Nigerians who vote against Jo in February, do so out of a broken heart. Six years ago, for the first time since 1999, Nigerians protested when it seemed like he wasn’t going to be made President after Yar’Adua passed away. Four years ago, again, he was voted in as a breath of fresh air. He did not seem to have a track record of hobnobbing with those who had taken more from Nigeria than they had given.
He was voted in on the premise of hope. Hope for a better country. A country we could be proud of. He was voted on the basis of justice even. A lot of people thought it was fair and right for a man from South-South to become president. After all, the oil the region produced financed the entire Nigerian expenditure.
Since then, we watched in surprise as he went from one indecision to another. None of which mirrored our expectation. None of which even brought a measure of stability and peace. Then in 2014, we discovered a disconnect from the people. A lack of empathy, deaths occurred, kidnappings happened and he said nothing. Then said he didn’t believe it did. Then, weeks later, he agreed it did, but also said he couldn’t go to the town because he feared for his safety, yet he is the Commander-in-Chief. Some days ago, Baga deaths occurred. He had earlier released a statement about the Paris deaths but was somewhat short of words on the deaths in his own country. It is this, and things like this that have helped a number of people decide that enough is enough. It’s time to go, Jo.
We cannot have a democratically elected president who cannot be touched by the feelings of the people he leads. He took an oath to serve and to protect. Come Feb 14, 2015, if Buhari wins, his job is not an enviable one. He has many bridges to build with the people locally, and the international community. He has the economy, health, welfare amongst other things to repair. Nigeria, remember, He is not a saviour. But, he does not feel entitled. If he wins, he knows he worked for every single vote. He knows he will have to give everything he has to keep those votes over the next 4 years. He knows we, the people of Nigeria, will hold him accountable. He knows that the road will be tough and lonely as he will have to make several hard decisions.
Gbenga Sesan already warned him, ‘mess up and we vote you out’. Not his exact words but in summary. He will have to choose the best men. He will have to be wise. He will have to be better than he has ever been before. He will have to be more. I wish you well, Buhari. Sleepless nights and long days await you if you become President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But if you do this job well, these may very well be the four years of your life you are most proud of and we would be on a journey to a Nigeria we are all proud of.