write, the Election has come and gone and a winner has
emerged. President Jonathan has for the first time acted
like a statesman by gracefully accepting defeat and reaching
out to congratulate the winner even before the final results
were announced. This was not without some attempt though, to
halt the collation process as one of his trusted aides, and
kinsman Mr. Orubebe, had some hours before the President’s
concession of defeat, disrupted the collation process in a
manner hitherto only imaginable to Nollywood movie
Professor Attahiru Jega, a man of uncommon dignity, who
demonstrated extreme maturity, calm and caution in putting
the rowdy situation under control. But for that singular act
of maturity, the collation would have come to an abrupt
halt, violence would have sprang up immediately amongst
supporters of Buhari who was poised to win and Jonathan
would have capitalised on this to suspend the election. Mr.
Orubebe obviously did not act alone and it is difficult to
imagine that he did not confer with his benefactor the
President before embarking on that ignominious adventure. It
is instructive that neither the PDP nor the President has
publicly condemned Orubebe’s ‘unstatemanly’ behaviour.
it is proper to commend the President for obeying the simple
rule of sportsmanship in the competition ( even though the
competition meant more than just a sport to both
contestants) because, that simple decision spared Nigeria
needless bloodletting and ensured that the political space
remained peaceful to guarantee the next batch of elections
on April 11, one may however put a caveat on this
commendation by noting
that ordinarily accepting the results of an election
by any of the contestants should be a matter of logical
expectation as required by law; and the two candidates had
before the election signed a joint undertaking to accept the
outcome of the election.
for a man whose propensity to renege on agreements is
legendary (he denied being part of Zoning in his party and
also denied promising to do one term); breaking his own jinx
and keeping to his word, has suddenly projected him in a
different light. Jonathan has done well, even though not
doing so would not have kept him on that seat beyond May
2015, it would have only stoked embers of hate and violence
and invited foreign intervention from the AU, US and UK to
apply the Gbagbo treatment on him. That would have led to
some deaths and huge disruption of our economic wellbeing.
So to that extent, we owe him much gratitude.
response has also placed him in a better position to
negotiate for a soft landing and attract more merciful and
respectful treatment in the hands of justice under the new
administration. Buhari has already alluded to this when he
declared in his acceptance speech that Jonathan has nothing
to fear. Recall that one of the fears expressed publicly by
Jonathan’s wife was the fear of prison. She has told some
PDP supporters in a rally that she was not ready to carry
food to prison for her husband. She may have gotten a
respite for that after all.
congratulate Gen. Buhari for leading the change campaign
that has earned Nigeria this victory over the tyranny of the
PDP establishment but I make hast to say that, this victory
is not the end of the struggle, it is just the beginning.
must hit the ground running; in fact he should be in a hurry
to make a difference. He must hit very hard at corruption
and draw the line in the sand clearly from day one. Buhari
must tackle insurgency in the North and elsewhere it may
emerge. He must fix the battered economy and restore the
dignity of that office. We must not be told that 4 years is
not enough. We don’t want to hear that they are still
settling down or learning the art of governance because
Buhari has been prepared to rule us since 2003 when he first
contested the presidential election. There is no time for
Bazaars. He should shun frivolous courtesy calls from
political jobbers and praise singers.
Buhari must choose his team carefully and avoid the
temptation to elevate political patronage over and above
merit and qualifications. He should ensure that only those
who are ready to serve with integrity; only those who buy
into his vision and transparency are hired or retained
otherwise, his lieutenants would soon become a stumbling
block to his covenant with the people.
ahead is urgent and the new President must have known by now
how impatient Nigerians can be with a slow leader. He should
realise that the people shall be watching every move of his
with keen interest and that career critics have not found a
new job and will not be looking for one anytime soon.
The APC as
a party should not fall into the obvious trap of
concentrating on building the biggest party in Africa like
the PDP did. They should therefore beware of fair-weather
decampees who cannot survive in opposition and would soon be
trooping in from the PDP to align with the mainstream.
We need a
visible change in the way we are governed. The expectations
of change by the man on the street are very high and it
would not be long before Nigerians become disappointed with
the APC as a party if they fail to make a step change from
corruption to transparency; from promises to results and
from impunity to selfless service.
beckons on you to be the man who stepped out at this
critical moment in our chequered history to snatch Nigeria
from the hands of rampaging rapacious gang of reckless
wannabes masquerading as leaders, to redirect us unto the
path of purposeful and visionary nation building.
Hurry Up Buhari!