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OPINION: Before you vote Buhari for a second term

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By Temidayo Ayodele
Nigeria-President-Muhammadu-Buhari-presenting-2019-budget-at-National-Assembly-Abuja
Without a doubt, Nigerians’ experience of President Muhammadu Buhari during his days as a military leader spurred high expectations of his government to be the ‘fixer’ Nigeria always wanted.

He was perceived to be a military dictator-cum-democratic hero in a country where corruption was on the rampage, the economy was deteriorating and a country held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgency groups and other security challenges.

Prior to his election, Buhari promised us that his government will give corruption a ‘no nonsense’ approach. He told us that the Naira that was at N147 to the dollar then will be N1 equal through programmes earmarked to revive the economy. And lastly, Buhari assured us that we would be sleeping with our two eyes closed because insecurity would be death with.

Buhari also promised us that the price of petrol products would drop from N87 to N60.

Three years since his election, the reverse is the case. I’m disappointed. A lot of Nigerians are disappointed likewise. Petrol price is now almost doubled at N147.

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The fight against corruption under Buhari is partisan and witch hunting of opposition. Naira is now N360 against the dollar and Boko Haram has killed over two thousand Nigerians, while over 500,000 have been displaced due to increasing insecurity challenges.

Maybe the warning signs against our expectations were there but many of us didn’t see it or we just wanted ‘somebody else’ asides former president Goodluck Jonathan and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Who would forget how Buhari (PMB for short) was a big media darling? How excited we were of displacing a government and a political party adjudged to be corrupt with a “man of integrity and high values”. We are not to be blamed for trusting Buhari to sail our ship to the promised land. We just wanted to leave Egypt.

Like the Israelites were displeased with Moses, we are in a similar dilemma. Socially, economically and politically, a few of us can relate to the blurry future that awaits us should PMB remain in the helms of affairs.

I plead with my fellow Nigerians that chanted ‘Sai Baba’ in 2015 to listen to words of the elders, which says, “A dog that is about to go astray will not listen to the hunters whistle”

Ironically, one would expect that a man who had previously contested and lost in an election three times will understand national issues better after previous losses.

It is disheartening to note that a man who the people voted to lead them comfortably led a government for 6 months without ministers. His excuse was that he was scouting for the “right” persons. What did Nigerians do? We did nothing and as usual, we moved on!

Besides all other inadequacies in governance, Buhari is undoubtedly nepotic, tribalistic and divisive leader.

“I hope you have a copy of the election results. The constituents, for example, gave me 97% (votes)- (they) cannot, in all honesty, be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%. I think these are the political reality,” Buhari said in an address at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on 22nd of July 2015.

While some may argue that Buhari’s statement is merely political reality, I think it is careless to say as a leader of over 190 million people. It also portrays PMB’s intent of being a leader who is not willing to unite us a people. Hence, the talks of PMB running an uninclusive and lopsided government is evident in words and in deeds.

Another matter of concern is President Buhari’s medical fitness. Buhari is 76 with a rich history of medical vacations, including the historic unofficial vacation of 104 days in the United Kingdom. The responsibility of leading the most popular black nation on earth is beyond Buhari’s strength.

The consistent derail in Buhari’s physical and mental strength cannot be overemphasized. Twice at the his re-election campaign rallies in Delta and Ekiti State, Buhari committed some politically unforgivable blunders.

In Delta State, he pronounced the APC governorship candidate Ogboru as the presidential candidate, despite correction, he doubled the blunder, saying the governorship candidate was the senatorial candidate before assimilating the corrections after a third attempt.

Similarly in Ekiti State, the same blunder was not just committed, but toppled when Buhari fell off a walk path at the rally and had to be helped up by escorts. Buhari is not fit to lead us for another four years.

A man of his age ought to be resting with his family. However, a few ‘powerful’ Nigerians are imposing Buhari on a larger population for their selfish and gains.

It is no longer news that since his election as president in 2015, Buhari was never in charge of governing Nigeria as he was elected to, instead a few people.

Buhari’s wife, Aisha, on two occasions attested to this when she said he husband was not in control of Nigeria, but ‘two powerful people’.

Conclusively, President Muhammadu Buhari, you have run a good run, we thank you for all you have done, please return to Daura and get a much-deserved rest.We love you.

As we go to the polls again, we have to be wise, conscientious and logical in committing the next four years of our lives to the hands of any individual.

Your vote counts. If it does not, politicians won’t lobby to buy it. Your vote is your future, do not trade it for anything.

The time has come to determine which path our ship will sail for the next four years. Together, let’s sail Nigeria to the promise land, to the land flowing with milk and honey. God bless Nigeria.

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