One of the political successes or rather failures so far achieved by the PDP–led central government is dividing the polity along religious, sectional and ethnic consideration for no cause but ‘attracting sympathy’ during elections; a development that lacks space amongst developed democracies; and a virtue completely shunned with high degree of apathy for a misguided political calculation.
Over the past three quarters of the ending year, Nigerians nay political observers and pundits keenly watch a scenario where, in spite of all Nigerians having liberally and constitutionally allowed and fundamentally right to worship according to the dictates of their individual chosen faith, unfortunately significant national policies remained pronounced in the house of God! Thus, a new political dimension rearing its head aimed at earning same–faith followers’ sympathy and attempt, albeit unsuccessfully to demonstrate how relevant such gatherings (of God worshipping avenues) are turned to semi political rallies. Therefore, denigrating the basic essence of these sacred houses; moreso, the much respected leadership supposed to be spiritual and apolitical however, turned to be willing tools as vote canvassers.
Past successive leadership irrespective of their desire to earn voters’ sympathy be it that of Shehu Shagari’s era or Chief Olusegun Obasanjo treated religion and sectional politics with utmost care, hence their nationalist posture remains firm.
Since the formation of the All Progressives Congress consequent to the merger of three legacy parties and a progressive faction of the PDP, opponents of the APC taking control of the central government couldn’t hide their fear of having a sleepless night. What could have been responsible for this fear? And why should a segment of the political class continue with their trademark of blackmail to portray the prospect of the APC, in particular its frontline presidential candidate, though not nominated yet; thereby giving dog a bad name so as to hang it unjustifiably?
Irrespective of the Nigeria’s present political situation occasioned by insecurity in a section of the country democratic indices brought to background of individual political office aspirant’s faith to zero and remain inconsequential. Where were these agents of division when MKO Abiola and Kingibe contested the nation’s Nos. 1 and 2 positions on the platform of SDP? Nigeria then, sounded and looked doom as pictured by the antagonists of these candidates as a time-bomb for heaven to fall! However, the heaven didn’t fall.
The duo of Abiola/Kingibe was elected across religious, sectional or tribal divides.
Kano, the home-town of the then NRC presidential candidate, Alhaji Bashir Tofa was not only won massively by the Abiolas but right at the Ward level of the latter was floored. Where were these elements of anti-Buhari candidature when the late Shehu Musa ‘Yar adua floored Lateef Jakande in Lagos? Was late ‘Yar adua (senior) a Yoruba? Must presidential candidate of Nigeria become conversant of all Nigeria’s over 70 languages before he wins election? Or must he speak the three major languages of the country?
Having come of age in the present democratic dispensation, Nigeria’s woes require a pillar capable of reversing the retrogressive situation to progressive approach – where security, social justice, resuscitation of social amenities and rejuvenation of establishments for the established purpose will become the order of the day! One becomes bewildered when a state governor appeared recently presenting an admission letter to a student for tertiary study to far away Bangladesh! What a mess? Had it been our educational system is working the Bangladesh authorities would have brought her citizens to study in Nigeria.
Buhari’s candidature come 2015 be it with a running of same faith as the former or otherwise remains a team to beat. Electing Nigeria’s future leader is neither premised on religious consideration nor sectional.
The ranting of erstwhile former Aviation Minister and his likes are nothing but execution of an awarded assignment with its attendant salient reward either known now, or in the near future.
In one of Fani–Kayode’s serialized articles he implored Nigerians to note that “present mood in the country did not encourage nominating a moslem–moslem or a Christian–Christian ticket…,” succeeded only by exposing himself of being so economical with truth. He could neither prove methodology applied in sampling voters’ views nor vindicate to the reading public of template applied. Did the aspiring mouth-piece of the PDP–led federal government know that the so-called mood is not limited to Christians either? In fact, Muslims suffer a lot in the present insecurity than our brethren in Christianity. Shall we remain slaves and hand–to–mouth mortals in a land blessed above many polities? Aren’t we aspiring for a stable power to kick-start the deliberately wiped out small scale industries that could not bear the brunt of daily diesel consumption, a significant economic engine room of any emerging economy and tool for tackling the scourge of unemployment that breeds miscreant and of recent years, the insurgents!
This class of tribal and religious sentiments took advantage of their idle situation to scout for sympathy or recognition; ultimately for a plum office. Many tactics aimed at confusing the electorates are employed along ethnicity, religious differences and least geo-political divisions in tandem with the terms of their engagement; hence taking advantage of their two known mouthpieces in the print media to concoct lies and stories against the candidature of General Muhammadu Buhari or anything called APC!
I challenge any opponent of Buhari to buttress his opposition with clear utterances credited to the former in which his disdain or apathy to adherents of other religions or tribes is pronounced be it at public forum or private audience. Using the likes of these two notable media organs to smear the name of Nigeria’s messiah come 2015 is a known project handled religiously by the promoters of these outfits.
Past and present rewards for political offices or so-called national assignment to some Management of these media houses had proved us right.
While the other known critic of the government then was brought to launder the image of the present leadership sooner than later he lost his credibility amongst many of his erstwhile admirers; whereas the other fellow struggle continuously to secure government and quasi-governmental organizations’ adverts for his outfit to survive its dwindling fortune and declining readership as well as his nomination amongst the conferees of the National Conference.
This and many other forms of tactics aimed at denigrating the candidature of Buhari on the ground that the APC may likely nominate him; concocting a smear campaign of calumny by promoting religious hatred amongst Nigerians and ultimately denying them opportunity for a new nation that will, eventually ‘expose the 16 wasted years under the PDP administration’ within a fraction of their tenure when the progressives take reign.
Nigeria would have moved forward had the ‘1993 winner of June 12 election’ was announced and thrown away religious extremists and bigots to the dustbin of history; a situation that will coerce political job seekers to search for alternative means of survival not ranting the society as preoccupied presently.
Promoting the candidature of Christian–Christian ticket or that of other faith will not necessarily baptize the nation to a particular religion nor will it Islamize Nigeria. A just Christian if led with fair and fear of God will be better than any moslem whose leadership lacks the two basic qualities of leadership! On the other hand, if a moslem–moslem ticket produces what Nigerians aspire in their governance will be better than an anointed pastor!
The words of Governor Ogbeni Aregbesola is sufficient to this class of Nigerians when a torrent of critics of 1st Muharram declaration as public holiday in Osun state occupied any available newspaper space; he responded simply: “if I cannot Islamize my biological brother how come one claims of my attempt to Islamize a whole state?”
Aregbesola’s re-election has proved religious bigots wrong as they failed woefully to woo a section of the electorates that the former’s party is anti–Christians! What rubbish!