just as I was agonising over what has happened to the sanity of Buhari’s supporters, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, an erstwhile staunch supporter of Buhari but now his rabid critic, was reported to have lambasted Buhari’s supporters: “If anybody wants Nigeria’s current situation to continue the way it is today, then his head has to be examined. And some people are still saying that this situation should continue. God, the Almighty, will not allow them to have their way; we will neither suffer, nor shall we be put to shame.” In another statement a few days after, he stated that even “morons” won’t describe Buhari’s performance as superlative.

Obasanjo and I hardly agree on anything but I applaud him for that statement even though I believe he owes Nigeria a huge debt for his failure to set our polity right when he was the president and for supporting Buhari to power in the first place. I want to let him know that he is not alone in wondering what has become of people’s ability to discern. I have been bewildered and horrified beyond description, how some people think it’s okay to continue with the present situation, with the country sliding into anarchy and chaos every passing day.

How can it be okay for people to continue to be killed like flies all over the country, particularly in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states? And all we get from the government are pathetic excuses and feigned helplessness? How can it be okay for herdsmen from “Libya trained by the late Muammar Gaddafi” to be killing Nigerians and the government elected by Nigerians raises its hands in surrender because the herdsmen are from Libya? Why do the herdsmen from Libya as the president wants the world to believe travel all the way through several countries, viz. Ghana, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Togo, etc., not killing one person on the way, but immediately they get to Nigeria, they begin to wreak havoc on human lives. Does it make sense? Has people’s sanity been temporarily suspended? Or is there a diabolical dimension to the blind support for a man who is clearly leading us to perdition and yet some people are clapping?

If these herdsmen were actually from Libya, is that not the more reason the government should take a far more aggressive action against them rather than try to arm-twist state governments to create colonies for them? Added to that is the fallacy (at least going by current realities) from the President that herdsmen only go about with sticks.

Some even still have the audacity to say he is the best to lead us? How can he be the best to lead? Why are those with a long history of fighting for good governance in bed with a man who clearly has no business ruling Nigeria? Would Buhari’s supporters that are businessmen allow someone like him to run their businesses the way he is running Nigeria?

Well, let me tell them now, in their blind and dangerous support for a man who has proven to be a total disaster for the once-promising Nigerian Project, they have all become complicit in the murder of innocent people who have died in the hands of terrorist-Fulani herdsmen and killer bandits. They are complicit in the destruction of the economy by Buhari and his APC government. They are complicit in the enablement the government is giving terrorist-Fulani herdsmen.

Fellow Nigerians, we must tell these people campaigning for Buhari that we have paid a huge price already. They deceived Nigerians the first time that he had changed and many chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. President Buhari has not only completely substantiated all the 2015 pre-election allegations against him that were then described as “contrived”, but has even surpassed them in scope and scale beyond imagination.

Anyone still in doubt about Buhari’s incompetence to manage a diverse country like Nigeria needs their head examined. To those who say he is the best we have, I say hell no! May the Almighty God deliver them from their delusion. If what we have now is the best, as some claim, how come things are worse than they were three years ago when we had the “worst”? It is unnatural when things are so bad and yet Buhari’s supporters claim things are so good. How can this be? What kind of spell is controlling their senses? I certainly don’t understand what is going on because every excuse I have heard from them blurs the lines between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehood, light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, and the quest for justice. How can the endless killings be right? How can normal reasonable people excuse these atrocities? How can we excuse this indifference and nonchalant attitude of the government to these killings?

A former New Jersey Superior Court judge, Andrew Napolitano stated this recently: “Liberty is rarely lost overnight. The wall of tyranny often begins with benign building blocks of safety — each one lying on top of a predecessor — eventually collectively constituting an impediment to the exercise of free choices by free people, often not even recognised until it is too late.” We are gradually sliding into that era of fascism and gradual erosion of liberty. It starts small, and little by little, it grows into a monster.

We are at a critical moment now to save our country from those hell-bent on imposing their provincial and clannish interest as the dominant rule on the whole country. This is where the youth vote comes in. In 2015, wilfully blinded youths voted Buhari. It was their votes that carried him to power. They helped amplify the lies told by the APC that Buhari had changed; that he was the messiah that was to come. What have the youths got in return? Nothing! The education system is in a shambles, youth unemployment has reached unprecedented levels, the public health sector is a disaster. Even Aso Rock clinic cannot boast of simple Paracetamol to relieve pain. One would have thought that Buhari’s health challenge would inspire him to draw up and implement a plan that would revolutionise the health sector to meet complicated challenges that daily kill thousands of our countrymen. But not Buhari, instead he consistently runs abroad for medical attention, leaving the youth and others to the mercy of the failed health care system.

The best the youth have got is a thorough dressing down from the president, branding them as lazy. So on what basis are the youth supporting him? They can be forgiven for refusing to use the lessons of history as a guide to making their choice in 2015. Seeing the stupidity of their decision, it would amount to a tragedy of immense proportions for them to repeat the same mistake in 2019. If that were to happen, it would mean the youth lack the capacity to shape their future in a positive way. It would spell doom for this country’s future. Youths will have no one to blame – including history – but themselves for repeating history.

It is jarring that with the state of the country today, some youths who should be in the vanguard of change are the ones calling for the continuation of the status quo. How can a generation be so undiscerning? Just think about it for a moment: a man who is seeking re-election is unable to guarantee the security of lives and properties of Nigerians, and is even in denial of his duty and responsibility to protect lives; a man who has done next to nothing about the mindless killings going on in the country, and who constantly blames others for his failure – who will be safe in this country if he gets a second term? Again, a man in re-election mode showing so much disinterest in the pain of Nigerians and he is even making statements deriding the youth will not be bound by restraint if he wins.

Let me ask youths rooting for Buhari two simple questions: What have they got in return for supporting Buhari? Are they proud of the way Buhari is representing them and the country at international fora? Firstly, he lacks an understanding of how the world works. Secondly, he lacks the confidence to articulate anything of meaning or purpose. Finally, he lacks the expressive ability to initiate and participate in complicated or even simple issues of trade, diplomacy and international politics.

For some of us who saw through the lies and propaganda in 2015, we are now more than ever determined to take back our country enveloped and captured by that mad hysteria of 2015. As I have repeatedly stated, there is no sitting on the fence anymore. The future is now. Stand with Nigeria, vote out Buhari or be damned.

Shaka Momodu.

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