The presidential elections have come and gone, at least results have been declared and a winner announced. Like in every activity of man, the ripples continue. The piece is necessitated by the so called reactions to the declaration of the results. To every follower of events and canny observer and discerner, the violence did not come as any surprises.
General Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for progressive change, CPC, did not leave any one in doubt that should he not win the elections, he will instigate violence.
He was reported to have said that he will not go to court, but that t5he people should go and fight for themselves. The court is the prescribed forum, under the law as in civilized societies, for those aggrieved, to seek redress. The land mark judgments of the courts these past years speak eloquently well of this standpoint and hence, the reason for the simple minded and honest gladiators to take recourse to the courts. This is not in any way making the option attractive to the general. According to him, he has been to the courts twice without success. What did he take to the courts? How many times did Gani Fawehinmi go to courts? How many times did lawyers go to courts over the people that he detained without trial? How many times did Alao Aka Bashorun, Femi Falana, Bamidele Aturu, etc go to courts to seek redress? The reason is that Buhari has no respect for the courts. That some judges favour his case was not new. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory experienced a similar thing. Indeed, he own was worst, it was never to be sited in legal arguments. It was in the interest of the state Nigeria. History is replenished of the likes the world over. General Buhari as a former head of state, should know this. Whether you call it state security or state interest, they mean one and the same thing.
What gave General Buhari the impression that he will win or that he should win? The crowds at the campaign grounds? Over eighty percent of these people at campaign rallies attend all the rallies. The reasons are not far fetched. They are hungry victims of the planlessness of the past leaders of whom General Buhari was one. They came o see if they will receive stipends to take care of the stomach. Democracy of the stomach – courtesy Bro Chief KO Mbadiwe, God bless him. Besides it is too rudimentary to say that crowds at rallies do not translate to votes. Are you sure how many of them are registered/ how many of them actually voted? How many of them actually voted correctly if they had wanted to vote for CPC. The high number of voided votes, over a million, attest to this. It is part of the fall out of General Buhari and co planlessness; low level of education and general low level of human capacity building.
I do not want to believe that that was why the general ran such a lack luster campaign, a half hearted presentation of self to the people. If so, it was too much an assumption, given the sophistication that is the Nigerian electorate today. Many thanks to the civil society organizations, including the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, whose convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare, later became his Vice Presidential candidate. Let the general publish for the reading public what his party structures look like in the South west, South South and the South East. These should include names those running for elective posts, the offices, and so on. It was beyond rumour that CPC boasted that they did not need the Igbos to win. Why then the hues and cries about votes from the south East? What was his campaign itinerary? Does he also count the middle belt as part of the monolithic north? Else where was he expecting the winning votes form? A candidate that did not prepare for examinations must blame himself, and only himself for his eventual failure and no one else. What is the raison d’être of this overconfidence naivety or mischief? It could not have been naivety because the General and his team are knowledgeable enough to know the potency of the odds. Mischief then becomes more likely. Knowing that he could win, began to sow the seed of discord and violence. The Yorubas say when a child falls down, he looks at where he falls, but when an adult falls he looks out for what caused him to fall. Call it what you may, despite his being president, Dr. Jonathan used every available means and opportunity to campaign ditto his wife.
Another misnomer was the term ‘Stolen Mandate’. Where was the mandate given? Who gave it? Who stole it if there was any thing stolen? This was another way by which the General infuriated his foot soldiers and motivated them into violence. He is experienced and knowledgeable enough to know the the level of the people’s education and understanding to be able to weigh his statements before dropping verbal bombs. Every ballistic expert knows that bombs, just like earthquakes, have after effects, in this case, the so-called post election violence.
If the rat can not eat the beans, it will at least waste them.
Just a cursory look at the General pedigree or antecedents. How has he explained his past actions among which are the following:
a. Cancellation of the Lagos metroline project?
b. The 53 suit cases that came into Nigeria during his regime against regulations?
c. Illegal detentions and selective dispensation of justice?
d. Decree 20 and its use?
The defeat of CPC and by extension, General Buhari, at the polls is prayer answered. His autocratic and one-man riot approach to governance and administration is innate in him. Till date he will not accept General Sanni Abacha’s son as governorship candidate of the CPC in Kano despite judgments from courts of competent jurisdiction. He was in Kano at the Emir palace but will not go to the CPC rally organized by the party because Abacha was there. Is that the person for the president of Nigeria in 2011? It is therefore obvious and crystal clear why he will not go to the courts but rather send his foot soldiers to unleash mayhem on the land. Democracy is about negotiations, rule of law, lobbies, etc is not a one man show. It was his bulldozer or totalitarianism that truncated the famed but doomed ACN-CPC alliance talks. ACN was sincere and flexible with its demands. CPC stubbornness truncated it all. His presidency is most likely to truncate or stagnate the country or bring national governance to a stalemate.
