2019: Why should Buhari run?

CONSTITUTIONAL limit in governance is primarily to stop man from becoming god. God’s rule alone is expected to be absolute and eternal. The closest form of such mortal lifetime reign which is monarchy, is nearly-completely without authority everywhere and where it is given a governance look-in, it is either titular or checked somehow. Even with the constitutional power of life and death, no man should be allowed to play god over others, in whatever system of government.

Constitutional multiple terms in leadership however seem to serve two broad purposes; opportunities for the led to give verdict on leaders and leaders to test end-of-term record. In reality, especially in struggling democracies world over, none would hold true. Votes hardly count, making it difficult to accurately gauge what citizens are saying and the pitch of their voices. Curiously, leaders with red-inked First Term Report Sheet get easily “re-elected” using their peculiar home-grown methodology especially when they are the central umpire in a race they are directly involved. Africa has a hero she is not celebrating well now. His name is Goodluck Jonathan. He cut out of this crowd.

In Nigeria and possibly elsewhere in Africa, your second term journey begins the day you are sworn-in to the first. You don’t even have to ask. The no-vacancy jobbers are always handy. Profiteers would ensure you don’t say no. Relatives, community, ethnic kith, super-contractors, career politicians, cabinet members, cabinet aspirants, appointees and those looking forward to theirs, it-is-our-turn campaigners as well as chummy-yummy journalists, would override your objection, even if genuine, though such initial vacillation has always been in line with politicians’ way of cat pretending not to be interested in rat meat.

It stands to the credit of President Muhammadu Buhari that he is the first willing president in Nigeria’s democratic history. Unlike others who were persuaded to lead in that capacity, he wanted the job, but same can’t be said of his preparedness for the task of office.

With the incumbent having run for the office more time than any Nigerian in history, he should ordinarily be the most prepared Nigerian ever for the Aso Rock job. Though nothing currently suggests that in the way his administration appears to have grounded the nation, his constitutional qualification to stay put till 2023 has not been impeded in any ways. Sage Obafemi Awolowo was never president but his documented thoughts for the job, everyone agrees, have remained absolutely relevant, even till tomorrow.

If visage and carriage are true reflection of intentions, Buhari can be said to have the best of them. The saying that best intention isn’t enough can also be argued. In fact, best intention is everything. Intention is the mindset that drives the entire process. Once, it is ill-driven, the voyage is already doomed.

In his running first term, the president’s actions and body language aren’t matching his best-intention promises and carriage. The dislocation is almost irredeemable now, considering matching public perception and his assumed deliberate refusal to mend his ways. The ‘wise’ counsel of the father of a failing first term governor in the South-South should be apt in encouraging President Buhari concerning another term; when a student fails a particular class, he is always advised to repeat. I remember an opposition element replying that such a woeful student is always advised to withdraw. This ‘student’ in context was allowed to repeat and became a total failure.

It is either Nigerians or Mr. President that can properly situate ‘student Buhari’  for 2019. He can seek to repeat. It will be for Nigerians to withdraw him from his current service.

I love the argument that it isn’t easy to rebuild ruins. How can anyone in good conscience expect a quarter to make up for a whole? Repairing a whole with its half sounds more sensible. It took 16 years for the former ruling party to ‘ruin’ Nigeria. The repair arithmetic above speaks to what the 2019 colouration should depict.

President Buhari may end up being Nigeria’s luckiest. Those that can be classified in the reasonable realm for his sake, also believe and mouth the banal argument of party faithful that there would have been no Nigeria again if he didn’t win. To these believers, GMB is a god who can do no wrong. So, why stop a brilliant student from progressing to a second(ary) term. Deities live forever, but most often, only in memory. You can excuse their idolatry. Many of us thought that way too with Bashorun M.K.O Abiola. He took tea and passed. The nation remains.

Ekiti Governor Ayo Fayose will forever be an enemy to be vanquished at whatever cost by sold-out Buharists for suggesting Candidate Buhari won’t last the mortality distance as president. Buhari and his family aren’t forgiving either. If it is just to prove the Ekiti political prophet wrong, 2019 must be, regardless of whatsoever.

Fayose’s prophesy was more of age plus health permutation. None has been cheering. Buhari keeps looking all his official 76 years. If he was born on ‘market day’ like his former military boss, he could originally be grossing 80+ in 2019. What a Northerner friend insinuated recently about the president’s health won’t decently fit in here. But isn’t age a mere number, with mental alertness being key? A paraplegic once ruled America, the greatest nation in modern history. Ageists keep off.

2019 presidential battle, like others before it, would keep unravelling whether Buhari runs or runs off.


Banire @50

FOR two consecutive weeks, space robbed Gibbers the pace to greet the current god of Mushin politics Dr. Muiz Banire SAN on his 50 birthday anniversary, until the event went down yesterday. Though this column goes to bed on Friday, I could predict my presence at the weekend shindig. Having been around for quite a while, there was some surprise he was just 50. He has been around politics, politicians and power corridor since his 20s, making his name to sound as if he had been around forever. But not even his associates can claim to have seen all about him, especially when he wants to give vent to his convictions. He is a battler and no foe seems too big for him to try for size, including men who make fellow men “pee” in their pants. Maybe because he has shooed himself out of any kind of elective position and it is a known fact that the desire for votes in Nigeria automatically translates to becoming a Janus. Here is a left-over 50 candies for him.