INEC says that it is too early to begin the campaign for 2019 presidential elections in its reaction to the declaration of Governor Ayo Fayose for president.
Even though this may be as stated in the Electoral Act, this comment by the INEC Chairman shows, with respect, political naivety. Reality is that campaigning never stops in politics, in one form or the other! Even a politician’s utterances (or silence!) amount to campaigning.
Which brings me to the kernel of this piece. In the recent past, there appears to be a cacophony of voices who have suddenly constituted themselves into ‘friends’ of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), urging him not to re-contest in 2019; either (a) to take care of his ‘fragile’ health, or (b) to take the ‘Mandela option’ of being president for just one term, or (c) warning him that those encouraging the president to seek a second term are his ‘worst enemies’.
There is another group who try very hard to interpose their views as the aggregate views of Nigerians by claiming that, (a) a second term for Buhari would be ‘strange’ indeed, or (b) PMB does not deserve to second term because the economy has ‘performed badly’, or (c) poor masses are suffering etc., or (d) the war on corruption has been lost, or (e) cattle rustlers are wrecking havoc all over the place, or (f) the president’s party, APC has been unkind to its chieftains who helped the president into office; and a plethora of other arguments.
Interestingly, I have seen that most of these commentators are either those who, in the height of the president’s health challenges, condemned him to a crypt prematurely and rejoiced that their nemesis is on the way out; those who think the president has affected their free access to our public commonwealth; or those who truly appreciate that with PMB’s block vote in the North is unassailable and likely to be replicated despite how the economy performs; or active participants in the government that was in office for 16 locust years!
Well, news flash!
(1) PMB is constitutionally allowed to try for another 4 year term in office as President, Commander-in-Chief!
(2) NIGERIANS, not ‘opinion shapers’ would ultimately determine who their president would be, through the ballot box.
(3) It shows the panic of many, does it not, that now that the economy is slowly showing signs of recovery, they all of a sudden deign it wise to ‘counsel’ PMB on what is best for him. There was even this political operative who had been an active participant in the worst rape of our democracy who now thinks he knows what’s best for Nigeria! What insult on my intelligence!!!
I have no apologies to say these:
(1) God sparing his life and mine, I intend to be an active campaigner for a second term for PMB. Does it mean we have no better options? You may disagree, but for me, yes. Why? Because contrary to the norm, we have for the first time a president who is determined to get it right! Has he got it right yet? Far from it! But he’s had just TWO (2) years at trying! I’d rather a fellow who has shown unusual commitment to the cause of Nigeria in practical terms than folk who promise to get it right but whose antecedents show they really DO NOT GET ANYTHING RIGHT, even their families!
(2) I am equally ready to spend and be spent for his re-election, as the future of my children and grand-children (who want to live in Nigeria, and not go to ‘the abroad’ despite being so privileged) depend on it!!! I understand that you may have your preference for president – and I respect that. All I ask is that you respect mine too! It is only fair, right?
(3) I will intervene and air my views where I see anyone try to malign this president as is within my capacity to do. Why? I am tired of subterfuges, innuendoes and manipulation of Nigeria’s fault lines of ethnicity and religion by politicians and their followers, just to get ahead. It may work with others, but by gosh, it will not work with me! Stake out your stall, offer your goods, and if it appeals to me, I might buy (but I seriously doubt it!)
Above represents my personal views, and I humbly state that I have no apologies for them. Why? I have functional faculties by His grace and I can make up my own mind, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
And by the way, I am not interested in being a public office holder; so I am not angling for political appointment; which if offered I shall reject, as I have a better task master!