“You don’t necessarily need atomic bombs to destroy a nation. Politicians who value their pockets than the life of citizens always do that every day.” – Israelmore Ayivor
Despite over 50 names of 2019 presidential candidates and their political parties published by Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC), Nigerians understand that the contest is between incumbent President, Muhammodu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
While I did not aim to make light of other candidates and their political parties, I doubt average Nigerians know their full names and their political parties. Many of them have held several town hall meetings at home and abroad. However, I am certain that most market men and women that cast most votes cannot describe these persons and their parties logos without putting a call across to internal members. That’s however not the case for the ‘scattered broom and tattered umbrella’. In a nutshell, the race is between a tiger and a lion. They are among powerful politicians who over the years put Nigeria’s democracy under siege.
Having read the plans of both Atiku and Buhari for Nigeria if elected in February 2019, it is sardonic to realise that beyond these plans, the difference between the duo is just the difference between twelve and a dozen in the sense that former has corruption allegations heap around his neck like ants surround cubes of sugar while the later failed to dissociate himself from grand – commanders of corruption including the ‘Gandollar’ of Kano State.
I have met poor Nigerians and I have spoken with the less privileged who voted in 2015 all in the name of “change” mantra. I know lots of persons who today don’t have a penny despite their official and unofficial support for a Daura man who has failed to live up to expectations. However, I visited the ancient city of Ife to realize that once the Ooni’s Palace and the Obafemi Awolowo University are subtracted from the city, residents with grey heads, greyed more by hunger and suffering than by age will be confronted with pitiful sight.
I have met paupers in rural Nigeria who reserved the worst of curses for political leaders governing the nation since the reign of democracy. If their curses are to be answered by God, it means the hottest part of hell is reserved for Buhari and Atiku who have always been part of the stealing or covering terminal benefits belonging to all Nigerians.
While the story that Atiku cannot travel to America is a top news due to corruption allegations, Buhari has not also genuinely dealt with corruption in his administration. The noise of “corruption” is not alien to Nigerians and many are no longer interested in a saint. Both parties hands are not clean, agreed but who is more capable? This is the question begging for an answer. The Ecomist Magazine has said 2019 election is an “ugly beauty contest.” A food prepared by the same cook in different plates don’t taste different.
They have both ruled directly and indirectly. They are both unrepentant failures but we have no alternatives. Unfortunately, we are in trouble as other candidates remain weak. Sacking Buhari is legal at this time but employing Atiku is disastrous because it is not about the president alone but those who will work with him. Members of PDP who in the past ruined the country. Buhari has Ganduje and Atiku may end up having the worst version of Dasuki.
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The sins of Buhari are heavy even with his anti-corruption lies but Atiku endorsement by Olusegun Obasanjo who once called him a thief is scary. Though, Obasanjo is a grandfather in the game. Obasanjo’s documented reports about Atiku will not help matters. Although, the PDP candidate has challenged anybody who has anything on corruption against him to go to court.
Bill Clinton, former American President was alleged of sex scandals but still won election amidst the controversy.
As it stands, it is better we repeat what happened in 2015 by constantly changing them, we may get things right one day.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Adejumo Kabir, is a student journalist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.