696 views | Sanusi Muhammad | March 13, 2021
Expectedly, no citizen prays for any calamity to befall his country no matter the situation at hand. But it appears, most Nigerians are compelled to subscribe to the disfiguring of the 1914 amalgamation due to systematic failure of their leaders and the level of high class hypocrisy on display and the master of all, corruption.
As a country, Nigeria is unfortunately where it is today because of clueless and inept leadership. This has been the case with us over the years. Our successive leaders have been a disaster and catastrophic in all sense and it is the people and the country that bleeds most. For instance, in the past 22 years of our brand of democracy, we have had a mix of leaders that can be classified as horrible, terrible and not so terrible. You can fix them from your rating of their performances in the class they belong.
Nigerians in 2015 invested a lot in the presidential ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is now enjoying a second term in office. They believed he had the courage, capacity, patriotism, zeal and sincerity to do wonders for the good of the country. So, they were in hurry in 2915 to chase President Goodluck Jonathan out to be replaced by Muhammadu Buhari. Ironically,the same chased out Jonathanhas suddenly become a ‘beautiful’ bride wooed by even those who master-minded his defeat to return to office for the good of Nigeria.
The people seem to be fed up with the Buhari leadership style and many of those serving in the government are aware of this fact. The nation found itself in this Buhari cauldron not because of the his sparkling record as military head of state between 1983-1985, but because he is perceived to be ‘Mr. Clean’, who has a good followership in the north.
That blind followership and his public rating were seriously exploited to get him elected after several attempts/ in the three elections that he lost before he emerged victorious, he reportedly scored some 12million votes from the north in each contest, but could not muster the same number of votes in the other regions.
Today as things are, can any party, particularly the APC rely on the perceived credibility of President Buhari and the 12million of those his traditional votes or few additional votes in the 2023 election? Analysts do not think so as the Muhammadu Buhari myth has broken down because of his lackluster leadership and rising rate of corrupt practices perfected in most cases by those close to him. As a former senior military officer, he seems to be ignorant of the level of insecurity bedeviling the country.
The APC as a product of a mega-merger that found itself, in power unprepared, appears to be on an uneven keel. It is only the Buhari style of administration that political appointments are made not on merit but who Buhari knows even if he lacks the capacity to perform. APC for now is directionless and rudderless and it is going into the 2023 race with the political baggage that Buhari has transformed to be. It cannot campaign on the leadership strength of Buhari because Nigerians are yet to see any in the past five years. For instance in Wase local government area of Plateau State where APC scored the highest votes in the 2015 and 2019 general elections, apart from few intervention projects executed by MDG and SDG offices, there is no single federal or the APC-controlled state government project worth a mention to convince the people to remain supportive of the APC in future elections apart from an ongoing construction work at snail speed of a general hospital by the state government that may not be completed before 2023. The headquarters of the local government, Wase has been in perpetual darkness for years without any effort from anywhere to restore electricity supply. The local government has the highest number of the most wretched on earth. It is purely an agrarian society that lacks support for bountiful harvest. What they benefit for being in the APC in most cases, are periodic distribution of palliatives to screened and selected APC members as reward for their loyalty by their representative in the House of Representatives. The burden of service is shouldered by the representative while other political office holders look the other way. The construction of the general hospital was made possible by representative of the local government in the state executive council, Sa’ad Bello who is an illustrious son worth a mention. Wase has neither a minister nor any person occupying a high political office in Nigeria to lend support to the people. It is a sad and worrisome situation but the people have an option of rescue if they so desire because they are not captured slaves. They are at liberty to decide their future. If they are comfortable the way they are, it remains their business and should stop complaining and trumpeting hate and blame game.
Fortunately enough, no one seems to know the situation better than the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello who is an ardent Buharist now touting himself as a presidential hopeful with his posters and billboards scattered all over Nigeria for public awareness of his aspiration.
Bello had since been unanimously endorsed for the 2023 presidency by Kogi State House of Assembly that seems to be a foolery at best.
I hope, Yahaya knows that becoming a president is not a tea party as he may know the kind of game the Kogi State lawmakers are playing with him to at least access part of the loot before he exits to pursue his tall dream. What they are saying and drumming is sweet music to Yahaya’s ears. Yahaya wants to be president as he is neither shy, nor afraid of saying so. However, he knows that the Kogi lawmakers cannot make him a president even by miracle. They are not just relevant in the political equation and lack the capacity to make that happen. They are only inconsequential busy-bodies struggling for stomach infrastructure for survival in a corruption infested system.
The most and best they can do is to sing his praises as they are doing for their safety. Who is that courageous Kogi State lawmaker that will be on the opposing side of his governor who is desirous of the highest position in Nigeria?
Does Yahaya have the attributes of the president of Nigeria wants in the face of its daunting challenges, many of which were brought about by his party? Let me be cautious by saying that I doubt it so as not to be seen as writing off the Yahaya and his tall ambition. After all, this is the season of the the younger ones. But any young person with such tall ambition must have the ability, experience and capacity to discharge the responsibility of that office. Being ‘not too young’ to run is not enough reason; it must be supported with the ability to run the office.
Leadership is not about cult followership as experienced. It is about a leader’s ability to deliver expectations. What has the fabled Buhari 12million northern votes taken the country today? The popularity to win huge votes is not the same as the ability to deliver, which is key. May Nigeria, not fall into such a trap again in 2023. We should shine our eyes and disconnect from sentimental politics laced with ethno-religious jingoism. With or without zoning, Nigeria deserves to have the best of the best.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues