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NIGERIA: Buhari’s so-so economy, APC’s disunity, desultory govt’s human rights record, dire security/herdsmen situation … make Buhari beatable – Idowu Akinlọtan

May 23, 2018

Nigeria

The issues that will dominate the 2019 presidential poll are very clear. And they are substantial enough, if well deployed, to vitiate the dominance of the APC. The ruling party is neither united nor even run as a political party. The president’s record on the economy is a mixed grill, partly incompetent and partly chaotic, with both forces combining to keep the populace impoverished, despondent and gasping for breath. The security situation, particularly in the Middle Belt where herdsmen have wreaked havoc on the local, farming population, is still dire, regardless of the achievements of the military in the Northeast. The government’s human rights record, not to say the desultory anti-corruption war that is neither a war nor even a campaign, gives the impression that it is coerced, that it is tentative and therefore deceptive.

 

Yet, contrary to Chief Falae’s uncritical acceptance of the prevailing dynamics of Nigeria’s presidential permutations, it is actually feasible to find a rallying point against both the ruling party and its presumed candidate. That rallying point, a candidate of uncommon gifts and boldness running on the platform of a party willing to bet everything on the throw of a dice, will move beyond issues likely to influence the defining 2019 poll. He will instead see the opportunity presented by the dichotomies introduced into the country’s body politic by President Buhari himself. In more than three years of bizarre politics, the president has almost fully alienated the Southeast and the South-South. Both the Southwest and the North-Central are certain to give him nightmares, for they are very likely going to exhibit discriminating voting patterns in their local and presidential elections.

Nothing guarantees that President Buhari will sweep more than the two zones of Northeast and Northwest fairly comfortably. He will have to fight for the North-Central and Southwest, with no assurances whatsoever that his fanatical following in the Northwest and Northeast can automatically translate into a sweep of the disputed zones. Indeed, if the elections were called today, the president is likely to face crunching moments in the North-Central and Southwest. This is one of the reasons the presidency is fighting to undermine and fracture the parliament and crush Senate President Bukola Saraki. The effort to reorder the elections, now stalemated, is widely thought to be capable of delivering a serious blow to the president’s re-election chances in the two difficult zones. Indeed, it should have occurred to Dr Saraki that the attacks spearheaded against him by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris is simply a part of the presidency’s political calculations for 2019.

 

The essay was published as “Falae, 2019 and SDP presidential candidate”

[Idowu Akinlọtan [PALLADIUM] writes political & social essays for The Nation on Sunday’s Outside Back Cover (OBC)]

Read the whole thought-provoking essay at the link below:

IDOWU AKINLOTANpresidential election 2019

WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2018. 2:26 P.M. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “NIGERIA: Buhari’s so-so economy, APC’s disunity, desultory govt’s human rights record, dire security/herdsmen situation … make Buhari beatable – Idowu Akinlọtan”

  1. ADEYEMI OF ADETOYE Says:

    Idowu Akinlotan’s piece is logical. All the States in the middle belt made Buhari’s ascendance to power very smooth in 2015. But now, it seems the intoxicating influence of power has taken over the entire team or perhaps the so called “ruling cabal” such that they don’t care(or seem not) to reckon with the electorates from the middle belt at all. I keep wondering the strategies being planned by the team to win second term with the very loud cold war been waged against citizens in the entire middle belt. The unleash of gruesome terror(s) upon Taraba and Benue communities as well as structural polarization going on in Kogi and Kwara cannot make those States easy anymore.

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Yemi,

      Bawo ni, o; hope all is well.

      Thanks very much for this. I’ve been baffled a little, too, and have dismissed the idea of Buhari yielding to African politicians’ first and last refuge: rigging as perhaps his plan to win in 2019 even though he has shown his inner circle, praise-singers and running dogs like government employee/full time politician, Customs Controller Ali (Head of so-called Buhari Support Organization), often seem to dictate the tune.

      With his resorting to the unconscionable and unpardonable tactic of praising Abacha to win the hearts and votes of Northeastern Nigerians, making not-that-veiled reference to rGo’s failure to deliver power supply despite billions (the type of failures of others that got him elected in the first place) while allowing people like the Controller of Nigerian Customs to become his campaign’s devil’s advocate who dusted the old sectionalism template, Buhari has now shown the path he plans to tread to what should be definite failure at the 2019 polls.

      While touting their native Northwest farmers’ purported “success and wealth” from rice planting, Hameed Ali claims – and Buhari concurs by his silence – that only “lazy Nigerians are hungry with the president’s achievement in agriculture. If truth be told, farmers in many parts of the Southwest, including Ogun where it seems the government is a participant, are enjoying bounty rice harvests.

      Before Buhari’s presidency, Ekiti West Anglican Diocese was already in the business of helping the production and marketing of rice by farmers in the Diocese. In fact, as far back as 1975, farmers in my hometown in Ondo State had a rice milling cooperative which enabled my late mother to give my family a cocoa-size bag of local rice on our arrival from student-days in the USA, but no thanks to then President Shagari whose NPN-led government decided to flood the country with cheap imported tasteless rice.

      Now, to the moment and the myth of the “lazy hungry Nigerians” – perhaps, south of the Niger. The “lazy hungry farmers” that I know in my hometown who farm rice are not, to my knowledge, assisted by either the Buhari “federal” government or the Ondo State government while many have their kids in private secondary school in a town that, during former Governor Mimiko’s tenure, had more students in private schools than the government schools; most of the kids are children of farmers.
      Akinlotan has done a magnificent work on how the “unbeatable Buhari” and the APC can be handed defeat which they will deserve at the 2019 polls:
      • The other parties seek capable and unsoiled candidates;
      • Fight Buhari over his record/non-record: inability to deliver on his earlier campaign promises of restructuring; incapability to secure lives and properties from Fulani herdsmen massacre;
      • Desultory human rights record of the Buhari-led government;
      • APC’s disunity and its not being run as a real political party, and
      • Alienation of majority of the country which sees Buhari’s strength in only the Northwest (his Fulani area) and tenuous hold of the Northeast to which he must keep pandering as in the Abacha salt-on-Nigerians—wound;
      Above list must be added, Buhari’s age and questionable health. Like him, I’m in my eighth decade like Buhari although he does have a few years on me. While it’s great to see that the president seems to have regained some measure of good health, it’s been at great cost to the country.

      One of his campaign promises was to resurrect the old Nigerian Airways which he promised to start with most of the former president’s near-dozen presidential jets. He apparently forgot the promise once he ascended Nigeria’s throne. One of the planes stood guard at one of England’s airports for one of his multiple visits, running up parking charges during his long illness in the UK.

      Thanks, Yemi, for always taking the time to contribute to important discourse on your homeland even though you are ensconced far away in the comfort of a well-run and reasonably safe country.

      TOLA.
      PS. I will search the Ekiti-West Rice story posted here a few years ago and paste the link. TOLA.

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