President Muhammadu Buhari

There is nothing as sweet as success, just as pleasure of victory knows no boundary. It gives a new feeling and automatically changes situations around the victor, just as it imposes new title, aura, level and or position. This is the situation of General Muhammadu Buhari, President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is a man known for his humility and simple life style but with zero tolerance for corruption which has been our bane. But on the other hand, failure is a complete orphan in which those that were constantly at your dinner table uninvited would completely keep off from the very day your position becomes shaky or threatened in order not to be seen or identified with you any longer. And in Nigeria, where sycophancy has reached an uncontrollable height owing to hunger but in most instances greed, the consequence of losing an election has the propensity and capacity of sending the rejected candidate at the polls to the oblivion where he or she will be concise to the dustbin of history. Worse of it, some of the personal aides to such a public office holder could add salt to the injury by deciding to quit their appointment ahead of their official severance. The March 28, presidential election were not really about the two main candidates or the two dominant political parties but majorly about the future and survival of Nigeria, presumably the most populous black nation. An attempt to capture the success of the presidential elections recorded before the official declaration can be viewed from the peace, the acceptance of defeat and the phone call the out-going President Goodluck Jonathan made to President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. That singular move went a long way to calm down frayed nerves and brought about the desired peace Nigerians yearned and prayed for in Churches, Mosques and other places of worship. Nigerians proved they are prayer warriors as they really prayed for peace. While President Jonathan deserves commendation for his early acceptance of defeat and for congratulating the winner, General Buhari, I need say that members of the National Committee on Peace led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, deserve some accolades for the behind-the-scene role they played which yielded results. The Abubakar-led committee that included eminent persons such as former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Aliko Dangote, former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Ebitu Ukiwe, among others, and who were joined by former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, reportedly had to move to the Presidential Villa, the moment they realized that the results were already won and lost, giving the fact that they had copies of the election collated at the states before their movement to Abuja for announcement. The committee members were believed to have persuaded President Jonathan to accept defeat and abide by the earlier agreement he and General Buhari had signed and accept the outcome of the election. Some Nigerians, particularly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been consoling themselves with the fact that Jonathan’s acceptance of defeat was the actual election that took place. I have equally asked them to explain to me what available options he had left having seen the massive betrayal by his own appointees, party leaders. A President that deployed the military, Police, DSS, Civil Defence, Immigration, Customs, etc, for elections yet failed cannot cry foul. Were such Nigerians saying he should not have accepted the results in the face of overwhelming defeat? Jonathan knows too well that in a contest in which all his defensive mechanisms and flanks were laid bare, the wisest thing to do was to surrender except he wants his bones broken. If not so, how would one explain why the two polling units in Aso Rock Villa were won by the APC in spite of the fact that most of Jonathan’s aides registered and voted there? Come to think of it too, how come the duo of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muázu and the Minister of the FCT for about five years, Senator Bala Mohammed, could not garner up to nine percent votes for their party’s candidate in their home state of Bauchi? Again, do we need to ask what happened in PDP state of Ondo in which Governor Olusegun Mimiko had promised to deliver one million votes for his party, even when the number of those with PVCs were not up to nine hundred thousand or can someone sympathetic to the PDP ask Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, who was only dancing on campaign rostrums and speaking English language that some of his people did not understand, and thus failed to garner less than 12.5 percent of the vote cast in his state, simply because he could not convince his people to toe his path for the sake of his two sons alleged to be having money laundering cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The list is there for every to analyse from Niger to Benue, Gombe to Kebbi, Kaduna the home state of Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo to Kogi, Adamawa and of cause Katsina which can be excused. What did the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation do in his state of Kogi, except for making voters to disrespect the governor by openly telling him that because of Ahmadu Ali, they would not vote PDP and in spite of the money pumped in for votes, the people merely collected from the PDP and voted APC. The only state the PDP could beat its chest on is Edo State where, its BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, proved his mettle by capturing two out of the three senatorial positions and garnered 57 percent of the vote cast for President Jonathan. All said and done and at the risk of sounding immodest, President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan had power but did not know how to utilize it. My friend in Lagos told me on phone after the results were announced that if he were appointed a class captain, he could have used it better than Jonathan and I concur with him by saying that President Jonathan’s case can be liken to a husband whose wife and children revolted against him. In such a situation, the sensible thing to do is to get out of the house and find ways to pacify them before you stage a comeback but I doubt if Jonathan can in this case stage a comeback. It is a case of opportunity lost.

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