It was a former chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Salihu Ibrahim (Rtd.) who lamented the state of the rot in the military cum the polity at his passing out parade in 1993 during the inglorious days of the evil genius, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), when he said, “Our army became one in which anything goes”. Breaking it down, according to him, the Nigerian army became one in which its ethos of discipline and honour was thrown to the dogs as junior officers disobeyed and disregarded superiors without consequence like has never happened in military history anywhere in the world. By the above statement, General Salihu Ibrahim, a fine officer and gentleman by all standards expressed deep regret at how ex military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida sacrificed the discipline, integrity and honour of the military, a revered institution and symbol of Nigeria’s unity for political expediency.
This was a period in which our values, integrity and indeed, every facet of our national life was destroyed by the Babangida junta which enthroned a state policy of corruption and criminality like never witnessed before in our political history and was capped up, with the treasonable annulment of the acclaimed freest and fairest 1993 Presidential election won by the late business mogul and philanthropist, Bashorun MKO Abiola of blessed memory, the aftermath of which eventually led to his forced exit from power by the Nigerian people through civil disobedience. The consequences of the criminality of the Ibrahim Babangida junta without appropriate sanctions by the society is what has continued to haunt us and will do so, for a long time to come.
With the advent of democracy in 1999 and subsequent change of government via the polls, in came, ex President Goodluck Jonathan who had to emerge first, as acting President in 2010 after a fierce battle on the streets by the Nigerian people against a cabal who were playing games with our lives by breaching the constitution in the absence of the then ex President, Umar Yar’Adua who was incapacitated due to ill health until he finally gave up the ghost.
When ex President Goodluck Jonathan contested the 2011 Presidential elections, his campaign promises was hinged solely on his mantra of “I had no shoes”. Unfortunately or due to providence, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a man who had no character or pedigree of service of any kind, be it private or public and the consequences was what we all lived with for four years to the consternation of humanity and God as the Goodluck Jonathan administration set a new record of irresponsibility, criminality, lawlessness and impunity which made the combined inglorious years of two military dictators Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha, look like a child’s play.
The entrenched culture of lawlessness, criminality and impunity perpetuated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration was so offensive and repugnant to human sensibilities, that the generality of Nigerians saw and were terrified by the impending calamity awaiting the Nigerian ship if that government was not exited as quickly as possible from office via the polls.
The tsunami of a Muhammadu Buhari presidency to rescue Nigeria from the abyss from which she was being plunged by the Goodluck Jonathan administration was a God ordained one because of the goodwill he possessed which was very infectious and endearing due to his track record of impeccable character and integrity, which was absolutely lacking in erstwhile occupants of the office of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria for a long time. Despite being unable to match the financial muscle of his fellow contestants for the presidential ticket of his party at the primaries, General Muhammadu Buhari emerged victorious to the delight of Nigerians who were fervently praying to God for deliverance of their country from the clutches of the disciples of Satan. A further confirmation of divine intervention in delivering the country from the jaws of a looming catastrophe played out when, he picked an equally impeccable man of character and honour in Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a distinguished professor of law and pastor as his running mate and vice presidential candidate.
With this joint ticket of men integrity and character in Buhari and Osinbajo, the stage was thus set for Nigeria on the road to recovery as ordained by God. Thus, the flame of the Buhari revolution engulfed the whole country like a wild fire such that Nigerians on their own became volunteers using their time and resources to spread the gospel on every available platform. This was evident as all medium of communication and information was overwhelmed by the show of support and solidarity by Nigerians, such that even the campaign grounds wherever the Muhammadu Buhari team birthed, was filled to the brim that it became crystal clear to the and sundry, that in a free and fair elections, this was the winning team.
Despite seeing the handwriting on the wall, frantic measures were made by the then ruling government of Goodluck Jonathan and its cronies to stop the peoples revolution as represented by the Buhari tsunami through hook and crook by deploying state resources, but it was an exercise in futility. The more they tried to vilify and tarnish the man’s image and that of his party, the more the popularity soared in confirmation of the saying that “Whoever God has blessed, no one can curse”. Even when they went to town with the lies and falsehood that he didn’t possess a school certificate as against his major opponent, a supposed Ph.D holder, the people showed that they cared less, by insisting that, even if he presents any of his utility bills, it will suffice for his alledged lack of school certificate.
The more, the expired Goodluck Jonathan administration exploited illegal and undemocratic means to subvert the peoples revolution for change, the more the futility of their action stared them in the face, but being who they were, they continued hoping for manipulations and chaos, but God put them to shame as all their plots against our democracy collapsed on their head with the conduct of a peaceful and fair general elections by the Prof Attahiru Jega led INEC in which the will of the people triumphed.
