The next general election is about a year away and President Mohammadu Buhari is yet to officially make an official pronouncement on whether his name would be on the ballot paper come next year. Recently, as reported on Nigeria News, the president decided to address the issue by deflecting any definitive decision. He said he would tell Nigerians in due course what he would do. What is he waiting for?
Nigeria politicians have this ridiculous tendency to think all the citizens do all day is waiting for them to tell them the obvious. Everybody knows the President is going to run again. In many quarters, this is viewed as rather unfortunate.
How time flies. It was just last year people were wondering if he was going to recover sufficiently enough to complete his first term as President. Even his staunchest supporters believed he wasn’t going to run for a second term due to his failing health. As a matter of fact, there were speculations he won’t make it back to Nigeria in a fit state to take charge of the affairs of the country.
Somehow, he returned to Nigeria cured of whatever was ailing him. It was a marvel of modern medicine.
A road well-traveled
Almost three years after becoming president, Buhari has proved he is not so different from other politicians. Before ascending to power, he had the persona of a no-nonsense, incorruptible man whose clothing was cut from a different fabric of typical politicians.
As a former head of state, his personal house in Daura, his hometown, defied logic in its modesty. Former heads of government don’t get to live in such modest houses in Nigeria. They retire as kings with mansions built on hilltops from where they can continue to look down on the rest of us.
But power demystified Buhari completely. The aura surrounding him is now as ordinary as that of any politician whose motivation has been simplified to their own self-interest. In that respect, he is fooling nobody about his plans for the 2019 elections.
Olusegun Obasanjo pulled the same trick. He told Nigerians he was waiting for the right moment to announce if he was going to run for a second term. Close to the election, with an iota of shame, he informed the country that having listened to the cries of Nigerians and God, he has decided to heed the call to run for a second term.
Remember, this was a man who later wanted to force a 3rd term on Nigerians after he was told clearly to leave the stage. That was the only time in living memory that the National Assembly stood with the masses.
Obasanjo is not alone in this. All over the country, political leaders use the same trick. Nobody is fooled. None of them had ever refused the opportunity to run for another term as long as the constitution allows them. They would rather die than step down.
The ‘proxy’ campaigns
Now, the country is been treated to campaigns by different shades of people calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to run. To strident calls are seemingly to persuade a reluctant president. Come on; anybody with a sense of history knows these people are doing these at the behest of the President and his advisers. It is the politicians’ way of testing the waters so to speak.
People like ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar left the party for the PDP because he knew the APC had already backed President Mohammadu Buhari for 2019. The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, is even behaving as if he is campaigning for the position of the Director General of the President’s 2019 campaign organization. Instead of facing the numerous problems facing the people of Kogi, he is busy running Abuja’s errands including fighting the President’s perceived enemies in the state.
Yahaya Bello reminds one of the notorious Daniel Kanu who made waves in the 90s. This was a young man that got conscripted to convince Nigerians and the world that the youths of Nigeria supported the dictatorship of Sani Abacha. With his Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA) group. No expense was spared to run a country-wide campaign including the 2 Million Man March in Abuja.
These were all distractions as even kids knew Abacha was going to transform into a civilian president. Death saved Nigeria from the nightmare of a prolonged Abacha presidency.
As sure as the sun sets in the West, there are folks out there hoping Buhari would go the Abacha way. That is an extreme opinion to hold though. But such is the disaffection by some groups with the present administration they won’t mind selling their soul to the devil to get rid of President Mohammadu Buhari.
Buhari has missed several opportunities to show he is totally different from regular politicians as Nigerians had hoped back in 2011 when they voted for him. So far, he is treading every disreputable path as previous politicians who saw themselves through the prism of God’s gift to Nigeria.
Buhari is already setting the stage for the next elections. Sadly though, his lack of creativity about informing Nigerians speaks loudly about a leader who doesn’t have anything new to offer. A Buhari second term is going to be the same old.