Who votes for a man who truncates democracy?
Who votes for a man who has repeatedly shown his disdain for the rule of law?
Who votes for a man with a record of appalling human rights violations?
Who votes for a man who advocates for Sharia law in a supposedly secular society?
Who votes for a man who cares not that lives, especially young lives, were lost because he lost an election?
Who in their right mind endorse such a despotic being as a presidential candidate?
How could a decent person openly campaign for votes for this despot?
What type of self-acclaimed progressive party fields such a candidate?
I was flabbergasted when General Muhammadu Buhari, a 72 year old ex-military despot and Sharia law fanatic was adopted as the presidential candidate of what is unfortunately the only relevant opposition political party in Nigeria, All Progressives Congress (APC). In a further show of shame, Governor Fashola, a younger and fairly ‘progressive’ potential candidate was ruled out of a vice presidential ticket because the supposedly progressive opposition party does not think a Muslim-Muslim ticket would work.
To appeal to religious sentiments, the APC presidential aspirant chose to field a Pastor as the running mate, in the person of Pastor Prof Yemi Osinbanjo. Hmm…what better way to assuage the fears of Nigerians about this Sharia fanatic than to team him up with a Pastor to balance the game? After all the title, Pastor, is supposed to open doors and bring in the votes. The religiosity oozing from this game plan is so nauseating. Nigerians, this is the 21st century not the Dark Ages!
Muhammadu Buhari has always been a sore loser. In 2011, the tone of his campaign was so violent that when he lost at the polls, his supporters took to the streets and massacred innocent people, targeting youth corpers from the south west and south east who were serving in the North. At that time, one of my sisters was a youth corper serving at Federal College of Education, Minna. She and her roommates managed to escape from the thugs who invaded their house by scaling the fence to safety. Their house was torched; she lost her belongings including her valuable laptop.
I wonder what the families of the youth corpers who lost their lives think of this hyped “Agent of Change”.
Are Nigerians even prepared for the bloodbath that these ragamuffins would unleash If/when Buhari loses?
Maybe the fear of a bloodbath reprisal would be one reason many sheepish Nigerians would rush to the polls to cast their vote for a Buhari.
The human rights violations and transgressions
Long before the 2011 election, whenever I hear the name Buhari, what comes to mind is the awful image of Nigerians being whipped on the streets and commanded to frog jump by army officers for as small an offence as not queuing up properly for buses.
Growing up during the despotic Buhari/Idiagbhon regime, I wondered why anyone would praise a government that has no respect for the rule of law.
The military junta of General Muhammadu Buhari truncated democracy; he came into power via a coup d’état to overthrow a democratically elected government.
He went further to use fear as a form of discipline. To him, the constitution was useless. Decrees were the in-thing. Why on earth would any right thinking person consider it OK for security officers to whip adults on the streets for offences that, if they warrant prosecution at all, should be prosecuted in a court of law and not on the streets, and certainly not by army officers.
If considered indecently dressed, well, be ready to be whipped in public under a Buhari dictatorship, be it civilian, military or Sharia Law.
Why would any woman who value democracy and body choice even consider Buhari for any important political office?
I shudder to think what would happen to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and Trans under a Buhari presidency. Yes, gays have had nothing but Badluck under Goodluck Jonathan’s regime; after all the clueless, spineless Goodluck Jonathan signed the Anti-gay bill into law, most probably under pressure from his advisers. Nevertheless, I shudder; I truly shudder to think what would happen under a Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. It would not just be 14 years imprisonment for anyone caught in a same-sex relationship, it would be free whipping, and state-endorsed lynching of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans on the streets of every state in Nigeria.
I can think of the possibility of engaging in an almost rational discussion about LGBT rights with a President Goodluck Jonathan. In fact, I think the big task would not be how to convince Goodluck Jonathan that gays are human beings deserving of respect, dignity, and human rights but how to convince him to grow a spine and stand up to the useless advisers and primitive politicians he surrounds himself with.
Whereas, I cannot even envision the sharia law fanatic, Muhammadu Buhari, granting anyone an audience to discuss lesbians, bisexuals and gays, and Transsexual rights. The man might just put a fatwa on the head of LGBTs rights advocates! Therein lies the difference. So again, why would anyone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or Trans supports a Muhammadu Buhari presidential ticket?
