Still on Buhari, Atiku and Saraki


By Abdulwahab Oba

Since the much awaited elections have been postponed, we have another opportunity to take yet a deeper look at the issues around  and why in the interest of a glorious future for Nigeria,  no one should make a mistake of casting the ballot in the way of the present administration in Nigeria. Were you too shocked by the sudden postponement of the February 16 date for the presidential and national assembly polls? It was ridiculous, to say the least, when all athletes were on tracks, none of them complaining that the tracks were not well laid or that they couldn’t see the distance because of fog, only for the referee to blow that the game has been shifted. His excuse? That the man bringing his boot missed the road. What was he wearing on the track with the whistle on his lips?
Why didn’t INEC cry out to Nigerians it was incapable of meeting the deadline set for the election instead of waiting till the last minute to throw the nation into political anguish. To make us yet again a laughing stock in the comity of nations? If we had a similar experience in the last two elections, should that justify why we should have a repeat in 2019? I voted for Buhari in 2015 because I thought he would make a difference. I never voted for status quo. If I wanted a continuation of the pre 2015 era, I would probably have voted someone else, not Buhari. Or, are we never tired of copying the wrong examples? Didn’t INEC undertake a periodic assessment of its preparedness, particularly with regards to the logistics it now claimed necessitated this sudden shift? Why was the electoral body giving assurances that all was well when it knew there was such a big problem at hand? Will INEC ever give the true narrative of what actually necessitated the postponement? What were the undercurrents? Will Nigerians ever trust this process again? Could it be correct that the Managing Director of Activate Technologies Limited, Mohammed Sani Musa, whose company supplied the machines used in printing the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Niger East Senatorial district for Saturday’s poll?
The  announcement by the National Leader of the APC that he was not going to dish out money on the eve of election, setting aside a tradition he confessed to have practiced since the evolution of the current democracy and timing of the postponement also raises serious questions. Did he know of the coming postponement and therefore refused to spend money to avoid losses?  Even if he were not aware, the coincidence is rather too glaring and the Chinese have said that coincidence is the killer of men.
This administration has demonstrated a serious tendency to justifying its errors on the excuse that the pervious government similarly failed. The question is, was the APC government elected to repeat the failure of the preceding administrations?  It is clear from the evolving narratives around the postponement that the APC- led government was up to mischief. In previous elections, we had witnessed instances of delay in the arrival of election materials and what the umpire simply did was to extend voting time in such areas. That took care of the delay.
And expectedly, President Buhari claimed ignorance of the shift. Again, was he not briefed? Did he not receive intelligence? Was he so ‘aloof’ that the INEC boss did not have to hint him, give him sensitive information that he was going to take a decision that will affect some 84 million people Buhari swore to protect and serve? Was the president not aware that a decision was about to be made that will affect thousands of school kids, his grandchildren, who were asked to vacate schools in preparation for the polls and now will spend an extra week doing nothing at home? Was our president not aware that INEC was going to make an announcement that will affect billions of naira in business activities? Was he not aware of a decision about to be taken that would further raise question about his sincerity towards a free and fair election before the international community which have earlier raised doubts about him?
If all in the excuse of giving ‘independence’ to INEC our president was not aware then I am all the more convinced he has no business being our president any longer. We had the same scenario in the economic front, we had the same scenario in the intelligence unit, we had the same scenario in the judiciary. We have had enough of a president who doesn’t know what happens around him.
We truly have a president who is not adept in human resource management. That is the summary of all that we have witnessed since the inception of this administration. It was why the president could not maintain and handle the National Assembly where despite his party having a majority he could still not work with legislators in the overall interest of Nigerians. We deserve a better leader, sincerely and that is why I am still saying that as for me and my household, we remain with Atiku.
And in Kwara we will stand with Saraki. Let’s not deceive ourselves, every ethnic group and community has its own leadership, all of who evolved over a period of time. The South West have Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and now Asiwaju Tinubu. The East had Nnmadi Azikwe. These were never perfect men but their people acknowledged and appreciated their individual commitment to the cause of their communities and so supported them. They were the faces of their respective zones just as today, Saraki is the face of Kwara and the middle belt.
There are ample evidence of his commitment to this state, just as there are testimonies about what his father did for Kwara. The Saraki name has become synonymous with Kwara, it is a name we have all been proud to associate with. And since we know that the events of the recent past were contrived to spoil that name, we shall continue to stand with the man bearing it at the moment.
We should not be tired of asking those who want us to go and serve Lagos what have we received from them and their masters that will justify the shift in loyalty. I’m not a bastard so I will not point at my father’s house with the wrong  finger. Even states like Ogun and Osun are revolting against being slaves to Lagos why should I from Kwara fancy being under the tutelage of the Lagos Lord? I have tremendous  respect for Tinubu and I will continue to so do. He stood firm and set a template for the development of Lagos, but let’s set our agenda and develop our state by ourselves. I also accept that Saraki, like all mortal, is not a perfect leader, there is none except the Almighty. So, I accept him with his flaws more so as I know  that being our own, being someone who evolved through our own process and not someone who came to ‘liberate’ us, we have opportunities to sit down and correct such flaws.
Therefore, I still stand with Saraki. I stand with Atunwa. I remain unshaken. O Tun Ya!
*Oba can be reached via e-mail:[email protected]

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