God willing, I will cast my presidential vote for retd. General Buhari and that is more than a personal quantum leap.
As recently as before the 2007 (s)elections sealed whatever shot retd. General Obasanjo (rGO) might have had at statesman-hood, I had wondered aloud in my rested weekly essays for this paper [The Nation on Sunday] why General Buhari would not let Nigerians know what his feelings about democracy and religion were. I had a personal experience of the effort to force a state religion down Nigerians’ collective throat during his rulership. It was apparent that retd. General Babangida’s misadventure to turn Nigeria into a Muslim country was similar to Buhari’s. As I shopped at Old Gbagi, Ibadan, one afternoon in ‘84/85, a commotion suddenly developed as word went round that policemen were out arresting women who wore pants! I was a culprit and made for my car, unwilling to wait for verification in the then suffocating environment of religious fanaticism.
Whoever becomes president – I’ve avoided using the word “wins” – cannot bring much change to people of my generation although it would be wonderful to live the rest of our lives in a just and orderly society. The country needs a leader who can bring hope to the youth of this country; a leader who can harness the incredible human resources of an energetic people into purposeful direction; a leader who will see to the building of new societal institutions and strengthening of existing ones; a leader who will ensure that the enormous petroleum wealth that the country generates would be used for her development and not just for top civil servants and politicians, and a leader that would ensure that those who break the law: looting, rigging and corruption of any kind, would have to face justice.
There are enough laws on the books to handle all the criminal behaviors that presently pass as political rascality. [Tola Adenle, four long years before Buhari ever got the chance to win Nigeria’s presidency, his long-sought dream of ruling the country as a civilian]
“The Buhari presidency is the most recognisable public face of the ruling All Progressives Congress. At its current dismal steam and amperage, and at its present unthinking worst, it is inconceivable that anyone will give it any electoral hearing in a little over two years to come.
But two years is a long time in politics. Fortunately for the Buhari presidency, it has no ideological conviction to recant, no lofty administrative height to fall from, and no philosophical principles and great public precepts whose disavowal would make it fear self-immolation. It can, therefore, on paper, still change, since there are no complications to deter or fluster it. But that is if it does not keep up the adamantine delusion that change begins with others …”
[Idowu Akinlotan, “Palladium” in Justice Onnoghen’s belaboured nomination, February 12, 2017.
The Nation on Sunday’s PALLADIUM writes on the mess made by President Buhari’s administration in what should have been a straightforward situation that called for the name of Justie Onnoghen, a Justice of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, to be forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as Chief Justice of the Court.
The president dithered – not for caution as PALLADIUM clearly and eloquently shows in the essay – but for a motive now very familiar to Southern Nigerians since a much-awaited presidency that came on board with a lot of goodwill lost not just focus but has continuously woven a seeming self-entrapment into the divisiveness that is at the center of Nigeria’s myriads of problems.
TO READ THE Justice Onnoghen’s belaboured nomination essay, check it out at –
A very brief highlights of the aborted hopes of a people:
Just about all the campaign promises –
Restructuring for equitable and rapid developmen; naming and shaming after recovery of looted wealth, not placing any religion/faith above others … were all jettisoned for sectionalism, religious divisiveness and filling MOST top appointments to head security and judicial agencies with Northern Muslims many of whom are supposed to be his blood relations, et cetera et cetera.
Things were so bad that his wife even cried out that the husband’s government had been hijacked by people who had no hands in getting him elected as president.
Unfortunately, as Palladium illustrates, President Buhari may have nothing to lose as he invested next to nothing in getting Nigerians to cry to him for help to put the nation back on the road to equity and prosperity – I’m not talking of deployment of cash and human resources for election campaign – 99 percent of Nigerian people DID.
Once again, Nigerians are left carrying the empty purses while the thieves – Ibori has announced he’s not a thief at a CHRISTIAN THANKSGIVING – live lives of obscene luxury spending foreign currencies from their stashed supplies right inside Nigeria.
Oh, yes, we learn X, Y … amounts have been recovered but no names attached to those massive amounts “for legal reasons” and no jail times …
The only important subject now is 2019 when another set of pillagers would take up where those before them enjoy their loots.
Even the ailing president who has failed to show any reason for his current administration, has been guaranteed “massive support” by a section of the country.
And so, Nigeria will continue to sink deeper and deeper until “This House” would finally have fallen, to put a little twist to the title of a book on Nigeria.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017. 3:58 a.m. [GMT]