Why would anyone who believes in human rights, women’s rights, and a supporter of LGBT rights want Muhammadu Buhari at the helm of affairs in a country that is already retrogressive and not doing so great when it comes to respecting women and LGBTs rights? It truly baffles the intellect!
As the Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka said during the 2007 election
The grounds on which General Buhari is being promoted as the alternative choice are not only shaky, but pitifully naive. History matters. Records are not kept simply to assist the weakness of memory, but to operate as guides to the future. Of course, we know that human beings change. What the claims of personality change or transformation impose on us is a rigorous inspection of the evidence, not wishful speculation or behind-the-scenes assurances. Public offence, crimes against a polity, must be answered in the public space, not in caucuses of bargaining. In Buhari, we have been offered no evidence of the sheerest prospect of change. On the contrary, all evident suggests that this is one individual who remains convinced that this is one ex-ruler that the nation cannot call to order.
Buhari – need one remind anyone – was one of the generals who treated a Commission of Enquiry, the Oputa Panel, with unconcealed disdain. Like Babangida and Abdusalami, he refused to put in appearance even though complaints that were tabled against him involved a career of gross abuses of power and blatant assault on the fundamental human rights of the Nigerian citizenry.
Prominent against these charges was an act that amounted to nothing less than judicial murder, the execution of a citizen under a retroactive decree. Does Decree 20 ring a bell? If not, then, perhaps the names of three youths – Lawal Ojuolape (30), Bernard Ogedengbe (29) and Bartholomew Owoh (26) do. To put it quite plainly, one of those three – Ogedengbe – was executed for a crime that did not carry a capital forfeit at the time it was committed. This was an unconscionable crime, carried out in defiance of the pleas and protests of nearly every sector of the Nigerian and international community – religious, civil rights, political, trade unions etc. Buhari and his sidekick and his partner-in-crime, Tunde Idiagbon persisted in this inhuman act for one reason and one reason only: to place Nigerians on notice that they were now under an iron, inflexible rule, under governance by fear.
Not content with hammering down the freedom of expression in general terms, Buhari specifically forbade all public discussion of a return to civilian, democratic rule.
So Tai Solarin is already forgotten? Tai who stood at street corners, fearlessly distributing leaflets that took up the gauntlet where the media had dropped it. Tai who was incarcerated by that regime and denied even the medication for his asthmatic condition? Tai did not ask to be sent for treatment overseas; all he asked was his traditional medicine that had proved so effective after years of struggle with asthma!
Sad, very sad.
Nigerians and the Saviour myth
What I can only deduce from this is that Nigerians are deluded people who want a saviour. Nigerians have this vision of a saviour who would deliver them from the clutches of corrupt politicians. They have a sadomasochistic fifty shades of Grey vision of a Buhari gathering up all the corrupt politicians, whipping them in public and even setting them ablaze in a lynching orgy. I think many Nigerians are that sadistic.
Nigerians are always looking for short-cuts. They want the easy way out without any responsibility.
While it is a good thing to get rid of corruption, Nigerians are willing to crown a despot to do their dirty laundry for them. As long as they are not thrown into the laundry basket too, they are contented to have a despot as their laundry man.
Most Nigerians think the only place corruption exists is in the upper echelon of government. What bullshit. In Nigeria, corruption thrives in all strata of the nation. From the unemployed and the least paid worker to the highest paid worker, corruption is simply a way of life. In Nigeria, corruption is the norm; it is the rule not the exception. Therefore, it is funny when Nigerians keep screaming on the pages of newspapers and social network sites like Facebook and twitter that:
- Buhari would put corruption at bay.
- Buhari would gather all the corrupt politicians and lock then up forever.
- The fear of Buhari is the beginning of wisdom for all corrupt politicians.
- The name Buhari sends jitters down the spine of all corrupt politicians.
- Buhari is the change we need.
Hmm, these Nigerians conveniently forget that corruption is not limited to politicians alone. They conveniently forget that they are part of what makes Nigeria one of the most corrupt nations on earth.
From the young and the not so young who allow themselves to be used as political thugs during elections to:
- Voters who sell their votes to politicians with the biggest bags of rice and in exchange for recharge cards
- Office clerks who conveniently lose your file unless you settle them with cash
- Police officers whose code for ‘settle me’ is “wetin you carry?”
- Market traders who have no qualms about ripping you off
- Doctors who are not above misdiagnosing patients just to profit off their alleged ailments
- Pharmacists who sell fake drugs to make profit
Even citadels of learning are not left out. We have:
- Lecturers who still threaten to fail female students who refused to succumb to their sexual advances.
- As a Nigerian graduate I know getting an academic reference from former lecturers or even getting transcripts could be a case of settle us first.
Wow, it really is exhausting being a Nigerian. What a calamity!
Yet, these same Nigerians think all their woes would end if/when a Muhammadu Buhari is voted in as president because hey, “The man would whip all our corrupt politicians”. Maybe the man should start by whipping your ignorant, corrupt asses where your brains reside!
How does the old, failed way represent change?
When you talk of change, what change is a man whose first major political appointment in Nigeria was in 1975 and has since held influential and lucrative political offices including shooting his way into the presidential office as a coup planner, going to bring to Nigeriain 2015?
A glance at his Wikipedia page tells us-
- In 1975, Buhari was appointed as Governor of the North-Eastern State.
- In March 1976, the then Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Buhari as the Federal Commissioner (position now called Minister) for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
- When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was created in 1976, Buhari was also appointed as its Chairman, a position he held until 1978.
- Major-General Buhari was appointed Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces after a military coup d’etat that overthrew civilian President Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983.
- Buhari served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under evil impersonate himself, General Sani Abacha.
What change is the person who has served under the vilest politicians Nigeria has ever known going to bring to Nigeria?
What brainwave has he suddenly developed that would bring about the needed change Nigerians clamour for considering that all he has engaged himself with since he was kicked out of office is to serially contest for the seat of presidency?
Is the violent sore loser the change we need?
Muhammadu Buhari is a desperate politician who does not even care which political party he contest under, as long as he has a chance at the presidency. If PDP offered him a presidential ticket, he would gladly jump on board!
A glance at his political ambitions on his Wikipedia page shows:
- In 2003, Buhari contested the presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
- On 18 December 2006, Gen. Buhari was nominated as the consensus candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party. His main challenger in the April 2007 polls was the ruling PDP candidate, Umaru Yar’Adua, who hailed from the same home state of Katsina. In the election, Buhari officially took 18% of the vote against 70% for Yar’Adua, but Buhari rejected these results. After Yar’Adua took office, the ANPP agreed to join his government, but Buhari denounced this agreement. (Again showing what a sore loser he is!)
- In March 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party that he had helped to found.
- Buhari was the CPC Presidential candidate in the 16 April 2011 general election. He lost the election to incumbent president,Goodluck Jonathan.
Buhari is fond of playing the religion card. He has been known to advise that people vote along religious line, saying Christians should vote for Christians and Muslims must vote Muslims. His campaign speeches serve to incite the religious miscreants when he loses elections, as he always does, thereby resulting in loss of innocent lives.
I have no respect for any religion and I definitely have nothing but contempt for sharia law. l don’t see how any progressive thinking individual would support an avid Sharia law enthusiast for a political position.
Buhari’s regime saw many activists put behind bars for criticizing his dictatorship. Nothing in his countenance suggests that his dictatorial mentality has changed. He never for once apologised to the victims of his brutal regime. Heck, the man fancies himself as the saviour Nigeria needs.
Is Buhari, the Boko Haram trusted negotiator, the change we need?
Who in Nigeria did not know that Boko Haram trusted Muhammadu Buhari so much that the appalling terrorists nominated Buhari to negotiate with the government, on their behalf? When your preferred presidential candidate is beloved by the most disgusting terrorist group in Nigeria, something is wrong with your principles.
Or is this not the same Muhammadu Buhari who likened the Islamists terrorists, Boko Haram, to the now “Chop and quench” Delta environmentalists insurgents groups, and even begged for Amnesty for Boko Haram?
Really, do Nigerians suffer from short memory? Truly, I don’t know, I don’t understand, I cannot comprehend, I am lost for words as to why any decent human being would support Buhari for president. The man has caused enough damage. The man is a sore loser. The man is a 72 year old used-up politician who should at least muster enough dignity to retire in peace and stop rousing the nation because of his selfish ambition to once again rule the country by fire by force and by favour or fear.
Corruption and the paid piper
Have they forgotten that he who paid the piper dictates the tune?
