BUHARI'S VICTORY AND THE TASK AHEAD
The victory of General Muhammadu Buhari in this year's Presidential Election is one success story with many messages! First, his victory has once again proved that endurance and determination are keys to success in any life's endeavor. Second, it re-enacted John Milton's hypothesis which says that in any confrontation between the truth and the falsehood, the truth must prevail. Third, it upheld long held values of honesty, truth and trust in a nation where truth is a scare commodity and trusts a burden. Fourth, it has proved the Biblical injunction which says that the just shall live by faith. So Buhari's unyielding belief that every human being, no matter the circumstance of his or her birth deserves a better life which have longed endeared him to the silent majority fetched him the victory after many years of Presidential struggles.
I personally believe that God brought GMB back to power because He wants to prove to Nigerians especially the youth that earthly living must be anchored on certain ethical values and moral principles. If they live without discipline, they will die without honor. So, the second missionary journey of the President-Elect is more of a practical prove of what discipline, ethical living and abiding faith in God can bring than politics.
What I mean here is this, in a country where the worth of a man is measured by the number of his material possessions instead of the intrinsic and extrinsic values he symbolizes, electing General Buhari, a puritan who despises greed and irrational accumulation of wealth at the expense of the weak and vulnerable in the society will reorientate the younger generation that a man's life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions. Hence, a self centered life is empty. That is why Mother Theresa would say that unless lifeis lived for others, it is not worth living.
However, factors that made Buhari's victory possible have resemblance with those that made the election of President Barrack Obama as the first African-American President possible in the 2008 United States Presidential Election. It will be recalled that Obama anchored his Presidential Campaign on change. This is because, he had observed that Americans were tired of President Bush and the Republican led Government in Washington DC as well as two wars; one in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, a planet in peril and the excruciating effect of the Global Economic Crisis of 2008 as well as the circumstances that led to Lehman Brothers, America's fourth largest investment bank to file for bankruptcy protection coupled also with the fear and anxiety of about 9 million home owners who were on the verge of losing their homes to mortgage institutions as a result of their inability to meet up with payments required of them, so they found hope in Obama's campaign slogan of change , despite the colour of his skin as an African American.
Accordingly, the harsh economic realities of the moment occasioned by fluctuations in the price of crude oil at the international market, the free fall of Naira, high rate of unemployment, insecurity in the North East and corruption in high places made Nigerians to vote for change on March 28. The President-Elect rightly captured all these in his campaign slogan of change which is similar to that of President Obama in the United States.
So, the victory of change in this election is not for General Buhari or his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), but, it is a chance for all Nigerians who made this change possible to effect the change we need and wants to irrespective of political affiliation, tribe, region or faith. This is because poverty, lack and wants which have hitherto held us down do not recognize any of these dividing factors. And like I said in my article entitled: “Revisiting the Abuja Peace Accord”, General Buhari should look at the bigger picture of Nigeria and resist the temptation of vendetta, because success is the greatest avenger. The President-Elect also captured this in his acceptance speech.
The major concern of the President-Elect should be how to overcome the challenge unrealistic expectation among Nigerians would pose to his government. Also, the success or failure of his presidency would surely be determined by the integrity as well as the accessibility of the team he would assemble to run the affairs of the country. They should be people who will not only stand for Buhari's idles at the Presidential Villa, but people who will reflect Buhari's values in communities where there is no media coverage.
President Obama who faced similar challenge in the United States used programmes like “Stimulus Package”, “Economic Bailout”, “Cash for Clunker”, “Massive investments in infrastructure and clean energy” as well as “Conditional Cash Transfer” to jump start the ailing economy and reduced unemployment rate. By the end of his first term in office, he had created about 5 million new jobs for Americans. So, I think some of these programmes should be copied for implementation here in Nigeria, because it will go a long way in tackling the challenge unrealistic expectation might pose to the in-coming government.
Similarly, just as it is a popular belief among legal luminaries that new law cannot be retroactive, but comes to effect from the day, time and hour it was signed in to law, the President-Elect should make good his promise of drawing a line demarcating whatever might have transpired in the past from what will play out from May 29, 2015. His government beginning from May 29 should strongly resist any kind of probe or panel of inquiry in to the past. He should leave the past for God and history to judge. He should not allow the joy of the victory to distract him because according Ola Rotimi, in the “gods are not to blame” Joy has a lighter body that break too soon.
Finally, while President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan has written his name in the indelible book of history as a Nigerian leader that have given us strong electoral system, strong opposition party, respect for rule of law among others, the President-Elect should also try his utmost by giving to Nigerians strong civil society, independent media platform and strong independent power base that can equal the APC and PDP in terms of power and in influence outside party politics. Therefore, may I use this opportunity to say congratulations to the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) on his victory last Saturday.
Written by Comrade Edwin Uhara, a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator.