Letters clapping African audience blind.
It’s the best game in town. So come to Africa now, because that’s where the funkiest music is playing. As a friend once told me of the African nation we hail from, we speak of our own country as though we are viewers of it.
Which leads us to the question Wambu all but shouted in his article: when will “wisdom break through” for the African Child? When will the African viewing public, clapping on this charade set up to plunder them, a charade conceived by their so-called leaders, and oh-so-ably supported by a motley crew of carpetbaggers from the East and West, see what lies behind the curtain, and demand collective change?
I don’t know when. But I do know, and believe, that it is articles like the one penned by Wambu and, in various tones and timbres, his fellow NA columnists, that shall help bring that day closer, that much closer.
So to Wambu, and to his worthy columnist colleagues at NA: more power to your pens, more string to your strumming. For you and you and you over there at the back, are playing the right kind of sounds.
G.I. Kagotho Kiambu, Kenya
Thank you for your kind words. We shall always endeavour not to disappoint the faith you have so lyrically placed in us. – Editor. Buhari won the battle but lost the war I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won again in 2019, but equally, find it difficult to celebrate the victory.
While accurately predicting the outcome two weeks before the Presidential election, I remarked that many Nigerians were not in a hurry to bring back to power, so soon, the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which squandered our overflowing oil wealth during its 16-year reign.
Moreover, its Presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, was fundamentally flawed and had no game-changing message. However,
President Buhari after casting his vote in the recent presidential elections, in his home town of Daura unlike in the 2015 exercise when both the loser, President Jonathan, and the winner, Buhari, emerged from the election as heroes, Buhari’s victory in 2019 is plainly pyrrhic.
Any objective analysis of Nigeria’s 2019 election ought to consider how President Muhammadu Buhari backpedalled the wheel of Nigeria’s democratic journey by refusing to sign into law the reforms to the Nigeria’s Electoral Act. This failure quickly gave rise to a perception of executive subterfuge, which tainted the 2019 electoral process from the get-go.
The embers of impunity grew into wildfire within the ruling party, led by Buhari’s self-appointed national party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, which has rubbished the concept of internal party democracy within its ranks.
This prompted the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to lament that the primaries ahead of the 2019 elections were “some of the most acrimonious party primaries in our recent history” and a big blow “to our electoral progress”.
Public trust in Nigeria may never recover from the conflicting sight of Muhammadu Buhari, of all people, campaigning across the country while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most corrupt kingpins in the land.
Nothing exposed the hypocrisy in Buhari’s re-election campaign more than his brazen assault on public institutions. For instance, worried that the election could end up in the courts, Buhari removed a sitting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, on account of corruption – with a few weeks to the election and without due process – while at the same time providing safe haven to some principal members of his party who had similar corruption charges or worse. This move was greeted with worldwide rebuke. Caution to the wind Buhari would throw caution to the wind with his tacit support for hostility against the international community. Governor Nasir elRufai of Kaduna State, a close ally of the President, had charged that foreign bodies who “intervene” in Nigeria’s election “would go back in body bags”. Regrettably, General Buhari backed the governor. It was not surprising, therefore, that military brutality was the order of the day during the election, resulting in the loss of many lives.
Leadership is contingent upon the environment, quite right, but prudence remains a universal virtue of good leadership. Thus, it can be reasoned that Buhari deserves commendation for his victory, because the alternative was definitively worse.
Yet, Buhari’s do-or-die tactics were as unpatriotic as they were needless. Like the elections of 2003, 2007, and 2011, even if the umpires were saints, the opposition in 2019 had no path to victory. The palpable anger trailing Buhari’s victory, including the outright rejection by the opposition, has more to do with the fact that the President ran a campaign charged with naked despotism, crass impunity, and stark arrogance. But political retribution is an antithesis to progress. At any rate, Nigeria has found itself at a crossroads. The way forward is for Muhammadu Buhari to undergo a true change.
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SKC Ogbonnia (a former 2019 APC Presidential aspirant).
The lack of space has prevented us from publishing all the letters received. We shall make every effort to publish these in forthcoming issues . – Editor.
6 new african april 2019