Did Buhari not confess that he had no money for the presidential nomination fee but went begging cap in hand for his nomination fees to the same corrupt politicians he wants to free Nigerian from?
Who are the owners of the bank this serial contestant claimed gave him 27m naira to pay for his presidential nomination ticket?
Considering that he is always telling us that he owns just two modest houses (which he claimed he built with loans) and have no foreign accounts, what did he provide as collateral for the huge loan? Did the bank violate its lending policy to provide a 27 million naira loan to Muhammadu Buhari, a man who has lost 3 consecutive presidential races, when they won’t even give young, energetic, entrepreneur graduates 200,000 thousand naira loan to start a business. Is that not supposed to be part of the corruption ‘Saint’ Muhammadu Buhari wants to fight. How can you fight that which you are a part of?
Oh, rest assured, the same politicians that have been looting our treasury are the main sponsors of Buhari. Some ever hopeful Nigerians have managed to convince themselves that he is only playing along now and would dispose of all his corrupt, benevolent, political friends when he assumes power. Really? I guess integrity is not something Nigerians demand of their leaders. Why assume his financial funders are fools, after all they did not get to be multi-millionaires feeding fat on our collective national treasury by being fools. The fools in this scenario are Nigerians who think Buhari is a saviour come to save them from the same corrupt politicians who are actually his sponsors!
And let’s not forget the spiritual sponsors of Buhari, the religious fanatics, the sharia law propagandists who want to impose sharia law on Nigerians. “This is not possible”, Nigerians echo, conveniently forgetting that Nigeria is actually a member of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and that Sharia law is already adopted in Northern parts of Nigeria. Not possible, my foot. Even if sharia law is not declared, with a sharia law fanatic as president, who says we can’t have the constitution and still have sharia law monitoring our every step or misstep?
How can we be sure women won’t be whipped for ‘indecent dressing? Did Uganda not recently pass a law against women wearing mini skirts? Nigerian politicians looking to score points with religious fanatics once tendered the indecent dressing bill before the National Assembly. Who says under the leadership of a self-confessed sharia law enthusiast, Nigerian women won’t be beaten black and blue by enthusiastic security officers or Boko Haram vigilantes, for the offence of wearing miniskirts, wearing weave on, putting on lipsticks or even going to school!
What would a Nigeria under Buhari look like in the nearest future?
Why do we want to retrogress? Do we even envision what a Buhari at the helm of affairs would do to Nigeria in say, 10 years from now? I foresee a country where:
- Democracy is a shadow of its former self
- Freedom of expression and the press becomes a distant memory
- The prisons are once again teeming with human right activists
- Sharia Law becomes a force to be reckoned with.
- Nigerians are saddled with getting rid of a political party that has the emblem of Boko Haram.
- Gays, lesbians, bisexuals are further forced into a torment of hell in their own country.
- Women rights and body autonomy are routinely trampled upon.
The thought of such calamities should be enough to drive progressives into a frenzy. Why do Nigerians want to risk all these possibilities because they want someone who can fight corrupt leaders?
Goodluck turned Badluck
BTW, I am no supporter of the inept, clueless sitting president. As I wrote in my piece titled OCCUPY NIGERIA FOR A RESIGNATION OR A REVOLUTION?, Goodluck Jonathan is not a worthy adversary. He is a president with no vision, no backbone and no agenda who once had no shoes but now has many designer shoes, thanks to Nigerians! The man came bearing promises without a plan, promises without action are like prayers, it makes you feel emotionally good but it does not nourish your body, simply put, it does not put food on your table or money in your bank account unless you are the President or a Pastor!
Nigerians relied on Goodluck promises without demanding for answers, just the same way many Nigerians believed in their pastors anointing to see them through the year! Now that ‘Goodluck’s promises, just like Pastors’ anointing, are not working, it is time to wake up from fantasy land and face up to reality. We could ACT to redefine our reality or MOAN until the next election to change the leaders through ballot boxes. For many Nigerians, I suspect it would be the same old ‘we go survive, God is in control’ syndrome. Religious opium takes time to wear off!
When I look at President Goodluck Jonathan, all I see is the pathetic image of a president kneeling down before spiritual fraudsters praying to win elections. The beyond stupid image of president Goodluck Jonathan in Jerusalem staring stupidly at a wall and touching it for miracles is difficult to wipe from my memory! His inability to guarantee security of lives or at least be seen to be doing something tangible towards providing security for Nigerians in their own country is a shameful low point he cannot run away from.