However since the trouncing of these anti democratic elements and whatever they represented at the polls by the votes of the Nigerian people, they have refused to come to terms with reality of change by attacking the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at every turn not minding how ridiculous and infantile their position sounds.
Just when the dust had hardly settled on the brouhaha raised over appointments by Mr. President, some of these characters as expected, have drawn out the daggers again calling on him to fulfill his promises of a hundred day in office when from all available records, there was nowhere throughout his campaign platforms both at home and in the Diaspora, where President Buhari promised 100 days of governance in a four years mandate.
Realistically and rationally, periodic assessment of a democratic government by the citizenry has become a fad in the world in order to keep the government on its toes and prevent a derailment from its campaign promises and developments in the polity. Thus, Nigeria cannot be exemption, but to attempt to blackmail a government on the basis of a 100 days promise which cannot be traced, pointblank to it, is the height of absurdity and a sad reminder that agents of the old order of lawlessness and impunity are still on the prowl.
Despite the Presidency denying knowledge and authorship of a 100 days promise and corroboration by renowned lawyer, Festus Keyamo who stated in a Punch newspaper publication of Tuesday 01/09/2015 that “But then, I can vouch for President Buhari. I travelled with him and I was with him at Chatham House when he was asked a question on what he would do in the first 100 days; and Buhari’s reply was very simple. He said, ‘I consider all of these promises about my 100 days in office fraudulent. I am not going to commit myself to any 100 days promises.’ These agents of, see no good in President Muhammadu Buhari, will not relent.
And even, when Mr. President’s party came out categorically to deny ownership of the 100 days promise of governance based on its position that such a promise never emanated nor was authorized by either the party through its national publicity secretary, nor its then Presidential candidate, some of these characters would rather not hear of such and have gone to town painting it in fake red, trying to blackmail the government on an alledged figment of their imagination100 days promise of 100 things to be done which include among others, the following:
1. Making the exchange rate of 1 dollar equivalent to 1 naira
2. Ending the boko haram insurgency
3. Making the refineries work at 100%
4. Eliminating corruption
5. Ensuring successful transplant of all Nigerian men to women and vice versa
6. Ensuring that all bachelors and spinsters get married and produce children, etc.
All these so called ridiculous 100 days promises by the sponsors of this campaign of, we must bring down the government by distracting it through campaign of calumny and sowing seed of discord in the polity, are laughable and must be understood within this context by all and sundry.
What we must all understand and recognize is that while the Buhari Presidency tsunami was on the loose, millions of Nigerians scattered at home and in the Diaspora became willing volunteers on their own, contributing time and money to save their fatherland from an impending calamity. It’s an indisputable fact, that sane Nigerians were absolutely fed up with the way and manner the PDP led Goodluck Jonathan government was likely to run the country aground and so, they launched themselves patriotically headlong into various kinds of campaign promises centered around the party’s manifesto of fighting corruption, insecurity, economy comatose, employment generation, etc to produce all kinds of materials to convince people to vote for a Buhari Presidency and it is not unlikely that overzealous supporters or mischief makers from the other end who were deploying their political war chest against change through bribery of persons and groups with local and foreign currency in mind boggling sums, also capitalized on the frenzy to produce materials and disseminate information which was ridiculous in order to disparage and make mockery of the movement.
But one clear message which Nigerians must hold very dearly from this whole episode of sowing seed of discord between the government and the people is that both Mr. President and his party have reaffirmed their unalloyed commitment to implementing the party manifesto based on its electioneering promises of fighting insecurity, corruption, unemployment, economy comatose, infrastructural decay, among others in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within the next four years of their democratic mandate and to us, this is reassuring.
As Mr. President gets set to release his long awaited ministerial nominees, it is important to admonish the government and the citizenry to be watchful and ever ready as enemies of progress and democracy are on the prowl and more than ever determined to psychologically wear down the people and the government by campaign of calumny and division along religious, ethnic and other negative lines.
In the mean time, instead of dissipating its energy in always responding to criticisms and sinister comments, it is imperative to call on Mr. President’s media team to live up to their responsibility by disseminating information prompt and relevant information across all channels to Nigerians on the achievement and giant strides being recorded by the government in areas of national life, which we are all living witness to, such as, improved electricity generation and supply, improved security and updates on the war against boko haram, the revitalization of the refineries in reducing fuel imports and decentralization of distribution and supplies, the state of recovery of looted funds, instilling discipline into our national life through responsible leadership, appointments into public office based on character and integrity instead of godfatherism and other primordial sentiment, etc.
To the vanguards of the old order of lawlessness and impunity in violations of the constitution and God’s law, who have refused to sheathe their daggers of, Nigeria shall know no peace, our message to them is that, we are more than prepared because eternal vigilance is the price for liberty. Again, our prayers is that may the Good Lord grant them good health to rejoice with the generality of Nigerians as things change for the better under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari within the next four years to the glory of God and man.