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Looking beyond electoral promises

It is extremely difficult to count your eggs before they are hatched. Elections are much like the theory of eggs and hatchery, riddled with disappointments, shocks and miscalculations. In the wake of this election postponement, to whose advantage and to whose disadvantage cannot be expressly determined or calculated until the last hour. However elections in Nigeria have never been conducted before without innocent blood soaking the soil. This election is not likely to be different.

Setting aside the discussion of how civilised or barbaric our conduct of election is and focusing on the major candidates, is genuinely in line with that of every electorate in deciding the direction of our future.

It is a fact that the continuity of President Goodluck will certainly take Nigeria through a definite path, equally bringing Buhari to power will also certainly take Nigeria through a definite different path as well. How good each path is for Nigeria is hugely dependent on what one sees, chooses and wants to see. This is why looking into the past history of every candidate is where the discussion of issues begins. Before that there is need to state the fact that the personality of each candidate is more important than what they say they will accomplish if elected. Either of them is going to take the mantle, which comes with it the power to take decisions that play pivotal roles in deciding the fate of Nigeria.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan a PHD holder, prior to 1999, was a lecturer at the University of Port-Harcourt. He became deputy governor to Diepreye Peter Alamieyeseigha from May 1999 to December 2005 when his boss was removed under controversial corruption-related circumstances.

It was said he was nearly forced to take over power after his boss’ removal; a move an average Nigerian politician will jump at. This left an estimable truehearted imprint in the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who was alleged to be behind the whole brouhaha. His dedicated loyalty endeared him to many which was the deciding factor for his choice as Ya’Adua’s running mate in the 2007 presidential election. Again, his boss did not finish his tenure in office as the cold hands of death snatched him away. His becoming acting president through to getting elected in 2011 have been immersed in the kind of strong opposition that did not recognise nor respect the sanctity of human life.

Brutal hegemonic opposition has been established ever since some northern politicians vowed to make his government ungovernable. Some of these threats saw to the upsurge of the  BokoHaram insurgency in  the Northeast.

On the other hand,General Muhamadu Buhari  is a septuagenarian Sunni Muslim who overthrew a democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari on 31st December 1983 and enthroned an iron fisted brutal regime. His government was reminiscent of arrests and backdating of military decrees. The regime was noted for the failed illegal attempt to kidnap Umaru Dikko, a former transport minister and an adviser in the government in London. His regime’s huge appetite to hunt down and arrest people hobbled it from the real administrative business of governance. Under his government, Nigeria became a frozen terrified country and an undesired destination for international diplomats and tourists. Thirty years after being dethroned in a coup he never enrolled in any self-development programme, in fact his purported highest and last known certificate is still missing. The brouhaha surrounding his certificate has prompted a lot of people to start asking questions like, “if he cannot provide the minimum requirement for the office he is vying for, shouldn’t he be disqualified?” Also,he has been battling the negative image of religious zealotry. Winning the election this time and ruling Nigeria appears to be his last opportunity to public life considering his age.

But when Buhari was in power, he never introduced or facilitated any policy that suggested he desired Islamisation of Nigeria rather it was Babangida’s regime that registered the country  as a member of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Buhari  has not directly proven to be a religious extremist but earned the Moniker, “religious bigot” through his unguarded comments. He made other comments filled with threats that many believe triggered riots and killings after the 2011 elections.

Build up to this election preparation, President Jonathan lost the media war. His media aides ought to have since been sacked. His achievements in office went under reported making one to believe that his media officials are either incompetents or simply compromised. Another pitfall of Jonathan’s government is myriad of corruption allegations his government has been facing in which many of them are either exaggerated or fictitious. His media team failed to match or tame the trend of accusations. What is amazing about the entire corruption allegations is that most of accusers were public office holders  who looted their respective state’s treasuries and are yet to return their loot as sign of repentance. They adopted Hitler’s propagandist method which entails telling lies over and over and over again and people will believe it to be true.

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