By Chioma Gabriel
Since President Muhammadu Buhari declared an intention to run for a second term after months of speculation, his critics have taken him to the cleaners. There is nothing that has not been said about his intention to contest again. But one big question keeps hanging. Where is the formidable opposition that can stop him at the polls?
Perhaps, the All Progressives Congress, APC, may not have a presidential primary where others will be given the opportunity to seek to contest. APC is stuck with Buhari in 2019 and nobody except God can stop him. And knowing the incumbency factor, he will likely continue to be our president till 2023 whether we like it or not.
His critics can rant and rave. We have heard many say that President Buhari’s declaration for a second term is an insult on Nigerians, that Buhari is insensitive; he doesn’t care about the yearnings and pains of the masses; Buhari and APC have brought untold hardship on the masses, etc. But these are just talks and mere talks are not enough?
Buhari has the right to vie for any elective position as enshrined in our constitution. His declarations to seek for a second tenure in office are his right and not an insult to the sensitivity of Nigerians. What will be an insult to Nigerians is that nobody of stature is standing up to stop him.
Some of the reasons his opponents are giving are not strong enough to stop him. Yes, he told us in 2015 that he will not seek re-election after completing his first tenure on account of old age and health grounds. But that was before he got into power which rejuvenated him and gave him a new lease on life. We all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, you should not hold him by what he said in 2015.
There are other considerations now. He is not the only one in power. There is the cabal whose hold onto power needs to be protected. There are many interests from the presidency but not from the president and those people are not thinking about Nigerians and do not have their interests at heart.
If you say the Buhari / APC led Federal Government has brought untold hardship, excruciating pains and debilitating poverty on Nigerians and have nothing good to offer the ordinary people out there who voted them into power in 2015, who is the alternative? Who is the next corrupt-free Nigerian with no skeleton in his cupboard who love Nigerians so much and would want to wipe away their tears?
It is indeed a shame that APC as a party does not consider the interest and wellbeing of Nigerians but the interest of a few cabals who are hell-bent on perpetually enslaving Nigerians.
Past governments did the same and stole Nigeria to stupor.
Those who are calling on Nigerians to rise up and say no to APC’s brand of leadership should work out an alternative. Who will bring an inept leadership to the end?
The voter registration exercise is still ongoing. But many Nigerians have looked the other way while the exercise is on. Those who don’t want Buhari back in power should go and get their voters’ card ready and come 2019, let them send APC out of Aso-Rock.
They should also know that beneficiaries of the Buhari administration are satisfied with the achievements of the President and therefore will support his second term.
These are the people who queue one after the other endorse Buhari’s second term.
Believe it or not, with Buhari’s APC and kinsmen occupying key military positions of service chiefs, including all the most senior military high rank offices, he will easily crush all his internal and external oppositions and with his intimidating tendencies over political foes and non – APC Governors, national assembly members, religious, opinion, political leaders, he can use all these at his disposal to return in 2019.
So who can stop Buhari in 2019? Is it ex-military generals especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his new friends in the coalition? Were things different in his days as president? Could he control the destiny of Nigerians and play a key role in determining who governed the nation?
Can the other retired generals stop Buhari?
The 2019 general elections are around the corner and when elections are around the corner, all sorts of things would be happening. This is a democracy, people have the rights to get together and offer their views one way or the other. You cannot quarrel with people doing that because this is the freedom that democracy offers. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
The military did not take Nigeria to the Promise Land throughout the time they ruled the country with uniform or in civilian clothes.
And they won’t now.
But the truth remains that the political parties are tools in the hands of the military. In his days, Obasanjo took over the control of the party and appointed himself the leader.
Buhari’s body language is a unitary state.
And there is no place for democracy here.
The opposition should stand out with credibility to contest 2019 election.
It should stop marking time.