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!
There should come a time when the emotion called shame should arrest a man’s attention – when the unthinkable becomes the fashionable!
I am ashamed of being within the same geographical location where impoverished people celebrate certified crooks! Are you not?!
Something must be seriously wrong with our psyche as a people, when we would assault and burn (yes, immolate!) one man for stealing N500, while we bring out the drums for someone not accused, mind, but actually JAILED for stealing millions in US dollars; the common patrimony of the same impoverished who now celebrate his deported ass!
The heavens must wonder what clay this set of humanoids were shaped from! How in Iroko’s name would you eulogize your tormentor? Have we no modicum of shame at all? What message are we sending to our children, to all who serve in little spaces, diligently?
It is bad enough that we cheat our bright children of higher institution admission on the altar of quota system, cheat competent civil servants of deserved promotion because of ‘positive discrimination’; but must we also traumatize victims of hospitals that are mere consulting rooms, able-bodied, employable youth now unemployed in their millions, by now venerating a common criminal whose action and/or inaction contributed all this morass?
I refuse to join that lot. So, I shout it from the top of my lungs, JAMES ONANEFE IBORI, you are a thief! A convicted criminal! If Nigeria were China, your head will have rotted on its stake a long time ago.
I solemnly undertake today, any politician who celebrates this condemned criminal will hear from me. What I can do? I will call them out as larcenous accomplices!
That is me. What about you? Will you celebrate this deported felon? It you do, and you are listed as my friend, I WILL NOT ONLY BLOCK YOU, I will also call you out as as accomplice? You will sue me? I will happily plead justification. A court of competent jurisdiction already judged your hero!
Shame no dey catch us? Haba!
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!
Is anyone observing the speed at which president Donald Trump appears bent on ‘reversing’ every trace of Obama’s legacy? All by executive orders?
First it was regulation on the mandatory provisions of ‘Obamacare’, the Affordable Care Act. Now the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP). Others are said to be in the pipeline.
If you care to know how effective these orders are, please go to, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/24/executive-order-vs-presidential-memorandum-whats-difference/96979014/
Someone said to me that by the time The Donald is finished with his pen, Americans will struggle to remember what, if any thing, former president Barack Obama achieved in his 8 years as commander-in-chief!
I seriously disagree with this, even if I was not a fan of the last US president at all times. (Story for another post.)
The irony of all this ‘gra gra’* by president Trump is that no matter how he and some in his party try to erase every landmark trace of the Obama era, Barack Hussein Obama can not be easily forgotten. Why?
Because all president Trump is reversing or planning to reverse are the very things that brought America’s economy great gains in the last 5 years of the Obama era. As at the time he left office a few days ago, the US economy had good ratings. See http://www.npr.org/2017/01/07/508600239/what-kind-of-jobs-president-has-obama-been-in-8-charts
(Warning. Graphs included! Not for the Lilly livered!)
Guess what will happen with The Donald’s actions and his plan to cut taxes for the wealthy 1%? What will happen when he realizes he cannot decree American companies to shut down their factories overseas (where the have access to productive but cheap labour. He promises punitive importation tariffs against them, at the risk of increasing the cost of consumer items Americans are addicted to!)?
A struggling economy, that’s what! And then by whose work does he think he will then be measured? You guessed right! That of the immediate preceding president. Ask George W. Bush after he reversed president Bill Clinton’s taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans in 2003! Ask him what happened to the good economy bequeathed to him!
This new president and the Republican Congress are in for a rude shock when the first dip in people’s purchasing power arrives; as it would with the reversal of TPP for instance!
The drama has just begun. This is merely Act 1, Scene 1 of a long play!
It is rather revealing, is it not, that the last 2 Republican successions to good economies under previous Democratic presidents came via elections where the new president failed to win the popular votes cast?
Methinks the first of such succession led to serious economic recession should act as caution to the marauding gale wind called “The Donald”! Because he is bent of traveling that very same road!
*Oga. Nigerian colloquial expression for “boss”
*gra gra. Nigerian colloquial expression for ‘unreasonable haste”
© 24th January 2017. Adewale Adeniji.