Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022

OPINION: Third Force Blues By Saheed Animashaun

“All this talk about a 3rd force to upend PDP and APC in 2019 is a ruse! It is never going to happen”.

“People like you are why Nigeria may never achieve its potential. Laidback lots! You are comfortable with creating a good life for yourself and yourself alone! No wonder Trump called us a shithole!”

“Baba leave trash for Visionscape jare! I’m a realist not a dreamer like you”

“What nonsense are you saying”?

“I will not bother to vote a candidate I know cannot win. The essence of voting is to elect leaders into office. Why should I waste my time in a queue in the sun/rain to vote a supposed credible candidate I know will never win? Buhari may have disappointed in some areas but he remains our best option in 2019. He is the lesser evil”

“Here we go again. I am almost giving up on Nigeria because of weaklings like you but I won’t. Do you think we would get the desired change we want on a platter of gold? Where has huge scale change ever occurred without sacrifice?”

“I am tired of folks like you. You act as if you didn’t grow up in Nigeria. While I love to be optimistic, I am a realist. Our current political structure is not going to change anytime soon. We should seek to maximize what we have. Buhari has achieved great success in many areas. He is the face of anti-corruption in Africa. Under him, the EFCC has recovered Billions of Naira, JAMB has remitted Billions of Naira to the government; core revenue generating agencies like customs, FIRS, and NPA, have jointly generated trillions of Naira, considerably more than the GEJ years. Rice mills are closing down in Thailand due to the Buhari rice revolution! This is monumental progress, especially if you factor in crude oil prices under GEJ!”

“I give up! If an educated fellow like you can have such lowly standards of good governance, what should be expected of less educated and less enlightened fellows? We cannot hold Buhari by the same poor standards we held GEJ. It is sheer hypocrisy to pillory GEJ for a thing and excuse Buhari for the same thing. I really doubt that any government has employed propaganda as much as this government. For instance, we have seen a lot of news on how PDPs election campaign was funded illegally by government money; but how about how APC funded their campaign?”

“Without racking my brain too hard, I can highlight a thousand and one achievements of Buhari in addition to those I have highlighted before. Fact is depending on how much you loathe him, you may decide to ignore many of his landmark achievements. We are not there yet but we are definitely on the right path. We tolerated bad governance for 16 years, why can’t we persist with an honest man for a little longer. Were you expecting him to reverse decades of under-development in less than 3 years?! Be considerate and realistic at once. Buhari is performing well, those activists saying otherwise and bandying about phoney stats to discredit his performance, are simply doing the bidding of their paymasters. In summary, corruption is simply fighting back!”

“You almost got me there. You deserve a resounding applause; a standing ovation even! We never expected Buhari to turn Nigeria into an Eldorado in 4 years even though he promised that. At the very least, we expected to see tell-tale signs and a marked departure from the old ways. I wouldn’t go the stats rout with you, as you’d simply throw back counter stats. Let me come from a foundational angle. To start with, please never ever mention Buhari and honesty or integrity in the same sentence. It is insultive to people who really have those virtues. In the rising voices opposing a second term for the incompetent Buhari, I agree that there is a dose of corruption-fighting-back. However, it’s negligible. One of Buhari’s highfaluting campaign promises was to end medical tourism. Since he became president, UK has been his second home. He has traveled to the UK to treat an ear infection and other ailments, spending several months there; and maybe several millions of pounds. The so-called transparent government has refused several entreaties to disclose how much exactly Buhari spent on his several medical trips and the exact illness he was treated for. After several denials, his son also went abroad for treatment and on his return was received by the minister of state for health! Sycophancy at its peak!”

“Guy, what law did the President break by travelling abroad? I trust the President’s judgment. He saw that his illness would be better treated abroad. He couldn’t have fixed the health sector in so short a time! Who knows? He was perhaps poisoned by enemies of his administration.”

“Balderdash! On the corruption-fighting front, it took forever to sack the former SFG (Babachir Lawal, a long-time ally of Buhari). It is also taking forever to prosecute him. Another low point was the unceremonious return of Maina through the back door, a suspect that has been on the run from EFCC. To worsen matters, he was being shielded by the DSS; both organs under the control of the presidency! Prof. Usman Yusuf, suspended by the Minister of Education to make for easy investigation of corruption charges against the former, was remarkably reinstated by Buhari. It is useful to note that this trio (Babachir David Lawal, Abdurrashid Maina, and Yusuf Usman) all have one thing in common. They are Northerners! Coincidence? Corruption is not only stealing!”

“It is pointless highlighting the successes of this administration, keep campaigning for your unpopular candidates! I will campaign vigorously for Buhari without getting a Kobo from him. Sai-baba!”

“You are utterly shameless. You are no different from those that left fuel queues in Kaduna to hail Buhari’s passing convoy. Imagine; people left their point of suffering (long queues) to hail the man responsible for their suffering! At the very least, if our unpopular candidates don’t win, we’d pass a message, a strong one at that. I cannot vote a man that’s too big to visit Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara, Dapchi, and other areas that have suffered many deaths in the last few months. I am curious to see whether he’d go there to the campaign!”

“Loool. Everyone knows the fuel shortages are a sabotage. Buhari till 2023!”

“Nonsense talk. In addition to being president, Buhari is the Minister of Petroleum. If he is truly being sabotaged, he should reveal and prosecute the saboteurs. I say no to a continuation of mediocrity! Buhari must be sent back to Daura! Red Card to Buhari”

“Is Red card a candidate or a party? Who exactly would you vote instead of Buhari?”

“There are many options. There’s Tope Fasua, Fela Durotoye, Adamu Garba, Kingsley Moghalu, Omoyele Sowore, and many other competent candidates.”

“Which brings me to my first point. None of these candidates will win. The votes of red-carders like you will be split among them paving the way for a second term for Baba Buhari – the bone in the neck of every corrupt Nigerian politician!”

“I give up on you! You are an insignia of mediocrity! You are rooting for a second term for an outdated near-Octogenarian who has superintended over a government that in addition to reneging on its campaign promises, has failed on many fronts. Under his watch, hundreds of Shiites were massacred in Zaria, hundreds of Pro-Biafra supporters were extra-judicially killed in the South East, and fuel shortages are now normal. In fact, incompetence reigns supreme in his executive cabinet!”

Saheed Animashaun is a social commentator. He writes from Lagos and can be reached viasaheed.animash@gmail.com

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