It was to his credit that he apologized for the wanton destruction of PDP offices in Gombe by his party people. It however goes to show the language of the party: VIOLENCE.
Now through his spokesman, Bro Yinka Odumakin, dares President Jonathan to arrest him. Dr. Jonathan may not. Firstly it will be arbitrary for now. Secondly he has ‘no enemy to fight’. The hardworking, visionary and energetic president-elect has enough of Nigeria’s problems begging for attention and solution to attend to rather than allow himself to be drawn into unnecessary ground battle. He will prefer to make more friends. However there are the ones that will arrest and judge between all; the moral court of the people, posterity and ultimately, God Almighty.
Frustration of the General made him weep. Was he weeping for Nigeria? I very much doubt that. He possibly wept because it dawn on him that his ambition is shattered because faulty preparations. It flows from that that he is not that man of steel that we were made to believe that he is. It is human. It is understandable. There is a score point here, the country, Nigeria, enters the Guinness Book of World Records by producing “a weeping general”. Generals that weep in public are very rare. The events and circumstances that produce generals conditioned them well enough to control their emotions in public places.
Pray, if all he wants is to ‘help’ Nigeria, then why not accept the people’s verdict through the instrument of the ballot box? The General has options. He could continue trying according to the law of the land or quit. He has chosen the latter. It is however yet to be seen how the presidential candidate will not go to court but the party will go. Double speak or….? He is a party in the matter. Me think he should have done it in a more respectable and state manly manner. Simply congratulate Dr Jonathan and moves back to prepare his preferred candidate for the next elections. Development is a process. King David prepared for the temple but his son Solomon built it. There is honour for them both. It is part of statesmanship.
As a General and former Head of State, he must have had operated with his own intelligence network not sycophants. What did they tell him? What did he find out?
Let the General do a re-think. There is something called ‘tactical withdrawal’ it si not cowardice. He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. Think of how many innocent Nigerians have lost their lives. The youth corps members, the hope of their parents, the future of Nigeria wasted prematurely. He has had his time and chance. He was Head of State. He mismanaged it. Simple apology could have suffice but not fro the tough General but who weeps like a baby at the news conference, now whipped at the polls. Nigeria has moved. He misread the sophistication of the electorate and he paid dearly for it. States are now withdrawing their corps members back home. There are calls for a review of the scheme. How will the General feel if he is the cause of the reason for the cancellation of a noble instrument of National Unity put in place by his own primary consistency, the Military? What kind of a legacy will that one be?
GENERAL BUHARI VP FACTOR
His VP candidate, Pastor Tunde Bakare, was hand picked via a phone call on the 15th of January 2011. Pastor Bakare, arguably is perceived as ‘enemy’ by many of his counterparts in the Church because of unbridled criticism of his colleagues. He is not a member of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, or the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN the umbrella bodies for the Christians. He too, was another lone ranger in the church like General Buhari.
He was however supported on the platform of the SNG but seen as a traitor on joining CPC. Professor Wole Soyinka was reported to have felt used by Pastor Bakare. The October 2, 2010 report in The Punch by Demola Oni that he Pastor Bakare spoke by the Spirit of the Lord, that General Buhari belonged the old that was decaying raised another query. Question is , why did Pastor Bakare joined himself to the decaying stuff? Did he actually hear God at the time? If yes, then he has disobeyed God by joining the stuff that God said that is decaying. Pastor Bakare knows god too well to know that when god speaks, it must happen. Again, did he lie ab initio? This is very much unlikely, because Pastor Bakare is noted for the truth. Could he have “erred in vision and then stumbled in judgment?” is that we do not understand the prophesy? Was he misquoted? These questions made many more people to see him as self serving rather going to serve the land.
He has consistently preached that Nigeria is a republic, hence, he is not a subject of any traditional ruler. During the electioneering campaigns he was there with the same traditional rulers whose positions and authority he berated and disparaged for so long. Then question, ‘Can this man change just like that just for elective posts?’ People asked ’how reliable is he’ in the face of all these inconsistencies.
These were some of the things that prevented them, CPC and General Buhari from winning. No mandate was given not to talk of its being stolen.
22, Pastor Ojediran street,
Orilowo. Ejigbo, Lagos.