Mr. President, A Lost Mantra And A Country In Dire Need

By Samuel Alufohai
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I was recently called the last son of Mr. President because of my vehement campaign for our current Commander-In-Chief but unlike some youths I bear no political inclination nor party obligation and so my interest remains solely that of a country with whom I am desperately in love.

Call them wailing wailers, but it will be unwise to disregard all of their concerns as just the unjust tears of bad losers. They lost the election quite alright, but they feel they have every right to point fingers at us because our ballot has caused the mess that we now have on our hands.

However, I still maintain that with the two options we were presented with, my vote was for the better candidate not necessarily the best because we didn’t have that viable option on the ballot. So yes, I do not think things would have been better had the opposition won, in fact, I believe things may have been worse. Having said all this, Buhari has disappointed me in particular, whether intentionally or not, I do not know but the next oneyear will reveal a lot.

In another 10 weeks we would be 1 year into this current administration and even though it is too early to judge, it is not too early to suggest that the recurrence of certain physiognomies makes questionable the ‘change’ mantra of this current administration to say the least. Our President is a fighter that I must say. Maybe because of his military background I do not know but his fight against corruption and insurgency should get at least a pass mark.

Many will argue that his Lady Justice however wears dark shades instead of the renowned blindfold but then culprits should still be culpable irrespective of favouritism is the APC’s defence. This truth is however both ways, because if we use this to defend favouritism in justice dispensation, I know this country well enough to know that the APC will get a taste of their medicine sooner than later.In which case they too should not complain, but this back and front will not be expedient for the growth of our dear country.

Then there is the Islamic agenda and the tribal bias that the Buhari led administration seems to be very consistent in revealing. This has placed a big question mark on the ‘I am for everybody and I belong to nobody’ mantra which now seems a far cry from hopeful expectations. The lack of federal character of most appointments/employments is becoming too bold to just wade off as competence above tribe.

The recent CBN’s defence which seems to suggest that only those who are related to people in power are intellectually competent to man positions is an insult to the hard working graduates of this country who came out of their tertiary institutions with intimidating grades. His love for his Islamic brothers even though understandable is still scary and although I maintain that he cannot Islamise Nigeria, the fact that we feel he needs to be reminded that Nigeria is not a religious state but a social one is worrisome.

The APC with their recent stunts is fast becoming the PDP but then were they ever different. I can’t feign ignorance now but the candidate they presented helped us to at least hope that even though the leopard can’t change his spots, he can disguise them for the common good.

We may have been proven terribly wrong, the APC is a mess, howbeit a necessary evil for the good of our country to avoid the greater evil. We wanted a change, we did get it but far below par as to what we expected. We expected more on transparency and cut in government spending but all we have got so far is persistent political shadiness and a corruption fight that can only be unjustly justified.

If I knew this, would my vote had changed, maybe not, but all this has resigned me to admit that in Buhari lies a president with the will and mind to move the country forward but lacks the know-how and the intellectual competence to do so. The other candidate lacked both and that’s why if a redo was probably possible, Buhari would still have received my vote.

So we are stuck with Buhari for the next 3 years and even though it is still too early to judge, the early signs are not prognosticative of our desired outcome in the long run. So while we still pray for the best for a President who I believe has the desire to help, I want to enjoin Nigerians that the true Change is not going to come from our Head of State, but from us. We must unite as Nigerians to change this country by ourselves and for ourselves because no President or Senator will do it for us.

The million dollar question is how? It is time to embolden our intellectual capability and engage the few in power to become responsible for and to the millions with power. We must challenge each politician to show three things from now on; an understanding of the plight of her people or constituents, a track record either political or personal to defend that understanding and a clear message on how they intend to solve the problems we face.

In a technologically advanced generation, I think we are having far more intellectuals than illiterates as the days go by, so no more bags of rice or cash distribution. If you cannot be the backbone of your manifesto and be able to defend it from your sleep, you should be rendered intellectually incapable to serve. God knows that is how we selected Head Boys in our days, it shouldn’t be different now. Why should a person who couldn’t be made head of a secondary institution be given a constituency?

We want change, we need change and it is going to come from the electorates not the elected. We must change our politics, till the incompetent feel ashamed to run, so we stop having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. Previously, we left our country at the hand of share good luck, then we turned and said at least having a good will would help, it’s sad to admit that it won’t. That’s why we get somewhat nauseated by the words of some Senators and Representatives and wonder how they got there in the first place.

If we insist that only our best must represent our country in every international sport competition, how can we not demand the same for ourselves? The time has come for us to demand the ‘above three’ from any candidate who wants to contest and start voting individuals and not parties till parties learn to present credible candidates. If we get credible candidates from COWA, YDP and any other party out there, it’s time we tell the elected that true change has come. If they lack the moral and intellectual competence to serve, then they shouldn’t be entrusted with the power to do so.

Dr. Samuel Alufohai

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