ELECTION 2015: JONATHANIANS vs. BUHARISTS
In 2011, a particular leading candidate came out with the 'I have no Shoes' campaign while the opposition kept screaming that Goodluck is not synonymous with good governance. Whether he really had no shoes and whether Goodluck is not synonymous with good governance is a debate for another day. Today, the opposition has grown bigger than what it used to be. Essentially reducing the political debates ahead of 2015 Elections to two parties, the PDP and the APC.
Ordinarily, I need not define who a Buharist is and who a Jonathanian is but for the benefits of non-Nigerians who may be reading this and for the purpose of this write up, Jonathanians are the fanatical and sympathetic supporters of President Jonathan of Nigeria while Buharists are the fanatical and sympathetic supporters of Gen Muhammadu Buhari- one of the leading opposition figures in Nigeria's political settings.
When Buhari emerged as the APC presidential candidate for the 2015 Elections, the first congratulatory message from a political party came from the PDP, the tone of the message suggest that there was more to it that meet the eyes. The message was point blank: the only thing that has changed in GMB is his changing into a night suite. We recalled that one of the men paid to cry more than the bereaved for the President had come out crying to the world that if the opposition party survives beyond nine months, we should call him a Bastard. Trust Nigerians, they have given him an overdose of Bastard definition. The same man, some days ago, came out in his usual controversial manner to tell us that our dear President is the Jesus of our time. Most of the President's supporters, in their attempt to defend him always end up confusing their audience the more. We find it hard to explain that the Federal Government of Nigeria couldn't legitimately or illegitimately Purchase Arms from the Black Market let alone the International Market while Mr. Government Ekpemupolo an ex-militant succeeded in purchasing six warships for the purpose of defending Federal Government properties.
Several leading figures have lately attacked the President: Chief of them was the Nobel Laureate: Prof Wole Soyinka who likened President Jonathan to Nebuchadnezzar of the Bible. He literally took the insult to the corridors of power. (Although some online versions have it that our Dear Prof has finally and systematically endorsed our President by reminding us that He is the only candidate without any ties to the Military) As if that was not enough, Former President Obasanjo gave Insult a direct access to Aso Rock with the publication of his Book – My Watch, thereby allowing insult to have an audience with the President. He not only called President Jonathan weak and incompetent, he detailed his incompetence while also revealing to us that we have five Presidents in Nigeria and that President Jonathan is the weakest in the chain. Recall, a chain is as strong as its weakest point. As if that wasn't enough, Governor Fashola of Lagos at the last APC convention listed out all the unfulfilled promises of our Dear President. Fashola noted that Mr President's list of unfulfilled promises is competing with his list of disappointments, he wasn't sure of which lists was longer.
The President must be duly acknowledged as a man that has the ability to tolerate the opposition to a fault but my fears is that if he eventually wins his re-election, will he still be this tolerant of the opposition? One thing for sure, former President Obasanjo couldn't have been this tolerant. I also have my fears about the opposition. Should APC win, will they be matured enough to manage their success? Will APC not eventually be the Botanical name for PDP in the long run? The implosion in Ogun state, the outright loss of Ekiti State, the logjam in Rivers and Edo state are a pointer towards that observation.
Conclusively, President Jonathan deserves all the respect he can get and I have always maintained that Nigeria is a reflection of Nigerians. Whatever the outcome of the 2015 General Elections turns out to be, we hope that it will eventually reflect the wish of Nigerians.
Written by Oyede Saheed, a Postgraduate Student of UNILAG.