I don’t want that nincompoop as my president, but I would rather have a spineless nincompoop as a president than a sharia mongering, koboko wielding, ex-military dictator as a president. I surely would not vote for any of these two but while I can’t be bothered to go out of my way to campaign against a Jonathan, I surely owe myself and future generation a duty to speak out against the monstrosity that is General Muhammadu Buhari.
Failure of the Left and progressives
The fact that there are only two presidential candidates worth talking about is a manifestation of the failure of the so-called ‘Nigerian progressives’.
The labour movement had a party they allowed to be hijacked by wolves in sheep clothing.
Labour leaders themselves were busy chasing after the big money and saying ‘Yes sirs’ to any government in power.
Labour leaders even abandoned labour party to wine and dine with the crooks in power.
Progressives and the Lefts were so busy fighting themselves over National Conference slots and the millions of Naira involved, that they basically forgot about building viable opposition parties and candidates.
Nigerian voters laugh at candidates who are not distributing bags of rice, pepper, tomatoes and palm oil, recharge cards, because hey “Who wan vote for poor person?”
No tangible plan for the economy
Muhammadu Buhari does not have any quantifiable economy plan for Nigeria. All he feeds on is his very questionable reputation as a corruption fighter. He was booted out as a despot president at the age of 41, what are his achievements since leaving the office he forced his way into? He has not even developed himself education wise. What did he forget in office that he is so desperate to go back, that he kept borrowing millions of naira for his various presidential nomination forms? How did he plan to pay back the money he borrowed from the sharks that are looting our national treasury?
And what the heck is that noise he is making about scrapping the office of the First lady? Does he think the office of the First Lady is the problem that is causing Nigeria’s financial woes? Does he not understand that the office of the First Lady can be effectively used socially and diplomatically, without draining our financial resources? I guess he is just talking out of his arse to live up to his questionable image as a corruption fighter. So, his manifesto of saving money for Nigeria is to cut off the office of the First Lady. Laughable kindergarten stuff as usual.
Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of petroleum under the very corrupt Obasanjo government did not exactly leave a legacy. In fact, some cool billion dollars are still not accounted for under his watch.
Really, it is a sad situation. It really is a tragedy that a Muhammadu Buhari is still relevant in Nigeria’s politics and worse still, being touted by a so-called progressive political party as its presidential candidate. What a travesty. Nigerians have rejected Buhari 3 consecutive times at the ballot boxes, but the sore loser still wants a shot at Aso rock.
What if he won the election and died in office?
I shudder to think what would happen if Buhari won this election and died in office. Death in office is a possibility. Remember that General Sani Abacha and President Yaradua died as sitting presidents. If anything fatal happened to their beloved Sharia law enthusiast, won’t it be seen as a conspiracy to kill northern leaders in office? All hell would be let loose by religious and ethnic fanatics and no doubt by his number one fan, Boko Haram.
We do not need the problems and baggage that Buhari carries with him. Nigeria is better off being milked dry by spineless Goodluck Jonathan than whipped to death by Buhari. A dried up person still has hope of getting much needed help, but a dead person is beyond hope. Putting a sick Nigeria in the hands of Muhammadu Buhari and his delusions is basically declaring Nigeria a nation beyond hope.
Maybe Nigerians need to understand that when they look in the mirror, a corrupt Nigerian stares right back at them. If they do not fancy the thought of a Buhari publicly whipping them on the streets, then they had better not harbour the idea of a Muhammadu Buhari in power.
If the only credence they give to Buhari is that he can publicly whip corrupt politicians, they should remember that in a democracy, police brutality is not tolerated. Respect for the rule of law is a tenet of any democracy. Buhari is no respecter of the rule of law. Buhari is a selfish, old, military dictator who cannot accept no for an answer. He belongs to the trashcan of history.
The real tragedy is that President Goodluck Jonathan and retired General Muhammadu Buhari are the two names that pop up in our presidential debates. What a colossal tragedy.
It is a pity that the younger generation who should be trying to put these old has-been politicians in the trashcan are the same people that are busy fighting themselves on and offline, to praise their candidates.
Every follower deserves the kind of leadership it gets, and come 2015 election, Nigeria will not be an exception.