Saturday, 7 February 2015

News: Interesting article 'Election Fever' by Etcetera

The growing speculation that the elections might be postponed speaks volumes of someone’s election jitters. But who will it benefit most between Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and President Goodluck Jonathan if the elections are postponed? The Independent National Electoral Commission had four years to prepare for February elections. How come it waited till the 11th hour to start distributing PVCs? Nawa ooo.

People should know that no amount of scheming and manoeuvring can stop Nigerians now. The much clamoured change must be achieved, especially now that the masses have become more politically conscious and every discuss around the country over the past few weeks has been centred on politics. Politicians who have been blinded to the plight of the people should realise that mere rhetoric won’t cut it for them anymore. Nigerians are demanding for a change. The people are not smiling anymore. Whether it is a new regime taking over or a return of the incumbent, whoever takes the seat better know that a better Nigeria is non negotiable anymore. It is a shame it took us this long to realise the power we have as a people. But it will be the funeral of any politician who’s dumb not to realise that it won’t be business as usual and that their campaign for re-election is by providing the dividends of democracy from the very minute they are sworn into office. I guess if someone told President Jonathan that Buhari is going to have a huge support from the masses, he would have done more to secure his place for another term by providing the basic amenities demanded by the people. Getting re-elected shouldn’t be difficult for any public office holder who has the interest of the people at heart. Elections are zero-sum affairs. The more the Nigerian people perceive the incumbent as successful the less likely they are to vote for the opposition in the next election. And delivering democratic dividends (not just on billboards or on pages of newspapers), undercuts the whole logic of the opposition’s campaign against any incumbent or the incumbent’s party’s continuation in office.

Is Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State the Director General of Buhari and Akin Ambode’s campaign group. As governor, he is the father of everyone in the state including Jimi Agbaje, Ambode and every other contestant. He shouldn’t be replying or throwing jabs at any contestant no matter the political parties they represent. With Agbaje’s tax issue, the governor should have directed the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service to look into the matter and if Agbaje is found wanting, he should be referred to INEC for appropriate sanctions.
Whoever is in charge of Ambode’s campaign team should be given a raise. A couple of weeks back, a lot of lagosians including myself didn’t know who Ambode is. In fact, I had to call friends in Alausa to inquire about him. But judging from the awareness his campaign has generated in just a few weeks, if the governorship election of Lagos State is decided by that, your guess is as good as mine.
Lagos State is officially looking like one big political photo album or the living room of a wall paper merchant. Every wall or fence in the state is covered with campaign posters of all sort. I thought Lagos State government placed a ban on pasting of posters in the state. Or is the ban meant for only entertainers? Well, now I guess those guys pasting those white tacky A4 size posters with “House-girl or Plumber needed” have gotten all the encouragement they need.

I think Buhari has attended more church services than many Christians in the past weeks. Is he not trying too hard to convince us that he is not a religious fanatic? At this age and time, we should be discouraging sentiments in politics. Using the church for political campaigns is not exactly doing that. One question is, is Buhari or Jonathan going to church to give their lives to Christ and be born again? Should the church be allowed for political campaigns? If a pastor chooses to hire out his church auditorium for campaigns, is the congregation supposed to be included as part of the deal? We attend church on Sundays to hear the unadulterated word of God and not to listen to manifesto recitals.

Did Buhari pull out of the presidential debate for the same reasons given by his party? Well, we are not buying all that gist. I think it is the soldier in Buhari that took that decision. Being a good soldier goes beyond matching to war. It is also knowing when to go to war and when to sit at home. Buhari’s decision was smart indeed and I would have done the same if I was in his position. As weird as it sounds, he doesn’t seem like someone who can beat Jonathan in a debate. I have already pictured Jonathan entering the debate with a confident grin on his face like a kid strolling to receive his report card in front of his parents, knowing he had come first in class. A debate between Jonathan and Buhari would have been like a boxing bout between Mike Tyson and Bash Ali. There’s only one outcome. TKO!


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