What is President Buhari’s greatest threat?
Yesterday in Nigeria, a momentous event took place. A former Army General and military ruler assumed office as the democratically elected president of the country. Quite astonishing really. Astonishing because the campaign season was brutal, and in some cases quite bloody. However, election results held (surprisingly) and the incumbent ‘gracefully’ accepted his loss (like he had a choice).
Now that we have gotten the inauguration out of the way, its time to start enjoying Muhammadu Buhari’s government right? Very wrong. I put it to you today that vested interests, corruption and insecurity are the least of the new president’s worries. Mark my words, the greatest threat to Buhari’s governance lives in your house. That’s right! For it is in your house you will find those who still do not believe in the change sweeping the country presently. Neighbours, work colleagues, fellow Nigerians are opposed to this change, and they are the ones that certainly present this clear and present danger to the new government.
As an outsider looking in, it is clear to see the palpable threat to the retired General’s rule, and my concern is quite justifiable. From day 1 (inauguration day) you could still feel the scepticism from some quarters. One would expect that following the near collapse of the African giant, change from the previous government will be welcomed by all quarters. However, the level of negativism from certain factions is quite astonishing.
This negativism represents some of the threats I am able to identify. Negativism will breed obstruction, which in turn will breed sabotage which will most certainly breed treason.
The dislike for General Buhari by a very SMALL MINORITY is such that it is beginning to bother on hatred. You have no choice but to ask yourself why? Some have gone ahead to bizarrely label themselves JONATHANIANS…. Isn’t that as ridiculous as calling yourself a Brownian, a Churchillian, a Bushian or a Carterian – all incumbents who lost re-election? I can understand if a great degree of sympathy was felt for Winston Churchill; after all, he was the Prime Minister who lost the general election after leading the UK and much of Europe to victory in the war against Hitler, but I’m yet to meet a Churchillian; yet he was a true hero.
It just seems these Jonathanians (their words not mine) have conveniently lost sight of the fact that Jonathan’s government practically brought Nigeria to its knees. This global fact has very easily been transferred to the Nigerian people; including Jonathanians themselves. To call yourself a Jonathanian, at least one thing must be true: You are either (1) blind or (2) want to be blind.
The level of suffering experienced by Nigerians especially in the few weeks running up to the inauguration was unprecedented; a representation of the incompetencies that represents the outgoing regime. In his inaugural speech, Buhari was kind to Jonathan, he acknowledged his statesmanship (or sportsmanship) in his acceptance of defeat after the elections. Majority of Nigerians are not that kind, some will give him credit for honouring the mandate of the electorate, but what would he have done? Not hand over power? when more than 80% of Nigerians wanted him out? Are we now to congratulate an outgoing president for accepting an electoral loss?
Put silk on a goat, it is still a goat – Jonathan, by his direct actions has opened himself to ridicule and while he and his PDP cohorts go to lick their wounds, they must always be reminded that most Nigerians did not necessarily vote for Buhari, they voted out Jonathan’s government.
Today, I urge all Nigerians irrespective of religion, tribe and creed to get behind this Buhari’s government. I think it’s time to start curing the ills of this country, get her up from her knees, repair the near-fatal damage, then and only then can we start playing politics.
“No matter how organised a government of a federation are, they cannot succeed without support, understanding and cooperation” General (rtd) Muhammadu Buhari.