Ibohayo finally wins Nigerian presidential elections in 2015
When in 2003 Ibohayo contested the presidential polls in Nigeria, there was confusion, despite his credibility, amongst the echelons of the nation’s political and economic classes – the power brokers – over his mission in Nigeria’s politics. Many were not too sure how a man of such high integrity and patriotism would venture and succeed in the murky soil of politics in Nigeria. Some who were sure of the meaning of Ibohayo, including my humble self, were passionate of pushing in diverse capacities for the change that finally came with 2015 general elections in Nigeria – 12 years later. Those children born in 2003 were not too lucky as Ibohayo was though their Creator, God Almighty, loves them so much that He has made a time for every human being.
Sometime in early 2002, Ibohayo made his intention to contest the presidential polls known to Nigerians. As unknown as I was – yes I have been one of the unknown lovers of Ibohayo – I thought of what I could do to promote the good image of Ibohayo. I tried my best as a journalist in the areas where the credibility of Ibohayo was undermined and his acceptance has remained skeletal. Simply, I was a journalist in Port Harcourt, covering most of the states of the South East and South South geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Through my pen, I promoted the views of Ibohayo’s supporters and had greater penchant for all that concerned Ibohayo. But the tedious job of field journalism could not give me the ample opportunity to pursue the project to a successful conclusion.
It did not end there. I was still not satisfied of my efforts. I decided to write a book in support of the mission and vision of Ibohayo whose main objective was to salvage Nigeria. It was the same that some Nigerians wanted, but who dared question the power that was. I titled the book “Ultimate Shelter” simply referring to the greatest need of mankind and what a true leader should strive to accomplish for his people. It is believed that when a citizen has a comfortable shelter, all other necessities of life – food and clothing – are assured and available.
Ibohayo was the protagonist of my campaign play. As unknown as I was and with very little means of survival, this book remained unpublished till 2008, a year after Ibohayo had ventured into another presidential contest in Nigeria and was denied. Between 2002 and 2008, I made several attempts to reach out to some people who could help in utilizing the play for the purpose it was written. I must confess that God was on my side that I could resist the temptation of giving it out for peanuts to some people who went through it and understood its content. For refusing to give it out, I was not helped. And that is the reality in Nigeria, that hardly do creative minds easily receive support on merit. Every person or business outfit is so preoccupied with the chase of personal gain that humanitarian services are left to God and His men on the shores of Nigeria.
However, after the several attempts, Ultimate Shelter was finally printed in 2008 by the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Press Limited. I could not hold my joy at this success. There is a proverb in my language that says: if an animal dodges the hunter, another day will still come. Yes, the 2007 presidential elections in Nigeria were over and already forgotten by 2008. But I felt strongly in the heart that another election will come. And so the 2011 general elections came and passed, and for the third time Ibohayo was denied the victory. The hope was not lost because it is only the unbelievers who lose hope for God’s Time.
Ultimate Shelter was written as a campaign drama for Nigerians who sought for change in the nation’s leadership. There were series of problems for Wazobia under the leadership of the umbrella. The election was always expected to be in favour of the protagonist, Iboyaho (Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba) who represents General Muhammadu Buhari. It won’t be easy to change the multi-faceted decays in Wazobia overnight. But as a focused and determined patriot, he would initiate and implement policies which would work. And the citizens would become happy as they have always expected great future before. As the 2015 political campaigns geared up, over 5,000 copies of the book were distributed to Nigerian families and individuals and more are expected from the author and strategist for the success of the Muhammad Buhari government.
The book was started with these paragraphs: A garden with beautiful leafy trees. There’s a tornado. People are running helter-skelter. Neither aeroplane nor car nor bicycle could easily ply. Plane crashes, road accidents, scarcity and price hike of petroleum products and building materials, food shortage, health hazards and general life insecurity prevailed. Businessmen and women, hustlers, hawkers and farmers – the populace in general – are deciding where to seek shelters. But many people have assembled themselves in groups under umbrellas, some under bridges while others were seen under trees. The owners of the few houses all around had shut up their doors and windows. Leaves and dust and all sorts of particles are seen dancing freely in the air. Amidst a throng in the scene is a strong man in his late fifties. Undoubtedly married and dedicated to his wife, children, and the society he dwells in, he is noted for wisdom and practical life. Neither
tall nor short; neither fat nor thin, neither extra-ordinarily handsome nor ugly, neither too religious nor a free thinker, he is an embodiment of all that citizenship purports. Apparently he is in dilemma, uncertain where to go. Not even minding the sultry and stuffy atmosphere, he stood few minutes – equal to hours in normal air, pondering. Finally, he sought refuge under an umbrella with a group of men.
Basi: (adjusting for the stranger) The weather these days isn’t fair to our lives. Every citizen is feeling the pulsation of an escaped lizard.
Stranger: (thinking they were already discussing, not wishing to break into) Should I say, Good afternoon?
Basi: (looking more closely into the face of the stranger) Ibohayo! “Is it you?”
Ibohayo: (stretching out his hand for a shake since there was no chance for an embrace) Yes, it’s me. How are you?
Basi: I am yet to decide how to be answering that question with the present conditions. Not many of the citizens can give a definite answer to it. Here is Eze.
Eze: Em! I can pretend to be okay while my inside is burning with pain. Well, I may say not good, not bad.
Adamu: For a long time now, I merely say, “Thanks to God”. No more.
Ibohayo That’s quite a good reply. But it is not enough. One must move. Especially in a society where each person fixes his eye to his feet; Where painful wails are not heard; One must move. It is rain that falls. Not silver or gold.
Ultimate Shelter projects a nation called Wazobia as a big, rich and densely populated country found in the Sub-Saharan desert with affluence, intellect and natural endowments, but where development was elusive. The general conditions in the country were palpably hard to bear. The masses were suffering; religions conflicted; tribes antagonized one another and socio-political and cultural groups were staged to cause enmity in the nation. There was lack of direction by the leadership. So, the nation needed to move forward. But only the selfless and practical citizens can handle the complex situation and nurture the unique democracy in the country, since such caliber of people do not vie by fair or foul for leadership positions.
The love for democracy by Wazobians was not justified in its perspective. The people grew more aware politically and discovered that they had been deceived severally. They realized, organized and agitated for a change in the leadership of the country irrespective of political and socio-cultural affiliations. The book surveyed the manifold facets of failure by the past Wazobia’s leadership. The citizens had decried extra-ordinary selfishness in the polity. The play also postulates an ultimate alternative for the future generation of the country. The play, however, poises an onerous task: the need to love Wazobia, its unity, peace and progress and the rise against dictatorship with all its disguises in the governance of the nation.
Ibohayo has finally come to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land of uncommon peace, unity and progress.
Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance. E-mail [email protected]