Opinion: General Buhari And The Myth Of Change

Opinion: General Buhari And The Myth Of Change

Sharing is caring!Facebook0Twitter0Google+0Pinterest0 by Nwobodo Chidiebere Change, by its definition, is dynamic and transitory and certainly apt in ...

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by Nwobodo Chidiebere

Change, by its definition, is dynamic and transitory and certainly apt in the fast-evolving world. The sophisticated nature of our 21st century world itself, along with its transforming affairs and secular intricacies, necessitates change. Hence, change is given a precept that is hardly avoidable and acceptable. Inevitable and conceiving as change may appear; it is sometimes difficult to come to grips with it or the circumstances that warrant it.

Given that the wave of change is a natural phenomenon of life, it follows then that it is a process that applies to all human activities, both major and minor. This mind-illuminating submission captures what former American President, John. F. Kennedy had in mind when he said: “Change is a law of life; those who look to only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”. As the wind of the February 14 presidential election gets stronger, the two leading presidential candidates in the contest have rolled out their drums to canvass for votes from the electorate. The presidential candidate of the opposition party, the APC, General Buhari sermonizes change as his campaign message. The retired General has been traversing every nook and cranny of this country preaching change to those who care to listen, but one question begging for an answer is: does he represent the change we need at this defining moment? Gen. Buhari will be 73 this year, after leaving office as Nigerian Head of State 31 years ago.

Even the doubting Thomasses have realized that Gen. Buhari no longer possess the energy, dynamism and intellectual capacity to lead 170 million people in a 21st century. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai in an interview granted to Daily Sun in 2010, said: “I was 25 years old when Buhari and Babangida were Heads of State and I am now 50 and they still want to be Heads of State. I don’t understand that at all and I call on young people of Nigeria to take their future into their hands and ensure that in the next election, they vote for a new generation of leaders.” The whole world is now being ruled by young people and he wondered why old blood continue to rule Nigeria. “Obama is 48 and Cameron is 43 for God’s sake. So, why are we recycling leaders that ruled this country badly 25 years ago?” he queried. Based on Mallam El-Rufai’s assertions, Gen. Buhari is not only obsolete for a 21st century presidency, but lacks the ideas and flexibility to lead Nigeria now, which contradicts the gospel of change the APC is propagating as a political party founded and built on propaganda.

To puncture the irreconcilable fallacies being bandied around by the APC’s presidential candidate, Gen. Buhari, as components of his shallow campaign message, Nigerians are still finding it difficult to harmonize his rigid lifestyle with the song of change he is singing. Apart from his inability to present his school certificate to INEC, as demanded by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to be eligible to vie for the office of the president, it is mindboggling that the same man who has been parading himself as a ‘Change Advocate’, to the utmost chagrin of most Nigerians has not added any value to himself (academic wise) since he left office over three decades ago, while his contemporaries like Gen. Yakubu Gowon has gone ahead to study up to Doctorate degree level.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently applied for a Doctorate degree program at the National Open University to develop himself and at the same time enrich his CV, not minding his age and the high profile office he has occupied. In addition, he has written so many books including his autobiography; though some of those books are still controversial and subjects of different court cases. Gen. Buhari who is yet to convince Nigerians that he obtained formal education up to secondary school level, has not written any book including his autobiography since he left office, no single paper has been written and delivered by the ‘Change Agent’ suggesting ways of solving myriads of national age-long issues bedeviling the Nigerian State; of which he participated in perpetrating, but all of a sudden has metamorphosed as an oracle of change, simply because he wants to occupy the presidential seat in Aso Rock, what an irony! He claimed he borrowed money from the bank to purchase his presidential nomination forms without ‘collateral’, but failed to explain to well-meaning Nigerians what he has been doing with the money he has been receiving as former Head of State and member National Council of State from the Federal Government in the form of pensions and allowances. One of the cardinal points of Gen. Buhari’s campaign message is job creation.

The questions agitating the minds of Nigerian electorate are: how many jobs has Gen. Buhari created in his own little capacity as former Head of State, taking into consideration the money he has gotten from Federal Government as pensions and allowances? How many businesses and companies has he been able to establish and run successfully since he left office thirty years ago? This election will mark his fourth attempt at the Nigerian presidency, is he contesting out of passion or joblessness? Is the APC candidate one of the ungrateful parasites feeding on Nigeria’s ‘feeding bottle federalism’? If the APC’s ‘symbol of change’ has not written a single book including his autobiography, has not acquired a degree over the years and has failed to establish and run a successful business since he left office 31 years ago, the million-dollar questions are: how can someone who is being sustained with government resources and who lacks the capacity to improve his earning ability for more than thirty years to the point that he had to borrow money from the bank to purchase his party nomination forms, now stabilize Nigeria’s economy?

How can he stabilize the Nigerian economy when he has failed to stabilize his personal economy? What type of magic wand is he planning to apply to resolve insurgency in the country? Can he, as a matter of urgency, explain to Nigerians how he plans to tackle insecurity without purchase of arms and ammunitions? Gen. Buhari has been shouting to high heavens that he will fight corruption, without stating clearly how he will go about it. It is now obvious that he has compromised on his anti-corruption stance and cannot be trusted. Aligning himself fraternise with corrupt elements, and still preaching “I will fight corruption”, amounts to sheer hypocrisy! Inasmuch as Nigerians yearn for change, Gen. Buhari is simply not the type of change we need now, anyone supporting Gen. Buhari’s aspiration to rule Nigeria again, is simply trying to administer a 1983 prescription to a 2015 ailment. He represents only the myth, but not the change Nigeria of a 21st century needs now.

 Nwobodo Chidiebere is a civil engineer and also a freelance writer

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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