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!
Its our wedding day, great expectations…
All roads lead to us, our own unique moment.
All hail the groom, decked out in his best!
All hail the bride, decked out ….
Wait a minute. Where is my Egwu Eji*, my Amaria*?
Who, perchance art thou, lady in white?
Is that you, my love? What happened to your face?
Decked you are all right, but is that you behind the mask?
Yes, I know it is called ‘make up’ now, but…
Is that the nose I still tickled last week?
Mba*, mba, mba! Ko je je be* now!
Ok. Where is the mouth I used to, you know…
Why is so pout? Blotting out your winsome smile?
Ha ha. Am I dreaming like Alfa Sule*?
What color is your skin again? Chai*! Te mi ba mi*!
To be continued ….
*Egwu Eji – Igbo language for ‘outstanding beauty’
*Amaria – Hausa language for ‘new wife’
*Mba – Igbo language for ‘No’
*Ko je je be – Yoruba language for ‘It cannot be’
*Alfa Sule – A local comic.
*Chai – Wow.
*Te mi ba mi – I am in trouble.
This is a literary work. No offense is meant to any specific gender, please.
Photo Credit: Boscoe Holder.
© 14th March 2017. Adewale Adeniji
We have been inundated with opinions and counter-opinions on the planned protest against the Nigeria’s government on the economic woes facing Nigerians. As usual, discuss on this has taken a primordial twist, by proponents of either side; pulling as usual the ethnic and religious fault lines of Nigerians.
I have ignored the back and forth till now, because frankly, I am at a loss as to why this should be an issue in the first place.
For one, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees right to gather and associate for specific purposes. There are international charters guaranteeing the same, so what is the problem? So, as long as the necessary preparations are done in line with the law, there should be absolutely why the coming protests should not hold.
For avoidance of doubt, we cannot claim to be a democracy and stymie dissents, protests or even the right to lampoon our leaders. And it is the duty of the state to guaranty the safety of lives and property during the planned protest. So, it baffles me why people are quick to condemn protests and their organizers. This government will be doing itself a disservice if it places a bar on the proposed protest march or any other one for that matter!
So what if the target of the protest is our president, Muhammadu Buhari? As American politicians are wont to say, if you cannot take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! All public office holders must be held accountable for their actions and inactions – and it is not only at election times that we should do so.
Second, I find it hypocritical for some folk to criticize president Donald Trump of the USA and egg protesters against him on, while arguing to shield another president from the protest of citizens of the nation he governs! Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy! And, with respect, such folk should be ashamed of themselves.
I even hear that supporters of the president are planning a ‘MEGA’ march in his support to counter that being planned? That is also their constitutional right, and supporters of the first protest would also be hypocritical to condemn such moves!
Nigerians should loose, once and for all, this big man syndrome that our leaders are immune from criticism. It will not happen again, not with the shenanigans of leaders past! Grin and bear it if you are the butt of jokes and derision, while in power.
I often tell my politician friends who moan about the use of social media to pummel them this: THE BEST REVENGE TO CRITICISM IS TO OUT PERFORM YOURSELF IN OFFICE!
Do that and you’d be ‘venerated’! Simple! You cannot claim the privilege of public office (lucrative one at that!) and wish your citizens to ‘leave you in peace’!
Ko le se le o!
So, for all bent on exercising their rights to freely gather and voice their opinions, which ever side of the argument you belong, WELCOME TO YOUR OPEN SEASON!