Our democracy is practiced on political party basis, our constitution has no recognition for individual candidacy, had it, Muhammadu Buhari would have successfully become the President without much ado. He is no doubt a political phenomenon, his cult like followership in the North is an undeniable proof of this. The constancy of his 11 million votes in 2003, 2007, 2011 established one thing; those 11 million people were not voting for his political parties, but for Muhammadu Buhari.
Democracy is a game played in numbers, it therefore made a lot of political sense to sought alliance with a candidate having such political capital that was delivering 11 million worth of votes at every election in a nation where just 15 million votes was needed to cruse home to victory. But such should never have been considered without counting the cost of the cross of his cult fellowships and its attendant consequences.
In 2014, APC presented a 24 page document as its manifestos; titled: "Building A New Nigeria, what Nigerians however didn't factor in was the process they will adopt as we all are witnessing. Their determination to demolish or "tarched house Nigeria" before the "mansion Nigeria" will be built. The roof over our heads have been removed while APC is still pegging the land and drawing the lines, it is only left to imagination how many Nigerians will make it to the dedication of their mansion if it's ever built. How do you juxtapose a nation which today has become a source of humanitarian concern for not just self but her sub region, with 3.2 million Internally Displaced Persons, 2.9 million are domiciled in Nigeria, with, Cameroon, Chad and Niger taken a chunk of 778,000, and 304,000 "warehoused" like expired goods without the hope of reaching the market in the other 4 countries. Our situation is compounded with 10.1 million out of school children, a figure grown by 3 million between 2019 and 2020 alone and 32.5% % unemployment rate, with these we "ingloriously" attainment the status of poverty capital of the world under a party and its presidential candidate who in 2014 promised to build a new Nigeria? This embarrassing confrontation should be the centre of the promise makers political engagements with us, but their concern is the next election. The contention today is not whether APC is a failure or not, but how to manage a post Buhari Presidency and reverse the ugly trends in the country to redeem the eroded honour of our dear fatherland.
APC was birthed by deft political moves inspired by Pastor Tunde Bakare (PTB) and others, the closeness of Nasir El-Rufai to PTB puts him in the picture of this dramatic move led by Tinubu and other political players to initiate a merger of all previous political platforms with those sharing the Buhari for President ideology. Unknown to them, there were others behind the scene who were lurking in the dark to realise their bigotry ideology through Buhari Presidency, it is to this class that Shitu, former Minister of Communications from Oyo State belongs. The revelation of Pantami, the current minister of Communications and Digital Economy has a Jihadists brought to light the unknown architects of the APC political exploits and their interests in the future via control of Communications ministry and Digitalisation of the country.
The "mantra"; change, did the work, an ambiguous political communication; saying nothing collectively, but so much to Individuals. Everyone basked in the euphoria of a change not defined. The job was made easy for those like Sheikh Pantami whose mission was to preach Buhari as the prophet who will implement the bigotry ideology of the 1999 constitution. He and many like him were brazen about it, PDP was declared as the party of the infidels and was cursed in the name of "Allah" in prayers offered in Mosques across the country, campaign during Jumat prayer were intense. Jihadists of intellectual persuasions were busy on discourse platforms; dispose Emir of Kano, as CBN Governor nailed PDP coffin that burys the nation. El-Rufai was at his best elements winning debates across all fronts in favour of APC, talk indeed is cheap as we can see today.
APC today comes to many Nigerians as an Islamic party, advanced by Tinubu and used by the Fulani to implement their Fulanization Agenda, 90% of Muslims in Nigeria are liberals, a chunk of this are fair weather "faithfuls" who swings between religions depending on which one is paying per time, who like Gbajabiamila will prefer to host a party in the Emirates where "moderatism" drive state affairs to a Saudi driven by extremism.
Change! What a word of deception symbolizing nothing. Our intellectuals were fooled and the fools were made "fooler". Every supporter migrated to the dreamland of imaginary "change", till the evil of their promised change manifested for us all to see.
Buhari's cult fellowships in the North was driven by "Jihadism" ideology to which he is perceived to be committed to; which today the world can testify to. If Buhari has failed it is to those whose expected change weren't informed by bigotry and nepotism that has seen Nigeria through the process of a fully "fulanized" nation under Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari today remains a political phenomenon, with 11 million votes within the grip of his fists, no other Nigerian can bring such to the table, while his failure in government is a burdensome cross that may crucify all political associates, before intelligentsia; but what is their numbers? The person to whom his clenched fists will be opened in 2023 is sure of nothing less than 11 million votes. This of course is the sentiments that has held Tinubu, Osinbajo, Fayemi and other hostages. Truth be told, that political capital is easier to invest on the side of a Muslim, this of course should have been of tremendous advantage to Tinubu being a Muslim, but unfortunately Northern Muslims hardly reckons with Southern Muslims as being pure enough for leadership reasons. A northern Muslim will not find it convenient to pray in a Jamah being led by a southern Muslim. The only choice left for Buhari will be a Northern Muslim for his cult followers to be convinced that his decision is made in their collective interests and that the on going Jihad will be sustained.
Tinubu is already coming to terms with the reality of an utopia that APC has become to his ambition as he his prepared to create a new political platform if APC denies him the Presidential ticket. A candid advice to him and all lovers of this country is the need to shelve their ambitions and join hands with well meaning Nigerians whose desire to see a greater nation is devoid of political interests.
We must face the staggering reality; if a Presidential election is conducted today Buhari will decide who that President will be, except we will have a demographic shift in our voting strength to accommodate more liberals who will be driven to vote for freedom this is the task to which we all must give our strength. How do we mobilise all registered votes for election in 2023? How do we get every eligible Citizens on INEC data as valid voters between now and 2023. Finally we must be PRAYERFUL that God will change the heart of stone in President Muhammadu Buhari to that of flesh, so that he will be magnanimous enough to listen to the cry; to let the people truly decide their leaders and assent to the electoral reform bill, in the alternative a Legislative Revolution should conclude our desire for electoral reform, without these the faith of Nigeria is sealed to Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping and foreign herdsmen invasion of our indigenous farming communities.
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is the Convener of Apostolic Round Table.
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